Pitt beats Wake for ACC ti­tle game berth

The Charlotte Observer (Sunday) - - College Football - BY JOEDY MCCREARY As­so­ci­ated Press

Coach Pat Nar­duzzi wasn’t wor­ried about a jinx. The Pitt coach had his equip­ment staff to bring the com­mem­o­ra­tive ACC caps and T-shirts all the way from Pitts­burgh.

“I said, ‘Get them. It’s go­ing to hap­pen,’ ” Nar­duzzi said.

It did hap­pen – thanks to Kenny Pick­ett’s ca­reer day.

Pick­ett threw a ca­reerbest three touch­down passes, all in the sec­ond half, and Pitts­burgh beat Wake For­est 34-13 on Satur­day to clinch its first berth in the At­lantic Coast Con­fer­ence cham­pi­onship game.

“Ev­ery­one knows this is a spe­cial group,” Pick­ett said. “Hon­estly, we show it ev­ery week. We play with the kind of heart and tough­ness that I don’t think is seen very often in this day and age in foot­ball.”

Pick­ett fin­ished 23 of 30 for a ca­reer-high 316 yards with scor­ing passes of 4 yards to Rafael Arau­joJones, 63 yards to Taysir Mack and 23 yards to Mau­rice Ffrench.

Dar­rin Hall had a 2-yard touch­down run and left tackle Ste­fano Millin added a late 6-yard scor­ing run for the Pan­thers ( 7-4, 6-1), who won their fourth straight – their long­est win­ning streak in two years. They will play in their first ti­tle game since join­ing the league in 2013, tak­ing on No. 2 Clem­son on Dec. 1 in Char­lotte.

As the fi­nal sec­onds ticked away, Nar­duzzi re­ceived a vic­tory bath.

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