Nittany Lions pounce on powerless Panthers
Trace McSorley threw for two touchdowns and ran for another as No. 13 Penn State pulled away for a 51-6 victory over sloppy Pittsburgh on Saturday night.
KJ Hamler ran 32 yards for a score and hauled in a 14-yard touchdown pass from McSorley as the Nittany Lions (2-0) bounced back from an opening week scare against Appalachian State to dominate their 99th meeting with the Panthers (1-1). McSorley finished 14 of 30 for 145 yards in the rain at soggy Heinz Field.
Penn State running back Miles Sanders ran for 118 yards, and DeAndre Thompson returned a punt 39 yards for a touchdown.
That was more than enough to beat Pitt in what could be the Nittany Lions’ last trip to Pittsburgh for the foreseeable future. There are no plans for the rivalry to continue beyond next year’s game at Beaver Stadium.
Considering how things went in the second half that might not be a bad thing for either side. Penn State’s margin of victory was the third-largest by either team in a series that dates to 1893. The chants of “We Are ... Penn State” rang throughout the stadium in the final minutes.
Pitt senior Qadree Ollison ran for 119 yards and a 13-yard score for Pitt, but went nowhere after halftime. Neither did the Panthers. Sophomore quarterback Kenny Pickett struggled in the steady rain, completing just 9 of 18 passes for 55 yards.