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Panthers look to be spoilers

At 4-7 heading into the regular-season finale, Pitt can still have a big say in the national championship race.

The Panthers, who are 2-5 in the ACC, close out Friday against unbeaten Miami, which has clinched the Coastal Division and will face Clemson in the ACC Championship Game.

"It's kind of a sad, really sad deal, when you're playing your last football game, and there will be a lot of emotions (Friday) that go into also playing a tremendous football team with a ton of speed, a ton of confidence, and obviously playing at a high level right now," said Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi.

"It'll be a great challenge, and we'll use Miami as a measuring stick to find out where we are as a football team, how far we've grown and learned through the entire year. Looking forward to it."

Pitt is coming off a 20-14 loss at Virginia Tech, which came up with a goal-line stand after the Panthers had four shots from the 1 in the final seconds.

Pitt has seven losses in a season for the first time since 2007, when it finished 5-7 that year.

Narduzzi said he is impressed with the overall team speed of Miami, calling quarterback Malik Rosier faster than what the Panthers saw last week in Virginia Tech dual threat Josh Jackson.

On defense, Miami has forced 2.7 turnovers per game, the best mark in the country.

"They've got that 'chain' going and the U and the whole deal," Narduzzi said.

"They've got confidence that they're going to get turnovers every time they walk out on the field, so that's going to certainly be a key to victory don't get them started. They want to pass that chain around and have 10 or 12 guys have that chain around their neck, so we've got to make sure that thing stays wherever they keep it when they walk out on the field. We've got to try to keep it in that box."


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