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Stephens-Howling's three touchdowns helps Pittsburgh blast UCF

Oct 14, 2006 - 3:31 AM ORLANDO, Florida (Ticker) -- Pittsburgh scored early and often to make life miserable for Central Florida.

LaRod Stephens-Howling and Tyler Palko combined for four first-half touchdowns as the Panthers breezed to a 52-7 triumph over the Golden Knights in a non-conference matchup.

Pittsburgh (6-1, 2-0 Big East) is off to its best start in since in 1982 when Hall of Famer Dan Marino led the program to an impressive 7-0 beginning. The Panthers' lone defeat this season came on September 16 against Michigan State.

A 5-7 true freshman, Stephens-Howling carried 19 times for 135 yards, including TD runs of 23, 26 and six yards for the Panthers, who built a commanding 38-0 halftime bulge.

Palko completed 11-of-15 passes for 172 yards and two touchdowns for Pittsburgh, which opened the contest with a 97-yard kickoff return by Lowell Robinson.

Kevin Smith ran for 62 yards and backup quarterback Kyle Israel threw for 161 yards for the Golden Knights (3-3, 1-1 Conference USA), who committed four first-half turnovers. Starter Steven Moffett left the game in the third and did not return.

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