- Brian Bennett, ESPN Staff Writer
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Quick analysis of Pitt's 27-24 overtime loss at Utah:
Turning point: Pittsburgh quarterback Tino Sunseri was intercepted on the first play of overtime. Utah kicked a short field goal on its overtime possession to win.
How the game was won: It really came down to who made the last mistake. Pitt didn't play well most of the night, getting repeatedly burned in pass coverage, looking shaky on the offensive line and leaving points on the board in the Utah red zone. But the Utes had three turnovers and a punt block and the game was marred by penalties. After Utah took a 24-14 lead with 7:59 left, its defense inexplicably left Jon Baldwin open for a long touchdown pass to let Pitt back in the game.
In the end, though, Pitt didn't feel comfortable going for the win in regulation because Sunseri was starting his first college game. And Sunseri made the last, key mistake.
Stat of the game: Pitt RB Dion Lewis, who had 10 100-yard games last year, finished with a career-low 75 yards on 25 carries. Take away the 18-yard gain on his first attempt, and he had just 57 yards on 24 carries.
Player of the game: Utah quarterback Jordan Wynn went 21-for-36 for 283 yards and three touchdowns, with one interception.
Second-guessing: Should Pitt have taken a shot at the win late in the game? The Panthers had the ball on the Utah 14 on first down with 38 seconds left. They did dial up two pass plays, but the Utes pressured Sunseri into incompletions. With a rookie quarterback, it's hard to blame Dave Wannstedt for playing for overtime on the road, though at least one shot to Baldwin there would have been nice.
What it means: Pitt's national title hopes are over. Lewis' Heisman Trophy chances are already on life support. But it's not the end of the world. The Panthers showed a lot of heart in coming back and forcing overtime, and their main goal of winning the Big East is still alive. But they will have to shore up some weaknesses, especially in pass coverage, with Miami coming to town for the third game of the season.
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