Football Writers Association of America Nov. 27, 2017
For Immediate Release
Contact: Ted Gangi
Panthers end Miami's unbeaten run
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DALLAS (FWAA) – The Pitt Panthers held Miami to a season-low 232 total yards only 45 on the ground and had a season-high four sacks while true freshman quarterback Kenny Pickett, in his first career start, ran for two touchdowns and threw for another to end No. 2 Miami's hopes of an undefeated season with a 24-14 win Friday. For pulling off one of the season's biggest upsets and beating Miami at home for the first time since 1997, Pitt (5-7) has earned the Football Writers Association of America National Team of the Week honor for games of the weekend of Nov. 25.

The announcement came on "Off Campus with Mark Packer" on ESPNU Radio on SiriusXM. Each Monday during the season, the FWAA National Team of the Week will be unveiled during the program, which airs weekdays from 4-7 p.m. ET.

Pickett, who completed 18-of-29 passes for 193 yards and added 60 more on the ground, sealed the win with a 22-yard touchdown run around left end on 4th-and-6 with 2:54 left in the game. Pickett's six-yard run with 35 seconds left before halftime had given the Panthers a 10-7 lead.

"There is a lot of celebrating going on in that locker room," Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi said. "For the seniors, this is one to remember for a long, long time. For our younger guys, it's reached the point where you believe and have faith, then anything can happen. I talked about the past and the big upset win at West Virginia. It happened in Clemson last year. I told the players it's about time it happened in Pittsburgh."

The Panthers beat a top-two team at home for the first time in school history while also snapping a six-game home losing streak to the Hurricanes. Pitt has now won four consecutive games against top-three teams when unranked, and Narduzzi is 2-0 at Pitt against top-three teams, including last year's 43-42 win at No. 2 Clemson, the eventual national champion.

The other National Team of the Week nominees for the weekend of Nov. 25 were:

Auburn (10-2): The Tigers knocked off the nation's No. 1-ranked team for a second time in three weeks, beating Alabama 26-14 in the Iron Bowl to claim the SEC Western Division championship. Jarrett Stidham completed 21-of-28 passes for 237 yards and ran for 51 yards and a touchdown. Auburn trailed 14-10 after Alabama's opening drive of the second half, then scored the game's final 16 points. Auburn held Alabama for 314 total yards and without a third-down conversion until the fourth quarter. The Tigers have a rematch with Georgia, the former No. 1 team Auburn beat three weeks ago, in the SEC Championship Game on Saturday.

UAB (8-4): The Blazers set three program records with a 28-7 win over UTEP, finishing the regular season with eight wins, a record in its FBS era, six conference wins and posting a 6-0 mark at Legion Field for the first time. UAB, which won six of its last eight games, accepted a bid Monday to play in the Bahamas Bowl, only the second bowl berth in the program's history.

The Football Writers Association of America has named a national team of the week since the 2002 season. Members of the 12-person FWAA All-America Committee – plus one fan vote from Twitter – decide the weekly honor.

Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America consists of 1,400 men and women who cover college football. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include game-day operations, major awards and its annual All-America team. For more information about the FWAA and its award programs, contact Steve Richardson at

2017 National Teams of the Week
Weekend of Sept. 2: UCLA Bruins
Weekend of Sept. 9: Oklahoma Sooners
Weekend of Sept. 16: NIU Huskies
Weekend of Sept. 23: TCU Horned Frogs
Weekend of Sept. 30: Troy Trojans
Weekend of Oct. 7: Iowa State Cyclones
Weekend of Oct. 14: Syracuse Orange
Weekend of Oct. 21: Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Weekend of Oct. 28: Arizona Wildcats
Weekend of Nov. 4: Iowa Hawkeyes
Weekend of Nov. 11: Auburn Tigers
Weekend of Nov. 18: Kansas State Wildcats
Weekend of Nov. 25: Pitt Panthers

Kirk Bohls Austin American-Statesman National
Ken Capps C-USA
Tim Griffin Cox Communications Big12
Clay Henry Hawgs Illustrated SEC
Joey Johnston FanRag Sports American Athletic
Bobby La Gesse Land of 10 Big Ten
Stefanie Loh Seattle Times Pac-12
Nate Mink Syracuse Post-Standard ACC
Matt Roberson Jonesboro Sun Sun Belt
Phil Steele Phil Steele Publications Independents/Mountain West
John Wagner Toledo Blade Mid-American