Expert Cappers Picks
College Football
Preview
Pittsburgh at Miami
When: 3:30 PM ET, Saturday, November 24, 2018
Where: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida

Although he doesn’t remember it now, Pittsburgh coach Pat Narduzzi told the team's fan base in a late August preseason luncheon that the next time they’d see each other was in the ACC title game in Charlotte. The 25th ranked Panthers cashed their ticket last weekend with a victory over Wake Forest and now must try and remain focused Saturday when they visit Miami (Fla.) in the regular-season finale before taking on Clemson on Dec. 1.



“I didn’t make any predictions,” Narduzzi told reporters after a fourth consecutive victory. “I don’t even remember what I said, I guess. … I don’t know. I guess it was meant to happen. Our guys worked for it, and we got it done.” Running backs Qadree Ollison and Darrin Hall spearheaded a running attack that averaged 410 yards per game in the Panthers’ previous three wins, but it was struggling quarterback Kenny Pickett who led the way in the 34-13 win at Wake. After trailing by four at the half, the sophomore led a second-half surge and finished 23-of-30 for career highs of 316 yards and three touchdowns - the first Pitt signal caller to top 300 yards in a Power 5 game since Tom Savage in 2013. Miami snapped a four-game losing streak by scoring 21 points in the third quarter in a 38-14 win over Virginia Tech last weekend to become bowl eligible for the sixth straight season.

TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Miami -5





ABOUT PITTSBURGH (7-4, 6-1 ACC): Pickett earned the starting position in last year’s regular-season finale when he led the Panthers past an undefeated Miami team, but hadn’t surpassed 200 yards passing in a game until last week despite completing over 60 percent of his passes for the season. “People have been questioning our passing game, and we showed that we can do both,” Ollison told reporters. “Kenny’s been getting better every single week … He’s becoming a smarter football player, he’s becoming a more poised quarterback.” Still it will be the running game of Ollison (1,106 yards, 6.6. yards per carry, 10 TDs) and Hall (888, 8.1, nine) and a resurgent defense that has held two of the last three opponents under 300 yards of total offense that will have to control the line of scrimmage against Miami and Clemson.

ABOUT MIAMI (6-5, 3-4): Freshman quarterback N’Kosi Perry (55.6 percent, 1,037 yards, 13 TDs, five interceptions) completed 21-of-34 passes for 171 yards and two touchdowns, and also scored his first career rushing touchdown last week. “I thought he handled things well. First of all, no turnovers. That has a lot to do with the quarterback position,” Miami coach Mark Richt told the Miami Herald of Perry, whom Richt says has the inside track at the starting position next year as he battles true freshmen Cade Weldon and Jared Williams. “They’re going to get their chance to perform in the spring especially and show what they’ve got. I’m not going to close the door by any means because you just can’t do that at this point. But I do see a lot of growth in N’Kosi and I think he’s got the skill set.” Cam’Ron Davis had 77 yards and a TD rushing while adding a receiving score last week.






EXTRA POINTS

1. Miami leads the all-time series 18-3, but the 10-0, No. 2-ranked Hurricanes were knocked off by the Panthers last season 24-14.

2. The Coastal Division title is Pitt’s first of any type since 2010, when it was one of three tied atop the Big East at the end of the regular season. In 2004, the Panthers were one of four co-champions in that conference, and earned the league’s bid to a BCS bowl game by virtue of tiebreakers.

3. Pitt is ranked in the Coaches Poll for the first time since the week of Oct. 25, 2015, when it was No. 24.





PREDICTION: Pittsburgh 28, Miami 24


Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W‑L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Pittsburgh 7-4 W4 30.3 28.1 5-1 2-3 6-3 0-0 6-1
Miami 6-5 W1 31.5 19.5 4-1 2-4 5-3 0-0 3-4
Last Meeting
Pittsburgh Miami
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
11/24/17 MIA 14 PITT 24 345 152 193 232 45 187
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Pittsburgh K. Pickett 62.1 193 1 0
Miami M. Rosier 44.1 187 2 0
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Pittsburgh Q. Ollison 14 62 4.4 0
Miami M. Rosier 12 31 2.6 0
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Pittsburgh J. Weah 6 80 13.3 0
Miami B. Berrios 4 61 15.2 1
Touchdowns Player TD
Pittsburgh K. Pickett 2
Miami B. Berrios 1
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Pittsburgh K. Pickett 62.1 1695 12 5
Miami N. Perry 55.6 1037 13 5
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Pittsburgh Q. Ollison 167 1106 6.6 10
Miami T. Homer 146 801 5.5 3
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Pittsburgh T. Mack 19 459 24.2 1
Miami L. Cager 19 344 18.1 6
Touchdowns Player TD
Pittsburgh M. Ffrench 10
Miami L. Cager 6
Quickchart Matchup
Pittsburgh Pittsburgh Off vs  Miami Miami Def
Pittsburgh 403 yards
Miami 274.3 yards
Pittsburgh 6.1 yards/rush
Miami 3.4 yards/rush
Pittsburgh 6.9 yards/attempt
Miami 5.5 yards/attempt
Miami Miami Off vs  Pittsburgh Pittsburgh Def
Miami 377.3 yards
Pittsburgh 406 yards
Miami 4.9 yards/rush
Pittsburgh 4.4 yards/rush
Miami 6.6 yards/attempt
Pittsburgh 7.7 yards/attempt