Arash Markazi ESPN Senior Writer
Thursday Night Football in Los Angeles.
Thursday Night Football in Los Angeles.
James Conner takes the handoff and powers up the middle for his second touchdown of the game. No. 25 Virginia Tech leads Pitt 16-14 at halftime.
James Conner has two touchdowns for Pittsburgh, which has climbed back into its game against Virginia Tech at halftime. Though the Hokies have dominated in virtually every category, the one area they will look to improve on in the second half is red-zone offense. They settled for three field goals on their first three trips inside the 20, helping keep the game close.
Jerod Evans' 11-yard pass connects with Chris Cunningham for a wide open touchdown. Virginia Tech increases its lead to 16-7 with two minutes remaining in the half.
Pittsburgh cornerback Phillipie Motley was helped off the field with an apparent leg injury, a blow to an already depleted secondary. Terrish Webb and Avonte Maddox have been injured, so losing another defensive back from a group that's had its share of struggles has to hurt.
The Pitt RB caps off an eight-play, 84-yard drive with a six-yard run up the middle to give the Panthers their first points of the game. No. 25 Virginia Tech leads 9-7 in the second quarter on ESPN.
Appalachian State's holder wasn't looking for the snap when it hit him, and Georgia Southern's Ukeme Eligwe scooped up the fumble and ran it all the way back for a 90-yard Eagles touchdown.
USC looks to extend its winning streak to four games against Cal later tonight (7:30 p.m. PT, ESPN). The Trojans sit a game back of Colorado and Utah in the Pac-12 title race.
Jerod Evans' deep 26-yard pass to Isaiah Ford bounces around between the Tech WR and a Pitt defender before Ford finally gains control. It led to a field goal that gave the Hokies a 9-0 lead on ESPN.
This is how poorly Pitt played in the first quarter: two turnovers, zero first downs, six total plays, 12 total yards and four penalties. The Panthers defense has bailed the offense out, as Virginia Tech leads 6-0.
Nathan Peterman's pass is intercepted by Virginia Tech's Mook Reynolds and returned for one yard to the Pitt 30-yard line. The 25th-ranked Hokies lead 6-0 on ESPN.
Could these last two possessions come back and hurt Virginia Tech? The Hokies forced a fumble and an interception, but settled for just a field goal as a result. Virginia Tech has dominated the plays and time of possession in the first quarter but only leads 6-0.
After Virginia Tech took a 3-0 lead on the opening drive, Pittsburgh fumbles on the kickoff and the Hokies recover. They had to settle for a field goal, expanding the lead to 6-0.
Pitt returner Quadree Henderson made a rare mistake on a kickoff return, fumbling the ball away. The player who caused it? Freshman Divine Deablo, wearing Frank Beamer's No. 25 -- an honor bestowed on the special teams player of the week. The Hokies had great field position but were stuffed by one of the best run defenses in the country and settled for a field goal.
Virginia Tech's trip to Pittsburgh is a sneaky important game in the ACC Coastal. The Hokies are 3-1 in conference play and currently have a 44 percent chance to win the division, according to our Football Power Index. A win in Pittsburgh would increase Virginia Tech's chances to win the Coastal to about 68 percent, but a loss would put the North Carolina in the driver's seat.
Jesus "Bobo" Wilson, Florida State's second leading receiver, is out for Saturday's game against Clemson with a foot injury. Receiver has been a trouble spot for FSU so losing the senior hurts. It's a blow to the Seminoles' special teams, too, as Wilson is fourth nationally in punt return average.
Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst discusses gearing up for another big game against Nebraska, facing friend Mike Riley and how Natrell Jamerson could be used if he plays this week. No. 11 Wisconsin plays host to No. 7 Nebraska at 7 p.m. ET Saturday in a huge Big Ten West showdown.