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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: Pittsburgh Panthers edition

Miami put last week’s loss behind them and beat a tough, physical Pitt team. Let’s grade the performance.

Swarm to the ball.
Tim Brogdon, Miami Athletics

The Miami Hurricanes bounced back from last week’s loss to beat the Pittsburgh Panthers 31-19 on Saturday afternoon.

Here’s our Game Recap by Wyatt Kopelman.

Here are our 3 stars from the game by Marsh Thomas.

And now, a bit later than usual because I was out watching the game, let’s get into The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

The Good

  • Winning. Winning is always good, even if it wasn’t as pretty as we might have wanted. And winning after losing last week in a big spot was even better. I like winning, and think we should continue doing it.
  • 4 passing TDs for D’Eriq King. We’ll talk about some of the other parts of his performance later, but when there were guys schemed open, he hit them. And made some other nice throws as well (though all of them did not end in completions).
  • DE Quincy Roche. He was a monster with 7 tackles, 4 TFLs, 0.5 sack, FF, FR (both on the same strip-sack). Roche said it was his best game as a Cane, and he’s right. Bravo.
  • TE Will Mallory. Standing in for an injured Brevin Jordan, Mallory came up big with 2 catches for 51 yards, which both went for TDs.
  • CB Te’Cory Couch. Playing in the slot all day long, Couch showed his elite cover skills time after time. He had 3 of Miami’s 7 PBUs, and was noticeable for his high level of play.
  • P Louis Hedley. 6 punts with a 51.7 yard average, and a 60 yard longest punt. It’s a performance worth noting after how poor our punting was before Hedley’s arrival last year.
  • 31 points against a Pittsburgh defense that was allowing 18.2ppg heading into today’s game. Again, wasn’t perfect, but that’s a result you have to like.
  • 21 first downs
  • 10 chunk plays — 6 passes (15+), 4 runs (10+)
  • 13.9 yards per completion
  • 9 TFL
  • 3 sacks
  • 2 forced fumbles
  • 1 fumble recovered
  • Held Pitt to 22 yards rushing
  • Held Pitt to 0.8 yards per rush
  • Held Pitt to 3-17 on 3rd down
  • Held Pitt to 4.1 yards per play
  • Held Pitt to 4 FGs and a TD on 5 redzone trips. No, the total amount of scores isn’t great, but keeping them out of the endzone is.

The Bad

  • Losing the time of possession battle again, 30:33 to 27:39. Wait.....where did the extra time go? Weird.
  • D’Eriq King’s passing numbers. 16/31 for 222 isn’t great. The chunk plays we schemed up and hit inflated the yardage, and accounted for all 4 TDs. Sure, there were some dropped balls, but the passing game has to be better moving forward.
  • All the tipped balls on the RPO. Look, Pitt has one of the best DLs in the country, but getting every RPO pass tipped for a time in 1H — including one that led to King’s first interception — is bad. Full stop.
  • The end of the perfect redzone season (maybe?). Miami kneeled it to end the game, but the Canes got to the 19 so that counts as a redzone trip without scoring on the stat sheet. Womp womp. Gotta be a loop hole we can exercise or something, right?!
  • 5 penalties for 55 yards. There was another one that was declined. I still wanna see fewer of these. Thanks.
  • 7 chunk plays allowed — 6 passes (15+), 1 run (10+).
  • 5-5 redzone scoring for Pitt. Yeah, FGs were preferable to TDs, but some stops would have been preferable to that.
  • I, personally, would still like to see some new faces in certain places, WR and LB most notably.
  • Speaking of personnel, why in the WORLD wasn’t Bubba Bolden in the starting lineup today? C’mon man. What are we doing?

The Ugly

  • The Run game. 42 carries for 109, a 2.6 yard per carry average. I know Pitt has a good DL, and they were crashing to stop the run, but WOOF.
  • The Offensive Line. Pittsburgh bullied Miami up front early and often. It’s gonna take a while to really see consistent improvement from this unit, especially against good competition.
  • Allowed 15 TFL.
  • Allowed 4 sacks.
  • 4-13 on 3rd down.

Team Grades

Offense: C-

31 points against a good defense such as Pitt is good. But the absence of any consistent run game, the struggles with consistency in the passing game, and the struggles in 3rd down conversions were all negatives. The explosion was great; the efficiency was poor.

Defense: B-

The absolute erasure of Pitt’s running game was great. And finding a way to beat a first time starting QB, something Miami has struggled when facing in recent years, was good. Still need more from the DTs. And it’s time to go in a different direction at LB, cuz the reserves have more athleticism, and better performance, than the starters.

Special Teams: A

Borregales was perfect on 1 FG and 4 XPs. Hedley was outstanding. The coverage units were solid. And there weren’t any returns to speak of, which means there weren’t any return issues, either. I’ll take it.

Coaching: B

Look, this was a tough spot for the coaching staff following the loss to Clemson. Good on them for getting the team ready, having them persevere when things were tough, and pull out a big win. Lashlee schemed guys WIIIIIDDDEEEE OOOOOOPPPPEEEENNNN for the TDs. Diaz was good with game operations. And Baker was good enough to keep Pitt out of the endzone except for 1 drive all day. Good work, gentlemen. But just know that there’s still PLENTY of room for growth. K? K.

That’s it for this week’s look back at the action in The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. Add your thoughts and keep the conversation going in the comments section below.

4-1 and on to Virginia!

Go Canes