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May 31, 2023

Number 4 Penn State Tops Pitt, 33-14

By Will Graves – STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — Trace McSorley threw for three touchdowns, including Saquon Barkley’s 46-yard catch-and-run, and No. 4 Penn State pulled away from Pittsburgh for a 33-14 win.

McSorley completed 15 of 28 passes for 164 yards, helping the Nittany Lions (2-0) avenge a loss to their in-state rivals a year ago. Tight end Mike Gesicki had two touchdown receptions and Barkley ran for 88 yards as Penn State ended a two-game skid against the Panthers.

Qadree Ollison rushed for 96 yards for the Panthers (1-1), but Pitt’s offense struggled to finish drives early on and the Nittany Lions pulled away late. Max Browne completed 19 of 32 passes for only 138 yards and was intercepted twice.

Pitt dominated in time of possession, holding the ball for more than 38 minutes. Penn State countered with a quick strike attack in front of the largest Beaver Stadium crowd in nearly a decade.

Twice the Nittany Lions needed just one snap to score. McSorley found a wide-open Gesicki for an 8-yard touchdown just 2:07 into the game after Browne’s first interception. McSorley hit Barkley down the middle of the field early in the second half and Barkley did the rest to put Penn State up 21-3 early in the third quarter.

Pitt drew within 14 when sophomore quarterback Ben DiNucci scored on a 3-yard run after Browne was forced to sit for one play after his helmet came off. DiNucci added a 2-point conversion to Ollison to make it 28-14.

Any chance the Panthers had to put together a rally ended with just over six minutes to go.

Backed up at the Pitt 3, Browne hit running back Darrin Hall in the flat. Hall was tackled by Penn State safety Marcus Allen for a safety. The Nittany Lions added a field goal on the ensuing possession for the final margin.

(AP Photo – Chris Knight)

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