Miami Hurricanes (1-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) vs. Pittsburgh Panthers (1-1 SU, 0-1-1 ATS), Week 4 College Football, 7:30 p.m. EST, Thursday, September 23, 2010, Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pa.
by Ryno of Predictem.com
Betting Odds: Canes -3.5/Pitt +3.5
Over/Under Total: 53
Miami and Pittsburgh both have already lost a game this season and have yet to defeat a legitimate opponent, but with both teams having had almost two weeks off since their last game these teams will be prepared to try and earn a key non-conference win.
Pittsburgh started its season with a 27-24 loss at Utah. Pitt was ranked No. 15 in the preseason and Utah was unranked, but is now ranked, and the loss was on the road and in overtime, so it’s certainly nothing to be ashamed of. Pitt RB Dion Lewis, a possible Heisman candidate, had just 75 rushing yards and a touchdown on 25 carries. Pitt QB Tino Sunseri was 16-for-28 passing for 184 yards, a touchdown and an interception. With neither the passing game nor the running game really working effectively, it was tough for the Panthers to score enough points to win the game. Despite turning the ball over twice, the Panthers stayed in the game with three forced turnovers. They did a decent job against the run, allowing 122 yards, but they also allowed 283 passing yards and three passing touchdowns.
In their second game, the Panthers won 38-16 over New Hampshire. The Pitt offense was solid but allowing 16 points to a FCS team isn’t a great accomplishment. Sunseri threw for 275 yards, two touchdowns and an interception while completing over 70 percent of his pass attempts. Lewis struggled mightily, running for only 27 yards on 10 carries, although he did get into the end zone once. Ray Graham was the real backfield threat for the Panthers, running for 115 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries, including a 64-yard TD run in the fourth quarter. WR Jon Baldwin had six receptions for 100 yards and a touchdown. The Panthers need to do a better job against the pass, as they allowed New Hampshire WR Chris Jeannot to catch 12 passes for 110 yards.
Miami opened its season with an easy 45-0 win over Florida A&M. The Hurricanes held their opponent to 110 total yards of offense (52 rushing, 58 passing). Meanwhile, QB Jacory Harris was 12-for-15 passing for 210 yards and three touchdowns. The Hurricanes also ran for 155 yards, led by Lamar Miller’s 65 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries. WR Leonard Hankerson had six receptions for 115 yards and two touchdowns.
In their second game, the Hurricanes lost to No. 2 Ohio State on the road, 36-24. Harris really struggled throwing the ball. He threw for 232 yards and one touchdown, but he threw four interceptions. The Hurricanes had 120 rushing yards. RB Damien Berry totaled 94 yards on 16 carries. Hankerson had seven catches for 90 yards. The Hurricanes had a lot of trouble containing OSU QB Terrelle Pryor, who threw for 233 yards and ran for 113 yards. Miami turned the ball over four times and couldn’t force any turnovers.
Miami’s offense revolves around Harris. When he gets time in the pocket, he can pick defenses apart. If Miami can establish the run, it will make it even easier for Harris. Pitt’s offense was supposed to revolve around Lewis, but he hasn’t been running the ball well thus far. If Lewis again can’t put together a quality game, Pitt won’t have much of a chance against this quality Miami team.
Pitt is 6-1 ATS in its last seven games following an ATS loss. The Panthers are 2-7-1 ATS in their last 10 games in September and 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games following a bye week. Miami is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 non-conference games. The under is 7-0 in Miami’s last seven games vs. the Big East. The under is 5-1 in Pitt’s last six games in September. The under is 5-1 in the last six meetings between these teams.
Ryno’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: This should be a very close game. Pitt might not win straight up, but I do like them to cover the +3.5.
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