Miami Hurricanes beat Pitt Panthers

PITTSBURGH — Miami quarterback Stephen Morris handed the ball to Stacy Coley and watched the freshman wide receiver sprint to the right sideline.

Seconds passed. Morris turned to the Hurricane sideline to get signals for the next play. One problem. Nobody was looking back at him.

"Everybody was still glued onto the field, and I looked and (Coley) was still running," Morris said. "I was speeding up to still catch him, and he was long gone by then."

Exhausted too.

Coley's 73-yard touchdown run gave the Hurricanes a three-touchdown lead Friday on their way to a 41-31 win over Pittsburgh. Coley collapsed after crossing the goal line and was helped to the locker room to catch his breath.

"The cold air, it just hit me," said Coley, who had 146 yards of total offense and three scores on just four touches.

Coley is fine. So are the Hurricanes' hopes of earning a spot in the ACC title game.

Miami (9-3, 5-3 ACC) has its first nine-win season since 2009. The Hurricanes need losses today by Duke and Virginia Tech to earn a rematch with No. 2 Florida State in the ACC title game next weekend in Charlotte, N.C.

Allen Hurns caught nine passes for 173 yards for Miami, which took a quick 14-point lead and had no real trouble with the Panthers (6-6, 3-5) or the 33-degree temperature at kickoff.

Center Jared Wheeler led a group of shirtless Hurricanes onto the field in warmups, a gesture meant to show they weren't going to let a little bit of winter get to them.

"We were talking all week that we're not going to let the cold affect us at all," Wheeler said. "We're tired of everyone telling us 'Oh, it's cold, Miami isn't going to do well.' "

Instead, the Panthers looked out of sorts early. Pitt fumbled the opening kickoff and had a punt blocked on its first possession as the Hurricanes took command early.

"We did too many things to hurt ourselves," Panthers coach Paul Chryst said. "We've got to own that."

Isaac Bennett ran for a 141 yards and a score for Pitt, which is 6-6 for the third straight regular season.

Morris completed 17 of 28 passes for 296 yards and three scores for Miami, which has won eight straight against the Panthers and 16 of the past 17 meetings. Most of those wins came when the teams were still rivals in the Big East.

Coley scored twice in the game's first 3:30 on passes from Morris after Pitt miscues but gave the Hurricanes control for good with his remarkable 73-yard journey through the Panther defense late in the first half, after the Panthers had closed to 24-10.

FAU 21, FIU 6: Florida Atlantic doesn't know if its season is over. Neither does the Owls' interim coach.

Jaquez Johnson threw three touchdowns to lead host FAU past its rival for the Shula Bowl trophy, named after former Miami Dolphins coach Don Shula.

FAU (6-6, 4-4 Conference USA) became bowl eligible but won't know its postseason destination — or if it has one — until bids come out Dec. 8.

And the future of the coaching staff is unclear. Owls coach Brian Wright is 4-0 since taking over Oct. 30, following the resignation of former coach Carl Pelini amid allegations of drug use. Whether they will be retained is still unclear.

"A lot of waitin' and seein', " Wright said. "We took care of what we had to these past four weeks."

Miami Hurricanes beat Pitt Panthers 11/29/13 [Last modified: Friday, November 29, 2013 9:58pm]

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