Saturday, October 15, 2011
Halftime: Pitt 14, Utah 13
By Ted Miller
If special teams didn't count, Utah would be whipping Pittsburgh.
But, alas, special teams count.
Pittsburgh scored touchdowns on a 98-yard kickoff return and blocked punt and leads the Utes 14-13.
The Utes had two nice drives in the first half, producing first downs on the Panthers four- and 11-yard lines, but both ended in field goals. They finally broke through late in the first half when a tipped pass from Jon Hays turned into a 33-yard TD for Luke Matthews.
Utah's defense was in complete control, holding Pittsburgh to just 84 yards and no offensive points. Ray Graham, the nation's second-leading rusher, has just 31 yards on seven carries, and 21 of those came on one carry on a drive at the end of the second quarter.
Utah has 129 yards. The good news is no turnovers -- knock on wood. The Utes gave the ball away 10 times in the previous two games.
If Utah can avoid any more special teams gaffes, it could end end it's two-game losing streak with a nonconference road win.