sunny.png
Friday July 10th, 2020 11:02AM

Freshman Pickett leads Pitt to 24-14 upset over No. 2 Miami

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Miami spent the better part of 13 months putting together the nation's longest winning streak behind a series of comebacks that returned the swagger to "The U" in all of its "Turnover Chain" glory.

Sluggish throughout the first half against Pittsburgh on Friday, the Hurricanes figured they'd come out for the third quarter, hit the gas and survive just the way they've done time and again during their rebirth under second-year coach Mark Richt.

Nope.

Miami's perfect season is over. The second-ranked Hurricanes can only hope their shot at a College Football Playoff berth isn't gone, too.

Freshman quarterback Kenny Pickett ran for two touchdowns and threw for another as the Panthers pulled out a decisive 24-14 stunner that sent Miami reeling into next week's ACC title game showdown with defending national champion Clemson.

"I still think there's an awful lot to play for," Miami coach Mark Richt said. "We have no idea what's going to happen in the big picture, how many teams lost a game on a Friday and came back and got in the top four? How many teams lost one game and won a conference championship and got right back in it? Who knows? So we don't know."

A chance to put together the program's first unbeaten regular season since 2002 vanished at chilly but hardly cold Heinz Field. Malik Rosier completed just 15 of 34 passes for 187 and two touchdowns and was briefly pulled in the fourth quarter. The Hurricanes (10-1, 7-1 ACC, CFP No. 2) managed just 232 yards, a season-low, and spotted Pitt a 10-7 halftime lead.

The Panthers put together a pair of long touchdown drives engineered by Pickett and the emphatic response from Miami never materialized.

"There's multiple times where we play lackadaisical in the first half and in the second half we come out and explode and it just didn't happen," Rosier said. "That's something I've got to fix. I've got to motivate those guys in the first half so the second half doesn't have to be some type of miracle second half."

Miami stressed it had learned an important lesson after spotting Virginia a two-touchdown lead last week before recovering to extend the nation's longest winning streak to 15 games. Yet the Hurricanes walked onto the Heinz Field turf in a weird spot.

The ACC Coastal Division champions are well aware their meeting with No. 4 Clemson next Saturday will serve as the ultimate arbiter on whether the Hurricanes are worthy of consideration for the College Football Playoff. The loss to Pittsburgh might not matter as long as they beat the defending national champions.

Time to put the theory to the test.

"We want to focus on Clemson and if we win and we get in, great," Rosier said. "If we win and we don't, that's just something we have to live with. It was our play that got us to where we're at."

THE TAKEAWAY

Miami: The Hurricanes may have that glittery record and marquee wins over Virginia Tech and Notre Dame, but they've lived dangerously all year. Their uninspired performance with a perfect season at stake probably closes the door on two ACC teams getting into the playoff.

Pitt: The Panthers (5-7) will miss a bowl game for the first time since 2007, but the future is promising. Pitt only loses eight seniors on the two-deep chart and the aggressive, dominant defense coach Pat Narduzzi promised when he was hired three years ago may be coming around. Pitt only allowed one of its final nine opponents to go over 300 yards passing.

PICKETT'S CHARGE

The Panthers may have finally found a quarterback in Pickett, whose 22-yard naked bootleg with 2:54 left gave the Panthers all the cushion they would need to beat a No. 2 team at home for the first time in program history.

"You don't think your first start is going to come against the No. 2 team in the country and you upset them at home. It's an unbelievable feeling and I'm real happy we got it done for the seniors," Pickett said.

The last touchdown came on a fourth-and-6 at the Miami 22. Pickett pulled the ball away from running back Qadree Ollison and sprinted for the pylon. Only Pickett, Narduzzi and offensive coordinator Shawn Watson knew Pickett would run it. Everyone else had no clue.

"I was just going to get the first down and get down, but I turned the corner and when I looked, no one was there," Pickett said.

FAMILIAR TERRITORY

A year ago, the Panthers handed Clemson its only loss of the season with a thrilling victory in Death Valley. A decade ago they stunned West Virginia in the regular season finale, a setback that cost the Mountaineers a spot in the Bowl Championship Series title game.

Those two now have company, with Narduzzi saying as much during a brief sideline interview at the start of the second half. Then the Panthers went out and backed it up.

"I talked about the past and the big upset win at West Virginia," Narduzzi said. "It happened in Clemson last year. I told the players it's about time it happened in Pittsburgh."

UP NEXT

Miami: Makes its first ACC championship game appearance on Dec 2.

Pitt: Will open the 2018 season at home against Albany on Sept. 1.

___

More AP college football: http://collegefootball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Football, College Sports, AP Sports - College Football, AP Sports - NFL
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
No. 10 TCU gets Big 12 title shot with 45-22 win over Baylor
Kenny Hill threw touchdowns to three different receivers and ran 3 yards for another score as No. 10 TCU clinched a spot in the Big 12 championship game with a 45-22 win over Baylor
3:48PM ( 20 minutes ago )
Missouri dismemberment suspect charged in California killing
A homeless man found sleeping in a Kansas storage unit with his children and his dismembered wife's remains is now suspected of killing a California man who vanished last year
3:43PM ( 24 minutes ago )
Freshman Pickett leads Pitt to 24-14 upset over No. 2 Miami
No. 2 Miami's perfect season is over after a 24-14 loss to Pitt
3:41PM ( 26 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: Trump calls for wall, travel ban after attack
President Donald Trump says he will be calling his Egyptian counterpart "in a short while" to discuss Friday's "tragic terrorist attack, with so much loss of life."
2:03PM ( 2 hours ago )
Trump supporters confuse LeVar Burton with LaVar Ball online
Trump supporters confuse LeVar Burton of "Reading Rainbow" with basketball dad LaVar Ball in Twitter attacks
2:00PM ( 2 hours ago )
As 4 more Russians banned, Olympic leader Bach warns critics
As four more Russians were disqualified Friday for doping at the Sochi Olympics, IOC President Thomas Bach signaled a possible shift toward barring the country's athletes from the Pyeongchang Games
12:25PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Sports
The Latest: Trump to call Turkey's Erdogan on Mideast 'mess'
President Donald Trump says he'll be speaking with Turkish President Recep Erdogan on Friday "about bringing peace to the mess that I inherited in the Middle East.
7:47AM ( 8 hours ago )
Kerrigan, short-handed Redskins to face Zeke-less Cowboys
Each opponent the Washington Redskins face the rest of the way currently owns a losing record
2:40AM ( 13 hours ago )
Mississippi stuns No. 16 Mississippi State 31-28 in Egg Bowl
Jordan Ta'amu threw for 247 yards and two touchdowns, Jordan Wilkins ran for two scores and Mississippi upset No. 16 Mississippi State 31-28
12:42AM ( 15 hours ago )
AP Online Football
No. 2 Arizona upset again at Battle 4 Atlantis, 66-60 by SMU
Ben Emelogu scored 20 points and SMU upset No. 2 Arizona 66-60 in the consolation round at the Battle 4 Atlantis, handing the Wildcats their second consecutive loss to an unranked opponent
1:27AM ( 14 hours ago )
Duke overcomes tenacious Portland State 99-81
Trevon Duval had 22 points and top-ranked Duke pulled away for a 99-81 victory over surprisingly tenacious Portland State to open the Phil Knight Invitational
7:52PM ( 20 hours ago )
Maye leads No. 9 North Carolina to 102-78 rout of Portland
Luke Maye scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, Joel Berry II added 18 points, and No. 9 North Carolina put five players in double figures in overwhelming Portland 102-78 to open the PK80 Invitational
7:23PM ( 20 hours ago )
College Sports
Is J.T. Barrett the best QB to ever play at Ohio State?
Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett will start his last regular-season game on Saturday against rival Michigan
5:50PM ( 2 days ago )
Oklahoma QB Mayfield won't start home finale after gesture
Oklahoma QB Mayfield won't start his final regular season game after making lewd gesture against Kansas
9:34PM ( 3 days ago )
Kansas coach apologizes after Mayfield slighted by Jayhawks
Kansas coach David Beaty has apologized for his team captains not shaking hands with Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield, saying the move made during the pregame coin toss was unacceptable
12:02PM ( 4 days ago )
AP Sports - College Football
Bills reverse course in having Taylor start against Chiefs
Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott is reversing course, announcing Tyrod Taylor will start at Kansas City on Sunday a week after his decision to start rookie Nathan Peterman backfired
6:27PM ( 1 day ago )
Thanksgiving debut for Rivers also big for Chargers, Cowboys
Rivers makes Thanksgiving debut in high-stakes game with Chargers, Cowboys trying to stay in playoff contention
4:43PM ( 1 day ago )
Suit over erotic fiction about NFL player Gronkowski tossed
A federal appeals court has spiked an Ohio couple's case against companies that distributed an erotic fiction book about a woman's desire for New England Patriots star Rob Gronkowski.
4:05PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Sports - NFL
No. 10 TCU gets Big 12 title shot with 45-22 win over Baylor
Kenny Hill threw touchdowns to three different receivers and ran 3 yards for another score as No. 10 TCU clinched a spot in the Big 12 championship game with a 45-22 win over Baylor
3:48PM ( 20 minutes ago )
Missouri dismemberment suspect charged in California killing
A homeless man found sleeping in a Kansas storage unit with his children and his dismembered wife's remains is now suspected of killing a California man who vanished last year
3:43PM ( 24 minutes ago )
Egypt: Militants kill at least 235 in attack on Sinai mosque
Militants open fire on worshippers in a mosque in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, killing at least 235 in one of the country's worst ever extremist attacks
3:12PM ( 56 minutes ago )
The Latest: Some shoppers find a lower-key Black Friday
Some shoppers were surprised at how little madness there was in Black Friday
2:53PM ( 1 hour ago )
Weinstein's Impact: List of men accused of sexual misconduct
The Weinstein Effect: A list of men in the entertainment and media industries accused of sexual harassment, abuse, or other misconduct
2:21PM ( 1 hour ago )