Pitt Beats SU With Air Assault

Just one week after completing 74-percent of his passes for 215 yards and three touchdowns, SU quarterback R.J. Anderson had his worst throwing day of the season Saturday as the Syracuse Orangemen lost to Pittsburgh, 34-14 at Heinz Field.

Anderson completed only seven of 18 passes for a measly 49 yards. SU Coach Paul Pasqualoni was not expecting such a low total.

Yeah, I was surprised," said Pasqualoni.

Anderson also ended his streak of pass attempts without an interception at 179 attempts when he threw a first-quarter interception. He latered threw his second interception in the fourth quarter.

On the other side of the ball, the Pittsburgh passing game gave the SU secondary fits all day. The biggest "fit" was caused by sophomore wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who caught eight balls for 149 yards and two touchdowns. Coach Pasqualoni was impressed by the Heisman candidate.

"There were times where we tried to single the coverage up and we got hurt," said Pasqualoni. "He's just a great player."

Overall, Pittsburgh quarterback Rod Rutherford was 21 for 32 with 310 passing yards and three touchdowns.

Syracuse grabbed a quick 7-0 lead in the first quarterback when Pittsburgh punter Andy Lee fumbled a snap and SU cornerback Steve Gregory picked it up and returned it for a touchdown. After taking a 14-7 lead on a 2-yard touchdown run by Anderson, Syracuse's offense sputtered. Pittsburgh took a 21-14 lead at the half, and never looked back.

"It seemed like we were never able to come back and mount an offensive surge," said Pasqualoni.

The loss shadowed a few good efforts from Syracuse. Walter Reyes had his best rushing day in three games, carrying the ball 21 times for 91 yards. Also, the SU defensive line played superbly, forcing Pittsburgh into -42 yards rushing in the first half, and 43 yards for the game. Defensive end Josh Thomas and defensive tackle Louis Gachelin both had standout games, getting into the backfield to stop many runs and tally some sacks.

Syracuse now enters a bye week, and their next game is November 8th, at home, against the Temple Owls.

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