Pittsburgh leaves door open for Hawkeyes to stun Panthers 27-24

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Pittsburgh has apparently found a new quarterback in Nate Peterman.

But the Panthers have to be kicking themselves for letting Iowa's strong-legged kicker get one more crack at it.

Marshall Koehn booted a 57-yard field goal as time expired to push Iowa past Pitt 27-24 Saturday, giving the Hawkeyes their first 3-0 start in six years.

C.J. Beathard had 258 yards passing for Iowa, which drove 31 yards in under a minute to set up Koehn's winning kick.

Tyler Boyd's 8-yard TD catch with 52 seconds tied the game at 24-all for Pitt (2-1).

Nate Peterman had 219 yards passing and two touchdowns in his first start for Pitt, and Boyd had 10 catches for 131 yards.

"We talked about toughness...and I think that's what our kids were," Panthers coach Pat Narduzzi said. "Really fired up about how we played the game. Are we excited up about every little thing we didn't do? Obviously not."

That's because the Panthers lost their third straight to Iowa in excruciating fashion.

Narduzzi called timeout to ice Koehn, who got off a kick that was well short anyway. Pitt then put a returner in the back of the end zone for Koehn's next effort.

But Koehn's second try was so strong that it appeared to have room to spare.

Koehn is now 4 for 4 on field goals this season — all from at least 40 yards out.

"I thought he was going to be short again. Obviously I was thinking 'Hey, let's make a play out of it. Let's be aggressive,'" Narduzzi said. "It was a great kick."

Iowa controlled the first half, going ahead 17-7.

But midway through the third quarter, Pitt got the play it needed from Ryan Lewis and Pat Amara.

Lewis blocked Dillon Kidd's punt attempt and Amara did the rest, running it back 28 yards to pull the Panthers even at 17-all.

For the second straight week, the Hawkeyes had a fourth-quarter rally in them.

Iowa answered with a key defensive stop, aided when the Panthers chose to punt from the Iowa 42 on 4th down and inches. The Hawkeyes then went 80 yards to retake a 24-17 lead with 6:04 left.

Peterman, a Tennessee transfer, responded for his new team. He converted a 4th down and 15 with 1:28 left on a 19-yard pass to J.P. Holtz before Boyd's touchdown catch.

Seeking a spark, Pitt started Peterman over Chad Voytik — who had opened 15 consecutive games — along with freshman Darrin Hall at running back.

Peterman threw a pair of picks to Iowa's Desmond King in the first quarter, and Beathard's 9-yard run gave the Hawkeyes an early 10-0 lead.

But a Panthers pick of Beathard got them back in it, as Scott Orndoff's 15-yard TD grab from Peterman on the next play to make it 10-7 Iowa with 10 minutes left in the first half.

Pitt would rally behind a physical defense that resembled Narduzzi's units when he was the defensive coordinator at Michigan State and, presumably, a new quarterback.

But Beathard picked up a first down with his legs with two seconds left, giving Iowa a slim chance at a win.

"It's a game of inches, and we didn't get the inches we needed at times," Narduzzi said.

Pitt will have time to recover from its first loss. The Panthers have a bye next week before opening ACC play at Virginia Tech.


AP College Football website: http://www.collegefootball.ap.org .

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