Miami vs. Pitt Prediction, Game Preview

    Miami vs. Pitt prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins between the Hurricanes and Panthers on Saturday in Miami, FL.

    October 31, 2016

    Miami vs. Pitt prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins between the Hurricanes and Panthers on Saturday in Miami, FL.

    Miami vs. Pitt Game Preview

    When: Saturday, Nov. 5 – 12:30 p.m. ET
    Where: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami, FL
    TV Broadcast: ACC Extra

    The Hurricanes (4-4, 1-3 ACC) stormed back from a 20-point deficit against Notre Dame but still suffered a 30-27 defeat for its fourth straight loss last week in South Bend. The Fighting Irish used a 23-yard Justin Yoon field goal with 30 seconds left to claim victory and spoil the Hurricanes’ in-game 27-0 run.

    Meanwhile, the Panthers (5-3, 2-2) continued to have issues in their secondary in their loss last week to Virginia Tech. Hokies quarterback Jerod Evans battled through a right ankle injury to throw for a career-high 406 yards and two touchdowns in a 39-36 Hokies victory. VT beat the Panthers on the road for the first time in 17 years.

    These two teams met last year in the Steel City, and a Larry Scott-led Miami team took home a 29-24 victory. It was the fourth win in five games for Scott, as the ‘Canes raced to a 20-point halftime lead before holding on. Quarterback Brad Kaaya threw for 261 yards and a touchdown and ran for another, Michael Badgley tied a school record with five field goals and Joe Yearby ran for 99 yards. Miami has defeated Pitt nine of the past 10 times they have played.

    What To Know About Miami

    The Hurricanes are enduring a rough stretch in Mark Richt’s debut season, and the one area that could be most troublesome is along the offensive line. The Hurricanes gave up eight sacks against Virginia Tech and followed that up with another poor performance against Notre Dame. The Irish finished with 12 tackles for loss, so they lived in the Miami backfield. The ‘Canes were also held to a season-low 18 yards after being held to 42 yards on the ground against the Hokies. Discipline is also a problem. Miami was penalized 10 times for 86 yards, and there were times when they either killed drives on offense or extended ND drives. Those mistakes can certainly change the momentum of a game.

    What to Know About Pitt

    The Panthers will be starting a tough two-game stretch in Miami, as the Hurricanes have won two of three meetings since Pitt joined the ACC in 2013. Pat Narduzzi’s squad will then head back on the road to face Clemson. Shockingly, Narduzzi’s defense is on the struggle bus. Highly touted freshman safety Damar Hamlin made his debut against the Hokies, but it didn’t help the cause. The top-rated defensive player in Pennsylvania, according to Rivals, had his redshirt burned after Phillipie Motley went down with an injury. The Panthers have already been without Avonte Maddox, who was injured earlier this year. If its passing defense wasn’t so woeful, the Panthers could be contending for an ACC title game appearance in Orlando. Hamlin should be able to help, but can he be a difference-maker right away?


    Offense: Pitt. The Panthers are averaging 38.1 points per game, while Miami is putting up 32.9 points per contest.

    Defense: Miami. The Panthers’ secondary is a real detriment to the team’s hopes of an ACC division title.

    Special Teams: Even. Miami took advantage of several Notre Dame special teams miscues last week, but Pitt still has Quadree Henderson, who is one of the nation’s most productive all-purpose performers.

    Coaching: Even. Richt is in a tough stretch, while Narduzzi needs to get his team on track with a tough few games coming up.

    Intangibles: Even. Both teams are scuffling and badly need a win.

    Matchup To Watch

    Pitt O-Line vs. Miami D-Line

    In last year’s contest, the Panthers were unable to provide quarterback Nate Peterman with much protection or time to look downfield, so the Panthers focused their offense on the ground game. Peterman entered that game coming off of a four-touchdown performance, but he was inaccurate and sloppy against Miami. This season, he is a much-different quarterback, though. However, Miami’s defense is much different under coordinator Manny Diaz. There is a lot of youth on it, but the front is healthier and has experience. Keeping Peterman upright is Priority No. 1 for the Panthers.

    Betting Odds

    Spread: Miami -6.5
    Over/Under: No Line (as of post)

    Miami vs. Pitt Prediction

    These teams could very easily find themselves in a sloppy shootout. Ultimately, the Panthers’ secondary is too generous to Kaaya and this ‘Canes offense. Peterman makes some plays down the field, but the ‘Canes get one last stop at the end of the game to give Richt a much-needed home victory.

    Miami vs. Pitt Score Prediction: Miami 34, Pitt 27

    MORE: 1-128 College Football Rankings – Week 10


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