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

And so we’ve come, to the end of the road......

Pittsburgh v Miami
“If they wanna keep leaving me open, I’ma keep catching touchdowns.” — Pitt WR Jared Wayne
Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images


Miami’s 2022 season is over after a 42-16 loss to the Pittsburgh Panthers on Senior Night. Another game that failed to meet expectations for Mario Cristobal’s Canes tis season.

Craig T. Smith finished off the season with the final Game Recap of the year:

And likewise, Mike Schiffman completed the final installment of 3 Stars just after that:

And now, let’s get into The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

The Good

  • Tyler Van Dyke’s 1st drive of the game. Well, the start of the drive, at least. 4 for his first 5. Moved the ball well. Helped Miami walk down the field.
  • RB Jaylan Knighton with the longest run of the season — a 56 yard dash down to the 4 yard line. He finished with 7 carries for 72 yards, with the vast majority coming on the explosive play listed above.
  • TE Will Mallory. The senior went out with a bang. Not only was his stat line great —9 catches for 103 yards and a touchdown — but his touchdown tied the record for Touchdowns by a Tight End at Miami. His 14th career score matches Clive Walford atop the list for the Canes. Congrats, Will!
  • LOL Mallory had 14 targets from Miami’s 39 passing attempts. That’s some #RandyRatio type stuff. Wow.
  • QB Jake Garcia. Coming in off the bench, the talented signal caller went 17 for 28 passing (60.7% completions) with 192 yards, 2 touchdowns, and no interceptions. If this was an audition for Garcia’s future at Miami, he acquitted himself quite well.
  • S James Williams. A mixed bag for the talented sophomore, but 10 tackles and a PBU is the good part of his performance.
  • LB Caleb Johson. 8 tackles and a forced fumble on the day.
  • S Kamren Kinchens. 7 tackles (seemed like more) on the day. No interceptions today, but Kinchens’ body of work should give him placement on All-ACC and All-American teams shortly.
  • P Louis Hedley. In his final collegiate game, the Australian punter once again had a good game. 46.8 yard per punt average on 4 punts, with 2 downed inside the 20 and one 50+ yarder (52 yards, to be exact). Having Hedley back on special teams has been a joy, and brought stability and elite performance to the unit that had previously been lacking. Sad to see him go, but hey, that’s life and that’s College Football.
  • WR Xavier Restrepo scored a touchdown late in the game.
  • K Andres Borregales nailed his only FG attempt of the game and did solid work on kickoffs as well.
  • 12.1 yards per completion
  • 279 yards passing — the most for Miami in more than a month (since the Duke game saw Miami throw for 279 yards as well)
  • 5.8 yards per play isn’t bad

The Bad

  • Losing. It sucks and I hate it.
  • Losing on Senior Day. Even worse.
  • Miami’s turnover luck. For the second week in a row, the opposing team put the ball on the ground 5 times. Actually, the official stats have Pitt with 7 (!!!!!!!!!!) fumbles on the day (only 2 were forced by Miami hits). And, again, Miami was only able to recover one of those fumbles.
  • QB Jacurri Brown. Look, everyone knows he’s limited as a passer, but today was a Clemson redux: ineffective as a runner and turnover prone as a passer. 2-3 passing for 4 yards and an interception and 2 carries for neggative-4 yards rushing. There will be brighter days for Brown but today was not one of them.
  • Only 19 first downs
  • Allowed 4-8 on 3rd down.
  • And, uh, Pittsburgh facing only 8 plays on 3rd downs all day long. That means their offense was efficient at moving the chains on early downs. That’s Not really great.
  • Allowed 3-4 red zone scoring.
  • 9 chunk plays — 5 passes (15+), 4 rushes (10+)

The Ugly

  • With the loss today, Miami finishes 5-7 and will not be bowl eligible. I don’t care what you say about this being a rebuild (looking at you, Mario), that is unacceptable with the talent on this roster and the schedule Miami played.
  • Yet-another game allowing 40+ points. That was the 5th such game Miami has had this season. That’s HORRIBLE.
  • Miami came out to start the game and walked down the field. That is, until Tyler Van Dyke threw an interception at the goal line.
  • Then Miami’s next QB, Jacurri Brown, threw an arm punt interception to the Safety with no receiver in sight (miscommunication on the play) on the second offensive drive.
  • Then, Miami’s starting TE Will Mallory fumbled the ball away on Miami’s 5th possession.
  • Oh, and Jake Garcia came in on Miami’s 3rd possession. So it was musical chairs at QB. And none of them were even marginally effective. So that’s fun.
  • Even more injuries. Van Dyke left injured after he was hit on the interception play that ended the first drive for Miami. Not only that, but starting LT John Campbell Jr and LG Laurence Seymore both left the game injured and didn’t return. Oh, and QB Jacurri Brown left injured after taking a big hit on a sack in the 3rd quarter.
  • S James Williams dropped an interception on a ball thrown DIRECTLY TO HIM. That’s a play that simply has to be made.
  • On that note,’s high past time that we have the conversation about Williams moving to LB, if not DE. I know he WANTS to play Safety, and he can be okay at times, but he’s not a Safety long term, or even medium term, and he has to come to terms with that sooner than later.
  • Allowed 8 yards per play. That was the 2nd highest ypp number allowed this season, trailing only the 8.31 ypp give up to Middle Tennessee State.
  • Allowed 504 yards of offense. 2nd most allowed this season behind, you guessed it, the Middle Tennessee State game.
  • Allowed a season-high 248 yards rushing.
  • Allowed 14.2 yards per completion. I THINK that’s up there among the highest number allowed this season, but I don’t have the full list of numbers in front of me.
  • 0 TFLs — even though several were marked and announced in-game.
  • 0 sacks.
  • Allowed 27 first downs
  • Allowed 17 (!!!!!!) chunk plays — 7 passes (15+), and 10 runs (10+)
  • Allowed 11 TFLs
  • Allowed 6 sacks
  • Both of those numbers are season-highs allowed against the Miami offense
  • 8 penalties for 80 yards. That’s not clean enough by a longshot.
  • And, that 8 penalty number doesn’t include 3 instances of offsetting personal fouls in what became a chippy game. So that’s 11 flagged penalties in a game. Not. Good. Enough.
  • This is just stupid. Instead of fair catching the kickoff, Brashard Smith and Xavier Restrepo both stood there and watched it bounce at the 1 yardline......and pop STRAIGHT UP. That’s not a touchback, that’s a live ball!!!! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!
  • Only 3-12 on 3rd downs
  • 0-2 on 4th down
  • 3-6 red zone scoring
  • Yet again, the advanced stats chart was really, really bad for Miami. Ugly. Terrible. All that.

Team Grades

Offense: D

Got some things going in the second half, but the offensive line was still a major issue, the run game, apart from a couple runs, wasn’t great. Having interceptions on the first 2 drives isn’t great. And having the QBs who threw them get injured wasn’t great either. Mallory was good. Flashes from others, like Romello Brinson, were good to see. But Colbie Young had 0 yards. And, 16 points won’t be enough to win games moving forward.

Defense: F

A 5th game this season allowing more than 40 points.

Special Teams: C-

Borregales made his only field goal. That fake FG was money...but Borregales didn’t put his head down to push for the conversion. Hedley’s punting was good yet again. Returns were fine, other than the “let the ball bounce at the 1” bullshit. So yeah. I’m gonna lower this grade. Good job, Cam.

Coaching: Fireable

Okay, so this is the end of the year, and yes, it’s time for coaches to get fired. I know Cristobal said after the game that he “wouldn’t discuss organizational changes in public”, but that doesn’t mean organizational changes won’t happen. I think some of the coaches are here are good and can/should stay. But, whether it’s personality or scheme mismatch or the inability to develop players, there are others that need to go.

You can debate among yourselves as to WHO should be fired, but let me say this: it’s not gonna be Cristobal. He’s the architect of this full-scale rebuild, and he’ll be the one choosing the coaches to continue on this journey with him. But.....pretty much anybody else on staff? There’s a reasonable chance they could be sent packing. And, again, based upon what was seen on the field this year, some of them absolutely should be jettisoned into the Sun.

“Not everyone is asked to return”, said Cristobal in his post-game presser. That’s not just about players; that applies to coaches too. And I, for one, am interested to see who exactly is asked to seek shelter elsewhere, and who is brought in to replace them as Miami continues the tough task of rebuilding this once-proud program up from the depth of despair among which they currently reside.

That’s it for this installment of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

Hop in the comments and vent share your thoughts with the world.

Go Canes