Pittsburgh Blows Huge Lead to Lose Armed Forces Bowl

The Houston Cougars overcame cold and sloppy conditions to score 29 points in the fourth quarter to take down the Pittsburgh Panthers 35-34 in the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl Friday in Fort Worth, TX.

Pittsburgh lead 31-6 after a touchdown early in the fourth quarter and appeared to have the game well in hand.

Houston answered with an 8-yard touchdown run from Kenneth Farrow and after a Pitt field goal made it 34-13, the fireworks started.

Houston scored three consecutive touchdowns aided by recoveries on back-to-back onside kicks. After a 25-yard touchdown pass from Greg Ward Jr. to Deontay Greenberry, the Cougars elected to go for two points and converted for a 35-34 lead with just 59 seconds remaining.

Pitt tried to answer, and nearly did, but second team All-ACC receiver Tyler Boyd dropped an open pass deep in Houston territory and the Panthers ran out of time.

Boyd finished with nine catches for 112 yards.

ACC Player of the Year James Conner was hobbled with injuries in the first half and largely kept in check with just 11 carries for 27 yards and a touchdown. He finished the day with 21 carries for 90 yards and two touchdowns.

The Panthers went to other options on the ground including Isaac Bennett, who ripped off this important 12-yard touchdown just prior to halftime to give Pitt a 17-6 cushion.

Only the heartiest fans were convinced to head out to Amon G. Carter Stadium on the campus of TCU, and this shot makes a strong argument that just maybe there are some bowl games out there that while exciting, simply aren’t sustainable.

The weather was far from pleasant, but that didn’t keep Houston defensive lineman Joey Mbu from enjoying himself heading into the second half. Perhaps he knew a good finish was in the cards.

He wasn’t quite done. Sometimes, you just want to dance.

With the win Houston improves to 8-5 on the season and will wait until after the national championship game for Ohio State offensive coordinator Tom Herman to fully take over a Cougar program with some positive momentum.

The Panthers fall to 6-7 on the season and hope for a fresh start under new head coach Pat Narduzzi who was in attendance at the Armed Forces Bowl. Narduzzi was formerly the defensive coordinator at Michigan State.

Follow me on Twitter @BestCates and check out ITA on Facebook

Leave a Reply