Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett threw for 197 yards and Qadree Ollison rushed for 91 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Panthers to a 24-19 win over Georgia Tech in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener Saturday at Heinz Field.
Pickett, a sophomore making his fourth career start, completed 16 of 23 passes with one interception. Ollison carried 17 times and scored on runs of 31 and 8 yards. Rafael Araujo-Lopez had six receptions for 45 yards and Taysir Mack had four catches for 95 yards for the Panthers (2-1, 1-0 ACC)
Georgia Tech (1-2, 0-1) was led by quarterback TaQuon Marshall, who ran 28 times for 103 yards and two touchdowns. He was 6-for-15 passing for 66 yards and had one interception. Fullback Jordan Mason rushed 10 times for 94 yards.
Pitt bounced back from last week’s 51-6 loss to Penn State. The Panthers improved to 8-5 against Georgia Tech.
Pitt had two takeaways, Phillipie Motley’s first career interception and a fumble recovery by Rashad Weaver, his NCAA-leading third of the season.
The Panthers dominated the first half and took a 21-0 lead into the locker room.
Ollison opened the scored with a 31-yard run at the 8:36 mark.
After stuffing a Georgia Tech fake punt for a 2-yard loss, Pitt punched it in in three plays. The final 5 yards were covered on a Darrin Hall run with 5:20 left in the first quarter.
Pitt scored again with 2:59 left in the half on an 8-yard run by Ollison. The score was set up by a 60-yard pass from Pickett to Taysir Mack.
Georgia Tech scored on its first possession of the second half, driving 75 yards in 10 plays, with Marshall scoring from the 1. The extra point by Brenton Cox hit the upright and was no good.
Pitt added a 33-yard field goal from Alex Kessman and took a 24-6 lead into the fourth quarter.
Georgia Tech got to within 24-12 when Marshall scored on a 7-yard run, then tacked on another score with 37 seconds remaining on a 3-yard run by Clinton Lynch to cap a 99-yard drive.
Georgia Tech’s onside kick went out of bounds and Pitt was able to run out the clock to secure the victory.
—Field Level Media