PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It is nearly ten years to the day since Pitt defeated then #2 ranked West Virginia 13-9 in Morgantown to prevent the Mountaineers from playing for the National Championship.
Freshman quarterback Pat Bostick started that game against West Virginia and is now the Pitt play-by-play man. It was also the last time the Panthers had started a freshman quarterback before Friday.
Freshman quarterback Kenny Pickett got the start over Ben Dinucci, who had been starting for Pitt most of the season and did not have much success at the helm of the Panther offense. Many Pitt fans have been clamoring for Pickett to get his chance, and he proved why on Friday with an impressive performance over a very though Miami defense.
Pickett ran for two touchdowns and threw for another in the victory and the Panthers cruised to a victory over a top 2 team for the second year in a row. It was a great way for the Panthers to end a disappointing season, finishing 5-7 and missing a bowl game for the first time since 2007.
Pickett went in to the game confident, and was happy to send the seniors away with a win.
“I have an unbelievable amount of confidence in myself, no matter what field I walk on, I feel like I am the best player,” he said. “We have a great group of seniors and it was nice to send them out the right way.”
The Pitt defense also played a huge part in the game, holding Miami to only 7 points through three quarters and forcing two turnover and sacking Quarterback Malik Rosier four times. Senior Linebacker Avante Maddox sealed the victory with a sack and fumble on the last play of his Pitt career.
It was the second consecutive year an unranked Pitt team has beaten a top 2 team, defeating Clemson last year. Clemson went on the win the national Championship, Miami will hope to do the same, still in contention for a CFB Playoff spot. Unranked Pitt teams have also beaten 2nd ranked West Virginia in 2007 and Virginia Tech in 2002.