Pitt Holds On To Beat Maine

All week, players and coaches talked about how improvement is made between the first and second game. Today against Maine, there was very little that Pitt improved upon from its mistakes in the opener against Buffalo.

Pitt improved its record to 2-0 with a 35-29 win over Maine, in front of an announced attendance of 41,230 at Heinz Field.

Though Pitt put up 35 points, and Ray Graham had another 100-yard performance to go with three touchdowns, the offense is still not living up to the expectations set of a high-octane offense. Quarterback Tino Sunseri was sacked seven times by an offensive line that includes three senior starters. Maine's Michael Cole led the Black Bears with 2.5 of those sacks.

The Panthers also turned the ball over with two interceptions, while producing none of its own. In fact, after Sunseri's second interception of the day—a pass that was picked off by Maine defensive back Darlos James—freshman Trey Anderson entered the game. The switch may have ignited a quarterback controversy in Pittsburgh. On his first drive as a collegiate player, Anderson led the Panthers to a score—a 1-yard touchdown run from Zach Brown.

Even though Sunseri completed 21-of-35 passes for 224 yards, he threw the two picks. In addition to the turnovers, Pitt was 7-of-15 on third downs. Interestingly, Pitt was 4-of-12 on third downs before Anderson came into the game. They went 3-of-3 on Anderson's first drive.

Brandon Lindsey and Aaron Donald had sacks for Pitt in the win. Lindsey left the game for much of the second quarter following his sack—he play where he missed Maine quarterback Warren Smith the first time. A strong second effort by Lindsey gave him the sack. He did return in time for the second half.

Pitt had the ball just 20 minutes in last week's game, to Buffalo's 40 minutes and 93 total plays of offense. They fared much better this week, as the time of possession was battle was more even.

Ray Graham led Pitt with 121 yards on 28 carries with 121 yards and three touchdowns. Devin Street led Pitt with a career-high six receptions for 42 yards. Ray Graham added five receptions, followed by Mike Shanahan and Hubie Graham with three receptions each. Derek Buttles led Maine with seven catches for 148 yards and a touchdown. The Bears scored two late touchdowns—a David Wood one-yard touchdown run, and a two-yard pass from Warren Smith to Maurice McDonald.

We'll have more reaction from Pitt players and coaches following the postgame press conference.

Panther More Top Stories