Written By Admir Aljic
The Top Sports handicappers at Winnersandwhiners.com
Miami Hurricanes (3-4) vs. Pittsburgh Panthers (6-1)
The Pittsburgh Panthers will be looking for their fifth straight victory when they take on the Miami Hurricanes on Saturday. Pittsburgh is coming off a huge 27-17 victory over Clemson last Saturday. Miami snapped a two-game losing streak by narrowly defeating North Carolina State, 31-30.
Pittsburgh is favored in this contest by 9.5-points. Miami has won the last three meetings between these teams, including a 31-19 victory last October. The Hurricanes are 5-2 in the last seven meetings.
Hurricanes Hang on to Edge Wolfpack
Miami took a 31-27 lead with a little over nine minutes left in the contest, then hung on to defeat North Carolina State, 31-30. Quarterback Tyler Van Dyke threw for 325 yards and four touchdowns, including Charleston Rambo making nine catches for 127 yards and two TDs. The Miami defense had a tough day, recording no sacks, no interceptions, and no fumble recoveries while giving up 421 yards of total offense to the Wolfpack, but the offense came up big, putting up 420 yards of their own.
Miami is averaging 32.1 points per game, 40th overall, and they are 41st in yards per contest at 433.3. Van Dyke has taken over the quarterback position and been solid, throwing for 1062 yards and nine touchdowns, completing 70 of 119 passes. He has thrown just three interceptions. His primary target has been Rambo, who has 44 catches for 549 yards and four TDs. Mike Harley (27) and Keyshawn Smith (24) each have over 20 catches this season.
The running attack has been good enough for the Hurricanes. Cam’Ron Harris leads the team with 409 yards rushing and five TDs. He is averaging 5.8 yards per carry.
The defense is allowing 30.0 points per game, 97th in the country. The Hurricanes have 17 sacks, and four interceptions. Jahfari Harvey leads the team with 3.0 sacks. Zach McLeod is right behind with 2.5 sacks.
Panthers Maul Tigers
Pittsburgh fell behind 7-0 before rallying for 21 straight points on their way to a 27-17 victory over Clemson. Two touchdown passes by Kenny Pickett put the team on top, and SirVocea Dennis returned an interception 50 yards for a touchdown to give the Panthers a 21-7 lead. Pickett finished with 302 yards
Pittsburgh is averaging 45.3 points per game, fourth overall, and they are sixth in total offense at 523.6 yards per game. This is a very impressive Panthers offense led by Pickett, who is completing 68.9% of his passes for 2236 yards and 23 touchdowns. In 244 attempts he has just one interception. Pickett has a multitude of targets as nine different players have at least 10 catches the season. Jordan Addison leads the team with 39 catches for 670 yards and 10 touchdowns.
This is not an impressive rushing attack, however. Vincent Davis has carried the ball 79 times for 263 yards and three scores. Israel Abanidkanda is the leading ground gainer at 403 yards on 78 carries.
The defense has been impressive as well, 26th overall, allowing 19.6 points per game. The defense has 22 sacks, seven interceptions, and for fumble recoveries. Habakkuk Baldonado leads the team with 5.5 sacks. Damarri Mathis has two interceptions. Brandon Hill leads the team with 46 tackles and has an interception and six pass defenses.
This has been a rivalry dominated by Miami of late, but Pittsburgh is one of the best teams in the country, ranked No. 17 overall. It starts with the impressive play of their quarterback, as Shrader has a lot of NFL teams watching him each week. He is not only making big plays but is very careful with the ball as well. That one interception in 244 attempts is very impressive.
Miami has a solid offense, but they do not match up well against the defense for Pittsburgh. The Panthers are allowing just 209.4 yards passing per game, and that is a key for the Hurricanes. They need Van Dyke to make big plays, but he is going to struggle against a very good Pittsburgh defense.
Prediction: Take the Pittsburgh Panthers at -9.5. (-110)
Written By Admir Aljic , “The Admiral”
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