ACC Championship Game Preview
#15 Pitt (10-2) vs #18 Wake Forest (10-2)
Bank Of America Stadium Charlotte, North Carolina 8pm TV:ABC
Gametime: Temperature 68 degrees
All Time head to head record Pitt 1-0
(Last Matchup: Pitt Defeated Wake Forest 34-13 November 17,2018)
The 2021 ACC Championship Game will feature two schools no one predicted to be in this position. Both schools clinched 10 win seasons in the final week of the regular season and possibly a New Year’s Day bowl birth for the winner. This is the first ACC Championship game that does not include Clemson since 2018. The Panthers look to win their first conference title in school history. The Demon Deacons look to win their third conference title in school history. Get your Popcorn Ready!
🏆 𝐀𝐓𝐋𝐀𝐍𝐓𝐈𝐂 𝐂𝐇𝐀𝐌𝐏𝐈𝐎𝐍𝐒 🏆 pic.twitter.com/RrXqWhDHeA
— Wake Forest Football (@WakeFB) November 27, 2021
Wake Forest (Quick notes):
-8 All ACC selections and 7 Honorable Mentions
-The Demon Deacons have won 4 of their last 6 games on the road
-Defensive lineman Rondell Bothroyd is the best pass rusher on the team tallying 59 tackles, 14 tackles for loss and 6 sacks
– Quarterback Sam Hartman amassed 3,711 yds passing and 34 Touchdowns while one being intercepted 10 times. Hartman has a 60% completion pct. and 10 rushing Touchdowns. The signal caller is a certified dual threat with 342 rushing yards.
– Wide Receiver A.T. Perry hauled in 56 catches for 1,112 yds and 13 Tds and Jaquarili Roberson has 64 catches for 1,024 yds with 8 visits to the house. Only three teams in College Football have two 1,000 yard receivers (Alabama, Western Kentucky and Wake Forest)
– The Wake Forest Offense averages 43 points per game ranking them 4th in the nation
– Hartman is the 4th QB in ACC history to pass for 30 Tds and run for 10 or more in a single season.
-The Demon Deacon defense is ranked 65th in yards allowed per attempt and 50th in yards allowed per game
-Wake Forest is 113th in yards allowed per rush and have given up 200 yards a game
– Wake Forest has allowed 40 or more points in 4 of its past 6 games
– Linebacker Ryan Smenda Jr leads the Demon Deacons in tackles with 66
– Defensive Back Traveon Redd leads the secondary with 3 interceptions
— Pitt Football (@Pitt_FB) November 21, 2021
Pitt (Quick Notes):
– Third ranked scoring Offense in the country averaging 43 points per game
– Fifty-first ranked total defense in the country
– 12 All Athletic Coast Conference selections (Most in the ACC)
-The Panthers have won all five games away from home this season
-The QB/ WR connection of Kenny Pickett / Jordan Addison has combined for 1,353 yards and 17 Tds
-Addison is a Biletnikoff Award Finalist (Nation’s Best WR) 85 catches for 1,353 yds and 17 Touchdowns. The first team all conference selection averages 15 yards per catch.
– Pitt has been favored in every game this season
– Pickett is the ACC Player Of The Year ( Offensive and Overall) The last Pitt player to win both awards was James Connor in 2014
– Pickett is the only QB in ACC history with 4,000 yds passing and 40 TDs in the initial 12 games of a season
– Linebacker Sirvocea Dennis ( a straight thumper) leads the team in tackles with 66.
-Defensive End Habakkuk Baldonado leads Pitt in sacks with 8
– Outside Linebacker John Petrishen leads the team in interceptions with 3
– This is Pitt’s 2nd ACC title game appearance; it’s only other appearance was in 2018. A lost to Clemson
Players To Watch
WR A.T. Perry 6’5″ 205 lbs. 3rd year sophomore:
56 catches 1,112 yds. 13 TDs. 19 yards per catch
“Perry had a breakout season for the Demon Deacons. Perry is a rare- sized athletic specimen at a school where you rarely find NFL talent. Wake Forest likes to use him in the red zone. Pitt’s secondary must be aware of Perry at all times especially in the red zone.
OLB John Petrishen. 6’1″ 230 lbs. Senior- 59 tackles. 4.5 sacks. 3 interceptions. 1TD.
“This Penn St. Transfer was moved from safety to outside linebacker when he arrived at Pitt 2 years ago and hasn’t disappointed this season. Petrishen has a knack for being around the ball. It wouldn’t surprise me if he made a game changing play or two.”
-Also Look for Pitt RB Izzy Abanikanda to have a big game. He’s by far Pitt’s best RB and should feast on a weak Wake Forest run defense. Let’s just hope Pitt Head Coach Pat Narduzzi unleashes him like he did in Blacksburg, VA against Virginia Tech, 21 carries 140 yds.
Prediction- Pitt 45 Wake Forest 28
” Pitt QB Kenny Pickett is a legit Heisman Contender and Wake Forest QB Sam Hartman is a rising star. I expect big games from both QBs. I think it’ll be a high scoring game. Wake Forest will keep it interesting for the first three quarters, but Pitt will pull away in the final quarter. I trust Pitt’s defense more than I trust Wake Forest defense. The Pitt Panthers are more balanced and way too talented to lose.”
Keith Platt Jr. Urban Media Today Sports