PITTSBURGH (AP)—John White ran for 171 yards and Coleman Petersen kicked four field goals in the tricky Heinz Field winds to lead Utah by reeling Pittsburgh 26-14 on Saturday.
The Utes (3-3) snapped a two-game losing streak behind the legs of White and Petersen and an impressive defensive effort to improve to 9-0 all-time against current members of the Big East.
Utah’s Derrick Shelby returned a late interception 21 yards for a touchdown as the Utes sent Pitt (3-4) to its second straight loss.
The Panthers managed just 120 total yards, turned it over three times and a reconfigured offensive line allowed quarterbacks Trey Anderson and Tino Sunseri to get sacked six times.
Pitt running back Ray Graham managed a season-low 46 yards, more than 100 yards below his average. Graham, who came in averaging nearly 150 yards a game, was off to the best six-game start in the program’s history.
Sunseri and Anderson’s inability to get anything going allowed the Utes to focus on Graham and the “high octane” offense Todd Graham promised when he took over in January fizzled for the second straight game.
Even with the offense sputtering the Panthers took a 14-13 halftime lead behind a pair of spectacular special teams plays.
Buddy Jackson returned a kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown, bouncing off two Utah tacklers at the Pitt 15 before sprinting to the outside and racing down the sideline for a score.
The unit needed just four plays to strike again. The Pitt defense forced a three-and-out and Andrew Taglianetti blocked Nick Marsh’s punt. Antwuan Reed picked up the loose ball at the 10 and strolled into the end zone to put Pitt up 14-3, the first punt block for a score by the Panthers since 1991.