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Pitt wide receiver Darian Street announces transfer

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Freshman wide receiver Darian Street is on the move out of Pittsburgh. Street, a member of Pitt’s Class of 2017, announced his intent to transfer to a new football program with a statement released on Twitter.

“After talking with my family, we feel that it is in my best interest to part ways with the University of Pittsburgh,” Street said in his shared statement. “I’d like to thank [Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi] and [wide receivers coach Kevin Sherman] for giving me an opportunity to play for this university.”

Street did not record any stats this season for the ACC Coastal Division champion Panthers. Where Street goes next remains to be seen, but he will have to sit out one season before being eligible to return to the football field if he transfers to another FBS program. According to his recruiting profile on Rivals, the former three-star prospect chose Pitt over offers from Army, UConn, and Kent State as well as a couple of FCS offers.

Street is the younger brother of former Pitt wide receiver Devin Street, a leading wide receiver for the Panthers from 2011 through 2013.

Pitt whips Wake Forest, claims first-ever ACC Coastal title

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Since joining the ACC in 2013, Pitt had never finished higher than a solo second (2015) in the Coastal division.  With one game left in the 2018 regular season, the Panthers have already clinched a significant piece of program history.

Things didn’t exactly look promising for Pitt early on, however, with Wake Forest taking a 10-6 into the halftime locker room as the Panthers’ high-powered rushing attack was essentially shut down through two quarters.  A pair of third-quarter touchdowns passes from Kenny Pickett, though — four yards to Rafael Araujo-Lopes, 63 yards to Taysir Mack — gave the Panthers a lead they wouldn’t relinquish in a securing a 34-13 win in Winston-Salem.

With the win, Pitt, at 6-1 in conference play, is officially the winner of the ACC Coastal division.  It marks the first-ever conference title for the Panthers after joining the league five years and six seasons ago.

It was also the culmination of a march that began back in July when the conference’s media picked them to finish fifth in the seven-team division.  The next step, after a road date with Miami next weekend to close out the regular season, will be against second-ranked Clemson Dec. 1 in the ACC championship game in Charlotte.

Over the past three games, the Panthers had rushed for nearly 1,300 yards combined; Saturday, they were held to just 154 in averaging 3.3 yards per carry.  Pickett picked up the offensive slack, though, as he passed for a career-high 316.  Not only was this the first 300-yard game of the sophomore’s career, it was just the second 200-yard game (242 vs. Virginia Tech in November of last year) in his two seasons.

The three touchdown passes were a career-high as well; in fact, Pickett came into the game with 10 career touchdown passes and nine on the season.

While they couldn’t get much going on the ground, especially compared to the past couple of weeks, the Panthers did manage a pair of rushing touchdowns.  The last one, with 3:22 left in the fourth quarter that proved to be the final nail in the Demon Deacons’ coffin, came courtesy of a six-yard touchdown run by Stefano Milan — a fifth-year senior offensive tackle.

Wake, meanwhile, dropped to 5-6 and will need to beat Duke on the road next week to become bowl-eligible.  The Demon Deacons have played in two straight bowl games, and a third would tie the program record set from 2006-08.

No. 13 UCF extends nation’s longest winning streak to 17 after thumping Pitt

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Earlier this week, College Football Playoff Executive Director Bill Hancock sent a jolt of excitement through the hearts of fans in Central Florida by confirming there is a path for No. 13 UCF to make the playoff at the end of the year. Essentially it came down to one thing: keep winning.

So far so good for the Knights as they extended the nation’s longest winning streak to 17 by beating Pitt 45-14, capturing the program’s third win over a Power Five program in the past two seasons in the process.

As the score line indicated, the game was quite lopsided and the only sign of life from the Panthers most of the afternoon came on an 86-yard punt return for a score by Rafael Araujo-Lopes in the first quarter. Outside of that mistake on special teams, UCF lived up to their top 15 ranking and clearly were the better side in all three phases.

Quarterback McKenzie Milton continued to float around in the fringes of the Heisman Trophy conversation by throwing for 328 yards during a somewhat uneven outing with four touchdowns through the air and another two more scores on the ground to go with his 51 yards rushing. The electric dual-threat from Hawaii didn’t have his best of days against Pitt’s defense but the Knights still averaged over seven yards per play and punted just twice.

It wasn’t a bad day for his teammates on the other side of the ball either. Despite being on the field quite a bit due to all those quick scoring drives, UCF racked up three sacks and had a constant presence in the backfield. Panthers QB Kenny Pickett threw for only 163 yards (1 TD, 1 INT) and Qadree Ollison managed just 49 yards rushing to pace his team in that category.

The loss dropped Pat Narduzzi’s group to 2-3 on the season and it could be awhile before they find the win column again with Syracuse, Notre Dame and Duke on the docket next month.

As for UCF, the flip side might ring true for that program as the win streak looks like it will be awhile before it ends. Given how the AAC has looked relatively lackluster through the first month of the season, it could well be November before this team is truly tested after making things look easy once again in their only test against a Power Five opponent. With former coach Scott Frost struggling to even muster a single victory at Nebraska this year, his old team seems to have not lost a beat down in Orlando as they look again like the Group of Five’s best.

Indiana transfer Taysir Mack granted immediate eligibility at Pitt

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 11 Indiana at Illinois
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Pat Narduzzi and the Pitt football program had been holding out hope for months that they would have a new offensive toy at their disposal sooner than expected.  Friday, that hope morphed into reality.

In a tweet posted to its Twitter account just a short time ago, the Panthers confirmed that Taysir Mack will be immediately eligible to play in 2018 after being granted a waiver from the NCAA.  It’s unclear on what grounds the wide receiver was granted a waiver.

Mack came to Pitt in December of last year as a transfer after playing two seasons at Indiana, and it was thought he’d have to sit out the 2018 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules.  Instead, he’ll be able to provide an instant boost to the Panthers’ offense.

Mack was a three-star 2016 recruit who was rated as the No. 7 player at any position in the state of New York. After redshirting as a true freshman, he caught 23 passes for 310 yards and three touchdowns in 2017. Those numbers were good for fifth, fifth and tied for third, respectively, on the team.

Including the 2018 season, Mack has three years of eleigibility he can use.

Pitt announces addition of Arkansas transfer Will Gragg

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A little less than two months after leaving the SEC, Will Gragg has landed in the ACC.

Pitt announced in a press release Wednesday that Gragg has been added to Pat Narduzzi‘s football roster.  As Gragg, who transferred from Arkansas in mid-April, comes in as a graduate transfer, he is eligible to play for Pitt in 2018.

Not only that, but he’ll have another year of eligibility that he can use in 2019 as well.

“Our tight end room just got an immediate infusion of veteran talent with the addition of Will Gragg,” the head coach said in a statement. “He is a tremendously smart and tough competitor who will help us in the run and pass games. Will had a number of options following his graduation from Arkansas and we’re thrilled he picked Pitt to continue his academic and athletic careers.”

Pitt had been on the hunt for an experienced player at the tight end position since Chris Clark abruptly left the program in late March.

In his only action during his time with the Razorbacks, Gragg caught five passes for 61 yards in the 10 games in which he played last season.  Gragg took a redshirt as a true freshman in 2015 and did not see the field at all in 2016.

The 6-4, 231-pound Gragg was a four-star member of UA’s 2015 recruiting class who was rated as the No. 7 tight end in the country and the No. 3 player at any position in the state of Arkansas.  Only two signees in the Hogs’ class that year were rated higher than Gragg.