PITTSBURGH – Wide receiver Aaron Matthews hit quarterback Kenny Pickett on a 3-yard, fourth-down touchdown pass with 56 seconds remaining, helping Pittsburgh stun No. 15 Central Florida 35-34 on Saturday.
The Panthers (2-2) ended UCF's 25-game regular-season winning streak on a play that coach Pat Narduzzi called the "Pitt Special" in a nod to the Philadelphia Eagles, who ran a similar play two seasons ago in their Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots.
Pitt trailed by six when Pickett drove the Panthers to the UCF 3. Running back A.J. Davis took a direct snap with Pickett going in motion. Davis handed the ball to Matthews, who rolled to his right and hit Pickett in the end zone.
"Kenny claims he has the best hands on the team," Matthews said with a smile.
Pickett completed 25 of 47 for 224 yards with a touchdown despite leaving briefly with a right arm injury. Maurice Ffrench and Dontavius Butler-Jenkins caught touchdown passes for the Panthers, who bounced back from an emotional loss to rival Penn State last week by withstanding a 31-point outburst from the Knights (3-1) in the middle of the game.
UCF quarterback Gabriel Dillon passed for 338 yards and two touchdowns but also threw his first two interceptions of the season. Gabriel Davis hauled in 10 passes for 151 yards. But the Knights totaled 423 yards, 180 under their season average.