EditorsNote: Corrects Pitt rushing yards; Dallas’ yards being total, not offense; additional edits
DeeJay Dallas ran a punt back 65 yards for a touchdown and Travis Homer scored on a 64-yard run as the host Miami Hurricanes upset the 24th-ranked Pittsburgh Panthers 24-3 on Saturday afternoon.
Miami’s defense was dominant throughout, forcing 12 punts, getting one stop on downs and recovering a fumble.
Homer had eight carries for 168 yards and also had the huge block that sprung Dallas on the punt return.
Dallas, who also scored on a three-yard run, had 110 total yards.
Miami (7-5, 4-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) won its second straight game, clinching a winning season and avenging a loss at Pitt last year.
Pitt (7-5, 6-2) had its four-game winning streak snapped. Pitt, which had averaged 346 yards rushing during its win streak, had just 69 yards on the ground on 38 carries.
The Panthers, however, will still play the Clemson Tigers next Saturday for the ACC title.
Miami played without its leading receiver, Jeff Thomas, who was dismissed from the team on Wednesday. Injuries also left the Hurricanes without any of their four scholarship tight ends.
The Hurricanes opened the scoring on Bubba Baxa’s 37-yard, first-quarter field goal. The score was set up by Homer’s 47-yard run.
Miami extended its lead to 10-0 on Dallas’ punt return in the second quarter. Dallas broke five would-be tackles and picked up a crunching block from Homer. Initially, Homer was penalized for targeting. But after a video review, Homer’s wipeout of Pitt’s Jimmy Medure was ruled a legal hit, square in the chest.
Pitt got on the board in the third quarter on Alex Kessman’s 40-yard field goal. That capped a modest seven-play, 37-yard drive that was aided by two Miami penalties — pass interference and unsportsmanlike conduct.
Homer extended Miami’s lead to 17-3 with his long run. He burst up the middle, bounced off the umpire, and then took off down the right sideline, using a block from freshman wide receiver Brian Hightower.
Dallas’ 3-yard run gave Miami a 24-3 lead. That capped a seven-play, 81-yard drive that was sparked by N’Kosi Perry’s 41-yard quarterback draw. Miami went to Dallas as a wildcat quarterback for the final three plays, including a fourth-down conversion and the touchdown.
—Field Level Media