Here are the all-important Game Notes for Miami…
This is a tough game to get a handle on. I don’t think either team has any measure of “mojo” going into the game. Pitt is coming off a tough and embarrassing loss to Virginia Tech and Miami is rolling in a four game losing streak.
I say that VT game was embarrassing because it showed the national audience just how futile it was for our defensive backs to try to stop the most basic of passes which is the fade where even an inaccurate QB can throw the ball up in a general area and make a completion.
And that is exactly what happened last week. VT’s Evans wasn’t all that great in placing his passes when he threw the ball downfield yet he ended up with 406 yards and two TDs.
Which makes me wonder why every team before VT didn’t throw fades all day also. That’s right! They didn’t have to because we suck at defending any passes at all regardless of the patterns run.
Here are the Hurricanes top receivers:
But here may be the most important stat for these guys; Richards is 6’1″, Coley- 6’1″, Walton – 5’9″. Those guys are all about the normal height for WRs and I’m sure they will be part of Kaaya’s passing plans tomorrow. Especially Ahmmon Richards because that 21.2 ypc scares me.
But if I was Miami’s OC I’d give TE David Njoku and TE Herndon stage front as they are both 6’4″ and can sky over our DBs. Now, they are TEs so they won’t be the fastest guys on the team but hell, no one needs speed against our DBs. They just have to have two hands and at least one eyeball to make a catch.
I know I’ve been writing a lot about our pass defense lately but it is truly the evil-smelling elephant in the meeting room. I truly think that we have to try to do something about it ASAP or we may end up with three more losses before the end of the season.
I’m not the only one either – every odds-maker I can find on the internet has Pitt losing this game – and it isn’t because of any tenuous home field advantage either. It is based on us giving up 312 ypg in the air.
Here is some info from the website www.oddshark.com which I have used in the prediction articles in the past. I find that they have been pretty accurate overall this year.
They have us losing and you know that the only reason that at this point in the season Pitt is an underdog at all, with our good offense and a great rushing defense, is our crapitudinal passing defense. It is what it is and let’s keep our fingers crossed something changes in that regard because up to this point Miami is averaging 252 yards passing already.
An 18.8 ppg Miami defense is nothing to overlook when trying to figure out what might happen. They have held our common opponents to these point totals…:
NC – 20 (Pitt – 37); VT – 37 (Pitt – 39) and GT – 21 (Pitt – 34)
…so in each case they did better in that regard and pretty dramatically when you see that NC was a 17 point differential and GT was a 13 pointer. That shows me something… and they also held #23 Florida State to only 20 points.
On the flip side our offense has been doing very well all year – our 39 ppg is the best we have done in 37 years and that is truly impressive. However Miami isn’t too bad against the rush in holding a 151 ypg line there. Overall I think Pitt is going to have a bit of a down day on offense tomorrow unless Canada allows the passing game to be a big part of the offense… and Peterman can avoid the type of game he had against the Hurricanes last season.
We’ll score some points against Miami but I think it won’t be up to our 39 average – more like in the low 30s. The odds-makers above have the predicted score to be Miami 37.7 – Pitt 26.6 but I’ll go with us being on the short end of the stick in a tough away game by a score of 37-31.