Sept. 2, 2006
PITTSBURGH (AP) -Tyler Palko threw a pair of first-down touchdown passes longer than 70 yards and Pittsburgh got off to the kind of strong start in coach Dave Wannstedt's second season that it wanted in its first, routing Virginia 38-13 Saturday night.
Palko, in his third season at quarterback but teamed with an almost-new cast of receivers, played a near-perfect game except for an interception that was returned 47 yards by Nate Lyles to set up Virginia's only touchdown. Palko finished 17 of 22 for 283 yards with three touchdowns, including a 72-yarder to Oderick Turner and a 78-yarder to Derek Kinder.
Palko showed off a deep passing game that Pitt lacked last season while going 5-6. The Panthers started the season in the Top 25, only to be routed at home by Notre Dame 42-21 in their opener en route to an 0-3 start.
This debut game was nearly the opposite, except that Pitt also began it with an opening-drive touchdown, just as it did the Notre Dame loss. Palko found Turner for 20 yards on Pitt's initial third-down play of the season. That led to Palko's 1-yard scoring flip to Darrell Strong on a misdirection play that found Palko and Strong wide open by themselves on the left side of the field. Palko, who followed up an excellent sophomore season with a good but not great junior year, hit on the first deep throw he attempted, finding Turner open down the middle on a 72-yard scoring pass midway through the second quarter.
There was a Fighting Irish connection in this game, too, as Christian Olsen debuted as Virginia's quarterback four years after transferring from Notre Dame. Olsen, a senior, had a rough debut as he could never get into a rhythm with his receivers in a Cavaliers offense that produced only two field goals and the interception-created touchdown.
Olsen was intercepted himself for a score, by Darrelle Revis for 19 yards midway through the third quarter to make it 24-10, and so was his replacement. Kevin McCabe came in late in the fourth quarter and immediately was intercepted by Clint Session for a 78-yard scoring return during Pitt's ninth opening-game victory in its last 10.
Pitt's receiving group was a major unknown after losing top receiver Greg Lee, who left after his junior season but was not drafted. None of Pitt's returning receivers had as many as 40 catches last season, but Turner made two catches for 92 yards and Kinder had four.
Pitt had a ceremony honoring the 30th anniversary of its unbeaten 1976 national championship team led by Heisman Trophy winner Tony Dorsett, who attended the game.
Road Tests Await 'HoosMen's Basketball1/22/17No. 16 UVA, which beat Georgia Tech at JPJ on Saturday, is on the road Tuesday against No. 15 Notre Dame and next Sunday against No. 1 Villanova.Perseverance Paying Off for SchanyWrestling1/21/17Redshirt sophomore Will Schany is the starting 184-pounder for No. 25 Virginia, which meets No. 6 Virginia Tech at 4 p.m. Sunday in Blacksburg.Selflessness Marks Cavaliers' Latest WinMen's Basketball1/19/17In its latest road victory, a 71-54 conquest of Boston College, No. 16 Virginia recorded assists on 22 of its 27 field goals Wednesday night.
Director of News Content
A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.
Mendenhall Announces Four Early Enrollees
Football | 1/18/2017
Virginia football head coach Bronco Mendenhall announced that four members of the program’s...
Virginia Football to Face Maryland in 2023, 2024
Football | 1/12/2017
Virginia and Maryland will meet in football for a two-game series in 2023 and 2024, the schools...
UVA to Meet Georgia in 2020 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game
Football | 1/11/2017
The Virginia Cavaliers and the Georgia Bulldogs will face off in the 2020 Chick-fil-A Kickoff...
Quin Blanding to Return for Senior Season at UVA
Football | 12/26/2016
Cavalier free safety Quin Blanding (Virginia Beach, Va.) announced today he would return to...
Jeff White: True Freshmen Provide Building Blocks
Football | 12/15/2016
Of the nine true freshmen who played for Virginia this fall, many made significant contributions,...
Jeff White: Offseason Work Under Way for Cavaliers
Football | 12/14/2016
Virginia, which finished 2-10 in its first year under Bronco Mendenhall, opens the 2017 season...
Kiser Named Second Team All-American by FWAA
Football | 12/12/2016
Virginia junior inside linebacker Micah Kiser (Baltimore, Md.) was named a second-team All-Americ...
Blanding, Conte and Kiser Earn Coaches All-ACC
Football | 12/08/2016
Free safety Quin Blanding, punter Nicholas Conte and inside linebacker Micah Kiser are Virginia's...
- Online Stores