Preview: Pittsburgh at Miami

When: 7:00 PM ET, Saturday, November 29, 2014
Where: Sun Life Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida


Pittsburgh snapped out of a three-game slide and kept its postseason hopes alive with a 30-7 rout of Syracuse last week, but the Panthers still need to win Saturday night’s regular-season finale at Miami (Fla.) to book a seventh straight bowl trip. Pitt, though, will have to end a 10-game winless streak in South Florida – a run that dates back to 1963, the Panthers’ last road victory in the series. “The biggest thing in playing Miami is great motivation (because) they’ve got heck of a football team on all three sides of the ball,” Pittsburgh coach Paul Chryst said at his weekly news conference. “You see that, and like we’ve talked a lot about, at the end of the year you either earn the right for another game or you don’t.”

Miami, meanwhile, locked up a bowl berth almost a month ago with a 47-20 thumping of North Carolina on Nov. 1, but the Hurricanes haven’t won since, dropping decisions to Florida State (30-26) and Virginia (30-13) the last two weeks. There was a definite post-Florida State hangover last Saturday in Charlottesville as the previously slumping Cavaliers responded to Miami’s 7-0 lead with 30 unanswered points to end a four-game losing streak. “We have to get ready for Pittsburgh and win a game and go to a bowl game and win a bowl game for the first time in a while,” Hurricanes coach Al Golden told the Miami Herald. “If we do that, we can show some progress.”

TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2. LINE: None

ABOUT PITTSBURGH (5-6, 3-4 ACC): A huge key for the Panthers will be the availability of tailback James Conner, the nation’s third-leading rusher at 145.5 yards per game. Conner left in the second quarter of the Syracuse game with a hip injury and will try and work out the kinks in practice this week. The Pitt defense, meanwhile, ranks 25th nationally in total yards allowed (342.7 per game) and 16th in passing yards allowed (183.3) and is led by linebacker Todd Thomas, who shares the unit lead in total tackles (67) and has a team-high 5.5 tackles for loss.

ABOUT MIAMI (6-5, 3-4): Getting their offense back on track is a priority for the Hurricanes after they matched their season-low point total (13) in the loss to Virginia and needed a blocked-punt return for a touchdown in the final 1:30 to get there. Freshman quarterback Brad Kaaya was sacked four times and was hit or hurried on a number of other throws, while tailback Duke Johnson – the ACC’s second-leading rusher behind Conner – had his streak of consecutive 100-yard games snapped at six as he finished with 88 yards on 15 carries. Leading tackler and Butkus Award finalist Denzel Perryman sets the tone for the Miami defense, which ranks in the FBS top 30 in total yards (324.6), passing yards (188.6) and rushing yards (136) allowed.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Miami has won eight straight and leads the overall series, 23-9-1 after a 41-31 win in Pittsburgh last season.

2. Pittsburgh has 81 freshmen and sophomores on its roster – the highest total among all FBS teams.

3. Miami won’t know until later in the week if WR Herb Waters (neck strain) and/or S Deon Bush (hamstring) will be able to play Saturday.

PREDICTION: Miami 30, Pittsburgh 21

Stats and Records

Team Comparison

  W/L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Pittsburgh 5-6 W1 31.4 25.8 3-4 2-2 3-6 0-0 3-4
Miami 6-5 L2 30.5 23.4 5-1 1-4 6-3 0-0 3-4

Last Meeting

Pittsburgh Miami
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
11/29/13 MIA 41 PITT 31 501 220 281 476 180 296

Player Stats

Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
PITT T. Savage 55.8 281 2 1
MIA S. Morris 60.7 296 3 0
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
PITT I. Bennett 21 141 6.7 1
MIA S. Coley 1 73 73.0 1
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
PITT T. Boyd 9 98 10.9 1
MIA A. Hurns 9 173 19.2 0
TDs Player TD
PITT I. Bennett 1
MIA S. Coley 3
Season
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
PITT C. Voytik 62.5 1877 14 7
MIA B. Kaaya 60.0 2666 23 11
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
PITT J. Conner 261 1600 6.1 22
MIA D. Johnson 200 1431 7.2 10
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
PITT T. Boyd 64 1077 16.8 7
MIA P. Dorsett 26 723 27.8 8
TDs Player TD
PITT J. Conner 22
MIA D. Johnson 12

Quickchart Matchup

Pittsburgh Off vs  Miami Def
441 yards
324.6 yards
5.3 yards/rush
3.6 yards/rush
7.9 yards/attempt
5.9 yards/attempt
Miami Off vs  Pittsburgh Def
431.9 yards
342.1 yards
5.4 yards/rush
4.4 yards/rush
8.7 yards/attempt
6.7 yards/attempt

Live Game Odds

Lines History | All Odds
Currently no lines available.

Matchup Stats - Full Matchup

Pittsburgh Overall Miami
5-6-0 W/L 6-5-0
4-6-1 ATS 5-6-0
5-5-1 O/U 3-8-0
31.4 Pts For 30.5
25.8 Pts Against 23.4
Pittsburgh A/H Miami
2-2 W/L 5-1
1-2-1 ATS 4-2-0
2-1-1 O/U 2-4-0
31.5 Pts For 38.7
27.2 Pts Against 20.2