Pitt 54, Duke 34
What Happened: Maurice Ffrench caught 25-yard touchdown pass with five seconds to play to break a 45-45 tie to give Pitt a thrilling win. It was a back-and-forth game in a wild shootout with absolutely no defense. Duke’s Daniel Jones threw four touchdown passes – highlighted by a 74-yard scoring play to Deon Jackson early in the third for a 28-17 lead and a 68-yarder to Johnathan Lloyd to tie it a 45 – but the Panthers kept on coming.
Kenny Pickett threw two touchdown passes and ran for an early score for Pitt, but it was the ground game that rumbled all game long – Duke didn’t have any answers for the run, Pitt didn’t have any answers for the pass.
What Mattered: The Pitt running game was unstoppable with long play after long play, tearing off 484 yards and four scores. Qadree Ollison and V’Lique Carter combined for almost 300 yards – Carter ran seven times for 137 yards and two scores – for an attack that averaged 9.3 yards per carry.
– Duke ran for 223 yards and two scores, but it was Jones who went off, completing 27-of-43 passes for 396 yards and four scores. Pitt QB Kenny Pickett ran seven times for 76 yards and a score, but he only completed 8-of-18 passes for 150 yards and two touchdowns.
Thoughts: Now the Panthers have a real, live shot at getting to a bowl game. They have to when two of their last four, but Wake Forest is beatable on the road, and if the ground game can continue to rock like this, they have a shot to beat Virginia Tech at home or Miami on the road. However, three of these last four games are on the road.
– The Duke defense went bye-bye at the wrong time, losing three of the last four games with a trip to Miami coming up next. The Blue Devils might have five wins and just need one more to go bowling, but it’s going to be a rough finishing kick with – even with North Carolina and Wake Forest at home. They have to go on the road to face the Hurricanes and Clemson.