Pitt Holds Off Duke 33-30
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) Kenny Pickett threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to V’Lique Carter with 38 seconds remaining, and Pitt rallied to beat Duke 33-30 on Saturday night after losing a 23-point lead.
Pickett finished 29 of 48 for 268 yards with three touchdown passes to help the Panthers (4-2, 1-1 ACC) claim a wild victory – their fifth straight in this Coastal Division series – after the teams combined for 10 total turnovers with each scoring TDs in the final 90 seconds.
”Just shows character, our guys going on the road to get a victory,” Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi said.
Pitt led 26-3 with less than 3 minutes left in the third quarter, only to have the Blue Devils turn three straight turnovers into touchdowns and then take a 30-26 lead on Quentin Harris’ 44-yard touchdown pass to Deon Jackson with 1:30 remaining.
Pickett needed just four plays to put the Panthers back in front. He found Carter over the middle and the Pitt running back got past defensive back Marquis Waters with a spin move on his way to the end zone.
Patrick Jones II then sacked Harris on the third play of Duke’s next drive, jarring the ball loose, and Phil Campbell III recovered it with 22 seconds to play.
Harris finished 18 of 43 for 165 yards with two rushing touchdowns for the Blue Devils (3-2, 1-1). But he had five of Duke’s six turnovers – two interceptions and a fumble during a four-play span of the first quarter, plus a third-quarter fumble in addition to the game-sealer.
Pickett threw TDs covering 19 yards to Taysir Mack and 4 yards to Nakia Griffin-Stewart for the Panthers, and Paris Ford returned one of his two interceptions 26 yards for a touchdown before he was ejected for targeting.
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