Williams leads North Carolina past No. 23 Pitt, 26-19

North Carolina wide receiver Ryan Switzer (3) celebrates in the end zone after running in for a touchdown after catching a pass in the second quarter of an NCAA college football game against Pittsburgh, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Marquise Williams threw two long touchdown passes and North Carolina beat No. 23 Pittsburgh 26-19 on Thursday night in a matchup of Atlantic Coast Conference upstarts.

The unexpected ACC Coastal showdown was the first of a three-week round-robin that will likely determine the division title. The Tar Heels (7-1, 4-0) face No. 22 Duke next at home with a chance to put a vice grip on the program’s first trip to the ACC title game.

North Carolina has won seven straight since a sloppy opening loss to South Carolina and is off to its best start since 1997 under Mack Brown.

For the third straight season, Williams came up huge against Pitt (6-2, 3-1). The senior was 14 for 23 for 270 yards and ran for 52. He has 1,020 total yards in three career victories against the Panthers.

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