It can never be easy.
That’s basically the tenet of every Pitt football fan, but it’s truly been hammered home in the last four weeks and last night was no exception. After racing out to a 26-3 lead on the back of an opportunistic defense, the Panthers decided to inject life directly into the Blue Devils. Midway through the seemingly neverending third quarter, disaster struck. A fumble by Paris Ford, a fumble from Dontavious Butler-Jenkins an interception by Kenny Pickett and the game completely turned around. When Duke took the lead with 90 seconds remaining, it seemed like all hope was lost. The Panthers hadn’t been able to move the ball much at all in the second half and were facing the prospect of having to drive 82 yards for a touchdown.
Turns out they only needed four plays and 47 seconds.
It wasn’t quite a “Pitt Special” but it was an unbelievable individual effort by V’Lique Carter and a great drive engineered by Kenny Pickett and Mark Whipple.
THE SPIN MOVE.
— ACC Network (@accnetwork) October 6, 2019
THE FINAL SCORE
THE PUNDITS SPEAK
- Northam: Takeaways from Pitt’s season saving comeback win
- DeCock: Pitt-Duke was pure, unadulterated ACC Coastal
- McGonigal: Paris Ford’s breakout
- Peak: Another strong statement by the defense
- Vukovcan: Pitt must fix running game
With 1:29 left and up by four, Duke had a 95.1% chance of beating Pitt. pic.twitter.com/gnnGdnWgzT
— Amanda Godsey (@AmandaFGodsey) October 6, 2019
THE NUMBERS SAY…
Pitt moves up two spots to #57 in the latest SP+ rankings. The defense is now a top 15 unit. ESPN’s FPI has the Panthers as underdogs in two of the remaining six games. Pitt is a narrow favorite at Syracuse in two weeks but still a slight underdog at home versus Miami and North Carolina.
Here is the Eckrich Team of the Week for week 6 on the defensive side of the ball! pic.twitter.com/6okzNxiY1b
— PFF College (@PFF_College) October 6, 2019
A needed bye week. The Panthers will rest up before heading to Syracuse to take on Dino Babers’ team, the ACC preseason darlings who so far this year have wins over Liberty, Western Michigan and Holy Cross. The Orange will face off against North Carolina State on Thursday, which should give us a better read on what kind of team they really are.
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The ACC is on the rise, with not two but three teams in the AP Top 25 this week! Undefeated Clemson tops the list at #2 followed by Wake Forest at #19 and Virginia at #20. Pitt received two votes. Most of the division had the week off.
Louisville 41 – Boston College 39
Virginia Tech 42 – Miami 35
North Carolina 38 – Georgia Tech 22
— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) October 6, 2019