The loss, the Cardinals (5-4, 1-3) second straight after losing to Syracuse last weekend on the road, dropped UofL to just 1-3 in the Big East and put their post-season bowl hopes in serious doubt.
The big bug-aboo for Louisville: Turnovers. The Cardinals committed five turnovers on the day, losing three fumbles, while quarterbacks Hunter Cantwell and Matt Simms both threw interceptions.
Pittsburgh struck first with a 30 yard Connor Lee field goal for a 3-0 lead with 9:01 in the first quarter. Andre Wright scored on a 7 yard run with 4:12 left in the opening quarter for a 10-0 lead.
Oderick Turner put Pittsburgh ahead 17-0 at halftime with a 26 yard touchdown reception from Bill Stull late in the second quarter.
After Lee added a 19 yard field goal with 6:25 left in the third quarter, Louisville tried to mount a comeback trailing 20-0. Cantwell connected with Troy Pascley for a 30 yard touchdown strike – the sophomore's fourth touchdown reception on the season – to cut the Panthers lead to 20-7.
Still trailing by 13, the Cardinals drove into Pittsburgh territory on their next possession with a chance to further narrow the gap. But the Panther defense stopped UofL running back Brock Bolen on a critical fourth and one and never looked back.
McCoy scored from 11 yards out on Pittsburgh's next possession with 11:19 left to give the Panthers a 27-7 advantage. Moments later, Ricky Gee recovered a fumble inside the Louisville five and ran 3 yards for a touchdown to put Pitt ahead 34-7.
Panther linebacker Scott McKillop returned an 18 yard interception with 7:29 left in the contest for the final points and a 41-7 victory – Pittsburgh's first over Louisville since 1983.
The Panthers ended a seven game losing streak to the Cardinals, who won at Heinz Field two years ago, 48-24, on Saturday. The win kept Pittsburgh in contention in the Big East, pushing the Panthers record to 7-2 overall and 3-1 in conference play.
Victor Anderson rushed for 73 yards on 17 carries but the Cardinals could only manage 96 yards on the group. Cantwell threw for 164 yards, completing 15 of 28 passes with one touchdown and one interception. Simms wasn't any more effective, completing 4 of 10 passes for 39 yards with an interception. Louisville had only 299 total yards on offense.
Next up for Louisville is rival Cincinnati at PJCS on Nov. 14 for an ESPN2 televised contest. The Bearcats are 6-2 overall and 2-1 in the Big East. They play West Virginia Saturday.