Pittsburgh received the ball to start the game, but punted the ball to Syracuse after a quick three-and-out. The defense was unable to stop the Orange whatsoever in their first drive, allowing an eight play, 70 yard drive for a touchdown. The Orange were a perfect four-for-four in the passing game on the drive and the running game found gains at ease.
The Panthers offense went to work immediately after and were able to get into Syracuse territory behind three big passing plays from quarterback Tino Sunseri. However, the drive resulted into zero points as Kevin Harper missed a 42 yard field goal.
The miscues didn't stop there for Pittsburgh in the first quarter, though. Panthers tight end Drew Carswell coughed up the ball at midfield that was then picked up by Dyshawn Davis of Syracuse and returned for a touchdown.