Pittsburgh pummels Virginia Tech 52-22 to stay atop ACC Coastal

PITTSBURGH, Pa. (HokieSports.com) -  Virginia Tech fell behind early and couldn't get back in the game, falling 52-22 to Pittsburgh in an ACC game played Saturday night at Heinz Field.

Pittsburgh (Courtesy: HokieSports.com)

With the loss, the Hokies dropped to 4-5 overall, 3-3 in the ACC. Pittsburgh became bowl eligible, moving to 6-4 overall, 5-1 in league action, and the Panthers are in the driver's seat for the ACC's Coastal Division crown.

Pittsburgh jumped out to a 17-0 lead and never looked back. The Panthers got an early field goal from Alex Kessman and then used a 53-yard run from Darrin Hall to set up an 8-yard touchdown run by Quadree Ellison toward the end of the first quarter.

A 78-yard touchdown pass from Kenny Pickett to Maurice Ffrench early in the second quarter gave the Panthers the 17-point bulge.

The Hokies got on the board when quarterback Ryan Willis threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to receiver Eric Kumah. The play capped an 80-yard drive and cut the Panthers' lead to 17-7.

But Pittsburgh scored touchdowns on its final two possessions to end the first half and ultimately pulled away.

Willis threw two more touchdown passes in the second half. He completed 22 of 34 for 231 yards, with three touchdown passes, and he also rushed for 65 yards. The Hokies amassed 432 yards of offense.

Pittsburgh finished with 654 yards of offense.