Posted: 9/21/2010 8:05:27 PM
Miami and Pittsburg
Here we go…..everyone gets their butt kicked last week on the road fav (Cal v. Nevada) so they automatically think fade Miami. Well, I'm not a big fan of playing ESPN Thursday Night trends, because I don't think last weeks game has any affect on this week's! And even thought I like the thought of trying to find some way to take
Pitt, because I think Miami can be prone to killing themselves (see
OSU), I think there are too many things that bother me about the Pitt
team to take them in a big game where they are out manned athletically,
and even though Miami may make some mistakes…..speed kills and they
have the athletes that can make up for it.
If you read my write ups, you know I always look at the OL v. DL (front 7), and I give this advantage to Miami. Yes,
Pitt did have 2 stud defensive ends. The key word there is DID, as defensive stud Romeus is out
indefintely due to back surgury. It could be a long night if they
can't but pressure on Harris. However, this might not be a night
were Harris airs it out much as Miami's smallest lineman is 6-4 300. Yes they may be young….but you can’t teach size and athletic ability. Pitt
looks to be lite up the middle, as both of their DT’s weigh 275 and
they start a sophomore middle linebacker. Establishing the run, should
not be a problem for the Canes.
The Miami defense will be flying around, and should be nothing like Pitt’s sophomore (1st year starter) QB has seen. The holes in the zone won’t be open long, and he’s not the threat to run like Pryor was. Miami does start three sophomores on defense, but it’s their DT and 2 Safeties….with one of them being 6-4 220! Give Pitt the advantage on protecting the QB, as they have 2 bookend tackles and led the Big East is sacks allowed last year. But they did give up 2 sacks to NH and threw an INT, I believe this is due to their inexperienced QB and not their OL. They may be strong at Tackle, but they have issues at and guard as their center is a former walkon, and their guards are young and undeveloped. And with a 310 pound NG and 3 stud lbs, if Miami can stop the run, they should be able to get some pressure up the middle.
I know Pitt has Dion Lewis but he only has 102 yards on 35 carries.
His issues may come from his undermanned Center and Guards, and he is
going to need one heck of a performance for Pitt to have a chance in
With all of that being said……I have yet to get to the reasons why I am confident in Miami……or better yet….not confident in Pitt.
The reasons for making this play!
Miami held OSU to 4 field goals. Even
though OSU had some success moving the ball, most of that was due to
Pryor’s legs (as he was only 12-27 passing) and once OSU crossed
midfield, Miami’s D bowed up and made them settle for FGs. If they can do this at Pitt, they can cover.
Pitt’s 2 games this year, they are 8-24 on third downs (33%) which
tells me that their offense is not running very efficiently. While
their defense is only holding their opponents to 15-31 on third downs
(48%) which means they can’t get off the field (New Hampshire was 8-17). As well, NH rushed for 4.1 ypc, and Utah rushed for 6.4. Like I said, if Miami can run the football….watch out!
Pitt is playing at home, and I know you guys like the home dogs on Thursday night. Of
course anything can happen, but Miami is going to have to beat
themselves, as I don’t see a team that only converts 33% of their 3rd
downs, gives up 50% third down conversions, is allowing 5 yards per
carry and is missing their best defensive player beating them. Had
Miami beat OSU, I could see them being set up for the fall….but Randy
Shannon rights the ship, and they don’t miss out on a second chance to
show themselves to a National Audience.
One other note, in Miami's only Thursday night game last year, they beat GaTech's A$$!