PITTSBURGH (AP)—Pitt forced No. 13 Virginia Tech into four first-half turnovers and bullied the Hokies all over the field in a 35-17 victory on Saturday, an emphatic opening salvo to a rivalry that will be renewed full time next fall when Pitt joins Virginia Tech in the ACC’s Coastal Division.
|BREAKOUT DAY—Pitt’s fantastic freshman Rushel Shell from Hopewell had a breakout day by rushing for 157 yards in the Panthers 35 -17 upset win over Virginia Tech. (Courier Photo/William McBride)
Ray Graham ran for 94 yards and two scores and added an 18-yard touchdown reception to lead Pitt to its first victory of the season. Tino Sunseri passed for 283 yards and two touchdowns and freshman running back Rushel Shell added 157 yards as Pitt (1-2) gave coach Paul Chryst his first career victory in emphatic fashion.
“We definitely went out there and made noise today,” Graham said. “I think playing an ACC team just gives us a feeling for what we can do when it’s time to go in the ACC. This is a good ACC team. It can only get better from here.”
Virginia Tech (2-1) had won 13 straight true road games, the longest active streak in the country, but let Pitt race to a quick three-touchdown lead and never really threatened. Logan Thomas completed just 14 of 31 passes for 265 yards and one touchdown against three interceptions.