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No. 1 Penn St. 34, Pittsburgh 17

September 6, 1997

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) _ Mike McQueary threw for a school-record 366 yards and two touchdowns as No. 1 Penn State won its season opener 34-17 over Pittsburgh on Saturday.

McQueary, a fifth-year senior who backed up Wally Richardson and Kerry Collins for four years, also set a school record for total offense with 370 yards.

McQueary completed 21 of 36 passes before he was pulled with 12:38 left in the game. Joe Jurevicius was his favorite receiver, catching seven tosses for 108 yards and a touchdown. Chafie Fields had three receptions for 80 yards.

It was the first Pittsburgh-Penn State game since 1992, when the Nittany Lions joined the Big Ten. The teams, which used to play every year, will meet for the next three seasons.

Penn State started slowly, leading 10-3 after one quarter, but put the game away in the second and third with 24 straight points. Pittsburgh had two late touchdowns.

Curtis Enis rushed for 85 yards and two touchdowns for Penn State.

Pittsburgh’s Pete Gonzalez completed 11-of-25 attempts for 117 yards. Ramel Johnson had 38 yards receiving and a touchdown.

Matt Lytle replaced Gonzalez in the second half and had one touchdown.

The Penn State defense began to swarm in the second half, forcing Gonzalez into wild passes before a Beaver Stadium record crowd of 97,115.

Todd Blackledge held the previous passing record of 358 yards, set in 1981 against Miami. McQueary also broke the total yardage record of 363, set by John Hufnagel against Boston College in 1972.

Penn State opened the game with a 47-yard drive that stalled on the Pittsburgh 6. Redshirt sophomore Travis Forney, replacing NFL draft pick Brett Conway, hit the first field goal of his career to make it 3-0.

The Panthers next series ended after two plays when Sean Lee picked off a pass from Gonzalez and ran the ball back to the Pittsburgh 19. Two plays later, Enis scored on a 1-yard run.

Pittsburgh finally got on the board with 2:38 left in the first quarter on a 21-yard field goal by Chris Ferencik. Pittsburgh drove 76 yards, including a 22-yard catch by tight end John Jones.

McQueary hit a wide-open Joe Jurevicius from 14 yards out to cap a 65-yard drive and give the Nittany Lions a 17-3 lead with 5:43 left in the half.

Penn State closed out the half with a 29-yard field goal by Forney. Wide receiver Joe Nastasi broke free down the middle two minutes into the second half and caught McQueary’s second touchdown pass from 32 yards out to put Penn State up 27-3.

The lead grew to 31 points with 6:14 left in the third quarter on Enis’ 4-yard dash.

Pittsburgh scored with 3:50 remaining in the game when Lytle hit Angel for a 19-yard TD. Gonzalez threw another touchdown pass to Johnson with 58 seconds remaining to close out the scoring.