Pitt traveled to Detroit to take on Eastern Michigan in the Quick Lane Bowl on Thursday night, and the team was able to pull out a 34-30 win thanks to a game-winning catch by Panthers receiver Taysir Mack. The one-handed grab came with less than a minute left in the fourth quarter and put Pitt up by four, and it made the SportsCenter Top 10 on the midnight edition of the ESPN show after the game.
WHAT A CATCH.— ESPN (@espn) December 27, 2019
Pitt gets its first lead of the night with less than a minute left pic.twitter.com/cvFNHLwdXM
Mack secured the pass from Quick Lane Bowl MVP Kenny Pickett despite defensive pass interference by Eagles defensive back Vince Calhoun, and the catch came in at No. 5 on the SportsCenter Top 10. It was the only football play on the list, as the NFL had no games scheduled on Thursday and the Independence Bowl between Louisiana Tech and Miami, which was the only other college game played on Thursday, produced little in the way of highlight-reel material.
The reception was Mack’s first and only catch of the game, and his limited use may have been due to a lingering ankle issue. Mack had been dealing with an ankle injury prior to the Quick Lane Bowl and was listed as probable heading into the game. The redshirt junior was Pitt’s leading receiver heading into the bowl, but he was passed by Maurice Ffrench, who had 165 yards on 12 receptions.
With his performance in Detroit factored in, Mack finishes the 2019 season as the team's No. 2 receiver, with 736 yards and three touchdowns on 63 catches. That represents a 179-yard and two-touchdown improvement on the figures he posted with Pitt in 2018.