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Pitt prevails at Akron, 24-7

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — Qadree Ollison rushed for 81 yards and a touchdown on Saturday night, powering Pittsburgh to a 24-7 victory over Akron.

The 6-foot-2, 230-pound freshman logged 21 carries despite leaving the field twice with minor left leg injuries. Nate Peterman added an 18-yard scoring pass to J.P. Holtz as the Panthers (2-0) held off the Zips (0-2) at waterlogged InfoCision Stadium. A soaking rain began two hours before kickoff and continued the entire game.

Peterman completed 12 of 17 attempts for 148 yards, while fellow junior Tyler Boydreturned from a one-game suspension to make 11 catches for 95 yards. The junior sat out Pitt’s season opener after being charged with driving under the influence in June.

Mid-American Conference member Akron upset the Panthers 21-10 last Sept. 27 atHeinz Field, but was unable to repeat the feat at home. The attendance of 23,425 was the second largest in stadium history.

Ollison rushed for 207 second-half yards and a touchdown on Sept. 5 as Pitt outlasted Youngstown State 45-37. His yardage total was the most by a freshman in his debut in school history.

Reigning Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year James Conner had been the Panthers’ starting running back, but suffered a season-ending right knee injury against the Penguins.

The Zips took a 7-3 lead on Conor Hundley’s 32-yard TD run midway through the second quarter, but Peterman found Holtz on the goal line with 44 seconds left in the first half to put Pitt in front for good.

Ollison crashed in from 2 yards out in the third to extend the Panthers’ advantage to 17-7, while Darrin Hall closed out the scoring with a 5-yard TD run with 2:51 left in the fourth.

Zips sophomore Tra’Von Chapman, who spent one semester at Pitt before being dismissed from the program, went 4 for 14 passing for 29 yards.

Pitt outgained Akron 307-110 and held the Zips to eight first downs. Hundley gained a team-high 59 yards on 11 carries.

Akron kicked off its fourth season under coach Terry Bowden with a 41-3 loss at No. 19 Oklahoma on Sept. 5. Chapman misfired on all eight of his pass attempts against the Sooners and tossed two incompletions to open the evening against the Panthers.