Corey Griffin describes tipped pass that goes for touchdown

Corey Griffin followed Pittsburgh quarterback Nathan Peterman’s eyes, and they took him right to the ball. Coming from deep coverage, the Georgia Tech safety broke on Peterman’s fourth-quarter pass and got the result he wanted – his right hand on the ball.

However, the ball deflected off his hand and right to the intended target, tight end Scott Orndoff, who barely needed to break stride on his way to the end zone for a 74-yard touchdown reception. A successful pass breakup would have meant a 3rd-and-9 stop and Pitt punting the ball away with just under four minutes to play and Tech ahead 34-27.

Instead, the play tied the game up and set the stage for Tech giving the ball away on 4th-and-1 on the next possession, which gave Pitt the opportunity to win the game in the final seconds on a 31-yard field goal.

“I broke on the ball, got a hand on it, couldn’t quite two on it or else it would have been picked off,” Griffin said. “The ball came off my hand and went their way. Nothing we can do about it.”

Griffin said that he broke on the ball when he saw Orndoff coming down the seam and Peterman was staring him down. Had Griffin jumped the route an instant sooner, he could have probably gotten two hands on the ball. Griffin leapt and stretched high to tip the pass, not getting quite enough of his hand to knock it down.

“This was definitely a heartbreaker,” said Griffin, whose demeanor mirrored his choice of words. “They catch a touchdown off a deflected ball. So everything’s going our way, got momentum and they got a touchdown off a deflected ball. There’s nothing we can do but move on to Georgia Southern.”