You’ll hear people say that a win is a win and style points don’t matter. Pitt undoubtedly got the win part as they traveled to Syracuse and downed the Orange, 27-20 on Friday night. Style points? That’s another matter as the Panthers squandered a 24-6 halftime lead. In the second half, Pitt was outscored 14-3 and weren’t assured victory until A.J. Davis converted on a 3rd-and-2 with 1:46 left in the game. The Panthers didn’t adjust well after halftime and Syracuse’s quarterback change breathed some life into a team that looked like it was going to get blown out. Yes, it’s a win. But apparently the voters are still skeptical as Pitt still hasn’t entered the Top 25 in either poll.
Pitt’s defense racked up nine sacks, bringing their season total to 36, seven more than 2nd place Ohio State. The Panthers didn’t force any turnovers, but outgained the Orange 377 to 328.
The Panthers move to 5-2 (2-1 ACC), but will need at least one more in-conference loss by Virginia to move into 1st in the Coastal.
THE FINAL SCORE
THE PUNDITS SPEAK
- Vukovcan: Special times ahead for the Panthers
- Saunders: Five takeaways from another close game
- DiPaola: Winning streak looks good, but Pitt needs to address issues
- Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician: The view from the other side
- Mueller: Pitt’s defense gives them a chance for Coastal repeat
ACC play since ’14
— 💫🅰️♈️🆔 (@ADavidHaleJoint) October 19, 2019
THE NUMBERS SAY…
Pitt is all the way up to #52 in the SP+ rankings. And that’s not a typo, the Panthers find themselves behind 2-5 Purdue and 2-5 Tennessee. In some ways it’s an indictment of the ACC as much as skepticism about Pitt. Only Clemson (#6), Miami (#30), Virginia (#35) and Wake Forest (#45) are ranked higher. Pitt has the 110th rated offense, the 94th ranked special teams and the 15th best defense in the country.
In ESPN’s FPI, the Panthers are ranked 55th and are slight favorites in all of their remaining games except at home against North Carolina on November 14. FPI predicts an 8-4 record when it’s all said and done.
ESPN’s bowl projections have Pitt in the Music City bowl against Kentucky and the Pinstripe Bowl against Michigan State.
Paris Ford was named to PFF’s National Team of the Week. He only played one half.
— PFF College (@PFF_College) October 20, 2019
Homecoming and the Miami Hurricanes. Miami is probably as talented (on paper) as any team in the Top 25 but have been wildly inconsistent. Two weeks ago they swamped Virginia 17-9 and then followed it up by losing to Georgia Tech, one of the worst teams in the nation. Which team will show up next week?
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The dilemma of the voters, which non-Clemson ACC teams do we have to grudgingly vote for? This week’s answers: Wake Forest, again. the Demon Deacons went into Florida State and took out the Seminoles 22-20. They were rewarded with the number 25 ranking in the AP Top 25. Pitt and Virginia are among the teams in the “also receiving votes”.
Clemson 45 – Louisville 10
Boston College 45 – NC State 24
Georgia Tech 28 – Miami 24 (OT)
Virginia 48 – Duke 14
Virginia Tech 43 – UNC 41 (6 OT)
Wake Forest 22 – Florida State 20
One for the road
Friday night mood. pic.twitter.com/m8BIaJccsX
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) October 19, 2019