As originally posted here.
After setting record offensive records against the likes of Ball State and UTEP, No. 16 USF (4-1) found themselves on the other end of a drubbing, losing to Pittsburgh (3-2) 44-17 at Heinz Field on Thursday, Sept. 29.
Pittsburgh running back Ray Graham ran over the USF defense for 226 yards from 26 carries and two touchdowns. He also caught four passes for 42 yards. Quarterback Tino Sunseri threw for 216 yards, completing 22 passes out of 33 and throwing for a score. He would also run one in running for 35 yards from 12 carries.
After an even first half when the score ended up a close 20-17 Panthers lead, they took advantage of an exhausted Bulls defense accounting for 24 unanswered points from coach Todd Graham’s “high octane” offense.
Both the offense and defense were mismatched in the second half. The final time of possession for the Bulls was 23:50 while the Panthers kept the ball for 35:44. The Panthers defense was relentless in smothering USF quarterback B. J. Daniels and the offense with constant pressure and blitzes shutting them out in the second half.
Daniels threw for 224 yards, completing 17 out of 36 passes. He also ran for 43 yards out of 14 carries and ran for a score. Running back Demetris Murray carried the ball for 67 yards from 10 carries and a score. His counterpart Darrell Scott did far much better carrying only two more times and for 8 more yards and no scores. Receiver Sterling Griffin caught five balls for 124 yards.
An early Panther fumble from receiver Darius Patton resulted in USF’s first score, but from there, the Panthers kept pouring on the scoring only having to punt twice. The Panthers forced two key fumbles from Scott and Griffin ending any hopes of a response from the Bulls offense in the fourth quarter.
The loss marks the fourth in a row against the Panthers. The Bulls mark their first loss of the season and within the Big East conference. The Bulls will attempt to regain their momentum against another conference opponent, traveling to Connecticut to face the Huskies.