Hooker, defense lead No. 24 UT past No. 17 Pitt in OT

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PITTSBURGH — Hendon Hooker threw for 325 yards and two touchdowns, the final one particular a 28-yard heave to Cedric Tillman in extra time, and No. 24 Tennessee edged No. 17 Pittsburgh 34-27 in additional time on Saturday.

The Volunteers (2-) picked up the very first sizeable nonconference acquire below second-yr coach Josh Heupel by relying on Hooker and a defense that was just excellent more than enough in opposition to a activity exertion by the Panthers (1-1), who shed starting up quarterback Kedon Slovis to a injuries at the finish of the first fifty percent.

Backup Nick Patti in essence performed the fourth quarter and additional time on just one leg, limping noticeably on just about every perform after absorbing a sack early in the ultimate quarte. But Patti uncovered Jared Wayne for a diving 4-yard landing with 2:23 to go in regulation to tie the recreation.

The Volunteers acquired the ball very first in extra time. Hooker appeared to give them the guide with a touchdown run only to have it referred to as back by a penalty. No issue. He dropped back again and threw a bounce ball to Tillman in the conclude zone. The 6-foot-3 senior boxed out a Pitt defender to haul it in to set Tennessee in front.

Patti drove Pitt within the Tennessee 10 but took a sack that forced the Panthers back to the Tennessee 30. Patti’s heave over the center on fourth down fell incomplete and the Volunteers poured on to the field in triumph.

Tillman caught nine passes for 162 yards and a touchdown. Jabari Compact ran for two shorter scores for the Volunteers. Bru McCoy extra a 32-lawn landing reception in the 1st 50 percent that tied the match.

Israel Abanikanda ran for 154 yards and a landing for the Panthers. Slovis completed 14 of 24 for 195 yards with a landing and an interception but the USC transfer failed to engage in in the second 50 % right after sustaining an undisclosed damage when getting sacked late in the next quarter.

Patti, who lost a coaching camp with Slovis for the starting off work, struggled with his accuracy but produced up for it with his grit. He strike just 9 of 20 passes for 79 yards but in some way managed to remain in the video game inspite of currently being in sizeable suffering.

THE TAKEAWAY

Tennessee: The Volunteers are eyeing a large step ahead this tumble. Irrespective of whether they acquire it will rely greatly on a defense that struggled versus high quality opponents in 2021. So much, so good. While Tennessee gave up a pair of significant plays early, the Volunteers settled in and designed points quite hard for Slovis, Patti and corporation.

Pitt: The offense entered the year with loads of dilemma marks pursuing Kenny Pickett’s graduation. The offensive line was not intended to be just one of them. There were periods Saturday wherever there were several white jerseys in the Panther backfield almost quickly after the snap.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

The Panthers could perhaps fall out of the poll for the 1st time considering that Halloween soon after allowing an early 11-position direct get absent. The Volunteers ought to vault into the Prime 20 for the initial time since October 2016 just after a gritty road win over a staff that harbored hopes – now dashed – of getting a dim-horse College Soccer Playoff participant.

UP Subsequent

Tennessee: Hosts Akron subsequent Saturday, with a check out from Florida looming on Sept. 24.

Pitt: Travels to Western Michigan upcoming Saturday hoping to avenge a amazing household decline to the Broncos past slide.

Anna C. Knight

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