Panthers fall to Northwestern 31-24 in Pinstripe Bowl

Posted on Dec 28 2016 - 6:22pm by Rachael McKriger
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The University of Pittsburgh Panthers did not get the Christmas wish they wanted. The Panthers fell to Northwestern University in the Pinstripe Bowl on Wednesday by a final score of 31-24.

The Panthers had a brutal day when it came to injuries. Running back James Conner and quarterback Nate Peterman both left the game due to injuries. Conner went first, going out in the second quarter, followed by Peterman’s exit in the third quarter.

Stepping in to rush the ball for Pitt was Quadree Henderson while Ben DiNucci took over for Peterman. Henderson rushed the ball six times for 76 yards, while Conner finished with eight rushes for 32 yards. Neither player scored a touchdown.

As for DiNucci, he threw 3/9 completed passes for a meager 16 yards. However, one of his touchdowns did connect with Jester Weah in the end zone for a Panthers touchdown. Weah had two big catches on the day for 75 yards, combined.

Peterman did score a touchdown before being helped off the field, but he rushed it in himself. In the air, Peterman completed 13/18 passes for 253 yards. Peterman threw one interception while DiNucci threw two. DiNucci’s touchdown pass found the hands of George Aston.

As for Northwestern, they were powered by running back Justin Jackson. Jackson rushed for three touchdowns and had 32 carries for 224 yards. In the air, Jackson caught two passes for nine yards.

Northwestern quarterback Clayton Thorson threw 23/36 completed passes for 214 yards. He, like Peterman, had one touchdown and one interception. His touchdown went into the arms of Garrett Dickerson, a fullback. His interception, on the other hand, found the arms of Avonte Maddox.

As for the kickers, Panthers kicker Chris Blewitt made 1/2 field goal attempts and all three of his extra point attempts. Meanwhile, for Northwestern, kicker Jack Mitchell made his lone field goal attempt and all four of his extra point attempts.

For both teams, their season is over, and another semester of college awaits them in the spring. In the fall, the Panthers will be without Peterman and Conner, who announced he would forgo his senior season to enter the 2017 NFL Draft.

The team will also have to find a new offensive coordinator, as Matt Canada has accepted the offensive coordinator position at LSU.

Photo of the Panthers courtesy of Vincent Carchietta-USA Today Sports.

Follow me on Twitter, @TheeMcKriger, for Panthers coverage.