Kenny Pickett threw for three touchdowns as Pittsburgh clinched its first division championship in the Atlantic Coast Conference by defeating host Wake Forest 34-13 on Saturday in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Pittsburgh (7-4, 6-1 ACC) will represent the Coastal Division in the ACC championship game against Clemson on Dec. 1 in Charlotte.
Pickett completed 23 of 30 passes for 316 yards, with Taysir Mack accounting for 105 yards on three catches.
Wake Forest fell to 0-4 in ACC home games and finished 2-5 overall at home this season. The Demon Deacons (5-6, 2-5) must win next week at Duke to secure bowl eligibility.
Wake Forest quarterback Jamie Newman, making his second career start and his first at home, was 15-for-30 for 206 yards, but was unable to orchestrate a late-game comeback as he did in the previous game.
Pickett threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Rafael Araujo-Lopes as the Panthers took a 13-10 third-quarter lead.
Pickett’s 63-yard pass play to Mack stretched the edge to 20-10.
Wake Forest stalled again in the red zone, so a 12-play drive resulted in Nick Sciba’s 20-yard field goal that closed the gap to 20-13 with 12:30 to play.
The Panthers, who needed to win one of their final two games to secure the division title, put it away when Pickett threw for a 23-yard score to Maurice Ffrench, then four minutes later, Stefano Millin ran 6 yards for a touchdown.
Wake Forest led 10-6 at halftime after Newman’s 28-yard touchdown strike to Alex Bachman, a senior who was playing in his final home game.
The Demon Deacons were without leading rusher Matt Colburn, a senior who would have been in his final home game if not for an apparent injury. Colburn has 698 rushing yards this season.
Cade Carney rushed for 67 yards on 15 carries for the Demon Deacons.
Sciba’s 32-yard field goal opened the scoring to cap Wake Forest’s first possession.
Darrin Hall’s 2-run put Pittsburgh on the board, but the extra point kick was blocked.
This was the first meeting between the teams.
—Field Level Media