Scores

Final

Pittsburgh 33

(2-0, 1-0 ACC)

Cincinnati 15

(1-1, 0-1 American)

8:00 PM ET, September 8, 2006

Nippert Stadium, CINCINNATI, OH

1 2 3 4 T
PITT 0 7 16 1033
CIN 0 0 7 815

Top Performers

Passing: T. Palko (PITT) - 267 YDS, 3 TD

Rushing: S. Brooks (PITT) - 22 CAR, 67 YDS

Receiving: D. Kinder (PITT) - 3 REC, 172 YDS, 2 TD

Pitt holds on against Cincy in Big East opener

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Elusive Derek Kinder turned Tyler Palko's sideline passes into a pair of long touchdowns in the third quarter, helping Pittsburgh end its road woes Friday night with a 33-15 victory over Cincinnati.

Kinder turned a short pass into an 80-yard score on the first play of the second half, avoiding two tacklers along the way. Minutes later, he ran past a defender for a 55-yard touchdown that put Pitt (2-0, 1-0 Big East) in line for its first road victory since the end of the 2004 season.

The junior receiver, who has fast become Palko's most dangerous option, had three catches for a career-high 172 yards.

Cincinnati (1-1, 0-1) unraveled once Palko started hooking up with Kinder. The senior quarterback went 11-of-21 for 267 yards, throwing three touchdown passes for the second straight game. He also had three during an opening 38-13 win over Virginia, including a 72-yarder to Oderick Turner and a 78-yarder to Kinder.

Two long plays also broke this one open.

Facing Cincinnati's blitz, Palko found Kinder uncovered near the left sideline on the first play of the third quarter. Kinder headed upfield, broke out of an attempted shoulder tackle by Antoine Horton, slipped past safety Haruki Nakamura and outran him across the field for the 80-yard score.

Kinder then beat cornerback John Bowie down the sideline for his 55-yard touchdown, which put Pitt in control 23-0.

Pitt ended the road slump in its first visit to Cincinnati since 1922. The Panthers were 0-5 on the road last year, a slide that began with a shocking visit to the other corner of Ohio. The Panthers lost to Ohio 16-10 in overtime, when Palko's pass was returned for a touchdown.

He had the right touch in this road opener, dramatically changing a game that had been dominated by defense.

The first half bogged down in a routine: Cincinnati would get a couple of first downs, stall around midfield, then pin the Panthers with a punt. Pitt's first five possessions started at its 15, 26, 15, 2 and 17.

An alert defensive play broke the pattern.

Cornerback Kennard Cox saw Dustin Grutza setting up a screen and intercepted at the Cincinnati 18-yard line. Two plays later, Palko faked a handoff, faked a throw down the middle and perfectly led Turner to the right corner of the end zone for a 15-yard touchdown with 1:49 left.

It was the first score allowed this season by the Bearcats' maturing defense, which was one of the nation's youngest last year. Cincinnati opened the season with a 31-0 win over Eastern Kentucky, its first shutout in 11 years.

Pitt's defense has come a long way, too. The Panthers held Cincinnati scoreless until a fumbled put set up a 1-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter.

A botched handoff by Palko resulted in a fumble that helped Cincinnati make it close. Grutza threw a touchdown pass with 4:35 left, and the fumble gave the Bearcats one last chance.

Grutza threw a completion that was initially ruled a first down, but the ball was moved back after the play was reviewed. Grutza then was stopped on a fourth-and-inches play at the 8.

Darrelle Revis' 57-yard interception return with 4 seconds provided Pitt's final points.

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Team Stat Comparison

 
PITT
CIN
1st Downs1316
Total Yards357256
Passing267221
Rushing9035
Penalties5-416-38
3rd Down Conversions1-114-15
4th Down Conversions0-01-3
Turnovers33
Possession28:4831:12

Passing Leaders

PittsburghC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTQBR
Palko11/2126712.730-
CincinnatiC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTQBR
Davila4/5326.400-
Grutza21/351895.412-

Rushing Leaders

PittsburghCARYDSAVGTDLG
Brooks22673.0018
Collins6122.008
CincinnatiCARYDSAVGTDLG
Glatthaar6315.2120
Grutza6223.7011

Receiving Leaders

PittsburghRECYDSAVGTDLG
Kinder317257.3280
Pestano23718.5032
CincinnatiRECYDSAVGTDLG
Goodman8708.8014
Poland44711.8119

Scoring Summary

SECOND QUARTERPITTCIN
TD1:49ODERICK TURNER 15 YD PASS FROM TYLER PALKO (CONOR LEE KICK)
Drive info: 2 plays, 18 yards.
70
THIRD QUARTERPITTCIN
TD14:32DEREK KINDER 80 YD PASS FROM TYLER PALKO (CONOR LEE KICK)
Drive info: 1 plays, 80 yards.
140
S8:33TEAM SAFETY160
TD8:00DEREK KINDER 55 YD PASS FROM TYLER PALKO (CONOR LEE KICK)
Drive info: 1 plays, 55 yards.
230
TD2:41BRADLEY GLATTHAAR 1 YD RUN (KEVIN LOVELL KICK)
Drive info: 5 plays, 17 yards.
237
FOURTH QUARTERPITTCIN
FG7:23CONOR LEE 30 YD FG
Drive info: 6 plays, 10 yards.
267
TD4:35BILL POLAND 15 YD PASS FROM DUSTIN GRUTZA (EARNEST JACKSON 2PT PASS FROM DUSTIN GRUTZA)
Drive info: 12 plays, 79 yards.
2615
TD0:04DARRELLE REVIS 57 YD INTERCEPTION RETURN (CONOR LEE KICK)3315