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PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh’s Darrin Hall ran for 107 yards and two touchdowns, including the go-ahead score in overtime, as the Panthers rallied past Syracuse 44-37 on Saturday.
Hall’s 3-yard burst on the opening possession of the extra period put the Panthers up and Pitt sophomore defensive back Therran Coleman picked off Syracuse’s Eric Dungey in the end zone on the Orange’s first offensive snap to give the Panthers a stirring victory.
Qadree Ollison ran for 192 yards and a score for Pitt (3-3, 2-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), which weathered a 75-minute lightning delay and a late surge by the Orange to beat Syracuse (4-2, 1-2) for the eighth straight time at Heinz Field.
The Orange trailed by 10 in the third quarter but pushed in front 37-34 with 5:53 left in regulation only to let it slip away while losing late for the second consecutive week
Pitt’s Alex Kessman hit a 45-yard field goal to tie it with 8 seconds to go and Hall, Ollison and the offensive line did the rest in overtime.
Dungey completed 18 of 38 passes for 195 yards with a touchdown and two picks during an erratic day in which he also ran for a team-high 70 yards and a touchdown.
Syracuse head coach Dino Babers pointed to the game as a test of his team’s maturity following a draining loss to ACC-power Clemson last week. Babers cautioned against allowing the Tigers to beat the Orange twice, and early on it looked like Syracuse had finally grown up. The Orange raced to a quick 14-0 lead less than 10 minutes in.
The Panthers, however, found their footing behind a defense that kept Dungey off balance and occasionally off his feet.
Pitt ripped off 27 of the game’s next 30 points — including Ollison’s long touchdown sprint, Dane Jackson’s fumble return following a Dungey fumble and a 68-yard catch-and-run by Rafael Araujo-Lopes — to go up 27-17 just 48 seconds into the third quarter.
Then the deluge hit, sending the teams retreating to the locker rooms for more than an hour. Pitt’s momentum vanished when the game resumed and the Orange responded.
Syracuse: The Orange might be improved, but their rushing defense still has a long way to go. A week after letting Clemson’s Travis Etienne go for 203 yards and key the Tigers’ rally, Syracuse surrendered 265 yards on the ground to Pitt.
Pitt: The Panthers might want to just go to the triple-option and get it over with. The passing game remains practically nonexistent. Quarterback Kenny Pickett completed 11 of 20 passes for 137 yards with a touchdown, pick and a fumble. On Pitt’s game-tying drive at the end of regulation, the Panthers ran it on 10 straight plays and threw it just once, a desperation heave to the end zone by Pickett that was well off target.
Syracuse: The Orange are off next week then host North Carolina on Oct. 20 for the first time since joining the ACC in 2013. The schools last met in 2003, a 49-47 Syracuse victory.
Pitt: The Panthers continue a brutal stretch at No. 6 Notre Dame next Saturday.
(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)