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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: Pittsburgh Edition


Pittsburgh v Miami
DE Joe Jackson led Miami’s defense to a dominating performance against Pitt on Saturday.
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Winning is good!!! And Miami won again this week, defeating the Pittsburgh Panthers 24-3 on Senior Night.

Here’s our game recap by Gaby Urrutia

Here’s our 3 stars from the game by Matt Washington

Here’s ANOTHER game recap by Dylan Sherry

And now, let’s jump into The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly:

The Good

  • Winning! Winning is good, winning is fun, and winning on Senior Day is both good and fun. AND, it was a bit of revenge against Pitt for last year. Good good good!
  • The story of the night for Miami was the defense. Absolutely outstanding job. Pittsburgh got nothing but a FG all game long, and they were lucky to get that. Elite performance from start to finish. Bravo.
  • DE Joe Jackson. 6 tackles, 2.5 TFLs, 2.5 sacks. Jackson blew up several other plays where his teammates on Defense were able to make TFLs, sacks, or PBUs. Jackson looked every bit the part of a 1st round NFL draft pick tonight. Masterful performance.
  • DT Gerald Willis III. 4 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 sack, but his impact was much more than the stats showed. Like Jackson, Willis III looked like a 1st round pick tonight. And Pitt suffered because of it.
  • S Jaquan Johnson. The Franchise ended his home career with 10 tackles and a forced fumble. He’s so good, and is the kind of player and person this program should be built around. I’ll be more sad to see him go than anyone else. Salute, 4.
  • RB Travis Homer. Not only did the senior RB go OFF for 168 yards and a TD rushing — ON 8 CARRIES!!!!!!! — he also delivered a DEVASTATING block on DeeJay Dallas’s punt return TD.
  • RB DeeJay Dallas. 65 yard punt return for TD (on which Homer made the above-embedded block) and 39 yards and a TD on 8 carries. 2 trips to paydirt when Miami only had 3 on the day is good in my book.
  • LB Michael Pinckney. In his return to action after a 1-game suspension, Pinckney was all over the place. He had 8 tackles and a TFL, and was a key blitzer all game long.
  • CB Trajan Bandy. 5 tackles, a TFL, and 2 PBUs. Bandy was a man possessed, and routinely earned high praise from the ESPN broadcast crew. Muddy Badger did his dollar today.
  • CB Michael Jackson. 4 tackles, 2 TFLs, 2 sacks (yes, a cornerback with 2 sacks). Another great performance from another great player.
  • S Romeo Finley and DE Jon Garvin. Each had 1.5 TFLs on the day, and were part of the dominant Canes defense. Salute.
  • 14 tackles for loss
  • 6 sacks
  • 3 PBU
  • 1 forced fumble
  • 1 recovered fumble
  • Held Pitt to 3 points
  • Held Pitt to 200 yards total offense
  • Held Pitt to 69 yards rushing (nice)
  • Just so you know, Miami held Pitt 178.55 yards below their per-game rushing average,
  • And held Pitt’s star back Ollison to his 2nd lowest rushing total of the season — 28 yards
  • And held Pitt’s other back Hall to his 5th lowest rushing total of the season — 47 yards
  • And held the team to their lowest rushing total of the season BY 40 YARDS
  • Held Pitt to 131 yards passing
  • Allowed 1-15 on 3rd downs
  • Allowed 0-1 on 4th down
  • Allowed only 11 Pitt first downs
  • Forced 12 Pitt punts
  • 10 Pitt penalties. Sloppy sloppy sloppy for them, but good for us!
  • Held Pitt to 3.2 yards per play
  • Held Pitt to 3.1 yards per rush
  • Only allowed 1 sack
  • 293 yards rushing
  • 9.2 yards per carry
  • 6 chunk plays (all runs)
  • 3 penalties for 30 yards
  • Good punting today!!! Nearly 41 yard average and 3 punts downed inside the 20
  • Bubba Baxa 1/1 on FGs and 3/3 on XPs. I’ll take it.

The Bad

  • Allowed 35:34 time of possession for Pitt. There wasn’t much production in that time, but that’s far too long to let the opposition hold the ball.
  • 2-3 in the Red Zone. Perfection is the goal in this area of the field. Good isn’t good enough.
  • I could put a couple other things here, but I’m gonna put them all in the Ugly section. Let’s go there, shall we?

The Ugly

  • N’Kosi Perry’s passing numbers. 6/24 (kobe status) for 52 yards. Sure, Perry added 46 yards rushing on 5 carries, but passing was a mess today. Which brings me to my next point...
  • ALL. THE. DROPS. Miami had no less than 6 drops, and 1 other play when the hot receiver on a blitz adjustment (Lawrence Cager) didn’t even look for the ball, which was accurately thrown and on time, but that doesn’t matter if you don’t look. Simply put, Miami’s receivers did a horrible job today, and Perry’s stats (and the team’s performance for much of the game) suffered because of it. Over and over and over again, the receivers dropped balls. And that can’t happen.
  • This is the 2nd week in a row I’ve mentioned the BLATANT AND TERRIBLE drop problems. WRs: stay after practice and work on the Juggs machine. Please and thank you.
  • 2-12 on 3rd down
  • 3 fumbles, 2 lost. Woof
  • Only 52 plays. If you convert 3rd downs, then you’ll have the ball more, and score more, and not let the other team hold the rock for nearly 35 minutes.
  • Only 24:26 time of possession. That’s leaning on the defense too much. And I know the defense did the job today, but c’mon offense, help ‘em out!
  • The mere consideration of Travis Homer’s crackback block being “targeting”. Scroll back up and watch the video. It was a textbook block. Shouldn’t have even been considered as targeting. Thank goodness the refs picked that flag up, or I would have lost it.
  • ESPN’s announcers begging for Miami to move to the spread full-time. The repeated statements on this topic weren’t bad; the fact that Mark Richt has and will refuse to make the move that EVERYBODY SEES MIAMI SHOULD MAKE SCHEMATICALLY is the ugly part.
  • This season. I’m sorry, I know this is a win and winning is good but....well....I already said what I needed to say in tweet form, so just read it here:

Team Grades

Offense: C-

Passing offense was ATROCIOUS. Run game was good, when we went to it. Travis Homer went OFFFFFFF. Scored only 17 points on offense (other TD was special teams). And it still feels like everybody knows that Miami should be a spread team and CMR refuses to make that move full-time. So, C- sounds about right to me.

Defense: A+

This. Was. AWESOME. Nearly a shutout, if not for a drive extended by 2 bad penalties. But look back at the numbers. Miami’s defense flat out DOMINATED Pittsburgh today. The Panthers had no answers for Manny Diaz’s crew at all. A+ effort and performance.

Special Teams: A

Realy good punting from both Spicer and Feagles. All kicks made by Baxa. And another punt return TD, the 2nd week in a row that Miami scored on special teams. And great coverage on all kicks today, as well. That’s an A, you guys.

Coaching: B

Average the offensive and defensive grades (which I would have given to the coaching on those sides of the ball) and you get a B. Not great, but above average, and buoyed by the defense’s amazing effort, and Diaz (and company’s) elite job coaching them up.

And, let me say for the record AGAIN that scheme and coach changes are required on offense. This isn’t new. And I didn’t forget, and DEFINITELY didn’t forget that after what was seen on the field today.

That’s it for the final installment of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly for the 2018 regular season. Hop in the comments and chop it up. We’ll talk about recruiting, the bowl game, and next season in the weeks and months to come.

Go Canes