Miami upset by Pittsburgh, 24-14

Ross Houston
November 24, 2017

A win in that game might be enough to keep Miami in that playoff, but a loss could put the Hurricanes on the outside looking in.

Pitt led No. 2 Miami at halftime on Friday in Pittsburgh, 10-7. This will be the first season the Panthers will have missed a bowl game since 2007, so this was their biggest contest of the year, and they delivered. It had a stretch of four straight games from October 7 through October 28 that were all decided by eight points or fewer.

Thanks in very large part to Pitt's defense, Miami's offense could muster next to nothing on the day, churning out just 176 yards of offense while the game was still within reach (they finished with 234).

It wasn't until the Hurricanes' win over Virginia Tech on November 4 that they started being taken seriously as a national title contender.

Junior quarterback Malik Rosier had a decent game for the Hurricanes, passing for 187 yards and two touchdowns. Miami's two takeaways resulted in zero points.

There are parallels between Miami's loss to Pittsburgh and Clemson's loss earlier this season to Syracuse.

The Hurricanes entered Friday ranked a respectable 33rd in scoring with 33.7 points per game, but a lot of that production has been boosted by a defense that ranked third in the nation with 27 forced turnovers.

With a flawless 10-0 record, Miami is one of just four remaining unbeaten teams at the FBS level and the only unbeaten team in the ACC.

Under head coach Pat Narduzzi, Pittsburgh is 11-2 when holding opponents to under 100 rushing yards. The Hurricanes struggled in the field position battle, with true freshman Zach Feagles only averaging 36 yards on 10 punts.

1 The Hurricanes lead the all-time series with the Panthers, 25-10-1, with Miami winning the last two meetings.

All is not lost for Miami, as they still have major goals ahead.

They had already clinched their first Coastal Division crown and secured a berth in next week's Atlantic Coast Conference Championship Game. If the dominoes fall in Miami's favor, a victory (especially an impressive one) could get them back into the College Football Playoff picture.

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