- Winners of the Coastal Division with a 6-2 mark, Pitt will make its first appearance in the Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game. The Panthers closed the regular season with five wins in their final seven contests en route to Charlotte.
- Pitt’s 2018 regular-season slate was widely considered one of the nation’s toughest. The postseason won’t get any easier with undefeated Clemson (12-0) looming.
- While Pitt is playing in its first conference championship game, Clemson will be making its sixth appearance. The Tigers have won the last three ACC titles (2015-17), advancing to the College Football Playoff following each of those triumphs. Clemson is 4-1 overall in the ACC title game.
- Pitt will face half of the top four teams in this week’s major polls. In addition to Saturday’s title tilt with No. 2 Clemson, the Panthers on Oct. 13 played at Notre Dame (ranked No. 3 this week), falling on a late touchdown pass, 19-14.
- Pitt and Clemson have played on two prior occasions with the Panthers winning each time. In 2016, Pitt defeated Clemson in Death Valley, 43-42, handing the eventual national champion Tigers their only loss during a 14-1 campaign. The teams also met in the 1977 Gator Bowl, a 34-3 Pitt victory in Jacksonville, Fla.
- Pat Narduzzi is 2-0 as a head coach against teams ranked No. 2. In addition to the Clemson victory (ranked No. 3/2) in 2016, the Panthers defeated No. 2/2 Miami, 24-14, to close the 2017 regular season.
- When unranked, Pitt has won four consecutive games against top-3 teams dating back to the 2002 season.
- Pitt is 1-1 in games played in Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium. Both contests were bowl games. The Panthers defeated North Carolina, 19-17, in the 2009 Meineke Car Care Bowl and lost to Virginia, 23-16, in the 2003 Continental Tire Bowl.
This is only the third meeting all-time between Pitt and Clemson…it is, however, the second postseason encounter between the schools…the Panthers and Tigers met in the Gator Bowl on Dec. 30, 1977…led by All-America quarterback Matt Cavanaugh’s 387 yards passing and four touchdowns, Pitt roared past Clemson, 34-3…Pitt finished 9-2-1 that season under the direction of first-year head coach Jackie Sherrill…Coach Charley Pell’s Tigers finished 8-3-1…Pitt and Clemson most recently met on Nov. 12, 2016…the game was an instant classic as Pitt stunned No. 3/2 Clemson, 43-42, in Death Valley…the winning points came on Chris Blewitt’s 48-yard field goal with six seconds left…Pitt’s victory snapped the country’s longest home winning streak at 21 games…it also would be the lone loss of the 2016 season for Clemson, which finished 14-1 and claimed the College Football Playoff national championship…since joining the ACC for the 2013 season, Pitt is 9-3 against members of the Atlantic Division…in ACC play, the Panthers are 5-1 against Syracuse and 1-0 against Boston College, Clemson, Louisville and Wake Forest…Pitt is 0-1 against Florida State and NC State.