Coastal champ Pitt heads to Miami for regular-season finale
No. 24 Pittsburgh (7-4, 6-1 ACC, No. 24 CFP) at Miami (6-5, 3-4), 3:30 p.m. EST (ESPN).
Line: Miami by 5½.
Series record: Miami leads 25-11-1.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Very little, really. Pitt has replaced Miami as the Coastal Division champion, is headed to the ACC championship game to face Clemson next week, and would secure a spot in either the Peach Bowl or the Fiesta Bowl if it finds a way to upset the Tigers. Miami is playing for optics; with a win, the Hurricanes would end up 4-4 in ACC play and ensure they finish 2018 with a winning record regardless of their bowl outcome.
Pitt WR Maurice Ffrench vs. Miami secondary. Ffrench is a big-play dynamo for the Panthers, averaging nearly 25 yards per catch so far this month with four November touchdowns. Miami is still No. 3 nationally in total defense and second-best nationally in passing yards allowed per game.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Pittsburgh: DE Rashad Weaver. Pitt’s leader in tackles for loss (12), he’s become a regular at harassing opposing quarterbacks.
Miami: DT Gerald Willis III. The best story on Miami’s roster this season, he’s become a legit first-team All-America candidate.
FACTS AND FIGURES
Pitt is trying for its first five-game winning streak since 2009, when it won six in a row. … Wins at Miami traditionally don’t come easily for Pitt, which is 1-10-1 in its last 12 matchups when traveling to face the Hurricanes. … Miami’s magic number is 24 — the Hurricanes are 21-0 all-time when scoring at least 24 points against Pitt. … Miami is going to be down to zero scholarship tight ends; Will Mallory and Brevin Jordan will both miss the game with leg injuries. … This is the fifth time in the last six years that Pitt and Miami have matched up to end the regular season; the three games at Pitt were all on Fridays, giving Miami a short week with Thanksgiving travel. The two games at Miami, including this one, have been in the customary Saturday slot. … Pitt will be without C Jimmy Morrissey, whose season ended Monday when he underwent ankle surgery.