Panther Report Post Game


Posted Oct 25, 2004


For one day, Pittsburgh's offense could do no wrong, The Panthers struck quick and had no problems putting up the points in a 41-17 victory over Rutgers.

After scoring just 64 points combined in their previous three contests, Pittsburgh was happy to have a breakout performance, especially by quarterback Tyler Palko, who completed 27 of 43 passes for 318 yards and three touchdowns.

The win gives the Panthers the most victories in the Big East (three) and puts them in a position to actually think about a BCS bowl if they can continue to win.

"Winning out means we want to win against Notre Dame (in a non-conference game)," said Palko.

"We don't just want to win the Big East championship, we're going to win the rest of our games. That's our mentality, and if we take care of business, we'll be Big East champions. We expect to play for the Big East championship."

If they continue to play like they did against Rutgers, the Panthers have a chance at that goal. Pittsburgh jumped ahead 38-3 at halftime and cruised from there.

Now the Panthers have a week off to prepare for a big showdown against Syracuse, and a chance to extend the winning streak to four.

Game Ball: QB Tyler Palko -- He was at his best against Rutgers, completing 27 of 43 passes for 318 yards and three touchdowns. Palko was able to spread the ball around and get the Panthers' offense in high gear from the get-go.

Play Maker: WR Joe DelSardo -- DelSardo was Palko's favorite target against Rutgers, catching eight balls for 102 yards and two touchdowns. The sophomore was a fantastic deep threat against the Scarlet Knights, and Palko seems to be gaining confidence in throwing the ball to him.

Quote The Coach:  "I don't think a lot of people in this room never thought we'd be in this position. And, I couldn't be more proud of the players who got us here." -- Pittsburgh coach Walt Harris on Pittsburgh's 5-2 record after the Panthers started the season 2-2.

The Good:  The passing game was extremely efficient against Rutgers, with six different receivers contributing to the 318 yards through the air. Tyler Palko was able to spread the ball around and keep Rutgers off balance.

Work In Progress:  After a solid game running the ball against Boston College, the Panthers had their troubles getting yardage on the ground against Rutgers. Pittsburgh gained just 79 yards on 42 attempts, a stat that must be improved upon in future games.

Injury Report:  Fullbacks Tim Murphy and Justin Acierno both returned from injuries to play against Rutgers. Murphy led the team in rushing while Acierno had four receptions in the game.


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FB Justin Acierno (profile)
WR Joe DelSardo (profile)
FB Tim Murphy (profile)
QB Tyler Palko (profile)
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