Mon, Dec 29, 2003 - Page 20 News List

Virginia beats Pittsburgh in Continental Tire Bowl


Virginia quarterback Matt Schaub, left, is stopped just short of the goal line by Pittsburgh's Claude Harriott in the first half of the Continental Tire Bowl in Charlotte, North Carolina, Saturday.


Virginia made it 2-for-2 in the Continental Tire Bowl, using solid defense to snap Heisman Trophy runner-up Larry Fitzgerald's record touchdown streak at 18 games in a 23-16 victory over Pittsburgh on Saturday.

Matt Schaub threw for 244 yards and a touchdown -- the 56th of his career, a Virginia record -- to earn the MVP award in the second-year bowl.

The Cavaliers (8-5) beat West Virginia here last season, and marked the sweep by running as a team to the far end zone.

Fitzgerald was held to five catches for 77 yards and failed to score a touchdown for the first time since Oct. 12, 2002.

Virginia prevented the Panthers (8-5) from even looking in Fitzgerald's direction very often -- they only threw to him six times in the game -- using a solid pass-rush that forced a costly fumble by quarterback Rod Rutherford.

Connor Hughes kicked a 39-yard field to give Virginia a 23-16 lead with 2:28 to play.

They got 45 yards from TuTu Ferguson on the ensuing kickoff, but Rutherford was sacked by Brennan Schmidt on the first play and Kai Parham recovered on the Pitt 37.

The Cavaliers then put the game away with a 17-yard run by Wali Lundy that moved them to the 17-yard line and allowed them to run out the clock.

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