Florida State couldn’t keep up its strong start. And Pittsburgh had it made with starting field position, short fields that delivered touchdowns.
Nick Patti had two touchdown plunges and Kenny Pickett added a 10-yard TD run as Pittsburgh halted a four-game losing streak with a 41-17 win over FSU.
The Panthers scored all four touchdowns with the benefit of short fields, completing drives of just 32, 41, 47 and 20 yards. Two interceptions as well as a pair of fourth-down stops helped Pitt’s offense.
FSU drops to 2-5, 1-5 ACC. The Seminoles next play at NC State on Nov. 14.
Jordan Travis was under near-constant pressure from Pitt’s defensive front and was sacked five times in the first half. The Panthers finished with seven sacks, which tied their season high.
Travis had an impressive 88-yard touchdown run in which he opted to keep on the RPO, juked a defender and ran down the sideline for the touchdown. Coach Mike Norvell could be seen running down the sideline and cheering on Travis on the run.
Outside of the long Travis run, FSU had 34 carries for 58 yards in the game — just 1.7 yards per carry. Pitt came into the game as one of the nation’s top rush defenses.
Travis left the game with an undisclosed injury after completing 11 of 18 passes for 106 yards. He also ran 14 times, although many of them were under duress, and finished with 83 rushing yards.
Wyatt Rector came in motion, then lined up under center and ran in a 1-yard touchdown, giving the Seminoles their first touchdown. It was his first touch as an FSU player.
James Blackman played one series to open the third quarter and tossed an interception with FSU deep in its own end. That play set up Pittsburgh for a touchdown that put the Panthers up 31-17.
Tamorrion Terry caught two passes for 14 yards in his first game back from knee surgery.
Camren McDonald caught five passes for 51 yards, including a 22-yard strike from Travis.
Chubba Purdy completed 12 of 21 passes for 38 yards and an interception. Brandon Hill returned it 50 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, the Panthers’ third pick of the game.
FSU was 8 of 16 on fourth downs coming into Pitt game. The Seminoles went 1 for 3 on Saturday, which set up some short fields for Pitt.
The FSU defense played without defensive tackle Marvin Wilson as well as defensive backs Hamsah Nasirildeen, Renardo Green and Travis Jay on Saturday. Asante Samuel Jr., Jarrian Jones, Jarvis Brownlee and Raymond Woodie III started in secondary. Brownlee and Stephen Dix Jr. led FSU with eight tackles.
Backup QB Nick Patti scored each of Pitt’s first two scores on short runs on the goal line. Kenny Pickett had a wide rushing lane and had a 10-yard TD run to put Pitt in front 24-14 with 2:35 to half.
Pitt’s ground game was among the nation’s worst but had 16 carries for 74 yards at the half. The Panthers had 37 carries for 148 yards on the night.
Pitt freshman Jordan Addison was tough for FSU to cover. Addison caught 11 passes for 127 yards.
The Panthers converted on 7 of 15 third-down plays.
FSU has given up 227 points in its six games vs. FBS teams. The Seminoles have allowed 37.8 points per game.
Parker Grothaus closed the first half with a 47-yard field-goal that was good.
Alex Mastromanno had six punts for 44.8 yards.
Scouts from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Atlanta Falcons, New York Giants, Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears and Houston Texans were in attendance.
The announced attendance on Saturday was 16,568