PITTSBURGH (93-7 THE FAN) — The Panthers had control of the entire first half Saturday, but their lead quickly went up in smoke when Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater opened up the second half with a 75-yard bomb to DeVante Parker.
“I think when we came out at half time and they threw that long bomb, I saw a a lot of guys deflated. We had some guys like Mike Shanahan and Jarred Holley pick them up, but we can’t get deflated when that stuff happens,” wide receiver Devin Street said.
The Panthers have proven to be the type of team this season that can all too quickly go from high to low during a game. They feed off each other’s emotions and they let their emotions get the best of them in the second half.
Naturally, the “high” on this particular Saturday was a punt block and subsequent touchdown recovery by linebacker Todd Thomas, who just recently got a clean bill of health. Collectively, the “low” was most of what followed, including two crucial fourth-down failures that led to Cardinal TD’s, and the play of UL running back Senorise Perry.
Perry finished with four short-range rushing touchdowns, two of them were in the dreadful third quarter that put an end to Pitt’s lead.
“At any point in the game when momentum goes away, you’ve got to fight to get it back your way,” head coach Paul Chryst said. “We didn’t do that, and that’s where, during the third quarter, you saw the separation.”
Sunseri finished the game passing for 287 yards and two touchdowns, but it just wasn’t enough to compete with Louisville. The 16th-ranked Cardinals racked up 24 unanswered points, 21 in the third quarter alone–a high-water mark for defensive futility thus far.
“You have to give credit to Louisville’s defense. They mixed it up in the third quarter, and got us really thinking,” quarterback Tino Sunseri said.
The Panthers (0-3, 2-4) travel to Buffalo (0-3, 1-5) for a 3:30 non-conference game Saturday. Panther Preview, featuring Gregg Giannotti, begins that day at 12:30, on your flagship home for Pitt football, SportsRadio 93.7 The Fan.