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Pitt Looks to Rebound vs. Georgia Tech

Thursday, October 31, 2019 @ 12:10 AM

Posted by Chris Rossetti

Kylan Johnson Pitt BurdickATLANTA – The Pitt football team will look to rebound from last week’s loss to Miami (Fla.) when it travels to Atlanta to take on Georgia Tech at 4 p.m. Saturday.

(Photo by Paul Burdick. Check out more of Burdick’s work here)

The Panthers are 5-3 overall and 2-2 in the ACC having missed an opportunity last week to climb back into first place in the ACC Coastal race, while Georgia Tech is 2-5 overall and 1-3 in the ACC. The game will be broadcast on AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh.

See Pitt Game Notes

Pitt still sits just a 1/2 game off the Coastal lead behind Virginia and North Carolina.

Watch Pat Narduzzi’s weekly media conference. Video courtesy of Pitt LiveWire.

Since Pitt’s inaugural ACC season in 2013, the Panthers and Yellow Jackets have split six conference meetings with three wins apiece. Under Pat Narduzzi, however, the Panthers are 3-1 against Georgia Tech (since 2015).

The Panthers are in the midst of a remarkable string of tight games. Each of their past six contests has been decided by one score—an average margin of 4.2 points per game. Pitt is 4-2 during this stretch.

Since taking over as Pitt’s head coach in 2015, Pat Narduzzi has directed the Panthers to 22 victories in ACC play, trailing only Clemson (36) and Miami (23) during this span.

Pitt’s defense is playing at its highest level in recent memory. Pitt ranks among the nation’s top 25 units in no fewer than seven defensive categories. Pitt is surrendering just 291 yards per game to rank 14th nationally in total defense.

Pitt boasts the country’s top pass rush. The Panthers lead the nation in total sacks (38) and sacks per contest (4.75). Defensive end Patrick Jones II and tackle Jaylen Twyman lead Pitt with seven sacks each.

The Panthers have the most productive pass-catching duo in the country. Maurice Ffrench (64) and Taysir Mack (48) have combined for 112 receptions this season, the most of any Football Bowl Subdivision receiving duo.

A win at Georgia Tech would give the Panthers a sixth victory on the season, earning them bowl eligibility. Pitt has gone bowling in 15 of the past 19 seasons since 2000.

SERIES NOTES

This is the 14th meeting between Pitt and Georgia Tech in a series that began in 1918…Pitt leads the overall series, 8-5, and has won three of the past four meetings…the Panthers are 5-1 in games played in Pittsburgh and 3-2 in Atlanta…Pitt and Georgia Tech have twice met in bowl games with the Yellow Jackets winning each time…Georgia Tech defeated the Panthers in the Jan. 2, 1956 Sugar Bowl (7-0) and the Dec. 29, 1956 Gator Bowl (21-14)…the 2019 game marks the seventh Atlantic Coast Conference encounter between the two schools…the ACC series is tied, 3-3…Pitt won last year at Heinz Field, 24-19…in the last game played in Atlanta (2017), the Yellow Jackets claimed a 35-17 decision…Pitt won both the 2015 and 2016 contests courtesy of late field goals by the graduated Chris Blewitt…in 2016, Blewitt’s 31-yard field goal as time expired gave Pitt a 37-34 win at Heinz…in 2015, Blewitt boomed a school-record 56-yard field goal with 1:11 left for a 31-28 victory in Atlanta…the initial three games of the series from 1918-20 were all played in Pittsburgh…led by legendary coach Glenn “Pop” Warner, Pitt won each of those three contests by an aggregate score of 58-9…before the 2013 revival of the series, the two schools had not played since a pair of games at Georgia Tech in the 1970s…in 1976, Tony Dorsett scored three touchdowns as Pitt routed the host Yellow Jackets, 42-14…under the direction of Coach John Majors, Pitt would go 12-0 in 1976 and claim the national championship, while Dorsett would win the Heisman Trophy…the Panthers also defeated Georgia Tech, 27-17, in Atlanta during the 1974 season.


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