PITTSBURGH (AP) — Backup Nick Patti capped a fourth-quarter drive with a touchdown pass to help Pittsburgh survive a scare from Delaware, 17-14, on Saturday.
Patti, who started in place of Kenny Pickett, directed an eight-play, 90-yard drive, finding Taysir Mack in the end zone from 12 yards out. The long drive put the Panthers in the lead for good after an unexpectedly close battle with the Blue Hens.
A pair of short fields after Pitt turnovers led to touchdowns for Delaware. After a Patti interception in the second quarter, Nolan Harrison passed 7 yards to Gene Coleman II to tie the game.
When Maurice Ffrench fumbled in the third quarter to give Delaware another short field, Henderson hit Jourdan Townsend with a 5-yard score to give the Blue Hens a four-point lead.
That's when Pitt responded with the long drive from Patti, who finished 23 of 37 for 271 yards, two touchdowns and an interception while making his first career start. He relied heavily on Mack, who had five catches for 124 yards.
In addition to Pickett, Pitt played without top running backs A.J. Davis and Vincent Davis. Vincent Davis had a cast on his right wrist on the sideline. No announcement was made on the status of any of Pitt's players.
Todd Sibley saw his most extensive action at running back, with 22 carries for 106 yards.
Delaware: The Blue Hens had one shot against a Power Five team on their 2019 schedule, and they made an impact by taking Pitt to the wire. The question will be whether they can translate that showing at the FCS level where Delaware plays in a Colonial Athletic Conference that features six ranked teams, including the Blue Hens.
Pitt: Despite the win, the slog over the Blue Hens sapped any momentum the Panthers may have had coming off an upset over then-No. 15 UCF a week ago. The absence of Pickett is concerning for the Panthers' offense. He entered the week fifth in the FBS in completions per game.
Delaware: Continues a two-game road swing by visiting Elon.
Pitt: Returns to ACC play with a trip to 3-1 Duke next Saturday.