Miami Hurricanes use explosive plays in 31-19 victory over Pittsburgh

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 Hurricanes had touchdown passes of 35, 38 and 45 yards in a 31-19 victory over Pittsburgh on Saturday to improve to 4-1.

The Miami Hurricanes used an explosive offense with quarterback D’Eriq King throwing four touchdown passes in a 31-19 victory over Pittsburgh on Saturday. King threw TD passes of 35, six, 38 and 45 yards. Junior tight end Will Mallory had two of the TD receptions in place of starter Brevin Jordan who was out with injury.

Miami struggled to move the football most of the game other than the big plays. A 14 play, 65-yard drive consumed 7:11 and culminated in a 37-yard Jose Borregales field goal put Miami ahead 31-19 in the fourth quarter. The Miami defense held as they did most of the day getting the ball back after Pittsburgh ran five plays.

The Miami defense was stout in the red zone. Pittsburgh had five trips into the Miami red zone. The Panthers had to settle for one TD and five field goals. Only after an interception return to the Miami one-yard line was Pittsburgh able to convert a TD. Miami completely shutdown the Pittsburgh running game.

Pittsburgh finished with 300 total yards but took 73 plays to get there. Miami held Pittsburgh to 3-17 on third down and 0-2 on fourth down. In critical situations, the Hurricanes defense was the difference on Saturday. After struggling most of the game, King was clutch in the fourth quarter. King finished 16-31 for 222 yards.

The Miami Hurricanes struggled to run the ball, particularly in the second half. Miami had 18 carries for 63 yards in the first half. The Hurricanes finished with 42 carries for 109 yards. That included four Pittsburgh sacks for a loss of 19 yards. King led Miami in rushing again with 11 carries for 32 yards.

Opponents are going to force Miami beat them in the passing game until they prove they can. The TDs to Mallory, a 35-yarder to running back Cam Harris and a 38-yard TD pass to WR Mike Harley should open the field up next week against Virginia. Miami used good balance as four receivers had at least 27 yards.

The win was a complete victory from all three phases for Miami. Miami punter Lou Hedley averaged 51.7 yards per punt, had one inside the 20 and two over 50 yards. Pittsburgh had two punt returns for 16 yards. Those were only the second and third punt returns against Miami this season.

The Miami WRs finished with seven receptions for 109 yards and the TD from Harley. The explosive plays and epic fourth-quarter drive by the offense, ability by Hedley to flip the field by Hedley and the defense nearly completely keeping Pittsburgh out of the end zone in the red zone were what led to Miami’s victory.

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Miami improves to 4-1 and will host 1-2 Virginia next weekend at 8 PM on the ACC Network. The Cavaliers play Wake Forest on Saturday afternoon. All of the goals for Miami from the beginning of the season are still in front of them. Clemson, North Carolina and Notre Dame are the only undefeated teams left in the ACC.