DURHAM, N.C.: Grayson Loftis threw for two touchdowns and Duke snapped a two-game skid by defeating Pittsburgh 30-19 to end the regular season and secure a second straight winning season Saturday.
Loftis threw for 248 yards, with 106 of those to Jordan Moore and 72 to Jalon Calhoun. Both those receivers had touchdown receptions as Duke (7-5, 4-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) snapped a two-game skid to complete its first undefeated conference home slate since 1989.
The Panthers scored on Yarnell’s 14-yard throw to Bub Means with 5:17 left, then failed on a two-point pass play to leave the score at 27-19. Todd Pelino’s 48-yard field goal for Duke sealed the victory.
Duke pulled even at 10-10 late in the first half, needing only 25 yards after a poor Pitt punt. Loftis threw for 10 yards to Jordan Moore in the end zone.
It was 13-13 late in the third quarter when Loftis connected with Calhoun for a 15-yard touchdown. Jaquez Moore’s 3-yard run with 11:54 remaining gave the Blue Devils a 27-13 edge.
Pelino opened the scoring with a 47-yard field goal. Ben Sauls tied it for Pitt later in the first quarter with a 35-yarder.
The Panthers drove 93 yards in 15 plays to score on Karter Johnson’s 21-yard catch, fending off a would-be tackle for the final few yards.
Calhoun became the fourth player in Duke history with 3,000 receiving yards with a 32-yard gain on the last play of the third quarter.
Pitt running back Daniel Carter was ejected less than two minutes into the game for targeting during punt coverage.
Pittsburgh: The Panthers were hoping to take momentum into the offseason after knocking off Boston College in the home finale, but the Panthers couldn’t generate enough sustained offense. The game concluded the worst season in nine years under coach Pat Narduzzi.
Duke: The Blue Devils won for just the second time in six games to put a positive spin on a season that began with four consecutive victories. They won two of four games with Loftis, the third-stringer, at the controls after injuries to quarterbacks Riley Leonard and Henry Belin IV
Pittsburgh: 2024 opener at home vs. Kent State
Duke: Awaits bowl destination
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