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College football

Big East: Another rally gets Pitt to .500

By Associated Press
Published October 23, 2005

PITTSBURGH - Pitt's past two games have matched its season: a terrible start followed by a furious rally.

Tyler Palko ran for two touchdowns and threw for another in Pittsburgh's second straight comeback win, and the Panthers became the latest team to benefit from Syracuse turnovers in a 34-17 victory Saturday.

A week after trailing USF by 10 before winning 31-17, Pitt fell behind 17-7 before scoring 27 in a row behind Palko's passing and freshman LaRod Stephens-Howling's running. Stephens-Howling, who is 5 feet 7, 160 pounds, ran for 101 yards in his first career 100-yard game and has 192 yards in two games.

Pitt, which opened 1-4, is at .500 for the first time under coach Dave Wannstedt. The Panthers must win two of their final three for a chance to go to a sixth straight bowl game.

"Those three games will make or break us," Palko said.

Wannstedt hopes the past two games don't indicate what will happen when the competition improves.

"It's what we've talked about for two months; it's a roller coaster, things go up and down," Wannstedt said. "That's the challenge I have. We've shown a lot of character coming back but like I told the guys, "Man, you're making this way too hard.' "

The Orange (1-6), off to its worst start since it was 1-6 during a 2-9 season in 1982, had four interceptions and a fumble a week after losing five fumbles in a 31-9 loss to Rutgers.

LOUISVILLE 46, CINCINNATI 22: Brian Brohm led the Cardinals on a 98-yard touchdown drive after a goal-line stand, sparking visiting Louisville over a Bearcats team that was booed by fans as it pulled every trick in its playbook.

Cincinnati quarterback Dustin Grutza caught a pass from a receiver on a reverse, and the Bearcats converted a fake punt trailing 12-7 late in the first half.

Shifty tailback Greg Moore carried on seven straight plays for 48 yards, then yielded to straight-ahead threat Bradley Glatthaar on first and goal at the 2. Glatthaar carried twice for losses, and Grutza's third-down pass was intercepted by safety Brandon Sharp.

RUTGERS 26, UCONN 24: Ryan Hart, the Scarlet Knights' career passing leader, threw three touchdowns as visiting Rutgers snapped a three-game losing streak to the Huskies.

Ray Rice rushed for a career-high 217 yards for Rutgers. Hart entered the game as the Scarlet Knights' all-time leader in passing yards and tacked on another record when he finished with 45 career TD passes.

[Last modified October 23, 2005, 01:21:14]

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