Tonight is the Pittsburgh Panther’s final game of the regular season. Pitt will travel to Hard Rock Stadium to take on the Miami Hurricanes in a game that is a must-win for Miami if they have any interest in playing in a bowl game. For the Panthers, it’s all about enhancing their bowl resume.
Pitt is looking to make this win number four in a row. The Panthers are undefeated during the month of November with the defense playing at a sustained high level. Miami has alternated between losses and wins during their last six games. The last game was a 40-10 blowout against the Clemson Tigers.
The Miami scoring defense has been a pendulum during that stretch of play. Duke, Florida State, and Clemson were all able to put up 40-plus points on the Hurricanes. Virginia Tech, Virginia, and Georgia Tech were all held to 14 points or less during that same stretch. The Hurricanes have been fairly stout against the run, ranking 44th in the country in rushing yards allowed per game averaging 133.4 yards. While this is Miami’s strength of their defense, the Panthers surely continue to lean on what they do best. The Panthers are averaging 175.2 yards per game on the ground led by star running back Israel Abanikanda. The offense will continue to run through Izzy and from there the Panthers need an efficient passing game to ensure effective drives.
As of writing, there is still no official word on the availability of Miami Hurricanes quarterback Tyler Van Dyke. For the Panthers, the game plan on defense remains the same regardless of who is at quarterback. Miami averages 2.73 sacks allowed per game which is tied for 94th in the country. The Panthers are third in the nation averaging 3.55 sacks per game and the key for the Panthers will be bringing consistent pressure against whatever quarterback ends up starting for the Hurricanes. The Panther’s secondary will have to capitalize on forced passes under pressure to help ensure Pitt wins the turnover battle that will be crucial for this game.
The Panthers as of writing are 6.5 favorites over the Hurricanes. The Panther’s track record against Miami, especially in Miami, isn’t a very sparkling one. The Hurricanes have won four in a row against the Panthers while the last win in Miami was in 2014. The previous win in Miami before that hadn’t been since 1963. The Panthers have a prime opportunity to pick up the elusive win in Miami. There will be many eyes from bowl representatives on this game, it’s up to the Panthers to show what they can do.