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Kenny Pickett sets Pitt single-season yardage records

NCAA Football: Virginia at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett broke a pair of program records during his team’s matchup with Virginia on Saturday, as he reached 3,857 passing yards and 4,066 total yards for the 2021 season. By hitting those totals, Pickett broke program records for passing yardage in a single season and total yardage in a single season, both of which were set in 2003.

Prior to Pickett’s masterful performance on Saturday, the records belonged to former Pitt signal-caller Rod Rutherford, who threw for 3,679 yards and totaled 3,829 yards in 2003. Like Pickett, who has benefited from the rise of Pitt wide receiver Jordan Addison, Rutherford was helped out by a phenomenal pass-catcher, as he had Larry Fitzgerald as his primary target. Now, it appears those two duos will go down as some of the best to ever play at Pitt.

In Saturday’s game, Pickett threw for 340 yards and four touchdowns and led Pitt to a 48-38 win over Virginia. It was his fourth game with at least 300 passing yards and four touchdowns this season, and thanks in large part to his performance, Pitt clinched an ACC Coastal title and improved to 9-2 on the season.

The Pitt signal-caller will have one more regular-season game to add to his totals, as Syracuse lies ahead in the coming week. And after that, the Panthers will have at least two more games awaiting them in the postseason, as they earned a berth in the ACC championship game with their win over the Cavaliers and will also play in a bowl game.

So far this season, Pickett has broken records for career completions, career passing yardage, single-game passing yardage, total touchdowns and total offensive yardage in addition to the single-season yardage records. And to do so, he topped records set by Alex Van Pelt, Pete Gonzalez and Dan Marino.

With the program records in hand, Pickett still has a few others within reach. With two more passing touchdowns, he could boost his season total to 39 and break a record set by Marino in 1981 and tied by Rutherford in 2003. And with five more passing touchdowns, he could boost his career total to 80 and break a record set by Marino in 1982.