Pitt and Penn State met for the first time in 16 years on Saturday and the Panthers ran laps around the Nittany Lions, breaking records en route to a 42-39 home victory.
The 42 points that Pitt racked up on Saturday are the most that they have scored on Penn State over the now-98-game series. A big reason for the stockpile of points came courtesy of the Panthers’ rushing attack. The 343 yards on the ground on Saturday are the most that a James Franklin-coached Penn State club has ever allowed – the last time the defense saw that big of a beating was versus the Ohio State Buckeyes in 2013 which resulted in a 63-14 loss.
The 226 rushing yards in the first half are also the most the Nittany Lions have surrendered in two quarters since at least 2004.
A majority of skill players got in on the action. Eight different players recorded a rush, the stat sheet headlined by Panthers regular James Conner, who amassed 117 yards on 22 carries and added a touchdown. Quarterback Nathan Peterman tacked on 52 yards over eight carries and Quadree Henderson chipped in with 58 yards of his own.
Pitt used a 28-14 lead heading into the half to stave off a late-game scare from Penn State. Quarterback Trace McSorley threw an interception in the waning minutes, which put the Panthers into victory formation to seal the win.
Penn State returns home in Week 3 to take on the Kent State Golden Flash prior to opening up Big Ten play versus the Michigan Wolverines. Pitt travels to Oklahoma State, who is fresh off a heartbreaking loss to Central Michigan after the Chippewas used a hail mary to cap off a last-second win.