Haven't skipped a beat. Armstrong ➡️ Thompson.
— Virginia Football (@UVAFootball) November 20, 2021
PITTSBURGH – As expected, the Coastal Division showdown between ACC rivals Virginia and No. 20 Pitt turned into a shootout Saturday at Heinz Field. The Cavaliers finished with more yards of total offense than Pitt, but that wasn’t enough to keep them in the hunt for the Coastal Division championship.
UVA self-destructed at several critical points, and the Panthers capitalized. Pitt walked away with a 48-38 victory and the Coastal title.
Quarterback Brennan Armstrong, who missed Virginia’s game against Notre Dame with a rib injury, returned Saturday and played brilliantly, completing 36 of 49 passes for 487 yards and three touchdowns. But the Wahoos (6-5, 4-3) gave up a kickoff return for a touchdown, surrendered two long TDs on fourth-down passes, and committed two costly penalties, including an offsides infraction on a field-goal attempt, on another drive that ended with Pitt’s fifth touchdown.
“Certainly, you’ve got to play cleaner to win a championship,” Virginia head coach Bronco Mendenhall said.
UVA closes the regular season next Saturday against Virginia Tech at Scott Stadium. The 3:45 p.m. game will air on ACC Network. Had the Hoos defeated Pitt (9-2, 6-1), they could have secured the Coastal crown with win over the Hokies.
For Pitt, which led 24-21 at halftime, quarterback Kenny Pickett completed 26 of 41 yards for 340 yards and four TDs. The Cavaliers sacked Pickett three times and picked off two of his passes, but they had no answers for his favorite target.
Pitt wide receiver Jordan Addison caught 14 passes for 202 yards and four TDs.
For the Cavaliers, the multi-talented Keytaon Thompson, tight end Jelani Woods and wideout Ra’Shaun Henry each had a TD reception. Wideout Dontayvion Wicks caught a career-best 10 passes for 144 yards, and running back Mike Hollins carried seven times for 30 yards and one TD.
For UVA’s defense, safety Joey Blount and cornerback Anthony Johnson each had an interception. Blount also had a sack. Nick Jackson recorded a game-high 12 tackles, including a sack, and fellow linebacker West Weeks, a true freshman, made eight stops and broke up two passes.
UVA Postgame Notes
- Pittsburgh snapped Virginia’s four-game ACC win streak.
- The UVA defense matched a season-high with two interceptions, only the second multi-interception game for Pitt’s Kenny Pickett this season.
- Virginia drops to is 4-9 all-time against Pitt and 1-5 at Heinz Field. UVA’s lone win in Pittsburgh came in 2019.
- Virginia accumulated 514 yards of total offense, the ninth time this season the Cavaliers have gone over the 500-yard threshold.
- Quarterback Brennan Armstrong returned after missing the previous game due to injury and threw for 487 yards and three touchdowns. It marked the fifth time this season he has thrown for 400 or more yards. The 487 yards tied his own mark set against Louisville (Oct. 9, 2021) for the second most in a single game in UVA history. Armstrong now owns the three highest single-game yardage totals in UVA history.
- Armstrong broke UVA’s single-season passing touchdown record with a 7-yard touchdown to Jelani Woods in the second quarter. His 30 for the season surpass Matt Schaub’s 28 in 2002.
- Armstrong now has 50 career touchdown passes, the third UVA quarterback (Matt Schaub – 56; Shawn Moore – 55) with 50 career touchdown passes.
- Armstrong upped his season yardage total to 4,044 yards, the seventh most ever in a single season by an ACC quarterback.
- Keytaon Thompson finished with a career-high 11 receptions and had 126 yards receiving. It was Thompson’s second-straight 100-yard receiving effort and third 100-yard game of the season.
- Thompson scored two touchdowns (one receiving, one rushing). The receiving touchdown was his first of the season. He has four total touchdowns in 2021 (3 rush, 1 receiving).
- Dontayvion Wicks had a career-best, 10 catches and totaled a team-best, 144 yards receiving. It was Wicks’ sixth 100-yard game of the season, tying Germane Crowell (1997) for the most 100-yard receiving games in a season in UVA history.
- Wicks has 1,148 yards receiving in 2021, the second most ever by a UVA wide out. He trails Herman Moore’s school-record of 1,190 yards set in 1990.
- Billy Kemp, Thompson, Wicks, Ra’Shaun Henry have each caught a pass in all 11 games this season.
- Defensive back Joey Blount recorded a sack and an interception to go along with four tackles. The sack in the second quarter was his first of the season and first since Oct. 30, 2019 against Clemson. In the 2019 season opener at Pitt he made seven tackles, had two sacks and intercepted a pass.
- The interception for Blount was his ninth of his career and his third of the season, matching his career-high total of three in 2019.
- Ra’Shaun Henry’s caught a 39-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to pull UVA within three. It was his third touchdown of the season and seventh of his UVA career. Seven of his 39 catches in two seasons at UVA have gone for touchdowns.
- Mike Green recorded his first sack of his career on third down of Pitt’s opening drive to force fourth down.