It wasn’t pretty. It hasn’t been all season long for the 2017 Pitt Panthers. Yet, they managed to get some big plays out of the running game led by junior tailback Darrin Hall en route to a 24-17 must-win road victory at Duke yesterday. Pitt moved to 3-5 (1-3 in the ACC) on the season.
After the teams traded punts to open the game, Duke was forced to punt on its second possession. That’s when the game’s hero took over.
On its first snap, Hall took the off-tackle hand-off and blast through a hole the size of North Carolina and 79 yards later found paydirt. Pitt 7 Duke 0.
Duke would counter with a Field Goal and the teams finished the first half in a defensive slugfest. Pitt 7 Duke 3 at half.
Duke took control of the game in the 3rd Quarter, including a pretty TD passese from sophomore QB Daniel Jones to a wide-open Shaun Wilson for 58 yards and later to WR T.J. Rahming for 39 yards. The second TD pass seem to beat both Pitt safeties Jordan Whitehead and Damar Hamlin.
Down 17-7, Pitt and Darrin Hall answered right back. Just before the end the 3rd Quarter, the junior dazzled with another off-tackle burst. This time for 92 yards. It was the longest TD run in Pitt Football history. Duke 17 Pitt 14 by the start of the 4th Quarter.
After forcing Duke to punt again, Pitt went back to work on offense. First, Hall started the drive with runs of 6 and 5 yards before losing a yard at the Pitt 15 yard line.
Then, sophomore QB Ben DiNucci, who struggled all game long, threw a nice pass to senior WR Jester Weah for 25 yards to the Pitt 40 yard. DiNucci went back to the well on the very next snap and threw a jump ball to Weah that looked like a Duke interception but was somehow ruled as a simultaneous catch (which by rule goes to the offense) for 49 yards at the Blue Devil 11 yard line.
Hall would then salt the drive with runs of 7 and 4 yards for the...
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