Pitt Outlasts North Carolina, Ends Losing Streak 34-27 in OT

Pitt 34 North Carolina 27 - 2019 ACC Football

Its finally over. Finally. Almost 10 years. Yes, the monkey is “off our back” as Pitt Head Coach Pat Narduzzi put it.

Pitt ended a 6 game slide to the North Carolina Tar Heels last night 34-27 in OT at Heinz Field. It was the Panthers first win versus the Tar Heels in ACC play and since Pitt won 19-17 in the Tire Bowl on Dec 26, 2009.

After losing the opening toss, North Carolina drove the ball down to the Pitt 38 yard line. Thats when they decided to go for it on 4th and 1. However, Tar Heels tailback Antonio Williams was stopped cold for a 1 yard loss and Pitt took over on downs.

Pitt would drive back down the field in the other direction and settle for a 41 yard field goal from Panthers junior placekicker Alex Kessman. Pitt 3 UNC 0.

North Carolina would answer immediately back. Marching 6 plays for 78 yards, true freshman Tar Heels QB Sam Howell threw a pretty corner route TD to WR Beau Corrales for 21 yards that was also called for defensive pass interference. UNC 7 Pitt 3.

Pitt junior QB Kenny Pickett would drive Pitt back down the field on the ensuing drive. The Panthers would face a 4th and 3 at the Tar Heels 7 yard line. Coach Narduzzi elected to go for it on 4th down and was nearly rewarded. However, Pickett’s pass fell incomplete to Pitt junior WR Taysir Mack in the end zone.

After forcing the Tar Heels to punt on the next series, Pitt went right back to work on offense.

First, Pickett connected with Pitt sophomore WR V’Lique Carter for 9 yards to the Pitt 42 for a 1ST down.

Then after Pickett failed to connect with Mack, he threw a pretty bubble screen to junior tailback A.J. Davis for 28 yards to the UNC 30 yard line.

Pickett would then miss on another swing pass to Mack which set up a 3 yard Davis run to the North Carolina 27 yard line.

On 3rd and 7, North Carolina’s cornerback DeAndre Hollins was called for a 15 yard pass interference.

Davis would then run for 4 yards to the UNC 8 yard line before Pickett zipped a pass on a curl route to Mack for 6 yards to the UNC 2 yard line.

Pickett would salt the drive with a 2 yard TD scamper. Pitt 10 UNC 7.

Pitt would stop North Carolina on the next series before Pickett threw his longest pass of the year.

Pickett dropped a dime to Pitt sophomore WR Shocky Jacques-Louis and on one play, Pitt marched 74 yards to pay dirt. Pitt 17 UNC 7.

UNC would tack on a Noah Ruggles 25 yard field goal to inch closer. Pitt 17 UNC 10.

Kessman would miss a chip shot 26 yard field goal on the next series after the Panthers marched down the field on 11 plays for 75 yards.

North Carolina though attempted a late comeback before the half but Howell’s 1st down pass at the Panthers 31 yard line was intercepted by Pitt junior cornerback Damarri Mathis. Pitt 17 UNC 10 at the half.

After trading punts to open the second half, Pitt grinded out one of its most impressive drives of the season.

First, Davis ran for 4 yards to the Pitt 19 before Jacques-Louis ran for 12 yards to the Pitt 31.

Pickett would miss on a pass to Pitt senior TE Will Gragg but he connected with Davis for 5 yards that was called back on offensive holding by Pitt center Jimmy Morrissey.

Pickett then threw a bullet to Pitt senior TE Nakia Griffin-Stewart for 28 yards to the UNC 46 yard line.

Pickett would then run for 6 yards before tossing a shallow cross to Mack for 3 yards to the UNC 37

Davis then ran for 8 yards before Pickett’s next pass fell incomplete to Jacques-Louis.

Davis though tacked on a 3 yard run before Pickett threw a strike to Pitt sophomore WR Jared Wayne for 10 yards to the UNC 16.

Pickett would reconnect with Wayne for 6 yards before Davis salted the drive with runs of 2 and 8 yards to put Pitt up 24-10 over UNC.

Davis finished the day with 19 carries for 58 yards while Pickett had his best day ever as a Pitt Panther throwing 359 yards on 25 for 41 passing.

Pitt would surrender 2 more Howell