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Pitt-Wake Forest Monday Morning Aftermath: Kings of the Coastal



Pitt 34 – Wake Forest 13

There were two paths to the ACC Coastal Division championship for Pitt Panthers. End any sort of drama by beating Wake Forest this week, snatch the crown with a win on the road in Miami next week, or have Virginia lose either of its next two games.

Pitt chose the easy way.

It turns out that regardless of the outcome of their game versus Wake Forest, Pitt would have officially won their share of the Coastal after Virginia lost to Georgia Tech, 30-27 in overtime. But why leave any doubt? The Panthers took control after a shaky first half, scoring two touchdowns in the third and fourth quarters and holding the Demon Deacons to just a field goal to win 34 to 13.

Unable to run effectively, Pitt took to the air. Kenny Pickett’s first 300-yard game couldn’t have come at a better time as the Panthers took advantage of Wake’s commitment to taking away the run game. Qadree Ollison’s 52-yards on the ground were a team high and the Panthers averaged only 3.3-yards per rush. But Pitt held Wake to just 285-yards of total offense and forced two turnovers, while racking up 470-yards of their own.

And if the ACC Coastal Title and a trip to Charlotte for the ACC Championship Game weren’t enough, Pitt now finds itself ranked for the first time since 2016.

Mueller: Eating crow about Narduzzi and the Panthers

DiPaola: Narduzzi’s proclamation comes true

DiPaola: Five reasons why Pitt is the ACC Coastal champion

Batko: Kenny Pickett ‘lights out’

USA Today: College football winners and losers

The Panthers finally crack the top 50 in ESPN’s FPI ranks, moving up to 48th. Their efficiency ratings are a little better at 38th overall (offense 16th, defense 66th and special teams 75th). However Pitt’s still only given a 20.4% chance of beating Miami and only 4.2% against Clemson in the ACC Championship game.

Pitt still can’t get any love from S&P+ ratings. They sit at 54th, behind two teams they’ve beaten on the year, Syracuse and Virginia.

ACC Beat

Georgia Tech moves up to 2nd in the Coastal by beating Virginia … Boston College drops the rankings after losing to Florida State … Clemson, Syracuse and Pitt are the only remaining ACC teams in either the Coaches or AP polls.

  • UNC 49 – WCU 26
  • Miami 38 – Virginia Tech 14
  • Georgia Tech 30 – Virginia 27 (OT)
  • Clemson 35 – Duke 6
  • Notre Dame 36 – Syracuse 3
  • Florida State 22 – Boston College 21
  • NC State 52 – Louisville 10

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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