PITTSBURGH — Lucas Krull caught a touchdown pass from Kenny Pickett in overtime and M.J. Devonshire intercepted Sam Howell to seal the victory as Pitt held on to defeat North Carolina, 30-23 in the extra period at Heinz Field on Thursday.
Pickett threw to Krull near the goal line and he powered his way into the end zone for the go-ahead score.
On North Carolina’s fourth down of overtime, Cam Bright flushed Howell from the pocket and Devonshire hauled in his desperation heave.
Pitt jumped out to a big lead with scores on three consecutive possessions in the first half, but saw that lead whittled away to nothing by the end of regulation.
Vincent Davis rushed for a 2-yard score on Pitt’s second drive. On the third, Pickett threw a 44-yard pass to Melquise Stovall that set Pitt up in the red zone. Pickett then found Gavin Bartholomew on a sprint out pass to his right for a 1-yard score.
After a North Carolina three-and-out, Pickett hit Jordan Addison for a 42-yard strike down field to set up a Sam Scarton 34-yard field goal.
North Carolina started its comeback when Howell found Antoine Green for a 76-yard score after Damarri Mathis fell down in coverage.
Jared Wayne scored on a 32-yard touchdown late in the second quarterback, but Scarton missed the extra point, which proved crucial later.
The Tar Heels then scored two touchdowns to claw to within a score, as Green caught a 23-yard from Howell and the UNC quarterback called his own number on a 4th and goal from one.
Pitt got the ball back with under five minutes to play and a three-point lead, but Pickett was intercepted on a screen pass and North Carolina got the ball back. After a Pitt defensive stand, Grayson Atkins kicked a 20-yard field to force overtime, but the Panthers were able to prevail in the extra period.
Pitt (8-2, 5-1 in ACC) will host Virginia next week. The Panthers need a win and a Miami loss to clinch the ACC Coastal Division.