GAMEDAY College Football

Pittsburgh 30, North Carolina 23

(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

By WILL GRAVES
AP Sports Writer

PITTSBURGH - Kenny Pickett hit Lucas Krull for an 11-yard touchdown pass in overtime and No. 25 Pittsburgh's defense did the rest as the Panthers held off North Carolina 30-23 in the rain.

Pitt (8-2, 5-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) kept firm control on first place in the ACC's Coastal Division with two weeks to go after blowing a 16-point lead before collecting itself in overtime behind Pickett.

Pickett completed 25 of 43 passes for 346 yards with three touchdowns and an interception on a night he became the school's career leader in passing yards. His dart to Krull in the middle of a downpour gave the Panthers the lead during the opening possession of the first extra period.

North Carolina (5-5, 3-4) attempted to respond but went nowhere on four plays, the last a fourth-down desperation heave by quarterback Sam Howell that was picked off by M.J. Devonshire. Howell passed for 296 yards with two touchdowns.

Pitt can earn its second Coastal Division title and trip to the ACC title game in five years if it wins out. The Panthers could also clinch with a victory over Virginia on Nov. 20 and any conference loss by Miami.

The Tar Heels were looking to beat a ranked opponent for the second time in five days. Yet the magic they summoned while knocking off a then-unbeaten Wake Forest last Saturday vanished in overtime.

The expected shootout between two teams featuring NFL-ready quarterbacks averaging a combined 80 points a game never materialized. Pitt and North Carolina struggled to reach half that total as Howell and Pickett spent a significant portion of the night under heavy duress.

The Panthers raced to a 17-point lead before the Tar Heels had a first down. Each of North Carolina's first three drives ended in sacks and the Tar Heels allowed five in the first half as Pitt went up 23-7 behind Pickett.

The super senior threw for a pair of touchdowns and became the Panthers' career leader in yards passing when he broke Alex Van Pelt's mark of 11,267 with a 44-yard heave in the first quarter.

Yet Pitt also missed chances to blow it open. Sam Scarton missed an extra point, had a 54-yard field goal fall short in the tricky winds at Heinz Field and another field-goal attempt blocked.

The Tar Heels eventually made the Panthers pay. Howell found Antoine Green with a 23-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter to make it 23-13. Howell bulled his way over from 1-yard out on fourth down with 5:34 remaining to pull North Carolina within three. Pickett's fourth interception of the season on Pitt's ensuing possession set up Grayson Atkins' tying 21-yard field goal with 57 seconds remaining to force overtime.


Scoring Summary
First Quarter UNCPitt
Pitt TD 8:00 Vincent Davis 2 yard TD run (Sam Scarton Extra Point) 0 7
Pitt TD 4:09 Gavin Bartholomew 1 yard TD pass from Kenny Pickett (Sam Scarton Extra Point) 0 14
Pitt FG 0:10 Sam Scarton 34 yard field goal 0 17
Second Quarter UNCPitt
UNC TD 6:24 Antoine Green 76 yard TD pass from Sam Howell (Grayson Atkins Extra Point) 7 17
Pitt TD 4:40 Jared Wayne 32 yard TD pass from Kenny Pickett (Sam Scarton Kick Failed) 7 23
Third Quarter UNCPitt
UNC TD 5:39 Antoine Green 23 yard TD pass from Sam Howell (Sam Howell 2pt conversion attempt is NO GOOD) 13 23
Fourth Quarter UNCPitt
UNC TD 5:34 Sam Howell 1 yard TD run (Grayson Atkins Extra Point) 20 23
UNC FG 0:57 Grayson Atkins 20 yard field goal 23 23
OT UNCPitt
Pitt TD   Lucas Krull 11 yard TD pass from Kenny Pickett (Sam Scarton Extra Point) 23 30
Team Stats
  North Carolina Pittsburgh
First downs 18 24
  Rushing 8 7
  Passing 7 14
  Penalty 3 3
3rd Down Efficiency 5-16, 31% 9-17, 53%
4th down efficiency 1-4, 25% 0-1, 0%
Rushes-Yards 38-88 31-95
Passing Yards 296 346
Return Yards 7 80
Completions-Attempts-Int 22-33-1 25-45-1
Sacks-Yards Lost 5-30 4-33
Punts 6 4
Fumbles Lost 0-0 0-0
Penalties - Yards 12-105 6-55
North Carolina Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
S. Howell 22 33 296 2 1
Pittsburgh Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
K. Pickett 25 43 346 3 1
J. Wayne 0 1 0 0 0
North Carolina Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
T. Chandler 14 42 3.0 0
S. Howell 17 28 1.6 1
D. Jones 7 18 2.6 0
Pittsburgh Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
I. Abanikanda 12 63 5.3 0
V. Davis 5 18 3.6 1
J. Addison 2 17 8.5 0
R. Hammond Jr. 2 8 4.0 0
K. Pickett 10 -11 -1.1 0
North Carolina Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
A. Green 3 108 36.0 2
J. Downs 8 95 11.9 0
G. Walston 3 28 9.3 0
J. Olson 2 24 12.0 0
D. Jones 2 18 9.0 0
T. Chandler 3 12 4.0 0
K. Morales 1 11 11.0 0
Pittsburgh Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
J. Addison 6 84 14.0 0
J. Wayne 3 70 23.3 1
L. Krull 4 51 12.8 1
M. Stovall 1 44 44.0 0
I. Abanikanda 3 28 9.3 0
J. Bradley 2 27 13.5 0
G. Bartholomew 3 23 7.7 1
T. Tipton 2 14 7.0 0
V. Davis 1 5 5.0 0
North Carolina Interceptions
Player Int Yards
J. Gemmel 1 0
Pittsburgh Interceptions
Player Int Yards
M. Devonshire 1 13
North Carolina Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
B. Kiernan 6 258 43.0
Pittsburgh Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
K. Christodoulou 4 180 45.0
North Carolina Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
J. Downs 1 7 7.0
Pittsburgh Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
J. Addison 3 47 15.7
North Carolina Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
Pittsburgh Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
I. Abanikanda 1 20 20.0
North Carolina Missed FG
Player Length
Pittsburgh Missed FG
Player Length
S. Scarton 31
S. Scarton 53




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