Miami Hurricanes: What We Learned in the Victory Over the Pittsburgh Panthers

David MayerCorrespondent ISeptember 24, 2010

PITTSBURGH - SEPTEMBER 23:  Dion Lewis #28 of the Pittsburgh Panthers is tackled by Olivier Vernon #35 of the Miami Hurricanes on September 23, 2010 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

The Miami Hurricanes easily defeated the Pittsburgh Panthers last night, 31-3, on the road, against a preseason ranked team.

There were many things, both good and bad, to take out of this game against the Panthers.

First of all the bad.

Jacory Harris needs to make better decisions.

After a great opening drive, he completed three of four passes for 62 yards, he got back into a funk until the third quarter.

Harris once again needs to learn how to check down to shorter route receivers. He had two more horribly looking interceptions, in which he floated the ball high over the 5'11'' Travis Benjamin.

It would be okay to throw jump balls to receivers such as Aldarius Johnson and Leonard Hankerson, who are both 6'3'', but to toss up jump balls to a guy 5'11'' is a very bad decision.

The Hurricanes also need to work on run consistency.  Granted Damien Berry had another 85-plus-yard game, but relied on another big run to get that many yards.

The offensive line has to do much better job of opening holes for Berry and Lamar Miller.  They are both very talented running backs who can give Hurricanes many more options if they could just run the ball better.

The last thing Miami needs to do is limit their penalties.  They had another eight penalties last night, in which one of them erased Benjamin's punt return for a touchdown.

But overall, Miami played a very good game.

The Hurricanes defense played lights. They added to their nation leading tackles for loss with nine more and added another five sacks.  The Hurricanes are No. 2 in the country in sacks.

They created two turnovers as well.  Something the Hurricanes have struggled to do in the last few years.

What really is a nice surprise this year is the return of the special teams.  Not since Devin Hester has Miami been feared in kick and punt returns. 

That is all changing with Miller and Benjamin.  They are true game changers and barring the block in the back, Benjamin would have had his second punt return for a touchdown.

So my overall grade for the Hurricanes last night was a solid B.

The Panthers offense is not good and Miamis defense is great, so it was a mismatch.

What stopped me from giving Miami a higher grade was the indecision by Harris and the stupid penalties they had.

Miami needs to fix everything before they head down the road against a very good Clemson football team next week or they will find themselves in trouble.