Unranked Pittsburgh shocks No. 3 Clemson, 43-42
Chris Blewitt made a 48-yard field goal with six seconds left as Pittsburgh stunned No. 3 Clemson, 43-42, spoiling a record-setting Saturday for quarterback Deshaun Watson and complicating the Tigers’ path back to the College Football Playoff.
It was the biggest win for the Panthers (6-4, 3-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) since knocking off No. 2 West Virginia 13-9 in 2007.
Watson threw for an ACC record 580 yards and three touchdowns for Clemson (9-1, 6-1). But his third interception gave Pitt the chance to crawl back from a 42-34 deficit. After Saleem Brightwell’s pick and 70-yard return, James Conner finished the drive with a 20-yard TD run.
The Panther defense, which gave up 630 yards, rose up when it counted and stopped Wayne Gallman short on third and fourth down to take the ball with 58 seconds left. Two passes to Scott Orndoff put Pitt within range and Blewitt nailed the kick to send the Panthers into a frenzy.
Nathan Peterman had a career-best five TD passes and 308 yards. Conner rushed for 132 yards and a touchdown. He also caught one of Peterman’s scoring throws.
Clemson had its offense going. Gallman ran for three TDs and Mike Williams had 15 catches for 202 yards and a touchdown.
It was Clemson’s first loss at home since 2013 when Florida State, the eventual national champions, won 51-14. It was also the Tigers’ first regular-season loss since November 2014 at Georgia Tech, a run of 23 straight games.
Pittsburgh: The Panthers showed that coach Pat Narduzzi’s program is taking hold. Peterman stayed calm in the face of Clemson’s strong pass rush and Conner was able to avoid the Tigers’ middle duo of Carlos Watkins and Dexter Lawrance to keep Pitt moving.
Clemson: Many non-Tiger fans will say this team had it coming after escaping with close wins at home against No. 5 Louisville (42-36 on Oct. 1) and North Carolina State (2417 in overtime on Oct. 15) after the Wolfpack missed the potential game-winning kick to end regulation. Clemson’s path is still clear — win out and hope its one-loss season is better than most others.
Pittsburgh closes the year with two games at home, starting with Duke next week.
Clemson will try to earn the ACC Atlantic Division title with a win at Wake Forest next Saturday.
Pittsburgh kicker Chris Blewitt kicks the game-winning field goal in the Panthers’ 4342 win at Clemson, S.C., on Saturday.