Miami football facing Pittsburgh with QB Kenny Pickett questionable

Oct 26, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; .Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 26, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; .Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami football team will face Pittsburgh on Saturday with Panthers quarterback Kenny Pickett questionable to play.

Pittsburgh could be without quarterback Kenny Pickett when they face the Miami football team on Saturday at Hard Rock Stadium. Pickett sustained an ankle injury in the Panthers loss at Boston College last week. Pittsburgh head coach Pat Narduzzi would not indicate who would start if Pickett can not play.

The Panthers have redshirt freshmen Davis Beville and Joey Yellen as the backups for Pickett. Beville is 3-6 for 13 yards and no touchdowns this season, Yellen is 2-3 for 19 yards. All but one of those attempts came in the season-opening 55-0 victory Pittsburgh had over Austin Peay. Beville’s other attempt was against NC State.

If Pickett cannot play it is a huge blow to the Pittsburgh offense. Pickett is a four-year starter for the Panthers who was the QB when Pittsburgh upset Miami ending the Hurricanes undefeated season in 2017. Pickett is fifth all-time in Pittsburgh passing. With 1,663 yards Pickett will pass Dan Marino for second all-time at Pittsburgh.

Pickett needs 13 TD passes to pass Marino to become the all-time leader in Panthers’ history. This season, Pickett has completed 60 percent of his passes for 1,389 yards, eight TDs and three interceptions. Narduzzi admitted Pickett is not 100 percent healthy entering Saturday but was otherwise evasive.

"“Is he 100% healthy? No. But I feel good with where he is right now. I’m not going to talk about his ankle or anything else…You know I don’t talk about injuries. We’re pretty healthy right now. That’s all you get there…I don’t know who (the No. 2 quarterback) is right now, but every week we try to figure that out, and it depends on how good of a week every quarterback has, and whichever quarterback has the best week will be that first guy to come in.”"

Yellen is far more experienced than Beville. While a true freshman at Arizona State in 2019, Yellen was 28-44 for 292 yards with four TDs and an interception starting for the Sun Devils in a 31-26 loss to USC. Miami WR coach Rob Likens was the offensive coordinator for ASU in 2019.

Pickett is usually a mobile QB. In five games this season, Pickett has rushed for 119 yards and five TDs. If Pickett plays expect Miami to bring a lot of pressure with the senior having limited mobility. Miami limited Pickett to 146 yards passing and sacked him four times in a 17-13 victory at Heinz Field last season.

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The Miami football team is 16th nationally this season with 11 sacks in four games. Defensive tackle Jared Harrison-Hunte, linebacker Zach McCloud and defensive end Quincy Roche are tied for the Miami lead with two sacks each. Roche and Jaelan Phillips have pressured the QB this season, but not as many sacks have followed.