Pitt, after a 1-4 start to the season, went on a 6-1 tear to win the ACC Coastal Division and earn a spot in Saturday's ACC Championship Game against the No. 2 Clemson Tigers.
"It's an honor and a privilege to be able to take Pittsburgh to the championship game and take on such a great football team and great coach in Dabo Swinney," Pittsburgh head coach Pat Narduzzi said. "We know it will be a heck of a football game. We know we're playing one heck of a football team in Clemson."
In Pittsburgh's final tune-up of the regular season, the Miami Hurricanes ended the Panthers' four-game winning streak 24-3 last week.
"I'm not so sure some of our kids weren't already looking forward to (Saturday's) game already," Narduzzi said. "So I don't think we'll have much trouble trying to get them ready for the game. I think they've looked forward to it for a week, maybe too much."
Pittsburgh (7-5, 6-2 ACC) is a massive underdog against Clemson, by about four touchdowns.
"I think our kids will know they're the underdog. I don't think I have to tell them," Narduzzi said.
"If you turn any TV station on, turn on ESPN, they'll find out by the time we get probably Wednesday that they're the underdog. I won't really have to play that role up. I think they'll have figured that out."
However, Pittsburgh nonetheless has earned the right to represent the Coastal Division in a conference title match and has a chance to spoil Clemson's bid at a College Football Playoff appearance.
The Panthers have mostly gotten it done with the ground game, but that mode of attack runs right into Clemson's strength on the defensive line. Can Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett take advantage of the Tigers through the air?
Pickett, after a 316-yard, three-touchdown outing against Wake Forest both season highs for the sophomore came back down to earth against Miami. Pickett tallied just 130 yards on 14-of-22 passing with no scores while rushing for minus-34 yards.
Now Pickett has to solve an even tougher defense.
"When I first came here, I wanted to get this team back into championships, lead this team back into a championship like they were in the old days," Pickett said. "That's something I wanted to get this university back to."