Bowling Green surprises Pitt, 27-17
PITTSBURGH -- A whistle sounded prematurely, stripping Bowling Green of a possible game-winning touchdown and giving a second chance to Pittsburgh, a top-25 team that probably didn’t deserve such a break.
So Bowling Green went out and forced yet another mistake that assured Pitt of a loss the Panthers never seemed to believe might happen until the game was over.
Tyler Sheehan ran 11 yards for a touchdown on a quarterback draw early in the fourth quarter, two plays after Pittsburgh’s fourth turnover, and Bowling Green rallied for a 27-17 upset of the No. 25 Panthers on Saturday.
The Falcons bounced back from a 14-0 deficit for the first victory by a Mid-American Conference school in Pittsburgh. Pitt previously was 25-2 against the MAC, 8-0 in season openers and 24-0 at home.
“Unless you study the game, you don’t understand the implications of a win like that,” Falcons Coach Gregg Brandon said. “We’re not supposed to beat these people.”
Anthony Turner scored on an eight-yard run to give Bowling Green its first lead at 20-17 with 3:53 left in the third quarter. Later, Kenny Lewis caused Cedric McGee to fumble, and Lewis scooped it up for an apparent 67-yard touchdown return with 13:30 left.
An inadvertent whistle sent the ball back to the Falcons’ 35 and Bowling Green was forced to punt. But on Pitt’s next possession, cornerback Antonio Smith caused Bill Stull’s fumble, which Angelo Magnone returned six yards to the Pitt 11. Sheehan scored two plays later.
“They gave us some unusual formations and we had a tough time adjusting to it,” said Pitt Coach Dave Wannstedt.