Pittsburgh 38, Virginia Tech 7
November 3, 2001
by Will Stewart, TechSideline.com

                         1   2   3   4    F
                        --  --  --  --   --
Virginia Tech (12)       7   0   0   0    7
Pittsburgh               7  17  14   0   38

1st Quarter:
Pitt-Bryant 24 pass from Priestley (Lotz kick), 9:33
VT-Whitaker 71 blocked FG return (Warley kick), 1:42

2nd Quarter:
Pitt-English 33 pass from Priestley (Lotz kick), 9:47
Pitt-Lotz 32 FG, 4:06
Pitt-Bryant 36 pass from Priestley (Lotz kick), 2:27

3rd Quarter:
Pitt-Spencer 68 INT return, (Lotz kick), 9:49
Pitt-Rutherford 2 run (Lotz kick), 3:54

4th Quarter:
no scoring

Pittsburgh, PA - Still groggy from their home loss to Syracuse, the Hokies showed up at Heinz Field and were squashed like a tomato, falling to the Pittsburgh Panthers 38-7.

Punchless on offense and listless on defense, the Hokies were knocked out by halftime, as the Panthers rolled up 19 first half first downs, compared to just 4 for Tech, in taking a 24-7 half time lead. Unable to muster any offense, the Hokies' only score came when Ronyell Whitaker returned a blocked field goal 71 yards for a TD to knot the score at 7 in the first quarter.

The Panthers had opened the scoring with a 24-yard TD reception by Antonio Bryant, who caught the ball over the outstretched hands of Kevin McCadam.

The first quarter ended 7-7, and in the next 26 minutes, the Panthers hung 31 points on the Hokies to make it 38-7 with 3:54 to go in the third quarter. The carnage started with a 17-0 second quarter outburst that included a 33-yard TD pass to R.J. English and a 36-yard TD pass to Antonio Bryant.

Pittsburgh went almost exclusively with the pass in the first half, rolling up 240 yards passing and 286 total yards to just 67 for Tech. The Hokies were only able to muster one first down in their first five offensive series. In the fifth offensive series, with Pitt holding a 17-7 lead, Tech QB Grant Noel was sacked from behind, and he fumbled on the Tech 36. On the very next play, Pittsburgh QB David Priestley hit Bryant down the middle for the 36-yard TD and the 24-7 lead.

Penalties damaged the Hokies severely in the first half, with the Hokies committing 7 for 95 yards, including 3 pass interference calls. For the game, the Hokies had 11 penalties for 120 yards.

Tech opened the third quarter with a nice drive, but it came to an abrupt and damaging end when Grant Noel threw an interception to Shantae Spencer, who cut in front of Andre Davis, picked off the ball, and raced 68 yards down the left sideline for a TD that made it 31-7 and ended Tech's comeback hopes.

The Hokies followed that touchdown by trying an ill-advised fake punt on the next series from their own 45 yard line on fourth and 4. Tech punter Vinnie Burns was tackled on the Tech 33, and Pittsburgh punched it in from there on 7 straight running plays. The three-minute drive ended with backup quarterback Rod Rutherford taking it in from the 2 yard line for the final margin of 38-7.

There were just under four minutes remaining in the third quarter at that point, and the final 19 minutes of the game were uneventful. The Hokies played backup QB Bryan Randall in the fourth quarter, but he was not able to generate any more offense at the controls than Noel was.

Game Notes

  • Pittsburgh outgained the Hokies 393-151. The Hokies' total of 151 yards of offense is their lowest total since 1992, lower even than the 152 yards posted by the Hokies at Syracuse in 1998.
  • Pittsburgh had 24 first downs to Tech's 8. The Hokies were only 3-16 on third down conversions.
  • Pitt outrushed Tech 148 yards to 15. The 15 yards is Tech's lowest rushing total since the 1994 Miami game, a 24-3 loss at Miami.
  • The Hokies had 4 turnovers, and Pittsburgh had 1. DeAngelo Hall intercepted Rutherford for Tech's only takeaway of the last two games.
  • Tech's 7 points are the lowest point total since a 42-3 loss to North Carolina in the 1997 Gator Bowl. The shutout of Tech's offense is the first time the offense has been shutout since a 16-0 loss to Cincinnati in 1995.
  • The consecutive losses to Syracuse and Pittsburgh are the first consecutive regular-season losses since 1997, when Tech lost to Pittsburgh 30-23 and UVa 34-20 to close the regular season.
  • The victory over Tech is only Pitt's second victory over the Hokies in the 9-game series.
  • Since holding a 34-0 lead over Boston College, the Hokies have been outscored 80-21.

Click here for TSL's post-game analysis


                          VT        Pitt 
                        ----        ----
First downs                8          24 
Rushed-yards           25-15      44-148 
Passing yards            136         245 
Sacked-yards lost       2-17        3-25 
Return yards              67          94 
Passes               17-36-2     16-28-1 
Punts                 8-37.8      6-37.7 
Fumbles-lost             3-2         0-0 
Penalties-yards       11-120       10-70 
Time of possession     25:32       34:28 

Att: 55,585


RUSHING: Virginia Tech-K Burnell 9-27, W Ward 2-12, Andre Davis 1-3, Ferguson 1-2, Jones 4-1, Randall 1-1, Briggs 1-minus 1, V Burns 1-minus 12, Noel 5-minus 18. Pittsburgh-Furman 3-45, Polite 9-37, Kirkley 11-27, Priestley 6-14, Rutherford 12-11, Vaglia 2-9, Jemison 1-5.

PASSING: Virginia Tech-Noel 15-29-2-118, Randall 2-7-0-18. Pittsburgh-Priestley 16-26-0-245, Rutherford 0-2-1-0. 

RECEIVING: Virginia Tech-And Davis 8-80, Parham 2-15, E Johnson 2-14, Jones 2-12, E Wilford 1-7, Ferguson 1-5, K Burnell 1-3. Pittsburgh-English 8-134, Bryant 5-93, Slade 1-10, K Wilson 1-9, Furman 1-minus 1.


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