Last-second field goal downs Pitt against Iowa

After a fourth quarter comeback by Pitt quarterback Nathan Peterman, the Iowa Hawkeyes defeated the Panthers thanks to a game-winning 57-yard field goal by Marshall Koehn as time expired.

Pitt fell by a final score of 27-24, marking the first loss of Pat Narduzzi’s tenure at Pitt. It was a game of momentum shifts, with Iowa providing the last shift by a 31-yard drive capped by the field goal.

The field goal preceded a long touchdown drive by Peterman to tie the game at 24.

Faced with a seven-point deficit, Peterman calmly led Pitt down the field for 13-play, 75-yard touchdown drive. The drive was almost for naught, as Pitt faced a 4th and 15. Peterman, though fired a 19-yard strike for the first down. Two plays later, Peterman found Boyd for an eight-yard touchdown.

Boyd finished with 10 catches for a 131 yards and a touchdown. He was Peterman’s by and large favorite target, helping him seemingly secure the starting quarterback job over Chad Voytik. Peterman completed 20 of 29 passes for 219 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.

Peterman started slow, throwing an interception on each of his first two drives, but settled down in the second half, taking a firm grasp of Pitt’s offense.

Peterman’s first interception — on an underthrown pass to Boyd — gave Iowa the early lead, as it struck first with a 43-yard field goal by Koehn.

It was more of the same for Peterman on his next drive. After driving Pitt 70 yards down the field to the five-yard line, Peterman was intercepted, trying for Boyd again across the middle.

Two drives later, Iowa quarterback C.J. Beathard found wide receiver Tevaun Smith for a 51-yard completion, beating Pitt corner Lafayette Pitts. Early in the second quarter, Iowa finished off the drive when Beathard scrambled in the endzone from nine yards out to put Iowa up 10-0.

Pitt’s offense continued the stumble, with quarterback Chad Voytik going three and out. Pitt would received a shot of energy when safety Terrish Webb jumped a route and intercepted it to bring Pitt to the 15-yard line. Peterman found tight end Scott Orndoff down the middle for a touchdown on the first play of the drive.

Momentum seemed to be on the Panther’s side, as they forced Iowa three and out. But the offense sputtered again, giving the Hawkeyes the ball against a gassed Pitt defense.

Implementing quick, short passes, Beathard drove Iowa 74 yards in 12 plays, capping the drive off with a four-yard run by running back Jordan Canzeri. At the half, the Hawkeyes led 17-7.

Pitt pulled the game closer to 17-10 in the first drive of the second half, as Peterman led the Pitt offense 45 yards down the field for a 48-yard field goal from Chris Blewitt.

That score wouldn’t last long, as Pitt forced a quick Iowa three and out. On the punt, cornerback Ryan Lewis came off the edge to block Iowa’s punt, which was scooped up by safety Pat Amara and returned for a touchdown to knot the score at 17.

Iowa and Beathard, though, quickly struck back, moving down the field for an 80-yard touchdown drive. A 32-yard pass to Jacob Hillyer and one-yard run in by Canzeri highlighted the drive.

The momentum, of course, shifted back and forth twice more, with Iowa ending on top. Pitt will have a bye week before returning to action Oct. 3 at Virginia Tech.