October 21, 2006
Panthers kill chances with mistakes against RU
The Pitt football team had everything to gain on Saturday when Rutgers came to Heinz Field. Not only were the Scarlet Knights undefeated when they came to Pittsburgh, but they also brought a 19 ranking in both polls. The sum total of that baggage for the Panthers was that a win over Rutgers would mean national recognition and a likely spot in the top 25.
All of that was available for Pitt on Saturday, but the Panthers were unable to seize the opportunity as they lost 20-10 to the Scarlet Knights.
In the end, it wasn't the fact that Rutgers tailback Ray Rice rushed for a career-best 225 yards. And it wasn't the fact that the Scarlet Knights possessed the ball for almost 35 minutes. And the game wasn't even a product of Rutgers going four-for-four in the red zone. All of those factors played into it, to be sure, but for the first time this season, the Panthers were killed by mistakes.
"I was disappointed in the loss, but I'm probably more disappointed that we came out and didn't play very well as a team," Pitt head coach Dave Wannstedt said after the game. "Penalties and dropped balls are the things that gives you no chance to get any field position or get any kind of momentum or do anything positive."
"This was disappointing," Pitt quarterback Tyler Palko said. "It wasn't how we expected to come out and play in a big game. We didn't play well. We didn't play well."
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