By METTE PEDERSEN
ATLANTA – Pittsburgh’s Chris Blewitt kicked a school record 56-yard field goal with 1:11 remaining in the game to give the Panthers the victory over Georgia Tech 31-28 Saturday at the Bobby Dodd Stadium.
Blewitt’s field goal capped a 14-play drive of 31 yards, taking 7:09 off the clock in the fourth quarter. The previous Pittsburgh school record was a 54-yard field goal by David Merrick in 1994 vs. Texas.
“You know, their last scoring drive that they went down and scored, we got them,” Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson said. “Third down, they throw it back, we got a guy on the back, but we miss the tackle in the backfield. He makes the first down and they go score.”
The Panthers went two for two on fourth down conversions, both completed in its last scoring drive to keep the drive going and taking seconds of the clock.
“The two fourth-down calls that coach Jim Chaney made in the fourth quarter there on that final drive, I think it was another seven-minute drive, were crucial,” Pittsburgh head coach Pat Narduzzi said. “That’s what players do when they want to win.”
The two fourth down conversions and missed tackles in the fourth quarter made the difference in Saturday’s game between the Yellow Jackets and Panthers.
“Those are the plays we need to make,” said Yellow Jacket’s linebacker Tyler Marcordes. “We are in the right position. We just need to have someone to make a play on fourth down, to get us off the field and let the offense get the ball.”
The Yellow Jackets had their chances. With nine seconds to go in the first half, Panther’s defensive end Shakir Soto blocked Harrison Butker’s 50-yard field goal attempt.
The Yellow Jackets’ losing streak continue now stands at five games, with Georgia Tech (2-5, 0-4 ACC) still winless in conference action. Pittsburgh improved to 3-0 in the ACC (5-1 overall).