Stacey Coley scored three touchdowns and led the University of Miami to a 41-31 victory over the Pitt Panthers Friday afternoon at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. The freshman from Northeast High School in Oakland Park scored two touchdowns through the air and one on a flanker reverse from 73-yards out.
The first-year player made his next move into the locker room for oxygen after the score. With his long run and the temperatures in the thirties, Coley was winded and needed some air pumped into his lungs.
Coley, the only player in America to score a touchdown four ways (rushing, receiving, punt return and kickoff return) totaled 146 yards combined rushing and receiving on the day for Miami. Allen Hurns, meanwhile, led Miami with 173 yards on nine receptions, including a 66-yarder that set up a seven-yard Gus "The Bus" Edwards touchdown in the first half. Hurns became one of only four UM receivers to top the 1,000-yard plateau. Hurns has 1,138 on the season and is within striking distance of Leonard Hankerson's all-time mark of 1,156 yards.
Stephen Morris, coming off of a sub-par performance against Virginia threw for 296 yards and three scores. He also completed 60 percent of his passes and did not throw an interception. Morris has 7,736 yards for his career and supplanted Gino Torretta as the team's third highest yardage grossing passer in history.
Pitt's Isaac Bennett rushed for 141 yards and a score against a porous UM defense that gives up yardage in droves. UM allowed 501 yards on the day. Pitt scored with under a minute left to make the score respectable, but the game was never that close.
Miami rushed for 180 yards, which looks good on paper. However, after seeing 73 come from one burst by Coley, the 107 remaining yards on 33 carries does not yield a Herculean effort. Golden wanted to establish a running game and stayed with it deep into the fourth quarter. With the leads that Miami had throughout the game, it was not difficult to run the ball, despite having little success, when Morris was on his game and completed enough passes to keep the offense on the field. Miami was just four-for-11 on third-down conversions.
The win assures Miami of their best season since 2009. Miami has an outside shot at the Atlantic Coast Conference Coastal Division title, but both Duke and Virginia Tech both have to lose. Duke plays at North Carolina while the Techies play against Virginia. The Coastal winner will face Florida State next Saturday in Charlotte.
Miami, a team that traditionally has problem in cold weather, saw its lineman come out of the tunnel shirtless and in shorts before pre-game drills. They showed the partisan crowd and the nation that Miami is not afraid of any climate and can play in any type of weather.