Friday Night Lights: Pitt, Virginia set for key ACC matchup
Line: Virginia by 7.
Series record: Pittsburgh leads 7-3.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
The Panthers (and Virginia Tech) are tied with the front-running Cavaliers in the loss column of the ACC’s Coastal Division race and would gain the upper hand with a victory ahead of their home game against the Hokies next week. Virginia would win the division if it wins its last three league games.
The Panthers’ running game against Virginia’s defense. Pitt is averaging 227.9 rushing yards and coming off a 484-yard performance against Duke, while Virginia allows just 113 rushing yards per game and has held its last two opponents below 70 yards.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Pittsburgh: WR V’Lique Carter. The freshman, who began the season in the Panthers’ secondary, made his college debut on offense a memorable one last week against Duke, carrying seven times for 137 yards, a 19.6 yard average. He scored on runs of 31 and 16 yards.
Virginia: QB Bryce Perkins. He’s thrown for 15 touchdowns and run for six more. He’s also thrown eight interceptions, but when he finds holes in the running game, it opens things up for everyone else on offense.
FACTS & FIGURES
Panthers PK Alex Kessman had five career FGs of 50 yards or longer, including three this season. … Pitts is 1-3 against teams in this week’s Top 25, having beaten No. 22 Syracuse while losing to No. 3 Notre Dame, No. 9 UCF and No. 14 Penn State. … The Cavaliers and Panthers are the only teams that did not receive at least one vote to win the Coastal Division in the preseason. … Virginia CB Bryce Hall is No. 1 nationally with 18 passes defended (16 breakups, two INTs). … WR Olamide Zaccheaus is Virginia’s career leader with 213 receptions and has at least one catch in 37 consecutive games.