(Saturday, October 18th)
Final Score: (23) Pittsburgh 42, Navy 21
Annapolis, MD (Sports Network) - LeSean McCoy rushed for 156 yards and three scores as 23rd-ranked Pittsburgh hammered Navy, 42-21, at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
Bill Stull completed 15-of-23 passes for 255 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions while LaRod Stephens-Howling rushed for 34 yards and a pair of scores for the Panthers (5-1), who have won five straight after dropping a season-opening contest to Bowling Green.
Jonathan Baldwin chipped in with three catches for 101 yards and a touchdown for Pitt, which had 499 net yards compared to 251 for Navy.
Jarod Bryant finished 3-of-7 passing for 18 yards with an interception. He also rushed for 81 yards and a score on 21 carries for Navy (4-3), which had its three-game winning streak snapped.
Shun White added 70 yards on the ground and a score, while Ricky Dobbs rushed for a TD for the Midshipmen.
Pittsburgh grabbed a quick 7-0 lead when it went 74 yards on 11 plays on the opening possession of the contest. Led by some hard running by McCoy, the Panthers quickly moved inside Navy territory. Then, facing a 3rd-and-10, McCoy took a dump pass from Stull and went 34 yards to the Midshipmen six- yard line. Stephens-Howling capped the drive by running it up the middle for the six-yard score.
Navy, however, had an answer on its first offensive set. After two modest gains, the Middies converted a 3rd-and-short and White followed it up with a 40-yard touchdown run to tie the contest midway through the opening period.
The back-and-forth affair continued as the Panthers answered right back. Stull hit Baldwin for a 43-yard completion that moved the ball to the Navy nine-yard line, and three plays later McCoy ran into the end zone from two yards out to make it a 14-7 game.
A Navy turnover on the first play of its ensuing possession led to another Pitt score. Jabaal Sheard came off the left edge, sacked Bryant and stripped the ball from the Midshipmen signal-caller with Gus Mustakas recovering for the visitors at the Navy 17. A nine-yard TD run by Stephens-Howling on the third play of the drive upped Pitt's lead to 14 points with 2:58 remaining in the first.
The Panthers were bidding for more early in the second quarter with the ball on the Navy 16, but Stull tried to force one to a receiver in the end zone and had his pass picked off by Rashawn King and returned to the Pitt eight- yard line. On the first play of the set, Bryant ran it in from eight yards out to get Navy within 21-14 with 10:22 left in the first half.
McCoy's 11-yard TD scamper on the Panthers' next set put the finishing touches on a brief seven-play 49-yard drive. Then, following a short punt by Kyle Delahooke with 1:16 left in the first half, Pitt got the ball on its own 42. On the first play, McCoy took an inside handoff from Stull and exploded for a 58-yard scoring run to put the Panthers ahead by a 35-14 margin heading into the intermission.
After a scoreless third quarter, Pitt found the end zone on the second play of the fourth. Facing a 3rd-and-12, Stull dropped back and, under heavy pressure, hit Baldwin with a pass along the near sideline. The big freshman wideout did some nice footwork to stay in bounds and sprinted the distance for a 60-yard score.
Navy got a four-yard TD run from Dobbs that capped a six-play, 54-yard drive with 20 seconds remaining in the game to account for the final score.
Navy will host SMU next weekend, while Pittsburgh welcomes Rutgers to Heinz Field...In a series that began in 1912, Pitt owns a 21-13-3 advantage over Navy, although it was the Panthers' first visit to Annapolis since 1987.
10/18 20:03:00 ET