The Panthers head into this week's game with a two-game winning streak after defeating theand the , Pitt's football team will go for a third in their regular season finale against the Miami Hurricanes this Friday. Here's an early look at the team's next opponent.
Miami's season can be easily broken down into thirds. The Hurricanes started off 3-0 before dropping three of their next four, and then winning three of their last four. In other words, it's been a roller coaster of a season where head coach Al Golden was fired in the middle. Golden was fired after that middle stretch and the team has found some success since then under.
Pitt and Miami have a 4-1 record against their common opponents. Each has defeated Virginia Tech, Virginia, Duke, and Georgia Tech while losing to North Carolina. Pitt had an easier time with Duke while Miami defeated Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech by larger margins. Both defeated Virginia by 6-7 points but the Panthers kept things closer against the Tar Heels.
Most Recent Game
Miami defeated Georgia Tech this weekend, 38-21.
Miami is one of the top teams in the nation in turnover margin, averaging a full turnover better than their opponents per game (5th in the FBS). They are also one of football's better passing teams with Kaaya, who helps them to 283.8 passing yards per game (26th in the nation). Defensively, the Hurricanes are an above average pass defense outfit, allowing only 201.2 yards through the air (37th in the nation). Finally, the Hurricanes have done a good job on fourth downs on both sides of the ball. On offense, they have converted 69% of their attempts (16th in the nation) and defensively, have held opponents to a 42% conversion rate (33rd in the nation).
Miami has struggled in the run game on both sides of the ball. Offensively, they average only 119.8 yards per contest, right near the bottom of the entire FBS. Defensively, they are also near the bottom of the country, allowing 212.5 yards on the ground per game. The team has also been bad on third downs, ranking 93rd with a 36% conversion rate on offense and 76th allowing a 40% conversion rate to their opponents. The Red Zone has also been a problem area for the Hurricanes, converting only 83% of their trips there to points (70th in the nation) while allowing opponents points 89% of the time (103rd nationally). Finally, like Louisville, Miami is a heavily penalized opponent, ranking 127th in both penalties per game (9.6) and penalty yards per game (84.1).
Going into this one, I feel about the same as I did against Louisville. Both the Cardinals and Hurricanes are decent teams but not great ones and considering Pitt gets the game at home, I give them a slight edge here. In addition to Kaaya and his ability to hit long strikes on offense, what Miami has done lately under the interim coach scares me a little, too. They've won three out of four games and while they were blown out by North Carolina, they've also beaten the same teams Pitt has defeated.
Overall, though, their defense isn't what Louisville's was and the Panthers had a big scoring day for a half against the Cardinals. They will have another chance to put up some points this week and that makes it hard for me to go against the home team here.