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Pitt-Syracuse Monday Morning Aftermath: Back on Track?

Pitt-Syracuse Monday Morning Aftermath: Back on Track?

Pitt 44 – Syracuse 37

The Panthers clawed out a victory over the Orange at Heinz Field on Saturday afternoon thanks primarily to the near-unstoppable running back duo of Qadree Ollison and Darrin Hall and an opportunistic defense. Ollison finished with 192 yards, Hall had 107, Dane Jackson had a pick-up-the-ball-off-the-ground-6 and Therran Coleman sealed the win with an interception off Syracuse QB Eric Dungey in overtime. Somewhat forgotten in all of this, Pitt kicker Alex Kessman’s clutch game. The redshirt sophomore made two kicks of 50+ yards and one at the end of regulation to send it into overtime. He also now owns the longest field goal in Heinz Field history.

DiPaola: Pitt right in the thick of the ACC Coastal race

Batko: Kessman kicks his way into the record books

View from the other side: Syracuse gashed by running game again

Gorman: Five things about Pitt-Syracuse

Dave’s best photos

Movin’ on up: Pitt’s up to 72nd in ESPN’s Football Power Index and up to 12 spots to 73rd in Football Outsiders S&P+ rankings. However, the Panthers are still projected to lose every game from here on out.

As far as efficiencies go, Pitt’s offense is 55th and defense is 90th. One positive note, Pitt’s special teams is ranked 52nd, a step in the right direction as they finished 82nd in 2016 and 2017, and that was with Quadree Henderson returning kicks and punts.

The good news is Pitt is back in the hunt for the Coastal and actually control their own destiny… all they have to do is beat Virginia Tech and Miami.

Next week takes us to South Bend, Indiana and a date with the number five team in the country, the Notre Dame Fightin’ Irish. Could this be this year’s patented Pitt upset? Unlike the Clemson and Miami wins in year’s past, a loss by the Irish would probably derail their Playoff chances. While a Pitt victory would certainly juice the fanbase and give the team some needed national attention, it won’t effect their ACC chances either way.

ACC Beat

Take Lamar Jackson out of Louisville and they immediately become one of the worst Power 5 schools in the country … Miami avoids the upset with a furious fourth quarter comeback to beat FSU … NC State moves up to 20th in the AP Top 25; they’re one of just three ACC teams, along with Clemson and Miami, in the AP rankings … Virginia Tech drops out after getting blown out by Notre Dame at home … UNC, Duke and Virginia all had the week off.

  • Georgia Tech 66 – Louisville 31
  • NC State 28 – Boston College 23
  • Miami 28 – Florida State 27
  • Notre Dame 45 – Virginia Tech 23
  • Clemson 63 – Wake Forest 3

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker

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