Jim Everett threw incomplete on two potential game-winning, two-point conversion plays with less than a minute remaining as Pittsburgh withstood a 398-yard passing barrage by the Purdue quarterback to edge the Boilermakers, 31-30, Saturday night at Pittsburgh.
Everett, completing 34 of 53 passes, fired a desperation 31-yard scoring pass to Ray Wallace after a key pass interference call on a fourth-and-17 kept the Boilermakers' last-chance drive alive.
Everett then threw incomplete on a two-point conversion attempt, but Purdue was given a second chance at winning the game when the Panthers were again whistled for interference. Passing this time from the Pitt 2-yard line, Everett had tight end Jack Beery wide open in the end zone, but bounced the ball a foot in front of him with no Panther defenders in sight.
Charles Gladman ran for 167 yards and two touchdowns, and John Congemi threw a pair of scoring passes as Pittsburgh built a 24-10 halftime lead.
But the Boilermakers rallied and even took a 24-21 lead in the third quarter on the strength of two touchdown passes by Everett.
Gladman, a sophomore tailback, exploded for a 10-yard scoring run on the first play of the fourth quarter to cap a 73-yard drive and put Pitt back in the lead, 28-24. Gladman, who split playing time last season with the now-ineligible Craig Heyward, then reeled off runs of 12, 4 and 7 yards during a Pitt drive that ended in Mark Brasco's eventual game-winning 43-yard field goal with 9:23 remaining.
Air Force 48, Texas El Paso 6--Quarterback Bart Weiss ran for a first-quarter touchdown and passed 60 yards to halfback Kelly Pittman for another as the Falcons crushed the turnover- and penalty-plagued Miners at Colorado Springs, Colo.
Weiss' scoring run and his long pass to Pittman put the Falcons ahead, 14-0, less than seven minutes into the Western Athletic Conference game.
Two subsequent UTEP turnovers set up two Air Force field goals, and late in the first half A.J. Scott intercepted a Sammy Garza pass to set up another Falcon score--a 1-yard dive by Randy Jones--for a 27-0 halftime lead.
Cincinnati 31, Virginia Tech 14--Quarterback Dan McCoin threw for one touchdown and ran for another, and Cincinnati took advantage of a blocked punt and five turnovers to win this opener at Cincinnati.
Junior Reggie Taylor carried 28 times for 121 yards and another touchdown for Cincinnati, which was 2-9 a year ago. Virginia Tech was 8-4 last season, including a loss to Air Force in the Independence Bowl.
McCoin, making his first start, completed 16 of 23 passes without an interception for 164 yards.