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Oct. 15, 2016

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Virginia Game Notes

Team Notes
– Virginia has a two-game losing streak vs. Pitt and fell to 3-6 all-time vs. the Panthers.
– The Cavaliers have scored 30 or more points in three straight games for the first time since opening the 2004 season with five straight games of 30 or more points.
– The Cavaliers wore white helmets at home for the first time since Sept. 6, 2008 vs. Richmond.
– UVA tallied 21 first-quarter points for the first time since 2015 vs. Duke.
– Virginia yielded its first kickoff return for touchdown (93 yards, Quadree Henderson) of the season and first since Duke’s DeVon Edwards’ 94-yarder in 2015.
– UVA allowed a season-high 45 points in the loss (44 at Oregon).
– OG Ryan Bischoff made his collegiate debut.
– Virginia First Time Starters: Defense: Mark Hall (DE), Bryce Hall** (BC).

** – denotes true freshmen

Player Notes
– QB Kurt Benkert (278 yards) had a season-high 45 passing attempts and most for a Cavalier quarterback since 45 attempts by Matt Johns at Duke in 2014.
– RB Taquan Mizzell (95 yards) tied a career-long rush with his 44-yard scoring run in the first quarter
– Mizzell (3 receptions) extended his reception streak to 39 games, tied for the fourth-longest in the nation heading into this weekend’s games.
– RB Albert Reid tallied his first multi-rushing touchdown game with a pair of scores.
– Reid has rushed for at least one touchdown in each of the last five games.
– WR Olamide Zaccheaus has at least one touchdown reception in each of the last three games after hauling in a 74-yard TD catch in the first half.
– Zaccheaus (10 games), WR Doni Dowling (6 games), WR Keeon Johnson (6 games) and WR Warren Craft (4 games) also increased their individual reception streaks.
– K Sam Hayward tallied his first career field goal (36 yards).
– FS Quin Blanding had a career-high 16 tackles.
– Blanding’s 16th tackle of the game gave the junior his 300th career tackle. Blanding has 300 career tackles in 30 career games.
– DE Mark Hall matched a career best with four tackles in his first career start.
– LB Chris Peace matched a career high with seven tackles.

2016 Pitt Football Game Notes

– Aided by 315 total yards in returns on defense and special teams, Pitt (5-2, 2-1 ACC) won in Charlottesville for the first time since 1953 as the Panthers defeated Virginia (3-4, 1-1 ACC) by a score of 45-31 on Saturday afternoon.
– Virginia had leads of 7-0, 14-7, 21-14 and 28-21 in the first half before James Conner and Jordan Whitehead scored touchdowns in the final 40 seconds of the first half to swing the game and put Pitt ahead 35-28 at the break, giving the Panthers a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
– The Pitt defense held the Cavaliers to just three points in the second half-a 36-yard field goal with 2:04 to play.


– With the return game being so prolific, Pitt’s offense only needed to tally 346 total yards, its lowest total since the season-opening victory over Villanova. The Panthers finished with 209 yards rushing and 137 yards passing.
– The Panthers rushed for 200+ yards for the sixth straight contest, also dating back to the opener.
– Pitt also scored 36+ points for the sixth consecutive game, extending a school record streak for scoring.
– And Pitt won the time-of-possession battle for the sixth straight game. Pitt controlled the ball for 36:14.

– Sophomore safety Jordan Whitehead had a key 59-yard interception return for a touchdown just before half. The play was Whitehead’s second career defensive TD after a 22-yard fumble return versus Navy in the Military Bowl.
– Pitt has now scored six defensive touchdowns in 20 games under Coach Pat Narduzzi, including three this season.
– Senior defensive end Ejuan Price, the FBS leader in sacks and tackles for loss entering the weekend, continued his streak of getting the quarterback in every game this season. Price recorded a half-sack with senior defensive tackle Shakir Soto in the third quarter. Price now has 9.0 sacks and 13.0 TFLs this season.

Special Teams
– Pitt sophomore wide receiver and All-America all-purpose candidate Quadree Henderson returned a kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter. It was Henderson’s third career kick return for a TD and second this season.
– Henderson, who finished with 164 all-purpose yards, now has five 80+ yard kick returns in his career, including three this season after his 96-yard TD against Villanova and his 84-yard return versus Penn State.
– Sophomore wideout Rafael Araujo-Lopes also had a 69-yard kick return after UVA kicked away from Henderson.
– Pitt finished with 256 yards on kick returns and punt returns as a team, its highest total of the season.
– Junior punter Ryan Winslow finished with a career-high 48.8 yards per punt on five attempts as Pitt won the field position game in the punting game as well as on kickoffs.

James Conner
– Junior running back James Conner scored two rushing touchdowns on a pair of 1-yard runs in the second quarter.
– It was Conner’s 14th career multi-TD game and third this season after the Villanova and Penn State contests.
– With the two TDs, Conner leaped placekickers Conor Lee and Carson Long in Pitt scoring history. Conner now sits third among all Panthers with 270 career points, behind only Tony Dorsett and Chris Blewitt.
– Conner had 90 yards rushing and 28 receiving yards as he proved to be Pitt’s most prolific player from scrimmage.
– Also contributing on defense for the first time this season, Conner played a few snaps at defensive end and nearly sacked Virginia quarterback Kurt Benkert on a key drive in the fourth quarter.

Jordan Whitehead
– Sophomore Jordan Whitehead started at both safety and wide receiver for Pitt, earning his first ever offensive start.
– Whitehead’s contributions included his defensive TD, 28 yards rushing on three carries and an onside kick recovery.

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