Miami Hurricanes offense opportunity for explosive plays vs. Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 26: (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 26: (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

The Miami Hurricanes offense faces one of the best defenses in the country on Saturday but will have a good chance to create explosive plays against Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh brings one of the best defenses in college football to Hard Rock Stadium on Saturday. The one area the Miami Hurricanes offense should have a chance to exploit the Panthers is by making explosive plays. Prior to their first loss of the season last week at Clemson, Miami has made explosive plays throughout 2020.

Pittsburgh has had a dominant defense as they have started 2020 3-2. The Panthers enter Saturday’s game 12th nationally in scoring defensesixth in total defensesecond allowing 52 rushing yards per game and 24th in pass defense. The Panthers’ aggressive defense gives opponents a chance to make big plays.

Pittsburgh is first nationally with 52 tackles for loss and 25 sacks. The Pittsburgh defense has been stout all season, but Miami should have a chance to exploit the Panthers if they can make big plays as they did early in the season. Miami scored three of their five touchdowns in the victory over Louisville via explosive plays.

A pair of 75-yard TDs, a run from Cam Harris and a reception from Jaylan Knighton plus a 47-yard TD reception by tight end Brevin Jordan accounted for three of the five TDs for Miami against Louisville. Harris had a 66-yard TD run in the season-opening victory over Louisville. Miami proved they can sustain drives against Florida State.

FSU is not the team to measure yourselves against currently. Clemson stymied Miami for most of the night. Nearly half of the Miami Hurricanes yards came on two big plays. Quarterback

D’Eriq King

had a 56-yard run and a 42-yard completion to wide receiver

Keyshawn Smith


Bud Elliott of 247 Sports discussed the Miami offense


"“Miami’s offense is 66th in success rate, but 5th in marginal explosiveness…They can generate big plays but the consistency drive to drive is not there yet with this offense….But Pitt is also an extreme. Pitt’s defense is 11th in the country in success rate allowed, but 73rd in the country in marginal explosiveness allowed.It does create some explosive opportunities for an opposing offense. They have given up a lot of big plays even though they beat you up down to down…Pitt stops the run and denies the easy throw consistently. But they can hit the explosive play. Miami is an explosive team when it has the threat of play action.But Miami is not at all explosive in obvious passing downs. Miami is first in rushing explosives, nowhere near that in passing explosiveness. Miami does pop big runs some. I see big plays and three-and-outs in this game. I do not see a lot of sustained drives.”"

Elliott’s comments came on the Barton and Bud Podcast with him and Barton Simmons on 247 Sports.Com. The opportunities should be there for Miami  to have a few decisive big plays against Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh has allowed five plays of 40 yards or more, four of 50 plus, three of 60 or more and two of 70 plus.

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Pittsburgh ranks 68th, 69th, and 66 in plays allowed over, 50, 60 and 70 yards. Miami has seven plays this season of 40 or more yards, four of 50 plus, three of 60 or more and the two against Louisville of more than 70. Miami is seventh in plays of 40 or more yards and fifth, fourth and third in 50, 60 and 70 yard plays in 2020.