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Miami at Pittsburgh: Three stars

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A familiar face was again Miami’s top star in Saturday’s upset win

NCAA Football: Miami at Pittsburgh
Miami Hurricanes quarterback Tyler Van Dyke (9) scrambles away from Pittsburgh Panthers defensive lineman Habakkuk Baldonado (87) during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. Miami won 38-34.
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Hurricanes are officially on a winning streak in ACC play. That’s fun.

The Hurricanes did just enough on Saturday afternoon to top Pittsburgh 38-34 at Heinz Field. The victory is Miami’s second consecutive win over a ranked team as it topped North Carolina State 31-30 last Saturday.

Miami had consistent offensive production from several key contributors on Saturday and got just enough from its defense to win. Keep reading to see who Miami’s three stars of its big win over Pittsburgh were on Saturday.

Third star: James Williams

If you did not already realize this eight games into his college career, true freshman safety James Williams is going to be elite one day for the Miami Hurricanes. And he already is making massive plays when it matters the most.

Williams intercepted Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett just two yards from the goal line with 4:07 to play on Saturday and Miami leading 38-34 to help preserve the upset victory. Williams read Pickett’s eyes and floated over the top of Panther wide receiver Jordan Addison’s skinny post route and easily secured an interception that was reviewed and upheld.

Williams also led the Hurricanes with nine tackles from his safety position as no other Hurricane made more than six. Have a day, James.

Second star: Charleston Rambo

This was a tough choice between Rambo, Jaylan Knighton, and the slew of other Miami playmakers that had an impact on this game. But Rambo was the lone Miami skill position player to eclipse the 100-yard mark so he’s the choice.

The Oklahoma transfer finished the game with seven catches for 101 yards, including a massive 18-yard catch on Miami’s final drive that eventually allowed the Hurricanes to run out the clock. Rambo has now eclipsed the 100-yard mark in three of Miami’s eight games this season and has seven or more catches in four of eight games.

Outside of his uncharacteristic drop on the flea flicker pass in the second half, Rambo was solid for the Hurricanes when they needed him to be on Saturday.

First star: Tyler Van Dyke

The kid was money, again.

Tyler Van Dyke passed for 428 yards and three touchdowns in leading Miami’s offense to 38 points. He threw an interception late in the fourth quarter (because he had two wide receivers fall down on the play) but was efficient as he finished 32-for-42 throwing the ball.

The growth we’ve seen in Van Dyke during the month of October has been amazing to see. We’ve seen him grow from the quarterback who couldn’t get comfortable in the pocket against Virginia to the player passing for 400+ yards against the No.21 ranked team in total defense in the NCAA.

The sky feels like the limit for Van Dyke at this point. Miami’s ACC schedule gets significantly easier (Georgia Tech, Florida State, Virginia Tech, Duke) the rest of the way and Van Dyke is looking more comfortable leading his teammates on the field. Who knows where he could take this Miami offense in November as offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee begins to trust him more.

Poll

Who was Miami’s top star against Pittsburgh?

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    James Williams
    (29 votes)
  • 0%
    Charleston Rambo
    (5 votes)
  • 93%
    Tyler Van Dyke
    (609 votes)
  • 0%
    Other (leave answer in comments)
    (6 votes)
649 votes total Vote Now