You wouldn’t be able to tell by the final score, but Pitt really was in the game at one point.
Pitt even had the lead, 21-20 for a brief moment in the second quarter after George Aston took a Nathan Peterman shovel pass and scampered 23-yards for the touchdown. Blewitt’s extra point made it 21-20 Panthers, but it was all downhill after that.
Brad Kaaya, who finished the day 32/47 for 356 yards and 5 total touchdowns, answered back less than three minutes later on a 1-yard TD run to put Miami in front for good, 27-21. It was the first of three unanswered scores for the Hurricanes, who would eventually push it to 41-21 with 13:38 left in the 4th quarter.
Pitt would pull to within two scores thanks to Miami forgetting to cover Jester Weah on a simple pass play. Peterman found Weah, who then walked untouched into the end zone to make it 41-28. That was as close as the Panthers would make it.
Miami tacked on a late 4th quarter field goal and touchdown to turn it into a blowout.
Final score: Miami 51 – Pitt 28.
Miami wasted no time finding the end zone, scoring the first touchdown of the day just 2:14 seconds into the game on a 12-yard Brad Kaaya touchdown pass.
Quadree Henderson answered back with his FBS leading third TD return.
But again Pitt’s defense was unable to mount any kind of stand and five minutes later, Brad Kaaya delivered a perfect fade to Stacey Coley on third down and goal at the one for another touchdown.
Miami would add a field goal to take a 17-7 lead at the end of the 1st quarter.
As bad as the 1st quarter looked, the 2nd offered some hope for the Panthers, who were able to put back-to-back touchdown drives to briefly take the lead. But the defense again buckled after a brief Pitt lead and Miami took a 27-21 lead into halftime.
Pitt’s offense never got on track in the second half. Quadree Henderson fumbled on the second play giving Miami the ball back deep in Pitt territory. Kaaya would find Stacy Coley for a 3-yard strike to put Miami ahead 34-21.
Pitt’s defense forced a Miami punt (just their second of the game) and drove down the field going 79 yards in eight plays. Pitt was perfectly set up at the Miami 3 yard line, but on 2nd and goal, Peterman threw an unadvised (to put it kindly) pass in the back of the end zone to Miami’s Rayshawn Jenkins.
Miami would go three-and-out and take over with great field position after a short punt and 17-yard Quadree Henderson return.
Pitt made it all the way to the 13 yard line before stalling out. Peterman took a 12-yard sack on third down and On 4th and 21 and Chris Blewitt’s field goal from 43-yards out hit the upright.
Pitt fans can take solace in Quadree Henderson cementing his All-American kick returner status with a 100-yard KO return in the 1st quarter.
Nathan Peterman finished the game 17/35 for 287 yards, his highest single game total of the year. James Conner ran the ball only 12 times for 40 yards. Jester Weah caught 3 balls for 115 yards and a score.
As a team, the Panthers finished with 424 yards of total offense, but only 137 on the ground, their lowest number since the opener at Villanova and only the third time all year they’ve gained less than 200 yards on the ground.
The defense gave up another 500+ yard afternoon to the opposition (their third of the season). Brad Kaaya set a personal high with 5 total touchdowns. Miami out gained the Panthers through the air (356-287) and on the ground (181-137). It was the second time the Panthers have been out rushed (Georgia Tech).