ACC & Big 12 Week 13 Preview: Panthers and Hokies look to stay in contention for ACC Coastal title
Pittsburgh (7-3) at Virginia Tech (7-3) – 3:30 p.m. on ESPN2
Winners of six of their last seven, the red-hot Pitt Panthers travel to Virginia Tech this weekend for a crucial ACC matchup. Both teams are 7-3 overall, 4-2 in conference play and are looking to remain in contention for the Coastal Division title.
Virginia Tech is 10-8 all-time against Pitt, but the Panthers are 4-3 against the Hokies since joining the ACC in 2012, including a win in last year’s matchup in Pittsburgh. Running back Qadree Ollison ran for 235 yards and three touchdowns in the game while Darrin Hall added another 186 yards rushing and a score.
Now, let’s take a closer look at the teams:
Pittsburgh Quick Hits:
- The Panthers are receiving votes in both the AP and Coaches’ polls.
- Quarterback Kenny Pickett is coming off one of his best career performances after throwing for 359 yards and three touchdowns in the Panthers’ 34-27 overtime win over North Carolina.
- Pickett is averaging 256.8 passing yards per game, which ranks 25th nationally and third among ACC quarterbacks.
- The Pitt defense boasts the nation’s top pass rush and leads the country with 45 sacks, an average of 4.5 per game.
- Tackle Jaylen Twyman has a team-high 9.5 sacks on the season and ranks seventh nationally and second in the ACC with an average of 0.95 sacks per game.
- The defense has only allowed an average of 90.9 rushing yards per game, good for No. 1 in the ACC and seventh nationally. The last time Pitt yielded fewer than 100 rush yards per game was in 2000 (97.0 for 12 games).
- Click here for the Panthers’ full game notes.
- Click here for Pittsburgh’s depth chart.
Virginia Tech Quick Hits:
- After dropping their first two ACC contest, the Hokies are now on a four-game conference winning streak.
- Quarterback Hendon Hooker is 5-0 as Virginia Tech’s starter, and has completed 58 of 95 passes for 973 yards with eight touchdowns and zero interceptions in those games.
- Virginia Tech’s defense has secured 12 interceptions so far this season, one behind FBS-leader Clemson (13).
- The famed “Lunch Pail” defense has only allowed one rushing touchdown in its last five games and has forced 19 three and outs in that span, including nine against Georgia Tech.
- Linebacker Rayshard Ashby has been named the ACC Linebacker of the Week four times this season, which is the most ACC Player of the Week honors of any defensive player in the league.
- Ashby is ranked third in the ACC with 92 tackles and fifth with 13.0 tackles for loss.
- Click here for the Hokies’ full game notes.
- Click here for Virginia Tech’s depth chart.
Here’s a quick look at a few more games we’ll have our eyes on this weekend in the ACC and Big 12:
NC State (4-6) at Georgia Tech (2-8) – 8 p.m. (Thursday) on ESPN
The Wolfpack and the Yellow Jackets are squaring off for the 30th time overall, but just the third time in the past 12 years. The last time the Wolfpack visited Bobby Dodd Stadium was in 2010, when NC State won 28-25.
Boston College (5-5) at No. 16 Notre Dame (8-2) – 2:30 p.m. on NBC
These old rivals are meeting for the 25th time overall and just the first time at Notre Dame Stadium since 2011. Notre Dame leads the all-time series 15-9 and has won six straight against the Eagles. The last time these programs met was in 2017, when Notre Dame defeated Boston College 49-20 at Alumni Stadium.
Syracuse (4-6) at Louisville (6-4) – 4 p.m. on ACCN
The Orange are looking to keep their bowl hopes alive after getting back on the winning track last week against Duke. Louisville is also entering off a win after defeating NC State 34-20 last weekend and earning bowl eligibility. These former Big East foes are meeting for the 18th time in a series that the Cardinals lead 10-7.
Duke (4-6) at Wake Forest (7-3) – 7:30 p.m. on ACCN
The Blue Devils are making their final road trip of the season as they travel to Winston-Salem on Saturday. The Big Four championship is on the line for the Demon Deacons as they have already defeated both North Carolina and NC State this season. A win would give Wake Forest its eighth Big Four title, and its first since 2007.
No. 21 Oklahoma State (7-3) at West Virginia (4-6) – Noon on ESPN2
Though the first meeting between these programs came in 1928, the schools are meeting for just the 11th time overall. The Cowboys and the Mountaineers have been meeting annually for eight seasons, and Oklahoma State owns the all-time series lead at 6-4.
Kansas (3-7) at No. 22 Iowa State (6-4) – Noon on TBD
The Jayhawks and the Cyclones are meeting for the 99th time when Iowa State hosts Kansas at Jack Trice Stadium this weekend. Since their first meeting in 1898, Kansas has claimed the series advantage with a 50-42-6 record. Despite the losing record, Iowa State has had the upper hand in recent years and currently owns a four-game winning streak on the Jayhawks.
Texas (6-4) at No. 14 Baylor (9-1) – 3:30 p.m. on FS1
These longtime in-state foes are meeting for the 109th time in a series that began in 1901. Both teams are coming off losses last week. Baylor was handed its first defeat of the season by Oklahoma, and Texas fell to Iowa State in Ames. If Baylor wins on Saturday, it will clinch its spot in the Big 12 Championship at AT&T Stadium on Dec. 7.
Kansas State (6-4) at Texas Tech (4-6) – 7 p.m. on FS1
The Wildcats and the Red Raiders are meeting for the 20th time in a back-and-forth series that Kansas State currently leads 10-9. The Wildcats have won seven the past eight meetings, including a 21-6 victory last season in Manhattan.
TCU (5-5) at No. 9 Oklahoma (9-1) – 8 p.m. on FOX
The Sooners are looking for their 400th all-time win at Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium as it hosts the Horned Frogs on Saturday night. A TCU win would give it bowl eligibility for the 17th time in Gary Patterson’s 19 seasons at head coach. If it doesn’t happen earlier in the day with an Oklahoma State loss at West Virginia, the Sooners will be headed to the Big 12 Championship game with a win against TCU.