Can the 'Canes break their 4 game losing streak in front of their home fans and a few legends?
Miami needs this one in a bad way, especially if they want to retain hopes of being bowl eligible.
Today they face a physical Pitt Panthers team that is also looking to enhance their chances at the postseason.
Please feel free to join in and leave plenty of comments below with fellow UFAM!
Game Notes (Courtesy UM):
MIAMI RETURNS HOME TO FACE-OFF AGAINST PITTSBURGH ON HOMECOMING
- Miami welcomes Pittsburgh on Saturday for an ACC Coastal Division matchup at Hard Rock Stadium. Kickoff is set for 12:30 p.m. and will air on the ACC Network.
- Saturday afternoon’s contest marks the Hurricanes’ annual Homecoming game.
- Miami is 24-10-1 all-time against Pittsburgh. The Hurricanes have won 17 of the last 19 matchups against the Panthers.
- The series opened in 1950, with Miami defeating Pittsburgh, 28-0, on the road.
- Miami is in the midst of a four-game losing skid. Three of Miami’s four losses have come by seven points-or-less and two have come by three points-or-less.
- Miami’s four losses have come by a combined 32 points (8.0 points per game average).
A LOOK BACK AT NOTRE DAME: CANES SECOND HALF RALLY FALLS SHORT
- Miami’s matchup with Notre Dame marked the Hurricanes’ first game at Notre Dame Stadium since 1990.
- Miami owns a 7-18-1 all-time series record against Notre Dame.
- Miami Starters:
Offense: QB #15 Brad Kaaya, RB #1 Mark Walton, RB #7 Gus Edwards, WR #82 Ahmmon Richards, WR #3 Stacy Coley, WR #8 Braxton Berrios, LT #73 Trevor Darling, LG #52 Kc McDermott, C #68 Nick Linder, RG #63 Danny Isidora, RT #78 Tyree St. Louis
Defense: DL #9 Chad Thomas, DL #7 Kendrick Norton, DL #80 RJ McIntosh, DL #33 Trent Harris, LB #53 Zach McCloud, LB #55 Shaquille Quarterman, #56 Michael Pinckney, DB #26 Rayshawn Jenkins, DB #29 Corn Elder, DB #6 Jamal Carter, DB #25 Adrian Colbert
- Senior defensive back Jamal Carter, senior defensive back Corn Elder, junior tight end Chris Herndon IV and freshman running back Travis Homer represented the Hurricanes during the coin toss against Notre Dame.
- With his 288 yards passing against Notre Dame, Kaaya now has 8,420 career passing yards, which moved him into the top 20 on the ACC’s all-time career list.
- Kaaya has now thrown for over 200 yards in 25 of his 33 career games.
- Kaaya has now thrown at least one touchdown in 29 career outings.
- Kaaya started the game 4-of-11 for 44 yards, but then finished the game 22-of-31 for 244 yards and one touchdown.
- Miami recovered its first onside kick of the season.
- Miami blocked its third punt of the year.
- Miami recovered a pair of Notre Dame fumbles on punt return coverage.
MEET THE NEW GUY IN TOWN - MARK RICHT
- University of Miami Director of Athletics Blake James announced on Dec. 4, 2015 the hiring of Hurricane alumnus Mark Richt as the 24th head football coach at The U.
- Richt was officially introduced to the public at a news conference at the Shalala Student Center.
- Richt, born in Omaha, Neb., and raised in Boca Raton, Fla., returned to his alma mater after leading the University of Georgia football program for the previous 15 years. During that time he compiled a 145-51 overall record and an 83-37 mark in Southeastern Conference play.
- Richt won two SEC championships, six SEC East titles and nine bowl games, and finished the season in the Associated Press Top 10 rankings seven times.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
- Miami will be in search of its second straight win against Pittsburgh.
- A win over the Panthers this Saturday would hand the Hurricanes their 18th win over Pittsburgh in their last 20 matchups.
- Mark Richt will be in search of his 150th career win.
- Kaaya will look to throw for 200-or-more yards for the 26th time his career. In 25 of his 33 career games, Kaaya has thrown for over 200 yards. He also has at least one touchdown in 29 career outings.
- Kaaya needs just 125 yards passing to move past former NC State quarterback Russell Wilson for 18th on the ACC’s all-time career passing list.
- With 16 yards passing this weekend, Kaaya will become just the second Miami quarterback to throw for over 2,000 yards in three straight seasons. Ken Dorsey is the only other Miami signal caller to do so.
- Senior wide receiver Stacy Coley needs just two more receiving touchdowns to crack Miami’s all-time top 10 for receiving touchdowns in a single season.
- Coley needs just five receptions to pass former Hurricane legends Michael Irvin and Santana Moss for third on Miami’s all-time career reception list.
- If running back Joe Yearby surpasses 100 yards rushing, it would mark the eighth time in his career in which he has passed the century mark and would tie him for eighth all-time at Miami with Frank Gore.
- Senior offensive lineman Danny Isidora will look to make his 35th consecutive start. Isidora’s current consecutive start streak of 34 games is the team’s longest.
- The Hurricanes are just three sacks away from surpassing last year’s 2015 sack total of 26.
- QB Brad Kaaya is in the midst of a junior season at Miami in which he has already posted career numbers that rank among the most prolific in program history.
- Kaaya was on the preseason watch lists for eight major honors: The Lombardi Award, the Manning Award, the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm, College Football Performance, the Davey O’Brien Award, American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team, the Wuerffel Trophy and the Maxwell Award.
- Kaaya’s 8,420 career-passing yards are already the third-most in Miami history. His 3,238 passing yards as a sophomore in 2015 are tied for the sixth-most in a single season, while his 3,198 yards in 2014 are the eighth-most. He is the only QB with two individual seasons ranking in the top 10.
- His 8,420 passing yards rank 20th on the ACC all-time career list.
- With his three touchdown passes at Appalachian State, Kaaya passed legendary Hurricane quarterbacks Craig Erickson, Gino Torretta, Steve Walsh and Vinny Testaverde on the all-time touchdown pass list.
- Kaaya’s 55 career touchdown passes rank third all-time in Miami history.
- Kaaya has thrown for 200 or more yards in 25 of his 33 career games and has nine career 300-yard performances. His career high of 405 yards came at Florida State on Oct. 10, 2015. His 25 career 200-yard passing games are the most among active ACC quarterbacks.
- Kaaya’s nine career 300 yard passing games are ranked second behind Clemson’s Deshaun Watson among active ACC players.
- Kaaya was one of just three players nationally to throw for 3,000-or-more yards, 10-or-more touchdowns and five-or-fewer interceptions in 2015.
- As a freshman in 2014, Kaaya was named the ACC Offensive and ACC Overall Rookie of the Year after a stellar first campaign with the Hurricanes.
CAN OF CORN
- Through eight games in 2016, Elder has totaled 47.0 tackles (36.0 solo), 3.5 tackle for loss, 2.0 sacks, one interception and eight pass breakups.
- His eight pass breakups are a team best. He also leads the team with 36.0 solo tackles.
- In the Hurricanes’ home opener against FAMU, Elder picked off a pass and tallied a pair of tackles.
- In Miami’s first road game of the year at Appalachian State, Elder tied a then career high with 7.0 tackles. He also tallied a sack, a tackle for loss, one pass breakup and one quarterback hurry.
- Against Florida State, Elder registered 6.0 tackles and one pass breakup.
- In the Hurricanes’ matchup against North Carolina, Elder posted career highs in tackles (14.0) and solo tackles (11.0). He also tallied a pass breakup and a sack.
- Against Virginia Tech, Elder made six stops and had two pass breakups.
- This past weekend versus Notre Dame, Elder recorded 4.0 solo tackles and had a pass breakup.
- Elder emerged as one of Miami’s top playmakers in 2015.
- Elder took the final lateral of "The Return" 91 yards to give Miami a 30-27 win over Duke in 2015.
- Elder tied for fifth in the ACC with 13 passes defended (1.0 per game).
- Elder led all UM cornerbacks in sacks with 2.0 in 2015.
- Craig Kuligowski, who is widely regarded as one of the top defensive line coaches in the country, has already made an immediate impact in his first season at Miami. The Hurricanes currently rank second in the nation in tackles for loss per game (9.4) and rank 24th in sacks per game (2.88).
- Through eight games, Miami has totaled 75 tackles for loss and 24 sacks. In 2015, the Hurricanes recorded 66 tackles for loss and 26 sacks for the entire season.
- Prior to arriving at Miami, Kuligowski spent 15 years at Missouri, where his defensive line units frequently ranked among the nation’s best in tackles for loss and sacks.
- Under first year defensive coordinator and Miami native Manny Diaz, the Hurricanes rank in the top-30 nationally in four different defensive categories: scoring defense (No. 16/18.9), team sacks (No. 24/2.88), tackles for loss (No. 2/9.4) and total defense (No. 28/354.1).
- Miami has allowed just 16 touchdowns in its last 34 quarters dating back to last season.
- Miami has started and finished games strong, outscoring its opponents by a combined 88-50 in the first and fourth quarters of games.
- In its ACC opener against Georgia Tech, Miami’s defense accounted for 12 points as freshmen Shaquille Quarterman and Joe Jackson each returned a fumble for a touchdown.
- In 2016, through just eight games, nine players already have at least 5.0 tackles for loss. In 2015, just four players finished the season (13 games) with at least 5.0 tackles for loss.
- Against Appalachian State, Miami held the Mountaineers to just 2.6 yards per carry on the ground.
- Miami dominated FAU in the first half, as it held the Owls to just one yard rushing on 17 attempts. The Hurricanes also did not allow the Owls to convert one third-down conversion as they went 0-for-11. FAU finished the game with just 46 yards.
- The Hurricanes opened the year on a high note, as they held Florida A&M to just 43 second-half yards.
MAKING HIS MARK
- Running back Mark Walton has rushed for over 100 yards in three games this season.
- Against North Carolina on Oct. 15, Walton rushed for 82 yards on a career-high 24 carries.
- Walton has already surpassed his 2015 rushing total of 461 yards. He currently leads the team with 649 yards on the ground.
- Walton scored a touchdown on the first play of the game at Appalachian State, as he raced 80 yards for the score. His 80-yard run was the longest of his young career.
- Walton’s 80-yard touchdown run against Appalachian State is the second-longest rush in the ACC this season.
- In 21 career games, Walton has scored 19 touchdowns (18 rushing, one receiving).
- On Sept. 10 against Florida Atlantic, Walton rushed for a career-high 155 yards. He also scored a career-high four touchdowns against the Owls. His 155-yard output against FAU was the fifth highest rushing total in the ACC this season. In two career games against FAU, Walton has totaled seven rushing touchdowns.
- Walton got off to an impressive start to the 2016 season, as he rushed for a then-career-high 116 yards and had one touchdown against Florida A&M.
- Walton delivered an impressive first season with the Hurricanes as a freshman in 2015, ranking second on the team with 1,054 all-purpose yards and first with 10 total touchdowns.
- Walton’s 10 touchdowns - nine rushing and one receiving - were tied with Stacy Coley (2013) for second-most by a Miami freshman since 2000.
- Walton, who had 461 rushing yards and 293 receiving yards, was one of just 11 freshman running backs nationally with eight-or-more rushing touchdowns in 2015.
- Miami freshman linebackers Michael Pinckney, Shaquille Quarterman and Zach McCloud have made an immediate impact in their first seasons at The U.
- The three rookie linebackers have combined for 107.0 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss and 4.0 sacks. They have combined for nearly 19 percent of the team’s tackles this season.
- The Miami freshman trio has started at linebacker in the Hurricanes’ last six games. UM is the only school in the nation that has started three true freshman linebackers.
- Quarterman and Pinckney are ranked second (51.0) and fifth (38.0) on the team in tackles, while McCloud ranks 12th on the team in tackles (18.0).
AHMMON RICHARDS AMONG THE BEST UM FRESHMAN WRs ... EVER
- Freshman wide receiver Ahmmon Richards currently leads the Hurricanes with 488 yards receiving. His 488 yards currently rank sixth on the all-time freshman receiving yards list.
- Michael Irvin holds the all-time freshman receiving record.
- Richards leads the Hurricanes with 488 yards receiving.
- His 21.2 yards per reception ranks are tops among all FBS freshman nationally. Richards’ 21.2 yards per reception are ranked seventh nationally.
- Richards’ 488 yards receiving rank second nationally among FBS freshman.
- Through eight games this season, punter Justin Vogel has lived up to his preseason all-conference honor. The Tampa, Fla., native has 42 punts for 1,857 yards. His 44.2 yards per punt average ranks second in the ACC and 23rd nationally.
- Vogel has 14 punts that have landed inside the 20-yard line and has 12 that have gone over 50 yards.
- Vogel earned Preseason All-ACC honors after a stellar junior season in which he was recognized with All-ACC Third-Team honors by the media and All-ACC honorable mention from the league’s coaches.
- Vogel averaged 42.5 yards per punt in 2015, while his 73-yarder against Clemson on Oct. 24 was the longest of any ACC punter in 2015. He totaled 13 punts of 50 yards or more last season.
- Vogel was one of 28 punters to be named to the watch list for the 2016 Ray Guy Award. Vogel is a three-time Ray Guy Award nominee and was a semifinalist for the award in 2014.
- After spending the 2013 season at Florida, Vogel averaged 42.8 yards per punt and 62.1 yards on kickoffs in 2014. He was named Third-Team All-ACC by Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association.
THE COLEY CONNECTION
- Wide receiver Stacy Coley has established himself as one of the Hurricanes’ top pass catchers of all-time. In 44 career games, Coley has hauled in 139 receptions (fifth all-time) for 1,897 yards (eighth) and 17 touchdowns (tied for seventh).
- Coley’s six receiving touchdowns rank 28th in the NCAA and second in the ACC.
- He currently stands as the team’s leading pass catcher with 36 receptions.
- Coley has caught a pass in 17 straight games.
- On Oct. 10, Coley was named ACC Receiver of the Week after he hauled in seven catches for 80 yards and two touchdowns against Florida State.
- Coley had a dominant freshman season in 2013, earning Freshman All-America honors and All-ACC recognition after leading the team with 1,461 all-purpose yards.
- After a quiet 2014, he returned to form in 2015. Despite missing two games with a hamstring injury, Coley finished second on the team in catches (47) and receiving yards (689).
- Coley’s 79.2 yards-per-game average in conference play ranked second in the ACC last season.
- He caught at least three passes in each of his final nine games in 2015, and had 678 yards over that span.
- Following the 2015 campaign, he earned All-ACC Second Team (Coaches) and All-ACC Third Team (ACSMA) recognition.
- Junior Michael Badgley enjoyed a prolific season in 2015, setting the Miami single-season record for made field goals (25) and besting the previous school record held by Jon Peattie (22, 2003). He entered 2016 on the watch list for the Lou Groza Award, which honors the nation’s best kicker.
- Badgley has connected on 32 extra points this season. His consecutive streak for PAT kicks made ended against Florida State at 72. He has now 106 PAT kicks made for his career. He is 9-for-12 in field goal attempts this season.
- This past weekend at Notre Dame, Badgley was 2-for-2 in field goal attempts as he connect on attempts from 43 and 38 yards out.
- On Oct. 15 against North Carolina, Badgley hit a pair of field goals from 47 and 22 yards out.
- Against Florida State, Badgley drilled two field goals, including a season-long 51-yarder. His 51-yard field goal against FSU is tied for the third longest field goal in the ACC this year.
- Against Appalachian State, Badgley connected on six extra points and a 44-yard field goal.
- He is a perfect 15-of-15 in field goal attempts from between 40-49 yards during his UM career.
- Badgley tied a UM record when he hit a 57-yard field goal against Georgia Tech in 2015.
- The Summit, N.J., native set a school record when he hit five field goals against Nebraska in 2015, and would tie that mark later in the season with five field goals made against Pittsburgh.
- Badgley’s 2.08 field goals per game average ranked first in Division I last season, while his 25 made field goals were tied for fourth-most in the nation. He ranked 16th in scoring (9.6 points per game).
THE SOUTH FLORIDA DUO
- Miami running backs Mark Walton and Joe Yearby have combined to rush for 1,143 yards this season.
- Louisville’s rushing duo of Lamar Jackson and Brandon Radcliff are the only other rushing tandem in the ACC that have more combined yards than Walton and Yearby.
- Walton (649) and Yearby (494) have accounted for 96 percent of the Hurricanes rushing output this year.
- In addition, Walton (54) and Yearby (36) have combined for 90 points.
- Both Walton (Booker T. Washington) and Yearby (Miami Central) attended Miami-area high schools before joining the Hurricanes.
- Offensive lineman Danny Isidora leads all Hurricanes with 34 straight starts.
- Fellow offensive linemen Nick Linder and Trevor Darling also have proven to be mainstays on the Hurricanes’ offensive line as they have both started 26 straight games.
- Isidora, Linder, Darling and running back Joe Yearby were the only Hurricanes to start every game last season.
- Miami’s active all-time start leaders include offensive lineman Danny Isidora (34), quarterback Brad Kaaya (33), defensive back Rayshawn Jenkins (29) and wide receiver Stacy Coley (28).
ALMOST PERFECT 10
- Teams rarely beat Miami when scoring 10-or-fewer points.
- The Hurricanes are now 161-2 in their last 163 games when holding opponents to 10 points-or-fewer, after winning 45-10 at Appalachian State. That run goes back to Oct. 1, 1977, ironically, a season that began with Miami holding its first two opponents to exactly 10 points apiece and still losing both of those games.
- The only 10 points allowed-or-fewer losses since: Nov. 8, 2003 to Tennessee (10-6) and Sept. 5, 2005 to Florida State (10-7).
#TIGHTENDU TRADITION ALIVE AND WELL
- Junior Christopher Herndon IV and redshirt sophomore David Njoku have played significant roles in the offense this season.
- Njoku (21) and Herndon IV (19) rank third and fourth on the team in receptions, respectively. Njoku (346) and Herndon IV (270) have combined for 616 yards receiving.
- Njoku’s 21 receptions this season rank third among ACC tight ends.
- Njoku and Herndon IV have combined for 26 percent of the team’s receptions this year.
- Standish Dobard also provides depth for the Hurricanes at tight end. The Miami senior has started in 11 career games.
- Miami added two tight end signees in 2016: Jovani Haskins and Michael Irvin II.
- The Miami Hurricanes have proven to be a force when it comes to blocking kicks and punts this season. Through eight games in 2016, Miami has combined for eight blocks on special teams with three coming on punts attempts and five coming on field goal attempts.
- Miami leads the nation in both blocked punts and blocked kicks.
- Sophomore RJ McIntosh blocked his first career punt against FAU on Sept. 10. It marked the second straight week in which a Miami player had blocked a punt. Pat Bethel blocked a punt in the Hurricanes’ season opener against FAMU.
- McIntosh also has blocked two kicks this season. His two blocked kicks are ranked third in the NCAA and first in the ACC.
- This past weekend at Notre Dame, Miami freshman Zach McCloud blocked his first career punt.
- The Hurricanes are one of just 12 teams nationally that have blocked punts this season and one of just 43 teams that have blocked kicks this year.
BRINGIN’ IT BACK WITH BERRIOS
- Miami’s punt return attack ranks 12th in the country (13.6 avg.) in large part to the play of junior Braxton Berrios, who has played a key role in the Hurricanes punt return game this season.
- The North Carolina native ranks 13th in the country and fourth in the ACC in punt return average (13.6 avg.). He also is one of just six players this season that have returned a punt for a touchdown.
- His 41-yard punt return for a touchdown in Miami’s season opener against FAMU was the first of his career. It also marked the first time a Hurricane had scored on a punt return since Corn Elder did so against Bethune-Cookman in 2015.
- Berrios also had a career-best 43-yard punt return, which set up the Hurricanes second touchdown of the night against Florida State.
- Berrios’ punt returns of 43 (vs. FSU) and 41 (vs. FAMU) are ranked as the eighth and ninth longest punt returns in the ACC this year.
- Off the field, Berrios excels in the classroom with a team-best 3.986 grade point average in Finance/Entrepreneurship. He also has never received a grade lower than an A- since coming to college.
MIAMI IN THE RANKINGS
- Following the Hurricanes’ 20-13 loss against North Carolina, Miami dropped out of the top 25 for the first time since Sept. 4.
- Miami was ranked as high as No. 10 in both polls and was the highest-ranked FBS team in the state of Florida.
- Miami opened the season receiving votes in both polls.
CREATING A TRUE HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE
- Through four home games this season, Miami has seen 242,242 fans pass into the newly renovated Hard Rock Stadium - a figure that ranks as the 36th in the nation.
- The Hurricanes have averaged 60,561 fans per game this season - good for 28th in the nation.
- Miami has seen more than 57,000 fans attend each of its first four games this season.
- The Hurricanes have never posted single game attendance marks of 57,000-or-more in each of their first four games.
- Miami sold out its home game against Florida State back on Oct. 8.
- The Hurricanes currently have over 42,000 football season ticket holders.
- Since the hiring of head coach Mark Richt on Dec. 4, 2015, Miami has added 15,000 new season ticket holders.
#PROCANES CONTINUING TRADITION
- Miami currently has 43 #ProCanes on NFL rosters; 22 of 32 NFL teams had at least one former Cane on their roster, while the Indianapolis Colts lead all teams with four.
- Miami had two players selected in the 2016 NFL Draft: DB Artie Burns (1st round, PIT) and DB Deon Bush (4th, CHI).
- Miami had eight former student-athletes sign free agent contracts following the 2015 season: Rashawn Scott (MIA), Tracy Howard (CLE), Ufomba Kamalu (DEN), Calvin Heurtelou (HOU), Herb Waters (GB), Tyriq McCord (PIT) and Raphael Kirby (DET).
- The Hurricanes have had five or more players taken in the NFL Draft on 24 separate occasions since 1980.
- Ninety-five Hurricanes have been picked in the NFL Draft since the start of the 2000 season, a figure that is tied for second-most among all NCAA programs.
- Miami’s 29 NFL first-round draft picks since 2000, including Artie Burns (No. 25 overall) in 2016, are the most among all NCAA programs.
- This season Miami will select its captains on a game-by-game basis.
- In game nine, senior defensive back Jamal Carter, senior defensive back Corn Elder, junior tight end Chris Herndon IV and freshman running back Travis Homer will represent the Hurricanes during the coin toss against Notre Dame.
Game 1: Jamal Carter, Danny Isidora, Brad Kaaya and Justin Vogel
Game 2: Braxton Berrios, Corn Elder, Nick Linder, Rayshawn Jenkins
Game 3: Braxton Berrios, Shaquille Quarterman, Sheldrick Redwine, Marquez Williams
Game 4: Michael Badgley, Danny Isidora, Kendrick Norton, Chad Thomas
Game 5: Michael Badgley, Jamal Carter, Corn Elder, Brad Kaaya
Game 6: Corn Elder, Danny Isidora, R.J. McIntosh, Shaquille Quarterman
Game 7: Jamal Carter, Corn Elder, Danny Isidora, Justin Vogel
Game 8: Jamal Carter, Corn Elder, Chris Herndon IV, Travis Homer
Game 9: Michael Badgley, David Njoku, Chris Herndon, Kendrick Norton
ZAGACKI AND BAILEY RETURN TO THE BOOTH FOR YEAR 15
- "Voice of the Hurricanes" Joe Zagacki and color commentator Don Bailey, Jr. are in the booth for their 15th year of Miami football on the radio.
- The radio team has broadcast 222 straight games together.
2016 Miami Hurricane Football Affiliates
Miami’s Sports Radio 560 WQAM: Miami- Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach
WKWF AM Sports Radio1600: Key West- Marathon-Key Largo
ESPN West Palm 106.3FM: West Palm Beach
WPSL 1590 The Talk of the Treasure Coast: Stuart-Ft Pierce-Port St Lucie
WSTU AM 1450 Martin County’s Heritage Station: Stuart-Jupiter
WFWN 97.3 The Fan: FT Myers-Naples
WHOO 1080 SPORTS TALK 1080 Orlando-Kissimmee
WHBO 1040 Sports Talk 1040: Tampa-St Petersburg
WXIC 1060 AM: Melbourne-Titusville
1010XL-92.5FM: Jacksonville Sports Radio - Jacksonville - St. Augustine
1490 WTKE: Fox Sports Radio Northwest Florida’s New Home for Sports-Pensacola
- The University of Miami football team travels to Virginia on Nov. 12 to take on the Cavaliers. Kickoff has been set for 2 p.m.