PITTSBURGH (AP) — His team reeling from a bout with COVID-19 that threatened to derail the rest of the season, Pittsburgh senior quarterback Kenny Pickett stood up in front of his teammates as the Panthers prepared to face Virginia Tech and provided a very blunt reminder about the bond they shared.

“He said ‘I don’t care who is on the field, I will play with any of my brothers here,’” Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi said.

It wasn’t just empty rhetoric. Pickett threw for 404 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another in his final start at Heinz Field as the Panthers blew out the Hokies 47-14 on Saturday despite missing 16 players due to COVID-19 protocols, including three starters on the offensive line and leading receiver Jordan Addison.

No matter. Pickett completed