Pickett to Ffrench With Five Seconds Left Gives Pitt Big Win Over Duke

Chris Rossetti

Chris Rossetti

Published October 28, 2018 4:16 am
Pickett to Ffrench With Five Seconds Left Gives Pitt Big Win Over Duke

PITTSBURGH (EYT) — Maurice Ffrench pulled in a 25-yard pass from Kenny Pickett with five seconds to play, and Pitt aided a safety on the game’s final play to beat visiting Duke, 54-45, at Heinz Field Saturday.

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

In a high-scoring affair that saw Duke lead most of the afternoon including by double digits on four different occasions, Pitt (4-4 overall, 2-2 ACC Coastal) rallied from a 1-point deficit with just under four minutes left in the third quarter to pull out the win.

Listen to Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi’s postgame media conference. Video courtesy of Pitt UPMC LiveWire.

After Daniel Jones hit Johnathan Lloyd with a 68-yard pass with 3:57 left in the third quarter, the Blue Devils (5-3, 1-3) led 42-32.

But a 54-yard Alex Kessman field goal brought the Panthers within seven, 42-35, by the end of the third quarter, and when V’Lique Carter scored on a 16-yard run 4:21 seconds into the fourth quarter the game was tied at 42.

But Collin Wareham nailed a 25-yard field goal to put Duke back ahead, 45-42, with 8:07 to play before Pitt answered with a 48-yard Kessman kick tied the game at 2:33 to play.

The Panthers defense then held, and Pitt got the ball back at its own 18-yard line with 1:09 to go.

That is when Pickett took charge. He hit Rafael Araujo-Lopez for 17 yards and Tre Tipton for six more yards before setting up
five seconds left in the game to beat Duke, 54-45 on Saturday.

Pitt had leaned on its rushing offense for most of the game, but Pickett came through in crunch time, hitting Darrin Hall for 24 yards, Rafael Araujo-Lopes on a 17-yard pass, Tre Tipton for six yards and then added an 11-yard scramble to the 25 before clocking the ball and then hitting Ffrench with the touchdown pass.

The victory moves the Panthers to within a half-game of the ACC Coastal Division lead with a game at Virginia Friday, Nov. 2.

Watch the game highlights. Video courtesy of Pitt UPMC LiveWire.

EXTRA POINTS

  • The teams combined for 1,253 yards of total offense with Pitt racking up 634 and Duke 619.
  • Jones threw for 396 yards and four touchdowns with Deon Jackson setting a Duke record with 403 all-purpose yards
  • Pitt’s 484 yards rushing were the second-most in school history with four runners going over 70 yards led by 149 and a touchdown from Qadree Ollison. Carter, a freshman playing in his first game, added seven carries for 137 yards and two touchdowns, Pickett ran for 77 yards and a score and Ffrench added 72 yards on the ground. Hall was the low-man on the totem pole with 53 yards rushing.
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