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Late field goal lifts Pitt over Georgia Tech on the road, 31-28

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After Georgia Tech beat Pitt 56-28 last season, Pitt got its revenge Saturday, winning 31-28.

After Georgia Tech beat Pitt 56-28 last season, Pitt got its revenge Saturday, winning 31-28.

After Georgia Tech beat Pitt 56-28 last season, Pitt got its revenge Saturday, winning 31-28.

By Chris Puzia / Assistant Sports Editor

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Pat Narduzzi decided to attempt two fourth down conversions on the team’s game-winning drive, but his call that ultimately won the game came when he sent Chris Blewitt out to attempt a 56-yard field goal.

Blewitt’s career-long kick sealed a 31-28 road win over Georgia Tech (2-5, 0-4 ACC) to give Pitt its first 5-1 start since 2009.

The final drive, which ate more than seven minutes of clock, nearly stalled twice, but Narduzzi elected both times to attempt fourth down conversions, both of which the team completed. Following a penalty for having 12 men in the huddle, Narduzzi chose to send Blewitt out for a long attempt, which he poked through the bottom right corner of the uprights.

No team led by more than a touchdown for the entire game.

Pitt started the scoring with a lengthy 7:10 drive capped off by a Tyler Boyd six-yard touchdown catch, but on Georgia Tech’s ensuing opening drive, it took only three plays to score. Freshman Marcus Marshall took a 58-yard pitch and raced into the end zone to tie the game at seven.

Later in the quarter, GT quarterback Justin Thomas decided to go to the air, completing a 29-yard pass to Ricky Jeune in the corner to make it 14-7 after the first play of the second quarter.

Pitt struggled to contain Georgia Tech’s run-dependent triple option offense for most of the first half. The Yellow Jackets ran for 264 yards in the first half and averaged 11.6 yards per play.

But Pitt’s efficient offense and consistent positive plays kept the Panthers in the game.

Quarterback Nathan Peterman finished with 162 yards on 14-21 passing with three touchdowns. Two of those scores went in the first half to junior receiver Tyler Boyd, who totaled 68 yards on eight catches.

In the third quarter, Boyd grabbed a short pass for his 203rd catch career reception, passing Devin Street for the most in school history. Even with the noteworthy catch, Boyd filled the stat sheet in other ways, too, compiling 29 passing yards and 26 rushing yards.

In the beginning of the second quarter, Boyd took a pitch in the backfield, evaded a tackler and threw to wide receiver Zach Challingsworth to set Pitt up on the two-yard line. Two plays later, running back Qadree Ollison punched it in up the middle to tie the game at 14. Ollison had 22 carries for 83 yards and the score.

While it maintained scoring drives, Georgia Tech kept finding big plays with the triple option and holding onto its lead.

The Yellow Jackets compiled 376 rushing yards, 95 of which came from Thomas. He and Marshall both ripped carries of 50-plus yards in the game.

For its next game, Pitt travels to Syracuse (3-2, 1-0 ACC) next Saturday for a noon matchup.

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Late field goal lifts Pitt over Georgia Tech on the road, 31-28