Pitt smashes Virginia Tech to move closer to ACC Coastal title
Qadree Ollison ran for 235 yards and three touchdowns, Darrin Hall added 186 yards rushing and a score of his own as Pittsburgh moved closer to its first ACC Coastal Division title with a dominant 52-22 victory over Virginia Tech on Saturday.
The Panthers (6-4, 5-1 ACC) rolled up a schoolrecord 654 total yards, 492 coming on the ground. Maurice Ffrench caught a 78-yard touchdown pass from Kenny Pickett and later scored on a 12-yard run off a jet sweep as Pitt jumped to a 31-7 halftime lead and then cruised.
Ollison sealed it with program record 97-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, becoming the sixth Pitt player ever go to over 1,000 yards rushing in multiple seasons in the process.
The Panthers need to win one of their final two games against Wake Forest or Miami to become the sixth different school to win the Coastal Division in as many seasons.
It’s a rise that seemed unlikely at the end of September, when Pitt sat at 2-3 after getting blown out by Penn State and Central Florida. Yet the Panthers have collected themselves behind an elite rushing attack led by Hall and Ollison, who celebrated Senior Day by putting on a showcase on just how far Pitt has come over the last six weeks.
Ryan Willis threw for 231 yards and three touchdowns for the Hokies (4-5, 3-3), two of them to Eric Kumah.
Panthers head coach Pat Narduzzi said he wasn’t worried about his team’s ability to deliver it put in a similar spot, and Pitt spent four quarters putting on a blocking clinic. Hall and Ollison spent most of the afternoon roaring through gaping holes and responding in the second half whenever Virginia Tech attempted to get back in it.
The nail came with just under 5 minutes left after the Panthers stopped the Hokies on fourth down at the Pitt 3. Ollison took the next snap and chugged to the end zone, flipping across the goal line to celebrate the longest ever run by a Panther, heady territory for a program that dates back to 1905 and whose roster of alumni includes Heisman Trophy winner Tony Dorsett and current NFL star LeSean McCoy.
Duke 42, North Carolina 35: Daniel Jones accounted for 547 total yards and four touchdowns to help Duke beat rival North Carolina at home.
Jones threw for 361 yards and three touchdowns for the Blue Devils (7-3, 3-3 Atlantic Coast Conference). He also ran for a 61-yard touchdown and had a 68yard keeper in a 186-yard rushing day, helping Duke finish with a season-high 629 yards.
Duke claimed a third straight victory in the series, allowing the Blue Devils to keep the Victory Bell for another year.
The Tar Heels (1-8, 1-6) trailed by 14 throughout the fourth quarter until a late TD throw from Nathan Elliott to Thomas Jackson with 75 seconds left. Then, after a late stop, UNC had a final drive for the tie and pushed to the Duke 39. Virginia 45, Liberty 24: Bryce Perkins threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more and Virginia beat Liberty 45-24 Saturday. Joe Reed caught both scoring throws, of 14 and six yards, and also returned a kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown for the Cavaliers (7-3), who ensured their first winning season since the 2011 team finished 8-5.