Two touchdowns -- one passing, the other rushing -- and a 37-yard field goal by kicker Kevin Harper has helped the University of Pittsburgh take an early lead over Syracuse University, which trails 17-7 after one quarter of play in a Big East Conference game at Heinz Field. Both the Panthers (5-6) and Orange (5-6) are trying to earn their sixth victory of the season, which will allow them to end the regular season bowl eligible.
The first two Pittsburgh scores happened in the first 2:25 of the game, as Pittsburgh recovered a pooch kick on the opening kickoff; then, on the game's first play from scrimmage senior quarterback Tino Sunseri found running back Isaac Bennett, who was wide open on a wheel route and ran 22 yards untouched into the end zone.
On Syracuse's second play of the day, quarterback Ryan Nassib and senior wide receiver Alec Lemon had some miscommunication, which allowed Pitt senior linebacker Brandon Lindsey to step in front of a throw and pick it off at SU's 46-yard line. Four plays later, Harper split the uprights.
Pittsburgh's second touchdown was scored by freshman quarterback Anthony Gonzalez, who capped a seven-play, 71-yard drive with a 17-yard run from the Wildcat formation with 5:13 to play.
The Orange answered the Panthers' field goal by marching 63 yards on nine plays to score their first touchdown, which helped cut Pitts advantage to just 10-7 with 7:27 to go in the first quarter. The touchdown was scored by senior running back Antwon Bailey, who caught a screen pass from Nassib and ran 26 yards into the end zone. Bailey also surpassed the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the season.
For more on the Syracuse Orange, be sure to check out SB Nation's blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician. If you'd like to learn more about Pittsburgh, SB Nation's Cardiac Hill is where you will find it.