The Coastal Division’s representative in the Atlantic Coast Conference title game will come closer to being decided when Pittsburgh visits Virginia Tech on Saturday afternoon.
The Panthers and Hokies each enter with a 1-0 conference record, and with four of the other five teams in the division having at least two losses (the only one that doesn’t is 0-1 Miami), the winner of Saturday’s game will have the inside track toward an appearance in the conference final.
The game features Pitt’s high-powered offense against a solid Virginia Tech defense.
The Panthers (4-1 overall) enter the game averaging 52.4 points a contest and haven’t scored less than 40 in any game all season.
Pitt is led by quarterback Kenny Pickett, who is having a monster year. Pickett has completed 72 percent of his passes for 1,731 yards and 19 touchdowns, with just one interception.
“This offense we are about to play is pretty special,” Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente said. “This quarterback, he is playing at a high level. As good as anybody I’ve seen this year. The best quarterback we’ve played so far and maybe the best quarterback we’ll play all year. This guy is at an elite level.”
Pitt has had more time to prepare as well since it is coming off a bye week.
On the other side, Virginia Tech (3-2) has to turn the page after a heartbreaking home loss Saturday to Notre Dame, a game in which the Hokies took a 29-21 lead with under four minutes left.
But the Fighting Irish rallied to win 32-29 on a 48-yard field goal by Jonathan Doerer with 17 seconds left.
Virginia Tech has to regroup against a Pitt team that beat the Hokies 47-14 in Pittsburgh last season.
The Hokies have been strong defensively this season, allowing an average of just 18.6 points per game.
Offensively, Virginia Tech is led by quarterback Braxton Burmeister, who has completed 58.8 percent of his passes for 930 yards and five touchdowns.
Burmeister also leads the team in rushing with 193 yards on 54 carries.
“It’s tough to go on the road anywhere, and we’ve struggled down in Blacksburg,” Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi said. “It’s a great challenge to go on the road and play a tough football team.”
–Field Level Media
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