Pitt topped Tennessee 41-34 in Neyland Stadium on Saturday, and one of the best performances in the matchup came from Panthers safety Brandon Hill, who led the Pitt defense in tackles and came up with multiple impactful plays. For his efforts, Hill was named an ACC Defensive Back of the Week.
All told, Hill came up with seven tackles against Tennessee, one of which took down Volunteers quarterback Joe Milton as he was charging toward the end zone. So had Hill not been able to make that stop, the outcome of the game might have been altered. And in addition to that, Hill came up with one of Pitt’s two pass breakups on the day and picked off a pass thrown by Volunteers quarterback Hendon Hooker late in the fourth quarter, sealing the victory for the Panthers.
As with the Milton tackle, the interception proved vital, as a completion would have set the Tennessee offense up in the red zone since an otherwise open receiver was waiting to collect the ball at the Pitt 14. But thanks to Hill, Panthers quarterback Kenny Pickett and the Pitt offense were able to take the field with less than five minutes remaining in the game, and with a handful of successful runs, they were able to kill the clock and finish off the Vols.
Despite solid performances by Panthers defensive end Habakkuk Baldonado, who led all defenders with two sacks, as well as Panthers receiver Taysir Mack, who had a game-high 100 receiving yards, Hill was the only member of the team honored as a Player of the Week by the conference. He also shared the honor with Louisville cornerback Kei’Trel Clark, who had two picks and two tackles for losses in a 30-3 win over Eastern Kentucky.