PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- Pittsburgh's first game as a ranked team in 11 years was not an easy one.
Defensive end Claude Harriott returned a fumble 11 yards for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter as 23rd-ranked Pittsburgh rallied for a 29-22 victory over Temple in the Big East Conference.
Fresh off a huge win at then-No. 3 Virginia Tech, the Panthers (8-2, 5-0 Big East) moved into the national rankings this week, but were on the verge of falling out of the polls with a sluggish effort against the Owls (3-7, 1-4).
Pittsburgh escaped on Saturday, moving ahead for good when Temple's Mike McGann was sacked under a heavy rush and Harriott returned the ensuing fumble for a score to break a 22-22 tie.
Pittsburgh recorded its third defensive touchdown of the season.
Rod Rutherford threw two touchdown passes and ran for a score for the Panthers, who improved to 8-2 for the first time since 1983 and visit top-ranked Miami in their next game on November 21.
The Owls limited Rutherford to 125 passing yards and sacked him four times, but were unable to overcome four turnovers.
Rutherford completed TD passes of 14 yards to Kris Wilson in the first quarter and four yards to Larry Fitzgerald in the third. Rutherford scored on a one-yard run in the third quarter to give the Panthers their first lead at 22-19.
Cap Poklemba kicked field goals of 41, 23, 33, 38 and 20 yards for the Owls. His fifth field goal with 43 seconds left in the third quarter broke a Big East record and tied the game at 22-22.
Brandon Miree, who had the winning 53-yard touchdown run against Virginia Tech, was limited to 40 yards on 15 carries this week.
Pittsburgh, which is 5-0 in conference play for the first time, fell behind 16-7 early in the second quarter. Tanardo Sharps scored on a five-yard run and Poklemba kicked three field goals in the first half.