(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Pickett accounts for 3 TDs, Pitt drops Albany 33-7 in opener

Panthers Prime For Penn State With Opening Win

September 01, 2018 - 8:06 pm
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By WILL GRAVES

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Kenny Pickett threw for two touchdowns and ran for another and Pittsburgh breezed past Albany 33-7 in the season opener on Saturday.

Nine months removed from a stunning upset of second-ranked Miami in his first collegiate start, Pickett picked right up where he left off. The sophomore completed his first 13 passes and finished 16 of 22 for 154 yards. He hit Rafael Araujo-Lopes twice for scores in the second quarter, the first on a 3-yard lob and another on a 42-yard catch-and-run in which Araujo-Lopes did most of the work.

Maurice Ffrench returned the opening kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown and added a 9-yard scoring run later in the first quarter as the Panthers needed just over 10 minutes to build a 19-point lead.

Qadree Ollison ran for a team-high 73 yards for Pitt, who gashed the Great Danes for 238 yards on the ground.

Vincent Testaverde, son of former NFL quarterback Vinny Testaverde, passed for 263 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions in his first start for Albany. Dev Holmes caught nine passes for 148 yards but the Great Danes were never really in it after the early barrage by the Panthers.

BIG PICTURE

Albany: Testaverde gives the Great Danes a legitimate threat at quarterback. The fifth-year senior didn’t wilt in the face of near constant pressure and showcased his arm on several occasions. If he can stay healthy — he left briefly in the fourth quarter after taking a sack — Albany should be considerably more dangerous than the team that averaged just 17 points a game in 2017.

Pitt: The Panthers stressed the need to avoid looking past an FCS opponent in the opener after nearly losing to Youngstown State in Week 1 a year ago. They wasted little time burying the Great Danes, a sign of maturity from a group that includes 19 seniors.

UP NEXT

Albany: Begin Colonial Athletic Association play next Saturday at Rhode Island. The Great Danes fell to the Rams 31-14 last season.

Pitt: Try to beat No. 10 Penn State for the second time in three years when the Nittany Lions visit Heinz Field next Saturday. The Panthers upset Penn State 42-39 at home in 2016.

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