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September 21, 2010

Getting Focused On Miami

Filed under: Football,Opponent(s) — Chas @ 11:25 am

From Nike Pro Combat Day

No you won’t see these helmets on Thursday, but I had to put this combo together for the game.

When you don’t play a team for a while, everyone resets to their halcyon days of great success. Even if it has eluded them for a number of years. Don’t get me wrong. Miami is very talented. They have great speed and talent.

At the same time, they haven’t done much with it to this point. They got pantsed by Ohio State. Take away their special teams and their offense was wrecked and the defense was beaten into submission. Ohio State is one of the best teams in the country, so losing wasn’t a shock. I really don’t think that Pitt and Miami are too far apart in this game.

They even have similar problems as this beat writer laid out for Miami after the loss to Ohio State.

Concern No. 1: The running game

Take away Damien Berry’s 42-yard run, and the Hurricanes had 28 carries for 78 yards against the Buckeyes. The rushing attack at halftime: 14 rushes for 28 yards.

Tailback is the team’s deepest position, with Berry, Lamar Miller and Mike James each capable of gaining 100 yards. Miller has shown his big-play ability on special teams but got just three carries Saturday after a team-high 11 for 65 yards and a touchdown in the opener. More touches would help.

The Hurricanes had at least one rushing touchdown in 10 consecutive games before Saturday. The offensive line needs to do a better job creating holes for the bevy of backs.

Concern No. 3: Tackling and lack of turnovers forced

Linebacker Sean Spence had a career-high 11 tackles Saturday. The rest of the defense didn’t fare so well. Shannon said tackling was emphasized all week leading up to Ohio State after several missed tackles in the season opener.

“I told those guys to make sure they tackle the football and get better,” Shannon said. “[Saturday], we didn’t. After the first contact, [the Buckeyes] may have had over 70 yards.”

The defense didn’t wrap up Terrelle Pryor, and it can’t afford that against Pittsburgh running back Dion Lewis.

The ‘Canes also didn’t force any turnovers to help offset Harris’ four picks. They’ve yet to force a fumble this season and have just one interception.

The Canes know that Lewis hasn’t been as electric as last season to date, but they know Pitt will still run him.

One thing to worry about, especially with the running game, is that Miami has been very good up front, and while early, lead the country in tackles for loss.

Canes Pundit has a list of things he will be watching to see from Miami. No surprise special teams and Miami QB Jacory Harris is on that list — and not because Harris got racist tweets sent his way.

Now if Pitt can put the off-the-field crap behind them and get ready for the game, I think we’d all appreciate it.





Anyone know what time the lots will open on Thursday or game parking?

Comment by TJ 09.21.10 @ 12:03 pm

TJ,

The standard time schedule is 5hrs. prior to kickoff. However, I believe the Pirates have a day game starting a 12:35pm. So, I don’t know what that means for accessibility to the parking lots, etc….

Comment by Jason 09.21.10 @ 12:37 pm

ALCO’s site says 5 hours before each PITT game, so I’ll be there at 2:30 with pitchforks and torches if needbe.

Comment by PITTinCT 09.21.10 @ 12:41 pm

Update: ALCO says the lots are open at 2:30 if you have your pass, but they can’t guarantee all spots until after Pirates fans (HA!) have cleared out.

Comment by PITTinCT 09.21.10 @ 1:07 pm

I was at the 2003 game, we need to win this game for redemption!!!

Comment by BnG 09.21.10 @ 2:25 pm

Pitt Panthers Television
link to pittsburghpanthers.com

Comment by Hogan 09.21.10 @ 2:26 pm

Good thing only 300 people attend Pirates games

Comment by JohnnyMajors 09.21.10 @ 2:27 pm

I actually bought Pirate tickets for Thursday and was told I can pay to get in early if i show my game ticket and give my pass for the pitt game…convinience i must say!!

Comment by Gbash0575 09.21.10 @ 3:12 pm

@JohnnyMajors…..are there 300 people working in the Pirates Front Office these days. Or are they just friends and relatives are Ogden, Robert, Frank & Neil. Or is one the same as the other.

With ND losing and now at 1-2, PITT better win this one if they want to crack the Top 25 again before Thanksgiving(assuming WVU only loses to LSU before then)(and of course we win all games till then as well)

Comment by carolinapanther 09.21.10 @ 3:52 pm

Pitt launches Pitt Panther TV on comcast.

Comment by alcofan 09.21.10 @ 4:45 pm

I’m driving up from Virginia for the game on Thursday, anyone have any good ideas for where to park if I don’t have a pass?

From what I’ve read so far I’ve heard parking is a b**** this year. I will probably be getting to the stadium area around 3:30-4:00.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Comment by iceman2885 09.21.10 @ 5:15 pm

PITT PANTHER TV!!! THIS IS GREAT!!!

Comment by Joe 09.21.10 @ 5:23 pm

carolina, this is my favorite parking lot, number 1 on the map link below. 6th Street, just South of the Clemente Bridge. 5 bucks:

link to pittsburgh.about.com

Comment by steve 09.21.10 @ 6:52 pm

Iceman….Great parking over near the Sheraton (garage + outdoor) and take the boat over to the stadium $10. Great trip + you can drink on the boat. Be there by 5:30 at the latest.

Comment by Dan 72 09.21.10 @ 6:53 pm

on weekends, parking downtown is usually both inexpesnive ($5) in many garages, and you are able to get out quickly … but not sure about a weeknight

Comment by wbb 09.21.10 @ 7:56 pm

Thanks for the parking tips guys.

Comment by iceman2885 09.21.10 @ 8:04 pm

Weeknight parking downtown is usually a flat rate of $5. They may up it a little for football games, but it should still be less than anything on the North Side. The walk across any of the bridges is easy. If you don’t have a pass for one of the permit lots, the downtown garages are your best bet.

Comment by Pantherman13 09.21.10 @ 10:21 pm

Suggestion is to park in Oakland and ride the PITT shuttle downtown and back from the game. Easy in and out.

Headed up from the ATL for this one. I expect a big win for the effort!!!!

Go PITT!

Comment by PITT fan in Atlanta 09.21.10 @ 10:48 pm

I keep saying, this will come down to special teams play. One play may be the spark and difference in this one, a blocked FG, return for a TD, etc.

I expect us to play better. What player can’t get up for this one at home on nat tv?! Limit mistakes.

As for Comcast, I’m pissed it is not a national package! Unless I am missing something, it reads as a local thing. Arrgghh!

Hey Pitt in ATL – I used to live in Marietta, now in Nashville. Kudos for making the game.

HAIL TO PITT. Beat the Canes!!!!!!!

Comment by Pitt it IS 09.21.10 @ 10:57 pm

Does anyone think they will suprise us and wear the new uniforms?

Comment by POLE 09.22.10 @ 12:00 am

The only way they will surprise us is if they win…

Comment by Coach Ditka 09.22.10 @ 7:32 am

Right on Ditka

Comment by BnG 09.22.10 @ 8:16 am

Only way they’ll surprise me is if they lose.

Comment by Henry Hynoceros 09.22.10 @ 11:04 am

Let me break the tie on the back and forth. What Ditka is saying is it would be unexpected (as in “surprise) if Pitt wins simply because Wanny has not demonstrated the ability to do so in big games like the one this Thursday, notwithstanding the fact that he now owns the recruits and can’t blame it on Walt or we need to “run faster”. It does not mean we don’t want Pitt to win, are not rooting for them, or won’t cheer as loud as anybody else hoping they do so.

You get burned so many times, it is tough to be all in every big game when Wanny lays an egg more often than not.

Comment by wally 09.22.10 @ 11:10 am

I see both points.. I hope we will win getting nervouse already! Hail to Pitt.

Comment by POLE 09.22.10 @ 11:11 am

Obviously I’ll be rooting for Pitt. I will be there, making the trip from Virginia today! Wally nailed it, as loud as I’ll be cheering for the Panthers I have walked out of Heinz Field disappointed way too many times to not come to expect the heartbreak.

Miami in 2003, Notre Dame in 2005, Rutgers in 2006, Bowling Green in 2008, Cinci in 2009…..

If a win Thursday night wouldnt surprise you then you havent been following this team very long.

Comment by Coach Ditka 09.22.10 @ 11:29 am

Thank you Wally!! I’ve come on here with some critical posts in the past (mostly positive), but, some critical, and I get blasted!!!! To even find and be on this site, in my opinion, I would have to believe we all bleed blue and gold?? I happen to take the blinders off once in awhile. I hope to high heaven we win, I’m having a little get together, I’m sky high…but….if we
get blown out…….I am not going to be happy and say, “oh well, we got Fla Atlantic next week, we’ll get em’!!” If I just wanted to enjoy football for football sakes, I’d just go to high school games, stay home and watch all the big games on Saturdays. I would like some big wins every once in awhile!!!

Comment by Dan 09.22.10 @ 11:36 am

Nope followed for a long time just optimistic and have a good feeling about this one. Just like WVU 2007.

Comment by Henry Hynoceros 09.22.10 @ 11:38 am

Pitt 24
Canes 17

Comment by Pitt it IS 09.22.10 @ 1:10 pm

Miami is like our deadbeat dad that left our mom, who is a great person, for what looked like a nice piece of ass.

Now is the scene where we look upon our pathetic deadbeat dad who is now in an abusive relationship with his new wife, the ACC, and beat the shit out of him.

I want to see Pitt run it up on these Jags

Comment by Dave 09.22.10 @ 6:34 pm

Got news for you – if we ‘run it up on these jags’ the win will be lessened in the eyes of the national media.

That said I’d like to see it happen also, but we are in the position when any win we get is more of an indication of how bad the opponent is rather than how good we are – as far as the national media goes.

Comment by Reed 09.23.10 @ 7:26 am

Reed, that is as much to do with the opponent. The ACC and Big East have flopped in their big games. Playing close or almost winning doesn’t count. The conference favorites (Pitt, FSU, VT, Miami, Cinci) have all lost “show” games. Both conferences have deservedly taken it on the chin in the first few weeks with regards to the media.

Comment by Chas 09.23.10 @ 8:33 am

WTF…are you guys really serious talking about running it up?! How about some simple talk like let’s just get a W.

I agree with what is being written about the teams being a fairly well matched event. The big question for tonight is who wants it more? This game is pivotal for both seasons. Who wants it more? Bring it Pitt!

Bigger question for me is Gin & Tonic, single malt or suds from the tap at my wet bar?

Comment by Pitt it IS 09.23.10 @ 8:49 am

A couple of facts according to Rivals recruiting, which seems to favor Pitt more than other sites: Over the past 5 years, Pitt’s average recruiting classes rank 31st. Miami’s average recruiting classes rank 14th. Pitt’s not even #1 in the BE. That distinction belongs to WVU.

The fact that everyone is even talking about Pitt and Miami being evenly matched and that losing at home would be another disappointment points to a few things: 1) Pitt’s coaches are pretty darn good at spotting underappreciated talent. 2) Pitt’s coaches are pretty darn good at developing players, and 3) Wanny’s coaching style keeps us competitive with anybody. Hmm, sounds a lot like Jamie Dixon’s bball program.

Hail to PITT! Beat the ‘Canes!

Comment by TampaT 09.23.10 @ 12:45 pm

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