Pitt was able to take the weekend off before heading to Louisville in a week, but that doesn’t mean the ACC as a whole took it easy.
There were only four games played in the ACC over the weekend, but the results, nonetheless, impacted Pitt’s path going forward. Of the eight teams that played Saturday, Pitt already played one (Virginia Tech) and will play four more (Miami, Syracuse, Duke, North Carolina).
At 4-2 (1-1 ACC), Pitt is in solid shape in the ACC Coastal. But a game against North Carolina and the future of Georgia Tech will be huge in deciding Pitt’s fate in the quest to repeat as ACC Coastal champs.
So, how did those ACC games unfold this weekend?
Miami: 20, Virginia Tech: 14
Miami quarterback Tyler Van Dyke continued his mid-season resurgence with a 351-yard, two-touchdown performance in a 20-14 win over Virginia Tech.
Miami jumped out to a 20-0 lead by the third quarter, and despite two fourth quarter Virginia Tech rushing touchdowns, it was too little, too late for the Hokies. Virginia Tech mustered just 257 total yards and turned the ball over once.
It was a win that pushed Miami back to 3-3 overall and 1-1 in the conference this season, and perhaps even more importantly, served as a way to continue to boost Van Dyke.
Virginia Tech lost its fourth game in a row, dropping to 2-5 (1-3 ACC) this season.
Pitt has already defeated Virginia Tech this season, fueled by a record-breaking performance from Israel Abanikanda last weekend, and will play Miami on Nov. 26 in the last week of the season.
Syracuse: 24, North Carolina State: 9
Without quarterback Devin Leary, who will officially miss the remainder of the 2022 season, North Carolina State fell easily to Syracuse inside the JMA Wireless Dome.
Despite losing the turnover battle, a lack of offensive spark from the Wolfpack led to Syracuse’s balanced offensive attack (210 yards and two touchdowns from Garrett Shrader and 98 yards and a touchdown from Sean Tucker) leading to a 24-9 victory.
The Syracuse win pushed the Orange to 6-0 for the third time since 1935 with the upset of NC State, and it’s a Syracuse team that is surprisingly in the thick of the ACC Atlantic race.
Unfortunately for North Carolina State, the loss pushes the Wolfpack to 5-2 on the season but 1-2 in a competitive Atlantic.
Pitt will not be playing North Carolina State this season, but Syracuse will be visiting Pittsburgh on Nov. 5.
Clemson: 34, Florida State: 28
Florida State’s slate of games against ranked opponents has ended with a third straight loss — this time with a 34-28 loss to Clemson.
Clemson quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei was efficient (15-of-23 for 203 yards and three touchdowns), Will Shipley was a capable run threat (121 yards on 20 carries) and despite being outgained, Clemson left Doak Campbell Stadium with a crucial road win.
Clemson’s perfect season continued, remaining in the thick of the Atlantic division race, despite an imperfect performance. The loss pushed FSU to 4-3 on the season but 1-3 in the conference.
Clemson’s redemption season continues while Florida State’s strong start has melted away.
Pitt will not be playing Clemson or Florida State this season.
North Carolina: 38, Duke: 35
Duke battled to a late fourth quarter lead against North Carolina, but it wasn’t late enough to stop UNC’s Drake Maye from leading a game-winning touchdown drive at the buzzer.
Maye’s 380-yard, three-touchdown performance (capped by an 8-yard touchdown toss with just 16 seconds left) lifted North Carolina to a big ACC Coastal victory against Duke, 38-35.
In a game in which both UNC and Duke crossed the 500-yard mark in total offense, Maye’s star emergence continued in leading the Tar Heels to a victory. UNC now sits at 6-1 (3-0 ACC), controlling its destiny in the division.
A surprisingly strong Duke season now sits at 4-3 (1-2 ACC) with losses to Kansas, Georgia Tech and UNC.
Pitt will face North Carolina in Chapel Hill in two weeks and will then host Duke on Nov. 19. The UNC matchup will be pivotal in Pitt retaining hope to repeat as ACC champs.