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Navy Sinks Pittsburgh In Double-OT

by Mike Mitchell
October 10, 2007

Head coaches Paul Johnson of Navy and Dave Wannstedt of Pittsburgh rolled the dice, and Johnson won.

It was Pittsburgh's half of the second overtime and the Panthers had just missed converting a 2-1/2-yard touchdown pass attempt on 3rd down, but Wannstedt's team was also flagged on the play. Johnson decided to decline the penalty and put Pitt in a 4th-down situation trailing by just 3 points. Wannstedt's choices were to either kick the field goal and play a third overtime, or go for the win.

Wannstedt chose to go for victory, but an overthrown fade pass to the right side of the end zone gave Navy the 48-45 win.

It was a nip-tuck game all night with both teams scoring on their first three possessions of the first half. The first time either squad failed to score on a drive was Navy's missed 35-yard field goal just before halftime and the teams went to the locker room deadlocked at 21.

Pitt took its first lead of the game on a 2-yard run by freshman running back LeSean McCoy with 10:25 left in the third. Navy answered on the next series with a 1-yard run by Shun White. Back-and-forth they went. Later, Joey Bullen's 38-yard field goal re-tied the game at 38 with 4:57 left. Bullen tried a 48-yard game-winner with 7 seconds left in regulation but it fell well short.

In the first overtime, Pitt took seven plays to go ahead 45-38 on a 1-yard run by quarterback Pat Bostick. One play later, the Midshipmen scored on a 25-yard pass from Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada to Reggie Campbell who was all alone in the front-right corner of the end zone.

In the second overtime, Navy settled for a 29-yard field goal by Bullen after Kaheaku-Enhada was sacked on a 3rd-and-6 from the Panthers' 9-yard line. Pittsburgh appeared to be marching toward the win as its first play netted 16 yards on a pass to set up 1st-and-goal at the 9. McCoy carried to the 3 on the next play. needed just two plays to reach the Navy 3, but he was stuffed outside the 2-yard line on his next carry.

Navy improved to 4-2 with the win, and 1-1 in overtime games this season. The Midshipmen lost 34-31 in single-overtime to Ball State on September 15.

Wannstedt is 0-3 in overtime games at Pitt, losing one each season. The Panthers have lost four in-a-row to drop to 2-4, and are in severe danger of missing the bowl season for the third time in Wannstedt's three seasons at his alma mater. 

The Midshipmen entered the contest averaging 348 rushing yards per game to rank second nationally. They rolled up 336 on Pitt, but scored three touchdowns through the air as Kaheaku-Enhada completed 9-of-12 for 166 yards. Kaheaku-Enhada also ran for 122 yards and a touchdown.

McCoy finished with 165 yards rushing and three touchdowns for Pitt, while Bostick completed 20-of-28 throws for 191 yards and an interception.