Hawks rally past Pitt 24-20 - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Hawks rally past Pitt 24-20

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PITTSBURGH (KWWL) -

 C.J. Beathard led the charge. The sophomore quarterback, replacing an injured Jake Rudock, led 3 straight second half scoring drives as Iowa rallied past Pitt 24-20.

The Hawkeyes fell behind early on as Pitt had their ground game going. James Conner tallied 100 first half rushing yards, while Panther freshman Chris James opened the game with a 14 yard touchdown run.

Iowa responded with a long drive featuring a great 44 yard reception by Matt Vandeberg, the longest of his career. Jake Rudock capped the drive on 4th and 2, hitting a wide open Henry Krieger Coble for the tying 13 yard score. Rudock's injury would come late in the first half.

Pitt, however, took the momentum in to halftime with a pair of scores. Connor capped off a 75 yard drive with a 1 yard run for a 14-7 lead. The Panthers finished the half with a quick drive in to Hawkeye territory, as kicker Chris Blewitt put them ahead 17-7 with a 33 yard field goal in the final seconds of the half.

The second half was a different story. With Beathard under center, the Hawkeye offense came to life. The sophomore hit Damond Powell on a 63 yard strike as Powell made a spectacular over-the-shoulder, one handed grab for the big gain. Beathard finished the game completing 7 of 8 passes for 98 yards.  Mark Weisman capped it with a 10 yard touchdown run, the 19th of his career, to pull the Hawks within 3.

After the teams traded field goals, Iowa embarked on what would be the game winning drive capped by Weisman's 1 yard touchdown run for a 24-20 lead with 6:56 remaining.

The Iowa defense did the rest, first holding on a 4th and 10 with under 2 minutes remaining. After that, Pitt had one last chance. That chance ended when Anthony Gair picked off Chad Voytik as time expired.

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