Virginia football's comeback fell short on Saturday, as the Cavaliers fell to 29-16 and to 1-4 on the year. In the end it was the horrible start the dug the 'Hoos into a very large hole.
It was not the best of starts for the Cavaliers to say the least. On the first drive, Pittsburgh not only coverted on a 3rd-and-11 with a 28-yard pass to J.P. Holtz, but found the endzone with the ensuing play, after Nate Peterman hit Scott Orndoff for a 37-yard touchdown. After just two minutes and five plays, the Cavaliers were down seven.
The 'Hoos did manage to answer quick, however. Albert Reid found a seam and ran for 71-yards, putting the Cavaliers deep in the redzone. But the Wahoos could not cash in on the run, Virginia was moved back 10-yards after two back-to-back penalties, and had to settle for the field goal.
Virginia's offense continued to struggle for the rest of the first quarter, while the Pitt offense continued to have its way. Chris James ran for 48-yards and once again the Panthers took advantage. After just two pays, Ollison capped off the drive with a 4-yard touchdown. The Panthers added a field goal in the first quarter to make it 17-3.
Then there came hope. Michael Moore sacked Peterman, forcing the Panthers' signal caller to fumble the ball right to Kwontie Moore. The big man then ran it for 15-yards for UVa's first touchdown of the game. The takeaway seemed to ignite the defense, who forced Pitt to punt three more times to end the first half, and the Cavs were within a touchdown.
The second half started off promising for Matt Johns and the offense. The Cavaliers were deep in Pitt territory on their first drive of the half, when Johns was picked off by Matt Galambos, who ran it back for 51-yards. Pitt took full advantage, and after two plays tacked on another touchdown. The Panthers were up by fourteen.
The UVa offense once again looked the part driving down the field on the next drive, but once again the team had to settle for a field goal in the red zone. But once again the Cavs were give hope by the defense. Just as Pitt looked to score, Micah Kiser forced a fumble and Quin Blanding recovered. But nothing could come of the takeaway, Johns was subsequently sacked in the endzone, and Pitt was awarded a safety.
The 'Hoos, however, was still in the game. Johns found Canaan Severin in the endzone for a 32-yard touchdown. The Cavs' extra point was blocked, but Pitt's lead was down to seven.
The Virginia defense forced a three-and-out and the UVa offense had just over three minutes to get something done. It wasn't easy with Johns called for intentional groubnding, and a T.J. Thorpe first down called back because of a chop block penalty, but the 'Hoos managed to take it to the last minute. Johns found Thorpe once again to convert a long fourth and 23, but when faced with 4th and 10 a couple of plays later, the 'Hoos could not convert-handing Pitt the win.
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