It was a rainy day for Pitt football fans on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018.
The Pittsburgh Panthers lost 51-6 to the now 3-0 Penn State Nittany Lions.
Pitt-Greensburg student Connor Strang accounts this game as being his first ever at Heinz Field.
“We got in pretty quick through the ‘Students Entryway,’ and just going up the ramps was really cool, it was really electric,” Strang said.
The only problems Strang ran into at Heinz Field were the concession prices and finding his seat.
At one point Connor asked for directions to his section and the traffic director said, “Just follow the crowd.”
While the energy was electric entering the stadium, on the field it was a different story for the Panthers.
Penn State scored seven points on the Panthers within the first five minutes of the first quarter.
Strang, briefly reflecting on this early point in the game, stated, “You could feel the disappointment in the air, it was a stale sadness.”
The Panthers came back, not even five minutes later, with a touchdown in the first quarter, filling the stadium with energy. The energy was short lived once the Panthers attempt at a two-point conversion went up in smoke.
After the first half, the score loomed 14-6, Penn State. And once the third quarter was underway many realized the fate of the game before the team did.
Strang lamented the student section, saying, “people would get up to get ‘food’ and later I’d turn around and there would be whole rows empty.”
By third quarters end, after a 60 yard punt was returned for a touchdown, the stadium, Strange said, “had no pulse.”
Multiple turnovers occurred over the duration of the game, three against Pitt and two against Penn State.
Penn State passed for 179 yards and Pitt for 55. Inversely, Pitt rushed for 245 yards while Penn State rushed for 211. Pitt threw one interception the whole game and held on to the ball for 34 minutes and 22 seconds. Penn State managed to throw zero interceptions and held possession of the ball for 25 minutes and 38 seconds. Penn State, in total, had 390 yards for the whole game while Pitt totaled 300 yards.
Both teams put up a very competitive effort in numbers, but in the second half, Pitt lost most of its momentum.
While the game against Penn State ended in defeat, Pitt has a healthy 2-1 start this season, with a victory over Georgia Tech (24-19) and Albany (33-7).