Pitt faced UCF at Heinz Field on Saturday and pulled off a 35-34 upset of the No. 15 team in the nation. The Panthers won the game on a now-famous play dubbed the “Pitt Special” by Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi for its obvious resemblance to the Philly Special that won the Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl LII in 2018.
In the wake of the upset, three Pitt players — all of whom had a hand in the fateful play — were named ACC Players of the Week.
Kenny Pickett was named the ACC Quarterback of the Week after completing 25 of his 47 passes for 224 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions. In addition, he ran for 61 yards on 12 carries and caught the game-winning touchdown pass. Statistically, one could describe Saturday as a down day for Pickett, as he entered the game coming off back-to-back performances with 300-plus passing yards. But it was still one of the best games of his career, and it came at an opportune time.
Blocking for Pickett at left guard on Saturday was Bryce Hargrove, a 6’4”, 315-pound native of Akron, Ohio, who was named the ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week. He was part of an offensive line group that gave up just one sack to an aggressive UCF pass rush.
Aaron Mathews, a senior wide receiver who entered the UCF matchup second to Taysir Mack on the depth chart, was called on to do a little bit of everything, and he didn’t disappoint. Early in the game, he made a statement by leaping over a UCF defender and coming just a few yards shy of scoring a touchdown on a big 24-yard reception. Then, in the fourth quarter, he was responsible for throwing the game-winning pass to Pickett. For his efforts, he was named the ACC Specialist of the Week.
Despite a rough outing that saw Pickett briefly leave the game due to injury concerns, all three players will be back in the lineup this coming coming Saturday, when Pitt hosts Delaware at Heinz Field in its non-conference finale.