Miami Rolls Over Pitt

Many people felt going into this season that this game would be a potentially serious pitfall for the Hurricanes.

Miami looked far from perfect at times but managed to control the game from the mid first quarter on posting a 43-21 win. Clinton Portis led the way with 138 yards rushing and Ken Dorsey chimed in with a touchdown pass to Andre Johnson in the first quarter.

Miami opened the game by marching down the field 63 yards to take a 6-0 lead after a Clinton Portis four yard touchdown run. The PAT was no good due to a bad snap. After an incredible kickoff return by Torrie Cox, Pittsburgh ended a four play 45 yard drive when running back Rod Rutherford scored from a yard out to tie the game. Pittsburgh tacked on the extra point to take a 7-6 lead and for the first time all year Miami trailed.

That didn't last very long.

Andre Johnson grabs a touchdown pass over Pittsburgh defensive back Torrie Cox in the first quarter (AP, Gary Tramontina) Miami answered with a 13 play, 62 yard drive that ended in Clinton Portis' second touchdown of the night. Miami took a 13-7 lead and took the crowd out of the game for good. The first play following a Pittsburgh turnover saw Ken Dorsey throw his only touchdown of the evening, an 18 yard pass to the corner of the end zone to sophomore wide receiver Andre Johnson.

The only scoring in the second quarter came from a 24 yard field goal from junior Todd Sievers. Miami took that 23-7 lead into the locker room. The first half was not without mistakes. Miami receivers dropped a couple of balls and the penalties that plagued the Hurricanes during the first two games continued as Miami ended the first half with 65 yards in penalties. The first half started very efficient and business like but as Miami's lead grew, so did the mistakes.

The second half saw Miami make some adjustments and play better. Miami stopped Pittsburgh on the opening drive and then marched 65 yards in nine plays and took a 30-7 lead after Clinton Portis' third touchdown of the evening. Portis scored on excellent individual effort on a fourth and goal run where he changed directions and scored untouched. Later in the third quarter Miami increased its lead to 33-7 after a 26 yard field goal by Sievers.

The fourth quarter saw Miami put it in cruise control as they took advantage of a 67 yard interception return by junior cornerback Phillip Buchanon. Two plays later freshman Willis McGahee scored his first touchdown as a Hurricane with a five yard touchdown run up the middle making the score 40-7.

Pittsburgh scored a couple touchdowns late in the game to make it 43-21 on a Rod Rutherford to Kris Wilson pass for a 10 yard touchdown as well as a Rod Rutherford four yard run in the final seconds of the game. Miami spent a good portion of the fourth quarter with its second and third teamers in and freshman Derrick Crudup led the ‘Canes to their final scoring drive with a 12 play 47 yard drive that ended with a 38 yard field goal by Sievers. Overall it was a sloppy performance at times but when it mattered Miami was clearly the dominant team and got lots of valuable experience for some of the younger players.

Injuries

The only significant injury came on Miami's first defensive series where sophomore Will linebacker D.J. Williams turned an ankle and sat out the rest of the game. X-Rays were negative so he will be fine for Troy State or FSU game at the latest.

The Good

One very positive aspect of this game was the performance by the offense at the beginning of the game. First when we took the opening drive down the field and scored a touchdown to take the lead. It was very efficient. Also the second drive on offense when Pittsburgh had just scored was excellent. Again it was a business like drive and very quick to take the lead for good.

The Bad

There was very little pressure on the QB by our defense. We registered one sack all night. We did not blitz very much at all though, and only rushed three or four defense linemen all night, but still we are going to need some production here when we play better opponents.

The Ugly

Yes, the penalties. Miami again kept the field full of the yellow hankies as we accumulated double digit penalties again and ended up with over 100 yards in penalties. We are averaging double digit penalties a game after three blowout wins. This needs to be corrected and corrected fast. Again, this will hurt us when we play a quality opponent.

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