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Pitt vs. Syracuse 2012: Offense fails Panthers in 14-13 loss to Orange

The Pittsburgh Panthers fell 14-13 on the road to the Syracuse Orange in an ugly game Friday night. Pittsburgh is now 2-3 on the season, 0-2 in Big East play. Syracuse's two first quarter touchdowns were too much for a Pittsburgh offense that struggled all night, particularly in the fourth quarter when the Panthers had a chance to steal a victory.

Twice in the final quarter, Pittsburgh drove deep inside Syracuse territory only to emerge with no points. After reaching the Orange 29-yard line, a false start penalty and sack of quarterback Tino Sunseri led to a punt. As the game wound down, Pittsburgh advanced to the Syracuse 17-yard line, only to have a 15-yard intentional grounding penalty and sack of Sunseri knock the Panthers out of field goal range.

The folks at SB Nation's Pitt Panthers blog Cardiac Hill were in no way pleased with the performance of their team:

The 14-13 loss to Syracuse was, in a word, a joke. You thought Youngstown State and Cincinnati were bad? This was a whole 'nother level. Pitt had this game won if they wanted it. I mean if they really wanted it. After giving up an early touchdown on Syracuse's first drive, the defense settled down to pitch a shutout - the rest of the way. greg Maddux couldn't have done a finer job. So when it comes to sitting someone down in the corner, it's got to be the offense.

Pittsburgh hosts the undefeated and No.19-ranked Louisville Cardinals next Saturday at Heinz Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. ET.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.