PHOENIX, AZ (November, 18) – The Pittsburgh Panthers clinch their first ever ACC Coastal title to host the Clemson Tigers in the ACC Championship Game, set to be played on December 1st.
Back in August, Panthers head football coach Pat Narduzzi told reports that he and his team were going to be playing the ACC Championship game.
Early on, that statement seemed to fade into the “spoke-to-soon” category with paramount loses to Penn State (51-6) and Central Florida (45-14). Especially discombobulating and squandering over North Carolina (38-35).
All of a sudden, a change in the winds adjusted Pittsburgh to somehow manage a close defeat to the almighty Fighting Irish of Notre Dame, 19-14. With kicker Alex Kessman missing 2 field goal attempts earlier in the game, the Panthers couldn’t get it done on the road against Notre Dame.
Somehow, someway that game against Notre Dame seemed to be the turning point in the Panthers schedule. Pittsburgh went ahead and defeated ACC foes Duke, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest to capture their first ever Coastal title since joining the conference in 2013.
Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett had a career day passing for 316 yards and 3 touchdown passes which led to Wake Forests’ downfall. Although Wake Forests’ dormant run defense ranked 101st in the country coming into the game; the Panthers had another game plan in place.
Therefore, the tough schedule and all the doubts earlier in the season proved to shape the Pittsburgh Panthers season and not diminish their chances.
The Panthers finish off the regular season against in-conference division rival Miami Hurricanes. The game will be played live on ESPN set for 1:30PM Kickoff hosted at Hard Rock Stadium. After the Panthers wrap up their regular season, it’s off the Charlotte, North Carolina to face the Clemson Tigers for the ACC Championship.
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