There was good news Sunday along the paths of Cardiac Hill. The Pittsburgh Panthers, who are now 5-1 overall and 3-0 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, climbed into the Associated Press Top 25 college football poll.
The Blue and Gold are off to their best start in six years, under first-year head coach Pat Narduzzi. The Panthers arrived at the No. 25 spot in the AP poll after their 31-28 road victory over the Yellow Jackets of Georgia Tech.
Pitt is undefeated in conference play and owns first place in the ACC Coastal division. The Duke University Blue Devils are not far behind with a 5-1 overall record and a 2-0 mark in the ACC. The Panthers join the Clemson Tigers at No. 6, the Florida State Seminoles at No. 9, and Duke at No. 23 as the four ACC schools currently in the AP’s Top 25 survey.
It could have been five ACC schools in the AP Top 25, with North Carolina just missing out, as they were fourth in the “others receiving votes” category.
The last time the Blue and Gold claimed an in-season appearance in the AP Top 25 was 2009. They put together a 10-3 record. Pitt ranked No. 15 in the AP’s 2010 preseason poll, but dropped from the rankings after a 27-24 overtime loss to Utah in the opening week of the season. It was the last time for the Panthers to appear in the AP poll.
The challenge for the Panthers is coming as they play their fifth road contest in seven weeks. Pitt battles Syracuse (3-3, 1-1 ACC) Saturday, Oct. 24 at the Carrier Dome. The contest will kick off at 12:00 p.m. The Blue and Gold captured the 2014 matchup last season 30-7 on a pair of Chad Voytik touchdown passes at Heinz Field. You can catch every first down on ESPNU.
From The Clipboard: Pitt placekicker Chris Blewitt, whose 56-yard field goal with 1:11 left in the game, led the Panthers to a 31-28 win Saturday at Georgia Tech. The 5-foot-9, 180-pound junior has been named the ACC’s Specialist of the Week.
The native of Alexandria, Virginia tied an ACC record for the longest game-winning field goal in the history of the conference. It also takes the top spot as the longest field goal in Panthers history. The earlier mark was a 54-yarder by David Merrick in 1994 against Texas.