The Panther Report

Posted Oct 18, 2004

Junior quarterback Tyler Palko threw for 131 yards and ran for a touchdown as the Panthers recorded their most significant victory of the season, a 20-17 overtime decision against Boston College.

Pittsburgh improved to 4-2 and will host Rutgers (4-2) on Saturday in the Big East Game of the Week (noon).

Boston College put together an 89-yard drive late in the fourth quarter, which quarterback Paul Peterson capped with a game-tying, 10-yard pass to receiver Larry Lester.

Place-kicker Josh Cumming drilled a 27-yard field goal in the extra session for what proved to be the winning points in Pittsburgh's second consecutive victory. On the Eagles' overtime possession, Lester fumbled while stretching for a first down. Thomas Smith recovered for the Panthers to end the game.

Pittsburgh's formerly anemic rushing attack finally established some credibility. The Panthers rushed for 177 yards, led by tailback Raymond Kirkley (21 carries for 88 yards, 1 TD).

Game Ball: QB Tyler Palko -- For the second straight game, the junior didn't throw an interception. Palko completed 12 of 27 passes for 131 yards. He also rushed for 55 yards and a 3-yard touchdown.

Eye Opener:  RB Raymond Kirkley -- One week after rushing for 86 yards and a game-winning touchdown against Temple, the senior managed 88 yards and a 2-yard touchdown on 21 carries in the win over Boston College.

Quote The Coach: "He has a bit of hard-headness. He really should avoid the guy, give him a little dip and head back inside. But I guarantee there was some excitement on that sideline and in the stands after that play." -- Pittsburgh coach Walt Harris, to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, regarding a hit QB Tyler Palko delivered to Boston College CB Pete Shean on a third-quarter scramble.

Looking Good: At long last the Panthers' running game delivered; and it was no coincidence they secured the biggest win of the season. RB Raymond Kirkley's 88-yard performance sparked a 177-yard rushing total.

Under Construction:  Boston College rolled up 367 passing yards. Where exactly was Pittsburgh's secondary? Eagles quarterback Paul Peterson delivered touchdown passes to receivers Larry Lester and Joel Hazard.

Injury Report:  LT Rob Petitti (concussion), Pittsburgh's lone returning starter on offense, returned to the field after a one-game absence.. Defensive end Kyle Smith, offensive lineman Neal Tracey and fullbacks Tim Murphy and Justin Acierno did not dress due to injury.

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FB Justin Acierno (profile)
RB Raymond Kirkley (profile)
FB Tim Murphy (profile)
QB Tyler Palko (profile)
OT Rob Petitti (profile)
DE Thomas Smith (profile)
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