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Miami Pitt - A True Test of Character - Weekend Picks

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After four frustrating losses, Miami is still searching for answers. I do my best to stay positive.

North Carolina v Miami Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

“A true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.” - John Wooden

Just 28 days ago, a 4-0 highly ranked Miami team was getting to ready to host Florida State. Fans excitement was through the roof. My writing was spreading on social media faster than fake voting articles. That now seems so long ago. The Canes have lost four straight games, each excruitiating in its own special way. After scoring 27 consecutive points against Notre Dame, I started to believe this season could be turned around. A loose football that refused to stay in Jamal Carter’s arms probably ended that dream. I always try to stay positive, but even I’ll admit it’s been difficult to find the right words this week.

MIAMI -3 vs Pittsburgh - 1230pm

I understand fans are upset. I’m a realist when it comes to the size of the crowd Miami will have on Saturday for a game against Pitt on regional television. That being said, it’s still important for fans and the community to keep supporting this team. Mark Richt and his staff know how to recruit and will surely be selling playing time and the chance to make an immediate impact. The Canes already have young players who have a chance to be truly special, especially on defense - Joe Jackson, Michael Pinckney, Malek Young, Shaq Quarterman, and Zach McCloud to name a few. It’s clear that Ahmmon Richards has a chance to end his Miami career as one of the best WR’s in the nation. The future is still bright, you just have to look past the clouds and fog of 2016.

Miami’s chances against the Panthers will largely depend on the performance of the embattled Canes’ offensive line. A below-average Notre Dame defense finished with 12 tackles for loss against Miami, which is beyond unacceptable. Pitt’s defensive line is talented, led by star Ejuan Price. Look for Mark Richt to continue to rely on short passes to keep Kaaya in a rhythm. Pitt relies on RB James Conner to grind out yardage and mixes in Quadree Henderson, an explosive playmaker. Manny Diaz’s defense needs to bring the same energy we saw in the second half in South Bend. Thankfully Corn Elder is fine and will suit up on Saturday.

I expect the Canes to win a close game at home but readily admit I also thought they’d beat UNC and Notre Dame. It’s time for this team to come together, bounce back, and finish strong. The four games in November are all very winnable and finishing 8-4 would be significant in starting to build back the program’s reputation.

I had a nice 14-11 record last week but realize that few people will care right now. My numbers on the year are still ugly, and everyone is fully consumed with the election and the Chicago Cubs. If you want/need specifics on why I continue to pick Wyoming every week (because they always win), let me know. Enjoy your weekend of college football and hopefully I’ll be able to talk about another successful week and a Canes win next Thursday.

RICHT PICKS

FLORIDA STATE -6 at NcState - 7pm

WYOMING -6 vs Utah State - 8pm

PENN STATE -7.5 vs Iowa - 730pm

ALABAMA -8 at Lsu - 8pm

Thursday

BUFFALO +19 at Ohio - 6pm

IOWA STATE +20.5 vs Oklahoma - 730pm

COLORADO -11.5 vs Ucla - 9pm

Friday

TEMPLE -10.5 at UConn - 7pm

Saturday

NOTRE DAME -6.5 vs Navy - 1130am

BOSTON COLLEGE +25 vs Louisville - 12pm

AUBURN -25.5 vs Vanderbilt - 12pm

TEXAS A&M -14 at Mississippi State - 12pm

NORTHWESTERN +7 vs Wisconsin - 12pm

NORTH CAROLINA -10 vs Georgia Tech - 1230pm

WAKE FOREST -3 vs Virginia - 3pm

CLEMSON -26 vs Syracuse - 330pm

OKLAHOMA STATE +2.5 at Kansas State - 330pm

BAYLOR -8 vs Tcu - 330pm

ARKANSAS +4.5 vs Florida - 330pm

SOUTH CAROLINA -7 vs Missouri - 4pm

MEMPHIS -3 at Smu - 4pm

OREGON +17 at Usc - 7pm

KENTUCKY +2 vs Georgia - 730pm

TULSA -8.5 vs East Carolina - 8pm

NEBRASKA +16.5 at Ohio State - 8pm

CALIFORNIA +16.5 vs Washington - 1030pm