Sept. 16, 2000
By TODD SPANGLER
Associated Press Writer
PITTSBURGH - A rout of Louisiana Tech a week ago is a distant memory for Penn State.
John Turman threw for 272 yards and a touchdown and Nick Lotz hit a pair of field goals as Pittsburgh beat Penn State 12-0 Saturday at Three Rivers Stadium.
In the last scheduled game of the series between the intrastate rivals, Penn State's offense was limited to just 64 yards on the ground, and key sacks and penalties kept the Nittany Lions from threatening.
"I thought we would play well, and I thought we started well," Penn State coach Joe Paterno said. "But then it just got away from us. Everyone was looking around, waiting for something to happen."
Turman, who shared time with redshirt freshman Rod Rutherford at quarterback, was 11-for-19 with one interception. David Priestley, who platooned with Turman in wins against Kent State and Bowling Green, did not play for the Panthers (3-0).
It was Pittsburgh's first win against Penn State (1-3) since a 14-7 victory at State College in 1988. The Panthers lost 20-17 last year when LaVar Arrington blocked Lotz's field-goal attempt with four seconds left.
Penn State opened the season with losses to Southern Cal and Toledo before beating Louisiana Tech 67-7 a week ago.
Rutherford, a product of Pittsburgh's Perry Traditional Academy, scored the game's only touchdown, taking a pass from Turman 62 yards. The freshman, who practiced at receiver, made his first collegiate reception a big one. However, the two-point conversion failed.
"Rod slipped into a free zone and then he made a great run. It was a sweet play," said Turman, a senior. "Last year we were so close. This time we did it.
Lotz hit a 39-yard field goal at 8:38 of the fourth quarter to give the Panthers a 12-0 lead. Lotz's 29-yard field goal in the second quarter opened the scoring.
Late in the fourth quarter, Pittsburgh had fourth-and-goal from the 10, but Turman threw incomplete to Latef Grim, who finished the game with two receptions for 62 yards. Antonio Bryant also caught three passes for 70 yards.
Rashard Casey drove Penn State to the Panthers 40-yard line, but defensive end Bryan Knight knocked down Casey's pass to Eddie Drummond on fourth-and-6 with 49 seconds remaining.
"We never thought about the shutout at all coming into the game," said Knight, who sacked Casey three times. "What we thought about was stopping the run and controlling the pass. We did both those things.
David Kimball missed a 50-yard field goal for Penn State late in the third quarter.
Both offenses hurt themselves with penalties in the first half.
Penn State had two first-quarter drives stalled by offensive pass interference calls. The second came late in the opening quarter on a 24-yard pass from Casey to Kenny Watson that would have put the Nittany Lions on the Panthers 22 yard line.
The penalty pushed Penn State back to its own 39 and two plays later the Nittany Lions were forced to punt.
The Panthers had a 20-yard touchdown pass from Turman to Grim called back for an illegal receiver downfield. It led to Lotz's first field goal and a 3-0 lead at halftime.
The loss denied Penn State coach Joe Paterno his 319th career win, which would have tied him for second with Pop Warner among major college coaches.
Penn State is 1-3 for the first time since 1983, when it started 0-3. Pittsburgh's last 3-0 start was in 1991, when it opened with five wins.
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