After a crushing loss to Clemson, the Miami Hurricanes have an opportunity to redeem themselves at HardRock Stadium against the Pittsburgh Panthers.
Our 305Sports UM writers gave their take on Saturday’s primetime.
Art Moreno, Lead Hurricanes Writer (Season Record: 2-1)
34-17 Miami: The Hurricanes come into the game after a punishing loss to Dabo Swinney’s Tigers.
After seeing what the Miami offense has to offer at the wide receiver position, the Panthers may play copycat when facing Miami on Saturday.
Clemson was able to take one element away by removing Miami’s rushing ability. UM couldn’t retaliate by winning through the air and took that away themselves.
Expect more of the same Saturday as the Panthers come in playing relentless against the run. They are second overall in run defense this year and will look to stop Miami’s rushing attack from getting going for the second week in a row.
If Miami can get some semblance of offense going, I believe they’ll come out on top. Plus, Pitt’s starting quarterback is not playing, a boost for the Hurricanes defense, who’s coming off one of the best showings of the season despite a blowout loss.
I expect Miami to come back with a vengeance and take advantage of Kenny Pickett not playing the game.
Anthony Yero, Lead Hurricanes Writer (Season Record: 4-0)
40-24 Miami: The Hurricanes head into the home matchup hungry and determined to avenge their loss from last week. UM faces off against a Pittsburgh defense that gave up 358 passing yards last week. Expect Miami’s offense to let the ball fly and get some of their wide receivers going after a poor performance against Clemson.
Michael Yero, Lead Hurricanes Writer (Season Record: 3-1)
24-10 Miami: Saturday’s contest is really the first time we see how legitimate this Hurricanes team is. To be fair, nobody expected UM to take down Clemson, so a loss is excusable. However, this home game against Pittsburgh has must-win written all over it. There’s no excuse to this one, as D’Eriq King and his crew must get rolling early and late to pull away from Pitt.
I see no legitimate threat for UM if they can move the chains early on and continue receiving its help from their defense.
Jose Zarraluqui, Hurricanes Writer (Season Record: 4-0)
31-23 Miami: The Canes saw huge struggles on the offensive side of the ball against Clemson, which hopefully changes this weekend. Pitt has one of the better defenses in the nation, led by a phenomenal defensive front. They’rere a top-five team getting into the backfield, which Miami’s offensive line will need to stop. They struggled last week but will need to get their act together now, especially when it comes to unnecessary penalties. D’Eriq King is obviously going to play a huge factor, as always. King needs to be able to stretch the field by successfully throwing the ball deep, which he did not do while facing Clemson. Dee Wiggins and Mike Harley, among others, are going to need to get their play together to allow King to make manageable throws.
Miami’s running backs didn’t play well versus Clemson and will need to improve this week. Pitt has a fantastic front seven, maybe not as good as Clemson’s, but it’s a defensive front capable of shutting down UM’s run game.
Miami’s defense will certainly have a much more pleasant matchup against Pitt, rather than last week. Pitt starting quarterback Kenny Pickett is out with an ankle injury, easing things up for Bubba Bolden and the secondary.
The Turnover chain will need to make an appearance early to give the Hurricanes a confidence and momentum boost.
Trent Lima, Hurricanes Writer (Season Record: 2-1)
31-21 Miami: UM looks to bounce back after the beatdown they took against Clemson last week. If I were basing my prediction on years past, I’d say this game spells disaster for Miami. Playing Pitt at noon on a Saturday coming off the Clemson loss on primetime TV isn’t necessarily ideal. However, I’m starting to buy into this teams’ chemistry and toughness brought in by the new coaches and the starting quarterback D’Eriq King. Excluding the Clemson game, Miami has a win margin of 130-58 in three games. Pitt is a talented team but they’re no Clemson.
Pitt is only averaging 25 points per game in conference play compared to Miami’s 42. Pitt’s defense has been superior to Miami’s, however, giving up 23 points per game compared to Miami’s 28. I still think Miami has corrected the mistakes from last week for the most part and will have some different looks for this dominant Pitt defense. Miami takes care of business today on the road and will continue its quest to reach the ACC championship game.