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Pitt defensive line a non-factor against Miami

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Pitt's football team dropped an ugly 51-28 game to Miami on Saturday. The Panthers were outgunned on both sides of the ball and, as is becoming routine, gave up many big passing plays.

Part of the reason for that is they faced an excellent quarterback in Miami's Brad Kaaya. Kaaya threw for more than 350 yards and four touchdowns in the rout. The secondary didn't help matters, but a good bit of the problem can be attributed to the fact that the Panthers simply didn't get great play out of the defensive line.

Pitt was able to sack Kaaya only one time (backup Allen Edwards nabbed that) and most of the day, he wasn't pressured. Backup James Folston, Jr. was the only defensive lineman to record even as much as a quarterback hurry. Star Ejuan Price, one of the top sack specialists in the nation, didn't record either and had a very quiet day. After the game, head coach Pat Narduzzi said the Hurricanes' offensive line played very well.

It wasn't only the lack of getting enough pressure where the defensive line came up a little short. The group also didn't do a great job against the run.

Miami had 178 yards on the ground against Pitt, including the back-breaking 55-yard touchdown near the end that sealed the team's fate. Granted, if you take out that run, the team held the Hurricanes to a reasonable 3.5 yards-per-carry. Unfortunately, they could have made a difference on that play and didn't come through.

There's no doubt that the line was severely diminished. Both tackles Tyrique Jarrett and Shakir Soto, the key to stopping the run this year, came out of the game due to an injury (on the same play, no less). And that just added to the unit's woes all day long.

This year, Pitt's defensive line has been pretty strong. They have one of the top defensive ends in the country and coming into this game, ranked sixth in the nation in run defense. But on Saturday, the Panthers' unit couldn't make much of an impact.

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