Thanks in part to four Pitt turnovers, West Virginia won this afternoon’s backyard brawl in a rout, 35-10. The game started on a terrible note for Pitt, as Brandon Hogan intercepted Tino Sunseri’s pass on the Panthers’ first possession and ran the ball back to the Pitt 2 yard line. Pitt went into the second quarter tied at seven, but Dion Lewis lost a fumble. Then Ray Graham fumbled in the Panthers’ next possession and WVU scored in the ensuing drive, and the Mountaineers headed into halftime with a seven-point lead.
The Mountaineers scored again in their first third-quarter possession, and Pitt followed by turning the ball over on downs after going for it on 4th-and-3. Then late in the game, Pitt flubbed a snap to Tino Sunseri in the shotgun formation, and WVU wound up with the ball yet again.
The Mountaineers scored on two touchdown runs by Ryan Clarke and two touchdown passes from Geno Smith to Tavon Austin, as well as a short touchdown pass from Smith to Will Johnson.
Pitt’s loss allows UConn to control its own destiny in the Big East. With wins tomorrow against Cincinnati and next week against South Florida, the Huskies would win the Big East’s BCS berth. If West Virginia wins next week and UConn loses either game, the Mountaineers would head to a BCS bowl.
There are still scenarios in which Pitt can win the BCS berth, but the loss today completed a collapse for the Panthers, who seemed to have the conference championship well in hand a few days ago.