Pittsburgh came into the game as five-point favorites over the Mustangs, but early in the game it's been pretty much all SMU. The Mustangs scored in the opening five minutes as J.J. McDermott completed a 50-yard touchdown pass to Darius Johnson to open the scoring and put SMU up 7-0 early.
Later, SMU finished another eight-play, 54-yard drive with a short rushing touchdown by McDermott to put the 'Stangs up 14-0 with under three minutes to go in the third quarter. At that point, the Mustangs had controlled the ball for 9:29 of the game, compared to just 2:44 for the Panthers.
After that second touchdown, the Mustangs quickly forced a fumble during a sack of Pitt quarterback Tino Sunseri, taking over on the Pittsburgh 28-yard line. In short order, they were back inside the red zone once again. As the quarter wound down, SMU scored on second-and-goal when Rishad Wimbley rushed in from the two-yard line. Just like that, the Mustangs had rattled off 21 unanswered points in the first quarter.
The Panthers had a good kick return to get them back to midfield following the touchdown and picked up positive yardage on a quarterback scramble as the quarter wound to a close.