Pittsburgh’s Chris Blewitt hit a 48-yard field goal with six second left to beat No. 2 Clemson 43-42 on Saturday in Death Valley.
Pitt quarterback Nathan Peterman drove the Panthers 34 yards in six plays to set up Blewitt’s game-winning kick. The winning drive was set up when Clemson running back Wayne Gallman could not pick up a first down on fourth-and-one at the Pitt 35-yard line with 0:58 seconds left in the game.
Peterman hit tight end Scott Orndoff for 21 yards to the Clemson 34 to put the Panthers in field goal range. Peterman completed 23 of 37 passes for 308 yards and five touchdowns in leading the Panthers to the upset win.
Clemson (9-1, 6-1 ACC) was in control of the game, 42-34, midway through the fourth and was driving to extend its lead. But Deshaun Watson, who set an ACC record with 580 passing yards, threw into double coverage in the end zone. The ball was picked off by Pitts’ Saleem Brightwell, who returned it 70 yards to the Clemson 30-yard line.
It was the second interception of the game thrown by Watson at the goal line. He also threw an interception in the end zone on Clemson’s first drive of the game.
The interception set up James Conner’s 20-yard touchdown run, which came after a questionable pass interference call on third down to keep the drive alive. That made score 42-40 Clemson with 5:17 left to play.
The Tigers drove to the Pitt 35 after that, but Gallman could not pick up one-yard on third-and-one and on fourth-and-one.
The loss not only prevented Clemson from clinching the ACC Atlantic Division this week, but it also snapped a 21-game home winning streak—the nation’s longest—and the Tigers 44 games of beating an unranked opponent, which dated back to a loss at NC State in 2011.
It was also their first loss in the regular season in 23 games, dating back to a loss at Georgia Tech in 2014. It was also Dabo Swinney’s first loss at home against an unranked team since his first game against Georgia Tech in 2008.
Clemson will play at Wake Forest next Saturday with a chance to clinch a berth in the ACC Championship Game next month. However, the Tigers chances of making the college football took a major blow and they no loner control their own destiny.