Happy Thanksgiving weekend everyone.  If you didn’t get a chance to check out Reed’s farewell article yesterday, please take a look.  He’s the reason why we are here and he’ll always have a place in Pitt POV legend and lore.  Definitely worth a read.

Now that you’ve done that, onto Miami.

Imagine this:  An underperforming team with a true freshman quarterback takes on a the Coastal Division champ in the final game of the season and pulls off the upset.

Pitt MiamiYep.  That was us last year.  Hail to freakin’ Pitt.

This year it’s Miami.

There are differences, of course.  Miami True Frosh QB N’Kosi Perry is a four star recruit.  Picket was a three.  Also, Miami committed to Perry early, and they’ve played him in 8  games so far.  Pitt held back on Pickett, and he had played in only two coming into the Miami.  Lastly, Pitt was the underdog last year.  And…somewhat surprisingly (or maybe not given the national media’s bias against Pitt) Pitt is the underdog again.

So lets talk about Perry.

First off, right now Perry is not a great passer, at least statistically.  He’s completing 56% of his passes on the season at 6.4 yards per attempt on the season.  To his credit he’s thrown 13 TD’s to only 5 picks.  All this is  good for a rating of 129.6.  Not exactly stellar.  With the exception of the TD / Int ratio, Perry has roughly the same stat line as the 2017 version of Ben Dinucci (56% / 6.9 YPA).  Sure, Perry probably has more upside then DiNucci, but you have to like the fact that Perry has not yet developed into an NFL caliber passer.  Yes he can still hurt you with his legs, but we seem to have figured that out as of late (no whammy, no whammy…)

Also I want to point out that Perry has not been a great against ACC competition.  His last two games vs. GA Tech and Virginia Tech were not his worst, but they were also below his season averages.  We arguably are playing as good or better defense than these two teams recently.

Perry in last two games (avg)

61% completion

5.9 YPA

2 TD

0 Int

122 passer rating

Just for Kicks and Giggles:  Pickett in Last 2 games (avg)

73% completion

11.6 YPA (I’m not making this up folks)

4 TD

0 Int

200+ passer rating

All this to say that Perry’s level of play, assuming he does not break out on Saturday, pretty much plays into our defense’s strength.   As Alan Saunders pointed out in his recent film study article, the Pitt Defense benefits from inaccurate and inexperienced passers.  Lets hope Perry remains true to form on Saturday, and lets also hope that we can dial up some pressure on the quarterback.

The Miami Running game is another story.  Travis Homer and DeeJay Dallas are a dual threat to be reckoned with.  They are both smaller backs (Dallas is the bigger of the two at 5’11” / 200), and lightning quick.  And they’ve racked up 1371 yards between them for an average of ~5.7 yards per rush.  We will need to continue to plug the gaps and tackle well or it will be a long day.  I’d recommend the coaching staff watch the BC and GA Tech game films, because those teams held these guys to about 3 yards per attempt.

Now lets talk about the defense.

Miami has the #3 defense in the country.  Yes. #3.  We should be worried.

In many ways this will be a good warm up for the ACC Championship vs Clemson (they have the #2 defense) because I expect our band of gritty two-and-three star offensive players to be severely overmatched for much of the day.

Yes, Shawn Watson will have his work cut out for him.   Nonetheless, Miami has lost five games this season, three of them against teams that we’ve beaten.  So they are not invulnerable.

Virginia beat them with defense and special teams.

Georgia Tech did it with turnovers.  (they are #14 in the nation in turnover margin.  For the record, we are #37)

Duke did it with a jump pass in the rain.

All of these games were low scoring affairs.

Which leads me to believe this game will be too.

yeah-wegot-rid-of-mark-richt-uhhh-com-17842141
Interview with a local University of Georgia Fan

The bottom line is that Pitt has too much heart to lose to a faltering Mark Richt Miami team, even though the talent gap is still pretty wide.  Miami will make mistakes and the Panthers will capitalize.  And there is the very real possibility that after we beat on them for three quarters, Miami will quit.  Pitt wins 21 – 17.

133 thoughts on “Know the Enemy + Miami Predictions Thread

  1. If you don’t mind MAM I copied my prediction from yesterday’s article and pasted over here. << I’ll bet you’re not loving that MAM moniker? So Mike it is from now on. 🙂

    Captain Obvous here: Miami’s weak spot sure looks like it’s with their offense. So giving up quick and cheap TD’s just can’t happen. I figure PITT may have a tough time putting points up on the score-board tomorrow, so the onus will be on PITT’s defense to shut down Miami as much as possible. So I know some of you are thinking isn’t this obvious Captain? Sure it is but there are certain games when it can become more apparent and this game is one.

    Penalties and turnovers also just can’t happen especially on offense. PITT will have to play a very clean game down in Miami’s 83 degree heat predicted tomorrow.

    Special team? oh boy. Kirk (whos first name is easier to spell) the punter will have to change the field position a few times at least. Kessman the field-goal kicker has to make his attempts, again, pretty obvious.

    It sure would be nice to beat this team twice in two years and it can be done. I’m calling this game a close one. PITT will win the turnover battle and Kessman will make his kicks. so the Captain Obvious says:

    PITT……23
    Miami ..20

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  2. just want to throw this out there from PSN article:
    “OFFENSE
    Miami averages an underwhelming 377.3 total yards-per-game (92nd in the FBS), and their 31.5 points-per-game (t-47th) is inflated by the 173 total points they scored against Savannah State, Toledo and North Carolina. They average 188.6 yards-per-game in both the run game and the passing game, although that yardage is more impressive from a rushing perspective. Mark Richt has a reputation as an offensive guru, but this has not been his finest year.”

    way too often stats are used to make points here without the full picture being presented or with the idea that it is ok to throw out outliers…sometimes it is, but….
    point is, OOC colors everything

    typing lefty, shoulder benefiting greatly from oxycodone 😦
    hoping for an emotional high to be delivered starting about 3:30 tomorrow

    kinda surprised the line has gone back up to 6 points

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  3. BTW Mike, well done “Know Your Enemy” article. I like your style and panache as they say. Just a slight peppering of cockiness thrown in the oppositions direction, very nice indeed.

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    1. Thanks Ike I appreciate the complement. I’m just calling it like I see it. Life is too short not to throw a little bit of shade at the other team once in a while.

      Like

  4. I just want to point out this is the “right and proper” time to be playing Penn State. Day after Thanksgiving… and have the snow shovels ready… We were both usually top 25 and it would be knuckles to n .. ah you figure it out.

    H2P

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The Pitt D will dominate the Miami O and Pickett and Company will have many opportunities with the ball in hand to put up some decent points. I’m expecting a repeat of last weeks game in that our passing game will have to carry the offense. I’ve waited a long time for our offensive passing game to show up and I believe we have only just begun to see it do so over the past two weeks. Pitt 31 Miami 17

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  6. Pitt wins 24-20

    Miami scores late as Pitt holds on in sunny S.Fflorida. With Miami missing their two best WR’s and the TR FR QB ffor the canes will struggle to ffind a rhythm.

    But, the Miami D will stop Pitt’s O enough to keep the game close.

    Pitt will need KP to win this game with a balanced attack – there will be several ffrustrating moments in this game with Watson’s play calling, but the D will hold up Lyke they have in 4 of the past 5 games.

    Pitt as a 6 point dawg and the ESPN predictor has Miami as an 80% winner of this “rivalry” game. Connor Dintino and Bryce Hargrove play well with no snap issues in leading Pitt to a mild upset.

    Go Pitt – crush the canes!

    H2P!

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  7. Hey Carl, the PITT vs psu Friday after Thanksgiving match-up has already crossed my cranium a couple times today…. and what a beautiful day in western Pa to have played a great rivalry game.

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  8. Predicting Pitt offense to start slow as the O Line has to reestablish their rhythm but then continue to have a berter second half. Pitt wins 28-24.

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  9. Pitt offense this year has been very one dimensional, until last week. Can KP continue developing and reproduce his outstanding performance from last week. I think not, attributed to a disrupted O-line, which puts Pitt’s D directly in the cross-hairs. For the same reason, not confident of QO/DH breaking free for big runs, but we’d all have gone broke betting against these monsters this year, so hope I’m wrong big time.

    Although Canes O is anything but impressive, they will likely have a WR or two running free, because a missed assignment or two by Pitt secondary is unfortunately the norm. Didn’t hear but, if Hendrix playing, I think Pitt’s D could come up big, but without him Jones/Folston just won’t be able to compensate.

    Hate to be contrarian, but not feeling it (especially without Hendrix and Morrissey) against a motivated Miami team, so guessing Good Guys 17 convicts 24. If Hendrix plays, I’m going to hedge and say Pitt wins by 3.

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  10. A most excellent “know the enemy” article, MM. (Yes, I have bequeathed the “MM” moniker to you as the new president of the POV. )

    Some things I like:
    —Pitts on a roll. Duh!
    —In warm weather Kessman will put the KOs in the end zone and he will have the leg for lengthy FGs, if necessary.
    —We need the opposing QB to miss some passes and they appear fully capable of doing that…
    —Reynolds now has some games under his belt at MLB.

    Some things that concern me:
    —Miami will have open receivers…
    —Shotgun snaps from CD.
    —KP taking big yardage-losing sacks that kill drives like he was doing earlier in the season against teams with a good pass rush.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if we come out totally out of focus and dig a hole. After all, my pre-season pick was for Pitt to go 7-5!

    But based on the improbable four game win streak we’re on, my will guess is:

    Miami — 24
    Pitt — 27

    Hail to Pitt!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Except for one factor it’s ridiculous that Miami is favored and this statement takes into account that the game is played in Miami and we lost Morissey. We are the Coastal champs. We are the team that held our last 3 opponents to a combined 48 points (yes, that averages to 16 per game). We are the smash mouth team with a QB who came into his own last game. We have 3 first rate receivers and 2 RBs who will hurt you. And yet, I’m not so confident. Why? Because the game technically doesn’t mean anything like what the last 4 games meant. We all know that. Do the players? Note: I’m not saying that the game isn’t important. If Pitt beats Miami we will all become believers. We will believe we have a chance to beat Clemson. Beat Miami and I will believe that we are better than PSU. I really will. Go Pitt Go!!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Sorry but you guys are thinking of last years Miami and Pitt teams.

    Miami squeaked by FLST by one point, then lost 4 consecutive games to VA, BC, Duke and GT.

    Then they beat VT after we completely crushed them 55-22.

    I think we will win this in a rout.

    They may be the number 3 statistical defense but look who they played. One tough OOC team and a bunch of cupcakes.

    They won one of their last five games to a team that was completely demoralized by us the week before.

    Anything is possible, that is why you play the game, but I think we are going to run and pass all over them.

    Liked by 5 people

  13. Pitt 27 – Mindwammy 17

    Miami runs a pro style offense and Pitt’s defense is getting better every game. Does anyone know if Hendrix is playing tomorrow?

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  14. A WUPs players mom relayed to me “Miami plays dirty.” Imagine that… hopefully the refs let it be settled on the battlefield….Hail to PITT and WUPsumthugsa$$… HailYeah!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Weather could be an issue. 79 degrees possible showers.

    Not worried about the O-line, Dintino is a senior and Hargreaves is the sixth man.

    Pitt will be ready. still getting no respect. Time to go get some.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. PITT 27 ThugU 17… no let down in this group… they love playing for Duzz… all they have to do is flash back to that day in Kenan Stadium…never want to experience that sick feeling again… time for the Panthers to pin their ears back and go for the throat….

    Liked by 3 people

  17. Some of the Miami players play like thugs and they seem for the most part to be undisciplined. I am a faithful Yinzer, Pitt gets to 8 victories for the season.

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  18. Dan72… last week PITT became a 2 dimensional team on offense… Duzz and coaching crew have grown themselves and this team each week….hope we can hit on a cylinders tomorrow… Fran, Ike, BigB willl be…Let’s Go PITT!!!!!! Fight PITT Fight

    Liked by 3 people

  19. Taking the high road here but I have to say it though. So glad that some fans are starting to realize that Hendrix is having an above average season. Numbers don’t jump out at you but his play does to me.

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  20. Get your game faces on POV… get focused!!! No whimsical comment.. We are Pittsburgh STRONG… FINISH what We started… FINISH STRONG….WE ARE PITT…CHAMPYINZ…. NO LETTINGUP….SMASHMOUTH… PITTSBURGH TUFF…

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  21. Another excellent article Mike….but of course you are The Maestro after all. I’m thinking Pitt is going to score more points, because every time i predict them low, they go high. Haven’t decided how high, with our new found passing ability. But I will before game time.

    H2P
    VeV

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    1. Ffun watching Tiger and Phil knowing I can’t beat either. (Ikr)

      Tailgating outdoors in Central Pa tomorrow will be in ffreezing rain.

      A Pitt victory over the canes – priceless!

      H2P!

      Like

  22. BTW, Scott Barnes’ Fightin’ Beavers at Oregon State are getting hammered by Oregon— which will give them and their hires-by-Scott-Barnes football coach a record of 2 and 10.

    Beaver fans may be enjoying their AD as much as we did…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Mighty Nebraska with a four win season, still suffering the curse of Pedersen.
    Pitt with the opportunity to exorcise some more demons tomorrow.

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  24. I’m going to the game tomorrow and the Panthers win 17 to 16. I’ll be wearing my autographed 33 jersey and tailgating in the yellow lot.

    H2P

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Miami’s Run Defense is only 7th in the ACC in Conference games. Should be able to run on Thug U.

    And with Mad Bomber 2.0 throwing some deep ones over the middle to keep Thug U’s safeties out of
    the box, I see Q & Catch 22 both having big games.

    Pitt 42
    Thug U 20

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Jamie’s Horny Toads got beat by (Big Daddy) Lipscomb (who ?) the other nite at home. And it wasn’t even like a buzzer beater or something. 73-64 in Ft Worth

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  27. Emel, I have a photo I took of Big Daddy when my dad took me to Steeler training camp in 61 or 62. Dude looked big as a house to me.
    Sooners scored 35 on hoopies and it’s not yet halftime.

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  28. Here’s something to ponder until kickoff. Has KP played better in the last four games – all wins – because he has continued to mature and reach a higher level of play, or because we played 4 teams with comparable or lesser talent than Pitt?

    I think it’s some of both but tomorrow could tell us a lot.

    Consider this, Miami is tied for 4th in the ACC in sacks. The 4 teams Pitt just beat are all near the bottom of the league in sacks.

    ACC Standing/School/Number of Sacks
    1/Clemson/40
    2/Syracuse/35
    4/Miami/31
    6/UNC/30
    7/Pitt/27
    9/UVA/22
    9/VT/22
    11/WF20
    12/Duke/19
    13/GT/16

    Syracuse is like an outlier in that they have a good pass rush and we beat them. That’s good news for tomorrow.

    So it will be interesting to see how KP handles the pass rush pressure tomorrow. Does he get rid of the ball or does he retreat and take big losses, like he was doing earlier in the season…

    What’s everybody think?

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. My other Alma mater looking pretty good. Pitt guys attending the game, Donald, Tumulty, and Palko mentioned. Wouldn’t be surprised if Flynn and Graphic are there too.

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  30. Losing the center hurts Pitt in many ways. Leadership will play a big part tomorrow. I feel we have a better team that won’t quit like Miami. If we get up a few quick scores we could dominate. I like Pitt to win by 4. Pitt 31 Miami 27. We then can go play tough with Clemson H2P

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  31. (Note: I haven’t looked at any previous predictions yet so I apologize if I say something already stated.)
    PITTMAN4EVER’S THOUGTS and PREDICTION:
    1.) Motivation: Miami is motivated to win this game more than we are. They need this W to get to a bowl, we don’t. Hey, look at the POV and it’s inner circle of emailers – all the talk is about going to Charolette to play Clemson on Dec 1. Very little about tomorrow’s game vs Miami.
    2.) We just lost our starting center for the rest of the year. First O Line injury this year and a big one at that.
    3.) Miami has great talent of 4&5 players, especially on their #3 ranked defense in the country.
    No need to go on. However, I think it will be a very close game, low scoring, and we have a good chance of an upset. Still, Pittman4ever predicts:
    PITT: 22
    TheU. 27
    (My emotions say us but my head says them)

    Like

    1. (aka LA Panther).I think Miami is 6-5, so they go to a bowl—better than they deserve—no matter what. Maybe their 4+ plus players play hard, and maybe the make a business decision and phone it in. Could go either way. I’m thinking pitt continues to surprise, and wins. Pitt wants to get a higher level bowl, and 2+ guys can only do that by playing as hard as they can. Effort of the many sometimes trumps the talent of the few.

      Like

  32. WVU will be the first (and last) NCAA team to get over 700 yards of offense and still lose. We’re witnessing history here folks 😉

    Like

  33. #PittsburghStrong attitude and swagger prevents the letdown and Pitt out-muscles and out-coaches Miami 31-17.

    Reading some of the Miami web sites I sense there is at best confusion, if not a a tad bit of dissension blowing through the Hurricane locker room. Thugs eventually break like a rotten palm tree in high winds and pack it up in the 4th.

    H2P

    Like

  34. LA Panther, here.

    Breathing easier now that we had some of that water from the sky stuff fall on the fires.

    Can’t see a letdown. Miami May win, but not because we don’t plat hard. Is the surprise on the over side this time? Miami hasn’t given up more than 20 much this year. Pitt should score more, but not much. 27, maybe. Will Miami fold like they did two years ago? I expect a couple of cheap scores, but no sustained drives. I think a lot of players go there to stay safe for a few years before their expected nfl careers. They want to run up numbers in easy games and not get hurt in harder games… I think we hold them under 20, 17 maybe, so let’s say

    Pitt 27.
    Miami 17.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. For the record pittman4 Miami is already bowl eligible.— Pickett and the passing game will have to win this one. I see a repeat of last week and the passing game wins this one going away for Pitt.

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  36. I am so nervous for this game. I picked it as a loss in preseason.

    I hope the magic continues and I will be glued to the TV at 3 30.

    However my head says Miami will win.

    The U 35
    Pitt 31

    Game ends in OT.

    Like

  37. Forget Charlotte right now – Duzz needs to wind these guys up and turn them loose in Hard Rock Tarp Stadium. No holding back – win # 8 awaits this team. A “W” today sets up a little ffear in the Clemscum camp that Pitt will be a team to reckon with (a little southern lingo).

    With a win today, Pitt “should” go to a decent bowl game and have a legitimate shot at 9 “W’s”, which is something Duzz has not accomplished yet and only two Pitt coaches have since I was in school – Walt Harris and Dave Wanstadt.

    A win today will energize the Pitt ffan base even more than it already is. A win today sets up Charlotte to be an interesting trip for the ages.

    There should be no let up today, no worries about injuries and no saving a player ffor a redshirt or resting a guy ffor the Clemscum game. This team needs to be “all in” today with Jimmy Morrissey and Q.Wirginis assisting the coaches on the sideline with game day knowledge and insight.

    The offense should be highly motivated to play against what everyone is touting as an NFL caliber ffront 7 and if any of our SR’s (and JR’s) want to play on Sunday, go make a name ffor yourself today.

    The defense needs to rev-up their motors and go ffull throttle. R.Weaver is back home today playing in ffront of ffriends & ffamily – go have a big game and make sure miami knows they let “one” get away.

    Watch out brick walls, the Pitt train is rolling into South Fflorida and we ain’t stopping ffor a rest – there is work to be done.

    Crush the canes!

    H2P!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. EE – Northeast corner of Ga. is mountainous. Wasn’t that Burt Reynolds movie filmed there (can’t remember its name)? Just kissin’ cousins home for the holiday.

      PITT 31 – Miami 17

      Like

  38. Need to get up on Miami from the get go… the Thugs can’t play from behind .. takes a TEAM to to that… get the lead and Thug U infighting start and they self-destruct….

    Liked by 2 people

  39. Once again, Miami has victories vs. Savannah St. Toledo, FIU, UNC, FLST, VT, losses vs LSU, VA, BC,Duke, GT. Seriously folks, we reeled off 4 must wins in a row and played a much more difficult schedule.

    I just don’t get how we are not favored. This team gets no Respect.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Ohowihate…yep, going to Charlotte. We’ll have a parking spot per Tim Chambon. Not sure where or any details yet.
    BigB, Emel, Richman, JoeL, and Atlanta Panther on board also.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Question…. who am I supposed to be rooting for this first game? OSU vs Mich? Can’t stand either program. I’m guessing it would be ok for OSU to win and screw up the Big 10 chances in the playoff?

    That gang going to Charlotte looks like trouble waiting to happen. Look out down below…… and look out Clemson….

    Like

  42. I have a lot of family and friends Wwith connections to OSU, and Harbaugh seems like quite the jagoff so I will root for OSU, also any opportunity to screw up the Big 10 in the College Playoff Championship is fine by me..

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Who can predict anything our MEN do on game day… it will be a victory though! Hail to Pitt! Crush the Canes!
    No rain forecast… sunny and 83 here in Miami

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  44. ok Mark, osu it will be

    Beautiful day in Miami to get their ashes handed to them.

    I’m guessing Fran’s tailgate, in his driveway, started an hour or so ago. 5 hours before kick-off is his motto.

    Like

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