Final: Pitt 49, Lobos 27.
Heading down for interviews with 5 minutes left, Pitt up, 49-20. Will update.
Pitt 49, New Mexico 20. After a UNM fake punt goes awry, the Panthers drive 33 yards in four plays for the TD. 11:35 left in the game.
After three quarters: Pitt 42, New Mexico 20. The Lobos actually outscored the Panthers in the third quarter, with quarterback Cole Gautsche running the option in smooth fashion. The Lobos also forced a Pitt fumble, this time fully capitalizing on the short field and turning the recovery into seven points. The Lobos now have a chance to come out of this feeling good about themselves. Of course, there’s 15 minutes to go.
Pitt 42, New Mexico 20: After Lobos freshman cornerback Isaiah Brown recovers a Pitt fumble, Cole Gautsche walks in on an option keeper from 12 yards out. 1:46 left in the third quarter.
Pitt 42, New Mexico 13: With quarterback Cole Gautsche running the offense, the Lobos drive 81 yards on nine plays. Gautsche gets the score from a yard out, but the big play is a 42-yard run by Crusoe Gongbay. 4:20 left in the third quarter.
Pitt 42, New Mexico 6: After Lobos redshirt freshman Ridge Jones can’t handle a late Cole Gautsche option pitch, the Panthers drive 31 yards in 4 plays for the TD. 9:47 left in the third quarter.
First downs — UNM 5, Pitt 17. Yards rushing — UNM 5, Pitt 188. Yards passing — UNM 54, Pitt 200. Total offense — UNM 59, Pitt 388.
Halftime: Pitt 35, New Mexico 6. On the final play of the first half, Pitt’s Tyler Boyd outleaps UNM cornerback Cranston Jones to make a 34-yard touchdown catch. On the preceding play, UNM defensive end Brett Bowers had his helmet come off and continued to play — which this season is grounds for a 15-yard personal foul.
For the Lobos, it actually could have been worse. They’re plus-three on turnovers and lead in time of possession, yet trail by 29.
Pitt 28, New Mexico 6: Panthers touchdowns coming fast and furious. James Connor scores on a 40-yard run as Pittsburgh drives 76 yards on just four plays. 8:11 left in the second quarter as the Lobos continue to miss tackles.
Pitt 21, New Mexico 6: The Lobos get another break on special teams when a Pittsburgh bounces off a Panthers player and is recovered by UNM’s Dante Caro. The Lobos get a first-and-goal on the Pitt 1-yard line on a 15-yard Clayton Mitchem-to-Marquis Bundy pass but can’t get the ball into the end zone. They settle for a 22-yard Justus Adams field goal with 10:05 left in the second quarter.
Mercifully, the first quarter ends. 21-3, Pittsburgh. The Lobos are without a first down and unofficially with minus-8 yards total offense.
Pitt 21, New Mexico 3: UNM defense is embarrassingly bad as Pitt drives 60 yards on just four plays. Missed tackles, a blown coverage. 1:24 left in 1st quarter.
Pitt 14, New Mexico 3: Pitt’s Tyler Boyd scores on a 33-yard run, capping a quick 75-yard scoring drive. 5 minutes left in the first quarter.
Pitt 7, New Mexico 3: After a 74-yard kickoff return by sophomore Carlos Wiggins, the Lobos settle for a 28-yard Justus Adams field goal. Adams’ kick glanced off the left upright, but in the right direction. UNM’s offense has gained just 9 yards in six plays as the Lobos failed to take full advantage of big plays on defense (a Dante Caro interception) and special teams. 7:38 left in the first quarter.
Pitt 7, New Mexico 0: A 51-yard pass play sets up a 4-yard TD pass from Tom Savage to Scott Orndoff with 10 minutes left in the first quarter. Earlier, the Lobos squander an interception of a Savage pass by free safety Dante Caro. The Lobos netted zero yards on three offensive plays, then Justus Adams missed a 46-yard field goal. Adams is now 0-for-3 on the season.
And here we go …
New Mexico wins coin toss for third straight game, elects to defer. Lobos will kick off to start the game.
Good morning from Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, where the New Mexico Lobos (1-1) and the Pitt Panthers will tee it up in about 50 minutes.
It’s a beautiful, DRY day in Pittsburgh — about 70 degrees expected with a slight breeze and a few clouds.
I’ll be blogging with score changes and at the quarter and halftime breaks. I’ll also be tweeting at @burquerick with updates, observations, etc.