Heinz Field-Pittsburgh PA– Kenny Pickett threw for 2 TD passes and the Pitt defense held UMASS to 209 yards of total offense as the Panthers cruised to a 51-7 season-opening victory on Saturday.
Pickett hooked up with Lucas Krull and Jordan Addison for first-quarter touchdowns as the Panthers jumped out to a two-score lead in the first 15 minutes.
The 5th year senior completed 27 of 37 passes for 272 yards and the two touchdowns. Pickett also rushed six times for 39 yards on a combination of scrambles and designed runs. Pickett missed one play after taking a bad hit late in the second quarter that caused UMASS #22 linebacker Gerrell Johnson to be ejected for targeting, and the Pitt offense seemed to feed on the return of its leader.
After taking an early lead, Pitt leaned on the rushing game to run the clock out and control the tempo of the game, with four different backs finding the end zone. A.J. Davis scored from 18 yards out in the second quarter.
The Panthers will travel to play the Tennessee Volunteers of the SEC next Saturday September 11 at noon on ESPN.