The Pitt Panthers came south for the winter and beat the Miami Hurricanes 42-16. Miami started the game down 28-0 at halftime on Senior Night. The Hurricanes finished the season 5-7 (3-5 in the ACC), while Pitt moved to 8-4 (5-3 in the ACC).
Before the game, the Canyonero keys to victory were:
1- Protect the QB. Tyler Van Dyke was knocked out of the football game on the opening drive. Miami gave up six sacks and two hurries. Van Dyke clearly shouldn’t have played if one hit and a little rough play on the turf after the play ended his night. At some point you have to step in as the leader and tell the young man no.
2- Must stop explosive plays. Whenever someone gets to Kevin Steele levels of defensive in a presser you can assume they know the person asking the question was right. The ‘Canes gave up a handful of 60+ yard explosives against the Panthers.
3- Must make explosive plays. Miami did have a few explosives, too. Will Mallory, Michael Redding III, Jaylan Knighton, Henry Parrish Jr. and Romello Brinson all logged an explosive against Pitt.
The typical data points were at play against Pitt for Mario Cristobal’s Hurricanes. On third down, the Miami offense finished 3-of-12 and 0-for-2 on 4th downs. The Panthers offense finished 4-of-8 on 3rd and 0-for-1 on 4th down. The fact that Pitt scored six TD’s on only eight 3rd down attempts is astonishing.
Miami turned the ball over three times to Pitt’s two turnovers. The ‘Canes were the more penalized team committing eight penalties for 80 yards, while Pitt committed five penalties for 65 yards.
Josh Gattis lost the Josh Gattis Honorary Time of Possession Battle 32 minutes to 27 minutes.
Andres Borregales finished 1-of-1 on field goals and 1-of-1 on PAT’s, and had a nice fake but came up short. Lou Hedley averaged 46.8 yards per punt including one inside the 20. Pitt’s kicker made all six of his PAT’s, and their two punters averaged 43.7 yards per punt with two inside the 20.
Brashard Smith made a horrible decision to come out of the end zone on the opening kick return, which set the tone for a bad night for Miami. And he made a terrible choice on another before the end of the first half.
That opening drive had a penalty, a fumble out of bounds, and an interception returned 60+ yards by SirVocea Dennis to set up a score. That was all you needed to know about the game.
OC Josh Gattis’ offense had to play three QB’s on Saturday night. The trio combined for 7.3 yards per pass attempt with two TD’s and two interceptions. Jacurri Brown was terrible- averaging 1.3 yards per attempt with a really bad interception.
Running back Jaylan Knighton averaged 10.3 yards per carry with 56 yards on one touch. That means his other six carries went for 16 yards. Parrish rushed for 5.1 per carry and Don Chaney picked up two carries for eight yards.
Will Mallory caught nine balls for 103 yards and a score, but also fumbled the ball away for one of Miami’s three turnovers. Colbie Young went cold with a catch for zero yards and came up hobbling off that screen play. Xavier Restrepo caught a touchdown but was shutdown to 5.5 yards per catch.
The O-Line allowed six sacks, 11 TFL’s and a pair of hurries as well as committing multiple false starts.
Above- Mallory has been one of those players that’s been so yin and yang it’s hard to predict what you’d get week to week through three head coaches and four OC’s now. Great play on the deep ball but fumbles later.
Above- Van Dyke fade away jumper is short and gets picked by Dennis. Miami OL allows a free rusher, right in Van Dyke’s face, and the QB gets laid out on to his right elbow. The Pitt defender got a little ornery with Van Dyke on the turf, too.
Above- Nothing about this throw makes sense. Miami needs to hit the transfer portal for a QB this off-season. Brown needs a real QB coach and Frank Ponce doesn’t seem like a good fit. Maybe Gattis and Ponce can be replaced for an OC/QB coach that could hit the market.
Above- An ugly bubble set up to Mallory, and, he, fumbles. Pitt did what I thought Georgia Tech would do which is rip at the football over and again. GT is clearly not as well coached as Pitt on defense (well... or anywhere).
Above- The offensive highlights were few for Miami, but Knighton’s big run on a split zone type play of their own looked great. He’s a zone back that needs a slow-to, fast-thru approach with a ‘cut and go’ running style.
Above- Another free blitzer in the QB’s face but Mallory snags the bubble and scores on a hard run after catch.
What more is there to say about Kevin Steele? It’s hard to judge at times because the offense is that bad. However, his unit also failed to track the ball carrier or finish the tackle.
They’ll come up with a big play or two because there is talent there- Leonard Taylor flashed that with an interception. But the ‘Canes defense finished the night with zero sacks, zero TFL’s and only one hurry.
Jared Wayne had his big play on the crossing route where he broke tackles from multiple Hurricanes and a couple more just jogged around avoiding contact at the end of the play. Mario Cristobal lost the team all the way back against Texas A&M and has been trying to piece together a depth chart ever since.
Pitt QB Kedon Slovis averaged 9.1 yards per attempt with three TD’s and an INT. RB Israel Abanikanda averaged 7.4 yards per carry with two easy TD’s. The entire Pitt team rushed for 7.1 per carry with three TD’s on 35 carries.
Jared Wayne caught 11 balls for 199 yards for 18.5 per catch and all three Pitt receiving touchdowns. Pitt had a few bad snaps that had to be jumped on and Wayne fumbled but they were electric for the better part of three of four quarters.
Above- It’s the finer points to football. Over the past 3-4 years the Miami defenders haven’t respected the ‘yard and a half deep’ rule, and have the defender being ‘kicked out’ (pushed to the sideline) by the pulling guard to ‘wrong arm’ the puller.
Above- Kam Kinchens shouldn’t be asked to be the force guy there anyway, especially inside the 10, but he runs up field to avoid the kick and it’s easy 6.
Above- I don’t like the way that Steele teaches tackling or pursuit of the football. From what we were told about the coaching clinic they put on, and the drills and periods that leaked out during spring and parts of summer. Diving on a tackling wheel, head across, closed-ended drills with no visual-cognitive element... the coaching shows.
Above- Wesley Bissainthe has never been taught the 1.5 yard rule, or wrong arming, either. He’s more suited for the job than Kinchens, but has no idea how to squeeze and wrong arm the kick out from the TE on split zone. He allows a giant hole to be cut underneath.
Above- Kedon Slovis sees middle of field open (MOFO) and drops a post right between James Williams and Kam Kinchens who both look like they gave up on the play.
Above- More bad angles, over running plays, and missed tackles.
Above- At this point Miami has quit on the game. The linebackers and safeties let Pitt’s clearly best player run free for a score.
I predicted Pitt by six to be safe and boy was I underestimating the Miami roster’s level of quit, and the Pitt roster’s level of hating Miami. We’ll get into the off-season soon, trust me. I have plenty of time over winter break with no bowl game to prep for, too.
Here’s to getting some All-22 from the season so we can have fun on Twitter breaking down these disastrous performances. Cristobal has a ton of soul searching to do this off-season, let’s hope that starts Sunday and is revealed to us Monday morning.