Pittsburgh shuts out Wake Forest in 2nd half as Panthers cruise to ACC Championship
Pitt dominated Wake Forest 45-21 en route to its first-ever ACC Championship on Saturday night.
The Demon Deacons scored touchdowns on their first three drives of the game and built an early 21-14 lead. However, they then failed to score for the remainder of the game.
Pitt took a 24-21 lead into the break and then was dominant in the second half. The Panthers picked off Wake Forest quarterback Sam Hartman three times after halftime and turned those mistakes into 14 points.
Hartman’s pick 6 to Erick Hallet with 11:42 remaining in the game sealed the outcome for the Panthers.
Meanwhile, Kenny Pickett was sensational on a historic night. He threw for 253 yards and 2 touchdowns while rushing for another score. He also topped Deshaun Watson’s ACC single-season record for passing touchdowns with 42.
This is Pitt’s first-ever ACC crown and its first conference title since winning the Big East in 2010. This was the Panthers’ second appearance in the ACC Championship Game.
Pitt is now 11-2 on the season and has clinched a berth in a New Year’s Six bowl game. The Panthers hadn’t won 11+ games in a season since 1981. They’ve only won 12 games in a single campaign once — a 12-0 run in 1986, which was the Panthers’ most recent National Championship.
Pitt will learn its opponent for bowl season — likely in the Peach Bowl — on Sunday.