PITTSBURGH (CBSMiami/SportsDirect) – The Miami Hurricanes are preparing to end their regular season with an eye on a potential bowl game.
It will be strength versus strength when Miami visits Pittsburgh on Friday as both schools try to pad their bowl resume in the regular-season ACC finale.
The Hurricanes average 283.8 yards passing, second most in the ACC and 26th nationally, but the Panthers lead the conference and rank fifth nationally with 3.3 sacks.
“They have receivers that can run by you,” Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi told reporters this week. “They have a great passing game and (offensive coordinator James) Coley looks like he likes to throw the ball a little bit.”
Miami has won three of four games under interim coach Larry Scott and is coming off a 38-21 victory over Georgia Tech.
The Panthers beat Louisville 45-34 last weekend and are seeking their first nine-win regular season since 2009 while a sixth conference victory would be an all-time high.
The Hurricanes lead the all-time series 23-10-1, but Pittsburgh posted a 35-23 decision on the road last season to snap an eight-game skid in the matchup.
TV: Noon ET, ESPN2. LINE: Pittsburgh -6
ABOUT MIAMI (7-4, 4-3 ACC): Brad Kaaya passed for 300 yards, Mark Walton ran for two scores and caught a third and the Hurricanes turned four turnovers into 21 points in the rout over the Yellow Jackets.
Kaaya remains near the top of the ACC in a number of individual categories, including passing yards (2,758, second), passing yards per game (275.8, first) and total offense (2,676 yards, fourth).
Miami is the only team in the ACC and one of only 17 in FBS with three or more receivers with 525 receiving yards (Stacy Coley, Herb Waters, Rashawn Scott).
ABOUT PITTSBURGH (8-3, 6-1): Nate Peterman tossed four touchdown passes during a 35-point second quarter in the win over the Cardinals.
Freshman Qadree Ollison ran for 152 yards, Tyler Boyd recorded 153 yards of total offense and Ejuan Price recorded five sacks, but the Panthers lost any chance for a Coastal Division title when North Carolina knocked off Virginia Tech 30-27 in overtime last weekend.
Price leads the ACC and is fourth in the nation with 1.05 sacks per game; his 11.5 sacks are the most by a Pitt player since 2000.
- Pittsburgh will pay tribute to 11 seniors, including Price, before the Heinz Field finale for each. The 11 seniors are the sixth-fewest among Bowl Subdivision teams.
- A backup when the year began, Ollison (1,011 yards) has become only the fifth freshman in Pitt history to rush for 1,000 yards.
- Kaaya joins Paxton Lynch (Memphis) and Dak Prescott (Mississippi State) as the only quarterbacks in FBS – and the lone sophomore – to throw for at least 2,500 yards and 14 TDs and for fewer than five interceptions.
Listen to the Miami Hurricanes take on the Pittsburgh Panthers this Friday at 12:00 p.m. on Sports Radio 560 WQAM, your official radio home for the Canes!
(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Sports Direct Inc. contributed to this report.)