October 27, 2007

Pitt loses heartbreaker to Louisville

Look up "heartbreaker" in the dictionary, and you're likely to see something along the lines of this:

October 27, 2007
Louisville 24
Pitt 17

At Louisville on Saturday, the Pitt football team battled, scratched, and clawed its way back into a game that, through three quarters, looked like a lock for the Cardinals. But in the end, the hopes of securing the greatest win in the Dave Wannstedt era fell out of the hands of the Panthers' best player, and the Cardinals held on for the 24-17 win.

With the loss, Pitt falls to 3-5 on the season and 1-2 in the Big East.

For the first three quarters, it looked like the Cardinals were going to win, as most had predicted. Brian Brohm and the high-powered Cardinals' offense weren't perfect through the first 45 minutes, but they were successful enough to have built a 17-7 lead. Even more damaging to the Panthers was the fact that their offense had done virtually nothing all day, having snapped the ball just once in Louisville territory. That play was a result of an Aaron Berry interception (his second in two weeks) that set Pitt up at the Cardinal 27, and a gadget pass from Darrell Strong to LeSean McCoy put the Panthers on the scoreboard.

Unfortunately for the Panthers, that score represented the whole of Pitt's positive offensive production.

But then the fourth quarter came, and the Panthers came to life.

The final stanza opened with Brohm and the Cardinals driving and facing a second-and-8 at the Pitt 32. But a Mick Williams sack pushed it back to the 41 for third down. Brohm completed an 11-yard pass to set up a fourth-and-6 from the Pitt 30, and all-world kicker Art Carmody came on for a 47-yard attempt. 47 yards is in Carmody's range, but a mob of Pitt defensive linemen, led by sophomore John Malecki, batted the ball away and the Panthers took over and started driving.

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