Paul Chryst's first game as a head coach was spoiled on Saturday night in Pittsburgh as his Panthers were upset by Youngstown State 31-17.
After taking a 14-10 lead into halftime, Youngstown State took control in the second half with a pair of scores. The Penguins, from the FCS-level Missouri Valley Conference, took their opening drive of the half 71 yards in six plays for the 21-10 lead, completed when Jamaine Cook hit Will Shaw on a 23-yard touchdown pass.
Starting late in the third quarter and extending into the fourth, Youngstown State took a decisive 28-10 lead on a 15-play, 78-yard touchdown drive that ate 8:34 off the clock.
Pitt dug itself a hole on the first possession of the game when running back Ray Graham fumbled at Youngstown State's 10-yard line. The Penguins converted the fumble to a score in 10 plays to take the early 7-0 lead. Pitt's two fumbles were the game's only turnovers, the second coming with under two minutes left during Pitt's last-gasp efforts.
Tino Sunseri finished 19-30 for 239 yards and one touchdown for Pitt. Graham rushed for 71 yards in the loss. YSU quarterback Kurt Hess finished 13-23 for 154 yards and two touchdowns.,
Box Score Hero: YSU's Jamaine Cook. The running back rushed 21 times for 84 yards, and also threw the 23-yard touchdown pass that broke the game open.
Rankings Ramifications: Pitt was receiving zero points in either major poll, and has made that likely to continue for quite some time.
But Did They Cover? The 18-point line favoring Pitt was obliterated.
For More On This Game: Visit Pitt blog Cardiac Hill. I'm sure they'll be in a good mood.
Next Week's Schedule: Pitt has a short turnaround, traveling to Cincinnati on Thurs., Sept 6 to open Big East play. Youngstown State hosts Valparaiso.