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Pitt stuns No. 2 Clemson 43-42

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Nate Peterman threw five touchdown passes, James Conner rumbled for 132 yards and Pitt shocked second-ranked Clemson 43-42 on Chris Blewitt's last-second 48-yard field goal.

The last time Pitt faced a second-ranked opponent, the Panthers ended its foes’ national title dreams.

That foe was No. 1 West Virginia in the infamous 13-9 victory on Dec. 1, 2007.

Nearly nine years later, the Panthers repeated the feat.

Pitt shocked No. 2 Clemson, 43-42, at Memorial Stadium on Saturday after Chris Blewitt’s 48-yard field goal with 6 seconds left.

Quarterback Nate Peterman led the Panthers offense with 308 yards and five touchdowns. Running back James Conner had 187 total yards, caught a touchdown and ran for another in the victory.

Pitt overcame a historic performance by Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson. The junior set an ACC single-game passing record with 580 yards. Watson threw three touchdowns but also tossed three interceptions.

None of those interceptions was more important than linebacker Saleem Brightwell’s 70-yard return when Clemson was on the Pitt 3 yard-line with 6:26 remaining in the game. The Panthers responded with a 20-yard touchdown run by Conner to make it 42-40.

With 5:17 to go and trailing by two, the Panthers gave up a couple of first downs, but stopped the Tigers on a 4th-and-1 play at the Pitt 36.

Pitt only had 58 seconds to get the win, but only needed 52. The big play came when Peterman found tight end Scott Orndoff for a 21-yard gain that took Pitt from its own 45, to Clemson’s 34.

Four plays later, Blewitt gave Clemson its first regular season loss since Nov. 15, 2014, and its first home loss since Oct. 19, 2013.
Pitt James Conner
The kick was Blewitt’s second game-winner this season, with the last coming on Oct. 8 against Georgia Tech on a 31-yard boot.

Saturday’s win over Clemson was Pitt’s first victory over a ranked team since defeating No. 24 Notre Dame on Nov. 9, 2013.

The Panthers improve to 6-4 with the win and are now bowl-eligible. Pitt has appeared in a bowl game in each of the last eight seasons.

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