October 7, 2006

Panthers run over the Orange

Saturday was Homecoming for the Syracuse Orange, but the day belonged to LaRod Stephens-Howling, as Pitt's sophomore tailback rushed for 218 yards en route to the Panthers' 21-11 win over the Orange. 170 of Stephens-Howling's rushing yards came in the first half and his running, combined with some decisive passing from Tyler Palko, set the tone for Pitt from the start.

On the Panthers' first drive, Matt Cavanaugh's offense operated at perfection, with Palko completing two short passes to convert second downs, and Stephens-Howling breaking off a 40-yard run on a delayed handoff that put Pitt at the Syracuse four-yard line. Palko capped the six-play, 71-yard drive by scampering into the end zone, giving Pitt an early lead.

But after such a smooth start by the Panthers, both teams engaged in a game of negative one-upsmanship over the next few drives. The Orange started the comedy of errors on their first drive of the game as head coach Greg Robinson watched his team turn a third-and-nine into a fourth-and-19 after two false start penalties and an incompletion.

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