The Countdown: 39 Days until the ACC

Jared Wickerham

Pitt has a long football history against the current membership of the ACC. Today we will look at the five most memorable moments of the last 39 meetings.

Throughout Pitt's football history, the Panthers have played 133 games against the 12 teams that currently make up the ACC. Of those games, Pitt won 64, lost 67, and tied two. In fact, Pitt holds a .500 or better record against ten of those 12 teams. The two teams they do not hold an above .500 record against are Miami (9-22-1) and Virginia Tech (5-7-0).

Recent history tells a slightly different story. Over the last 39 games against the ACC's current members (dating back to 1994), the Panthers are a mere 14-25-0. While not a large selection to choose from, here are the five most memorable moments from the past 19 years (in no particular order) against the ACC.

#1 The (entire) 4th quarter drive
December 26th, 2009: Pitt 19, North Carolina 17 (Meineke Car Care Bowl)

Down by one point with nearly ten minutes remaining in the 4th quarter, the Panthers chewed up all but the final 52 seconds by going on a 17 play drive. Thirteen of the 17 plays were rushes by Dion Lewis, but the most beautiful play was drawing the Tar Heels offsides with under two minutes remaining on a 4th and 2.

#2 Antonio Bryant's performance, for all the tangerines
December 20th, 2001: Pitt 34, North Carolina State 19 (Tangerine Bowl)

After a 1-5 start, the Panthers finished the 2001 season on a six game winning streak. Antonio Bryant's 101 yards and two touchdowns in the first half of the Tangerine Bowl earned him the MVP honors.

#3 Pistol Pete Gonzalez embarrasses Miami on a Thursday night
September 18th, 1997: Pitt 21, Miami 17

Pitt had not beaten Miami since their national championship season in 1976. The Panthers have not beaten the Hurricanes since. But on this faithful night, fifth year senior Pete Gonzalez would throw for two scores and run for another, accounting for all 21 of Pitt's points in front of a national Thursday night audience on ESPN.

#4 Tyler Palko destroys a Boston College defender on a flea-flicker
October 16th, 2004: Pitt 20, Boston College 17 (OT)

And the legend of Tyler Palko continues to grow.

#5 Lousaka Polite caps the comeback in the final minute
November 8th, 2003: Pitt 31, Virginia Tech 28

A top 5 opponent. ESPN GameDay's first visit to Pittsburgh. A nationally televised night game. All of the pieces were there for the making of a memorable day. Lousaka Polite ensured that it would be by scoring from two yards out in the final minute of the game.

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