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Big East: Pitt shocks Hokies second straight year

©Associated Press

November 3, 2002


BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Pittsburgh did it again to Virginia Tech.

BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Pittsburgh did it again to Virginia Tech.

Brandon Miree ran 53 yards for a touchdown with 4:11 left, lifting Pittsburgh past Virginia Tech 28-21 Saturday night as the Panthers rallied from a 21-7 deficit.

The Panthers dominated as they did a year ago in beating the Hokies 38-7. Pitt got three TD passes from Rod Rutherford to freshman Larry Fitzgerald and 275 rushing yards against the nation's best defense against the run (40.75 yards).

The Hokies were done in by their offense, which scored its touchdowns on first-half drives of 3 and 21 yards set up by special-teams plays, and Lee Suggs' 59-yard TD run just after halftime.

The Panthers outgained Virginia Tech 483-275, and Miree provided the winner by going up the middle, breaking a tackle by Willie Pile and going the distance. Miree also helped the Panthers eat up all but 37 seconds of the clock before Andy Lee's punt went into the end zone.

Miree finished with 161 yards on 23 carries.

With a last chance to tie, Tech's Bryan Randall threw incomplete on first down, was sacked and fumbled out of bounds at his 6 on second down and threw a fluttering duck that Ernest Wilford caught at the 39. A late-hit call against Pitt put the Hokies at the Pitt 46, but a last pass for Wilford was incomplete as time ran out.

Fitzgerald had five catches for 105 yards, and Rutherford was 11-for-26 for 208 yards. He also rushed for 56 and was intercepted twice.

The Hokies' ground game, nicknamed "The Untouchables," struggled to break anything against the Panthers' stacked front in the first half, which ended with Tech having 35 yards on 22 carries.

* * *

W. VIRGINIA 46, TEMPLE 20: Avon Cobourne rushed for 94 yards and two touchdowns, and quarterback Rasheed Marshall added 98 yards rushing and two TDs for the visiting Mountaineers. West Virginia has beaten Temple 11 of the past 12 meetings dating to 1984. Mike McGann led the Owls with three TD passes and 180 yards, but he completed 13-of-32.

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