Sports

Pitt beats Syracuse 17-16 as Bennett scores decisive TD to make Panthers bowl-eligible

  • Pittsburgh's Isaac Bennett, right, makes a run past Syracuse's Dyshawn Davis during the first half of an NCAA college football game at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y., Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Heather Ainsworth)

    Pittsburgh's Isaac Bennett, right, makes a run past Syracuse's Dyshawn Davis during the first half of an NCAA college football game at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y., Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Heather Ainsworth)  (The Associated Press)

  • Pittsburgh's Jahmahl Pardner carries the ball during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Syracuse at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y., Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Heather Ainsworth)

    Pittsburgh's Jahmahl Pardner carries the ball during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Syracuse at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y., Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Heather Ainsworth)  (The Associated Press)

Isaac Bennett scored the decisive touchdown on a 5-yard run on the final play of the third quarter, Tom Savage passed for 218 yards and another score, and Pittsburgh rallied past Syracuse 17-16 on Saturday in a critical game for both teams.

Both needed a victory to become eligible for the postseason, and Pitt (6-5, 3-4 ACC) got the job done. Syracuse (5-6, 3-4) has one more chance next week at home against Boston College.

Trailing with time winding down in the third, Savage directed a nine-play, 88-yard drive to give the Panthers the winning score. After taking a hard hit from blitzing linebacker Marquis Spruill, Savage hit tight end J.P. Holtz for 16 yards on third down, and the ball was moved another 15 yards to the Syracuse 43 after an unsportsmanlike conduct was whistled against the Orange.