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Kenny Pickett, Jordan Addison lead Pitt past Virginia, into ACC title game

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Pittsburgh is headed to the ACC championship game.

Behind another stellar performance from Kenny Pickett and Jordan Addison, Pitt clinched the ACC Coastal Division title with a 48-38 victory over Virginia. Pickett, Pitt’s senior quarterback, threw for 340 yards and four touchdowns — all four of which went to Addison.

With Brennan Armstrong back at quarterback for Virginia, the two offenses went back and forth all afternoon. Once the game reached the fourth quarter, the Panthers had a 41-38 lead with under 2:30 to play. The Virginia defense had a chance to get off the field and get the ball back to the high-powered Cavaliers offense.

Pickett and Addison had other ideas.

Virginia was out of timeouts, so Pitt would have been able to significantly drain the clock with a running play. Instead, Pitt went play-action and Pickett looked for his favorite target, Addison.

At first, it looked like Pickett might have thrown a brutal interception, but Addison ripped the ball away from the Virginia defender and took off through the secondary for a 62-yard touchdown.

The catch-and-run gave Addison 14 receptions for 202 yards and four scores on the day. Addison caught touchdowns from 11 and 18 yards in the second quarter and then a 34-yarder in the third.

That fourth touchdown, though, sent Pitt back to the ACC title game for the first time since the 2018 season.

Because of Clemson’s victory over Wake Forest earlier Saturday, the ACC Atlantic is still to be decided. If Wake Forest beats Boston College next weekend, it will meet up with Pitt in Charlotte on Dec. 5. But if the Demon Deacons lose, there’s a chance either Clemson or NC State can sneak into the title game.

Clemson has obviously had a down season but still has a chance to win the Atlantic for the tenth time under Dabo Swinney. The Tigers have won both the division and conference in six consecutive seasons.

The last time a team other than Clemson won the ACC came in 2014 when Florida State won it and advanced to the College Football Playoff.

Pittsburgh's Jordan Addison (3) returns a punt during the first half of the team's NCAA college football game against Virginia, Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Pittsburgh's Jordan Addison (3) returns a punt during the first half of the team's NCAA college football game against Virginia, Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
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