Scores

Final

Buffalo 16

(1-1, 0-1 away)

Pittsburgh 27

(1-1, 1-1 home)

Coverage: GamePlan

6:00 PM ET, September 6, 2008

Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA

1 2 3 4 T
BUFF 6 3 7 016
PITT 0 10 7 1027

Top Performers

Passing: D. Willy (BUFF) - 223 YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: L. McCoy (PITT) - 20 CAR, 93 YDS, 3 TD

Receiving: B. Hamlin (BUFF) - 5 REC, 77 YDS, 1 TD

Pittsburgh uses second-half run to topple Buffalo

Associated Press

PITTSBURGH -- LeSean McCoy scored on three short runs and Pittsburgh managed to avoid losing at home to a Mid-American Conference school for the second week in a row, driving for two touchdowns in the second half to hold off Buffalo 27-16 on Saturday night.

McCoy, limited to 71 yards in a loss to Bowling Green last week, scored on runs of 3, 1 and 2 yards while rushing for 93 yards -- still off his pace of last season, when he ran for 1,328 yards as a freshman.

Bill Stull was 22-of-33 for 241 yards and his throwing set up all three McCoy scores as Pitt (1-1) won despite trailing 6-0 at the end of the first quarter, leading 10-9 at halftime and 17-16 at the end of the third quarter.

The three-touchdown game was the fourth for McCoy in 14 college games. His third TD run came with 10:21 remaining and came after Stull hit T.J. Porter for 20 yards and Cedric McGee for 10 ahead of McCoy runs of 18 and 12 yards on a 74-yard drive.

Despite winning, Pitt is making what is supposed to be the easiest part of its schedule look difficult. Buffalo (1-1) has beaten only one school from a BCS conference, a 34-11 decision over Rutgers in 2002, yet trailed 10-9 after A.J. Principe kicked a 35-yard field goal to end the first half.

The Bulls had taken a 6-0 lead on Brandon Thermilus' 1-yard TD run -- Principe missed the extra point -- but McCoy answered early in the second quarter by scoring his first touchdown after Stull hit Derek Kinder and Nate Byham for 15-yard gains on consecutive plays.

Pitt needed to put a lot more effort into winning this one than the Panthers would have expected when the season began, despite Buffalo's season-opening 42-17 win over UTEP.

McCoy finished off a 63-yard drive that started the second half with his 1-yard scoring run, the first Pitt possession in which the Panthers consistently moved the ball on the ground.

Buffalo, a 13-point underdog, responded with Drew Willy's 39-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Brett Hamlin following a Pitt breakdown in coverage, but the Bulls still trailed 17-16 because of Principe's missed extra point.

James Starks, who ran for 179 yards against UTEP, ended with 20 carries for 97 yards but did not break any long runs -- his longest gain was 14 yards. Willy ended 21-of-34 for 223 yards and his nation's-best streak of consecutive passes without an interception ended at 284 when Eric Thatcher picked him off with 1:26 left in the game, his final throw of the game.

Before that, Conor Lee added a 42-yard field goal with 3:31 remaining that pushed Pitt's lead to 11 and meant Buffalo couldn't tie it with a touchdown and a 2-point conversion.

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Team Stat Comparison

 
BUFF
PITT
1st Downs2222
Total Yards348352
Passing223241
Rushing125111
Penalties6-603-25
3rd Down Conversions6-138-13
4th Down Conversions1-10-0
Turnovers11
Possession30:3729:23

Passing Leaders

BuffaloC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Willy21/342236.611
PittsburghC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Stull22/332417.301

Rushing Leaders

BuffaloCARYDSAVGTDLG
Starks20974.9014
Thermilus4205.0114
PittsburghCARYDSAVGTDLG
McCoy20934.7318
Stephens-Howling7213.009

Receiving Leaders

BuffaloRECYDSAVGTDLG
Hamlin57715.4139
Roosevelt66510.8023
PittsburghRECYDSAVGTDLG
Turner56913.8036
Porter6579.5020

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERBUFFPITT
TD01:59Brandon Thermilus 1 Yd Run (Pat Failed) 60
SECOND QUARTERBUFFPITT
TD13:30Lesean Mccoy 3 Yd Run (Conor Lee Kick) 67
FG02:42Conor Lee 21 Yd 610
FG00:32A.J. Principe 35 Yd 910
THIRD QUARTERBUFFPITT
TD10:05Lesean Mccoy 1 Yd Run (Conor Lee Kick) 917
TD06:41Brett Hamlin 39 Yd Pass From Drew Willy (A.J. Principe Kick) 1617
FOURTH QUARTERBUFFPITT
TD10:21Lesean Mccoy 2 Yd Run (Conor Lee Kick) 1624
FG03:31Conor Lee 42 Yd 1627