Utah Survives No. 15 Pitt in Overtime

Never question a Kyle Whittingham defense.

For those doubted Utah's defense that returned just four starters from 2009, they were mistaken.

Utah advanced their home win streak to 18 games Thursday night as they defeated No. 15 Pitt 27-24 in overtime.  An interception by true freshman Brian Blechan set up a game winning field goal for Joe Phillips.

Heisman candidate Dion Lewis was stuffed by Utah's defense, netting just 75 yards on 25 attempts.  Biletnikoff candiate WR Jonathan Bladwin was held to just four receptions for 71 yards.  

Pitt's talented offense was held to just 266 yards of total offense.  Utah's defense came through.  Like they always have since Kyle Whittingham has been at the U.  

Minus some sloppiness with two fumbles and an interception, the offense looked impressive too.  Jordan Wynn, in just his sixth start as a Ute, completed 24/36 passes for 283 yards and three touchdowns. 

DeVonte Christopher had a breakout game at wide receiver with eight receptions for 155 yards and a touchdown.  Jereme Brooks also played well catching five passes for 87 yards and two touchdowns.

What was most impressive was the performance of Utah's offensive line.  Pitt led the nation in sacks in 2009 averaging 3.69 per game.  Thursday night,  they didn't sack Wynn once.  John Cullen handled All American Greg Romeus all night who had just four tackles, all assisted.

The game should not have been as close as the final score.  Utah gained 405 yards of total offense compared to Pitt's 283.  Utah's three turnovers were costly. Fumbles gave Pitt great field position and Wynn threw an interception when Utah was in the red zone. 

Utah made plenty of mistakes in the game, but they have time to sort those out.  They should coast through their next six games until a very tough November schedule.  If this team can polish it's rough edges, it can be a very special season for the Utes.

Follow Michael Rueckert on Twitter @MichaelRueckert


Final - 9.2.2010 1 2 3 4 OT Total
Pittsburgh Panthers 0 7 3 14 0 24
Utah Utes 0 14 3 7 3 27

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