LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- Pitt quarterback Bill Stull threw for 242 yards and three touchdowns to help…
Pitt 35, Louisville 10
Freshman running back Dion Lewis ran for 87 yards, while fellow frosh Ray Graham added 75 yards, as Pitt dominated the second half to take some of the sting out of a second-half collapse at North Carolina State last week. The Panthers tallied 405 total yards and gave up 203 passing after being shredded two of the past three weeks.
Louisville quarterback Adam Froman, making his first start after Justin Burke couldn't play because of a bruised sternum, threw for 166 yards but was sacked six times.
Pittsburgh promised to learn from its mistakes after the meltdown against the Wolfpack, when a 14-point third quarter lead turned into a 38-31 loss. This time, there would be no rally. Stull and Pitt's pass rush made sure of that.
The Panthers trailed 10-7 at the break before Stull went to work. The fifth-year senior needed just seven plays to give Pitt the lead with a toss to Dickerson for a 37-yard touchdown pass to put the Panthers back in front.
Froman, a junior college transfer and former wide receiver, had played efficiently during the first half while helping the Cardinals take the lead. He made his only real mistake on Louisville's next possession. He was scrambling for a first down when the ball was stripped by Pitt's Myles Caragein.
The Panthers recovered at their own 29, and Stull didn't waste any time taking advantage with a post-route pass to sophomore wideout Jonathan Baldwin for a 71-yard score to put the Panthers up 21-10.
It would be all the cushion the defense needed.
After self-destructing against the Wolfpack, Pitt's pass rush overwhelmed Froman and the Cardinals. The Panthers entered the game fourth in the country in sacks per game (4.25), and they bettered that total early in the fourth quarter while sacking Froman on a fourth-and-11 at the Pitt 31 to snuff Louisville's last real shot.
The Cardinals wore all-black uniforms as a "Black Out'' promotion, while Pitt wore all white for the first time. A similar ploy three years ago propelled Louisville to a win over West Virginia and an eventual Big East title.
Those days appear to be long gone for the Cardinals and Coach Steve Kragthorpe.
Louisville fell to 4-11 in the Big East since Kragthorpe replaced Bobby Petrino after the Cardinals won the 2006 Big East title. The problems that have plagued the program for most of the last two years, penalties and an inability to stop opponents, reared their head again Friday.
Louisville was penalized 10 times for 100 yards and allowed the Panthers to roll up more than 400 yards of total offense. Still, for a half at least, it appeared the Cardinals were back.
Froman lost a training camp duel with Burke and grew so desperate to see playing time he actually worked on the special teams during a 30-14 loss at Utah last week.
If Froman was nervous, it didn't show. He played efficiently if not spectacularly in the first half as the Cardinals took a 10-7 lead. Maybe his biggest impact came with his feet. The converted wide receiver avoided trouble on several occasions and had a pair of double-digit gains wiped out due to penalty.
Pitt did all it could to help during a sloppy first half with a fumble and three more 15-yard penalties.
The Panthers turned it over inside the Louisville 10, had a 41-yard touchdown pass wiped out due to a penalty and committed a pair of personal fouls on a late Louisville drive that allowed the Cardinals to take the lead and get a much-needed confidence boost heading into the half.
The momentum didn't last long. Stull hit Dickerson for a 37-yard score on Pitt's first possession of the second half, and the Panthers were well on their way to regaining some confidence lost during their flameout against the Wolfpack.
Here are several AP photos from the game: Click Here
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