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Phil Jurkovec has big game in Pitt debut, a rout of Wofford

Sep 2, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Pittsburgh Panthers tight end Gavin Bartholomew (86) makes a catch as Wofford Terriers linebacker David Powers (34) during the second quarter at Acrisure Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Playing quarterback for his hometown team for the first time, Phil Jurkovec threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score as Pitt rolled past visiting Wofford 45-7 in the season opener for both teams.

Rodney Hammond Jr. had two touchdown runs and Daniel Carter added another as the Panthers dominated the Football Bowl Subdivision Terriers in the first-ever meeting of the teams.

Jurkovec, a Boston College transfer who started his college career at Notre Dame in 2018, completed 17 of 23 passes for 214 yards.

He scored on a 23-yard keeper in the second quarter and capped the opening drive of the second half with a 1-yard scoring pass to Karter Johnson.

After starting 2-for-4, Jurkovec completed his next eight passes, all for gains of at least 10 yards as he directed touchdown drives on four straight possessions. The surge gave the Panthers a 28-0 halftime lead.

The Pitt defense overwhelmed Wofford of the Southern Conference, limiting the Terriers to 126 yards and seven first downs. On 19 rushes, the Terriers netted minus 1 yard.

Bam Brima had one of Pitt’s four sacks and added a fumble recovery, ending Wofford’s deepest drive of the first three quarters at the Panthers’ 46.

Wofford quarterback Bryce Corriston completed 12 of 17 passes for 127 yards. He accounted for the Terriers’ lone score, throwing a 75-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Parker with 1:13 left.

It was a return to Pittsburgh for Wofford head coach Shawn Watson, who was the Panthers offensive coordinator in 2018-19, under current Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi.

Watson was promoted in the offseason after guiding the Terriers to a 3-3 mark as their interim head coach last season.

Coming off a 9-4 season, Pitt produced 491 yards and 29 first downs. The Panthers didn’t commit a turnover and scored on all five of their opportunities in the red zone.

Carter carried 11 times for 65 yards to lead the Panthers rushing attack.

Pitt’s final score came with 1:27 left when Christian Veilleux tossed a 39-yard touchdown pass to Jake McConnachie.

–Field Level Media