Pitt 17, Rutgers 0
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) _ Craig Heyward rushed for a season-high 175 yards and a touchdown, freshman quarterback Darnell Dickerson ran 6 yards for another score and the Pitt defense dominated Rutgers on Saturday as the Panthers rolled to a 17-0 victory over the Scarlet Knights.
With scouts from the Peach, Sun and Independence bowls in attendance, Pitt raised its record to 6-3 and virtually ended the Scarlet Knights’ bowl hopes by dropping them to 5-4.
The show Pitt put on for the scouts was very impressive, especially the performance by Dickerson in his first start. His ability to roll out added another dimension to the Panthers’ offense, which previously relied on Heyward, the 275-pound tailback who carried 41 times Saturday.
Pitt scored the first time it had the ball, Dickerson taking the the Panthers 61 yards in 14 plays with Jeff VanHorne capping the drive with a 20- yard field goal. Dickerson hit Henry Tuten with a 10-yard, third-down pass to keep the drive alive at midfield and found Michael Stewart for 19 yards to get the ball inside the Rutgers 10.
Heyward, who has rushed for 100 yards in every game this season, made the score 10-0 with 2:32 left in the first quarter with a 1-yard TD plunge off left guard. The score was set up when Tyrone McQueen of Rutgers fumbled at punt and Quintin Jones recovered for Pitt at the 9.
Heyward got the call on all three plays. He fumbled on second down near the goal line but Matt LaVigna recovered for the Panthers at the 1. Heyward was in the end zone on the next play.
Dickerson’s touchdown run capped a 66-yard march and came on a broken play. He dropped the handoff, but the ball bounced back into his hands and circled right end virtually untouched for the score.
Pitt rarely was tested on defense as Rutgers quarterback John Murphy was hounded by the Panthers in his first start.
The Scarlet Knights had five series in which they punted after just three plays in the game. Their biggest play, a 38-yard flea flicker from wide receiver Eric Young to tight Bruce Campbell for an apparent touchdown, was called back by a clipping penalty.