The Pittsburgh Panthers dropped an important game to the Cincinnati Bearcats Saturday night, 26-23. The game determined the leader in the Big East standings. Though the Panthers held a 10-point advantage in the third quarter, the Bearcats fought back and scored the final 13 points of the game.
The Bearcats started off the scoring on their first possession, just over a minute into the game, with a Tony Miliano field goal. The remainder of the first quarter was a field goal stalemate, with Cincinatti kicking two and Pitt kicking one, making the score 6-3 at the end of the first frame.
The Panthers scored twice out of the gates in the second quarter, putting 10 points on the board in less than 30 seconds. After a Kevin Harper field goal, a Zach Collaros interception led to a 4-yard rushing touchdown by Tino Sunseri. But as was the theme of the game, Cincinnati answered on a 7-yard rushing touchdown by Collaros to tie the game at 13. The Panthers were able to kick another field goal going into half.
The third quarter started out promising for Pittsburgh, who came out of the locker room and scored on the opening possession of the second half on a 4-yard touchdown pass by Sunseri to open the game up and extend the Panthers lead to 10. But again, the Bearcats refused to go down, tying the score 23-23 just before the end of the third.
The only score of the fourth quarter came just seconds in as Miliano put the Bearcats up 26-23. That kick provided the final margin, as the Panthers were just unable to put together a full drive. A late interception by Sunseri also hurt the Panthers' cause. With the win, the Bearcats take the top spot in the Big East at 7-1 (3-0), while the Panthers move back under .500 to 4-5 (2-2).
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