Miami Hurricanes dominate offensively, end four-game losing streak

Photo courtesy

After weeks of getting blamed for Miami’s stagnant offense, the Hurricanes offensive line showed up, and the touchdowns followed. Junior quarterback Brad Kaaya and his receivers put on a show at Hard Rock Stadium, leading the Canes to a 51-28 victory against the Pittsburgh Panthers, thus ending the team’s four-game losing streak.

Despite the inconsistent weather that brought a mix of rain and shine, Miami was an offensive juggernaut on Saturday afternoon, racking up 534 total yards. Kaaya showed exactly how effective he can be with time in the pocket, lighting up the Pittsburgh defense for 356 yards passing and a career-high four touchdowns to no interceptions. He even showed signs of mobility in the running game, rushing for 17 yards and a score.

The Miami offensive line allowed only one sack in the contest, giving its quarterback the adequate protection to find his receivers. Freshman wideout Ahmmon Richards led the team with 144 yards receiving on eight catches, both career-highs. Senior receiver Stacy Coley and junior tight end David Njoku each made their presence known in the red zone, catching two touchdowns apiece.

The Canes defense bent, but didn’t break. Despite allowing 417 yards of total offense to the Panthers, it made key plays to keep Miami on top, including a forced fumble by sophomore defensive lineman Kendrick Norton at the start of the third quarter. The turnover set up a three-yard touchdown catch made by Coley at the 13:33 mark of the third period, giving Miami a 13-point lead that it would not surrender. An interception made by redshirt senior defensive back Rayshawn Jenkins in the end zone with 5:15 left in the quarter stunted Pittsburgh’s momentum, and it could not recover.

With nine receptions in the contest, Coley passed former UM greats Santana Moss and Michael Irvin for third on Miami’s all-time receptions list. Kaaya finished the day with a career-high 32 completed passes.