(Photo credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)
Rodney Hammond Jr. unleashed a 66-yard touchdown run in the waning minutes Thursday to seal Pittsburgh's 24-16 home victory over Boston College.
Having won just once since their season opener, the Panthers (3-8, 2-5 ACC) opted to change quarterbacks in this one, pegging Nate Yarnell to make his second career start instead of the struggling Christian Veilleux.
Yarnell delivered with a passing touchdown and a rushing score, but it was Hammond who came up huge in the clutch. With Pitt clinging to a one-point lead with under five minutes to go, the junior running back made two defenders miss en route to his game-clinching touchdown run. He finished with 145 yards on 15 carries.
Meanwhile, the Eagles (6-5, 3-4) lost their second straight game following a five-game winning streak. Thomas Castellanos went 13 of 25 for 171 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions, while Kye Robichaux contributed 118 yards on 24 carries.
BC took the game's opening possession and drove down the field before settling for a 42-yard field goal by Liam Connor. Castellanos' 25-yard pass to Thomas Bond was the key play on the drive.
Pitt then responded with a 42-yard field goal of its own, as Ben Sauls delivered to forge a 3-3 tie after one quarter.
Yarnell scored the game's first touchdown with just over nine minutes left in the first half, as he scampered in from 4 yards out. Connor's 45-yard field goal in the final minute drew the Eagles within 10-6 at the break.
Following a quick three-and-out by Pitt to open the third quarter, BC took the lead on Castellanos' 24-yard TD pass to Bond. However, the Panthers regained the lead less than two minutes later, as Yarnell found Konata Mumpfield for completions of 12 and 18 yards before connecting with a wide-open Bub Means for a 61-yard catch-and-run touchdown.
Now trailing 17-13 in the fourth, the Eagles drove to the Pitt 9 before settling for a 33-yard field goal by Connor, drawing the visitors within 17-16 with 5:19 to play.
--Field Level Media