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Saturday, August 30, 2008
Panthers' Upset Bid Falls Short
At halftime, you could hear the song "Living On a Prayer" blasting from the instruments of the Pitt Band. How ironic that this was playing on hopes of Pitt upsetting MAC powerhouse Bowling Green. For the second half, Pitt had to hold on to what they had. It didn't make a difference if they made it or not. They had each other.
The excitement was built when Pitt jump-started to a 14-0 lead with a LeSean McCoy touchdown run and a touchdown pass to Derek Kinder. Pitt also had big runs from Larod Stephens and the defense kept Bowling Green's spread offense in check. Pitt's plan was simple: keep the playcalling vanilla-like and let the game rest on the defense.
The excitement would come to halt when Bowling Green marched down the field to cut the lead to 14-7. They would add another touchdown, but Pitt's offense came roaring back. They marched down the field, and kicked a field goal to go into halftime with the lead. There was adequate time to take shots at the end zone, but Pitt's staff felt it wasn't a good idea against a team like Bowling Green.
After a heroic first half, any Pitt fan who had dreams of an upset were awaken when Bowling Green scored another touchdown to make it 20-17. Pitt's offense had one last charge in them to take the lead, but those hopes were dashed when Bowling Green recovered a fumble after Pitt crossed midfield. Bowling Green then put the nail in the coffin when they sacked Bill Stull to force a fumble. They scored two plays later. There was no hope of a comeback.
This loss hurts for Pitt, but it gives them optimism for next week against Buffalo. Buffalo crushed UTEP on Thursday night, and they seem up and coming. This could be another potential opportunity for the Panthers to pull off an upset. They'll just need to stop Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas.