King’s 4 TD passes lead No. 13 Miami past Pittsburgh, 31-19
D’Eriq King threw four touchdown passes and No. 13 Miami beat Pittsburgh 31-19 on Saturday.
Will Mallory caught two of King’s scoring passes as the Hurricanes (4-1, 3-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) bounced back from a 42-17 loss at top-ranked Clemson last week.
The Panthers (3-3, 2-3) lost their third straight and were without senior quarterback Kenny Pickett, who suffered an ankle injury against Boston College last week. Pickett leads the nation with 1,389 passing yards but didn’t travel with the team to South Florida.
Redshirt freshman Joey Yellen replaced Pickett, completing 22 of 46 passes for 277 yards and a touchdown.
Alex Kessman kicked four field goals for the Panthers and became Pitt’s all-time leader with 57. Kessman surpassed Chris Blewitt, who had 55 field goals from 2013-16.
Pitt rallied from a 21-6 deficit with 10 unanswered points on Kessman’s record-setting third field goal and Yellen’s 1-yard touchdown pass to Daniel Moraga early in the third quarter. Marcus Williams’ 38-yard interception return to the Miami 1 set up Moraga’s score.
But Miami regained its double-digit advantage on King’s 45-yard touchdown pass to Mallory.
Kessman’s fourth conversion with 31 seconds remaining in the third quarter made it 28-19 before Jose Borregales gave Miami another double-digit cushion with his 37-yard field goal late in the fourth quarter.
The Hurricanes struck first on King’s 35-yard touchdown pass to Cam’Ron Harris midway through the first quarter. King retreated from an attempted draw and found an open Harris down the middle.
King connected with Mallory on a 6-yard score with 6:44 remaining in the second quarter for a 14-0 lead.
Kessman kicked two field goals late in the second quarter and got the Panthers within 14-6. Pitt settled for the second field goal after being unable to capitalize on a drive starting at the Miami 12 that was set by Harris Ford’s 25-yard interception return.
King found an open Mike Harley down the right sideline for a 38-yard touchdown pass in Miami’s opening drive of the second half. Harley eluded a Panthers defender before reaching the end zone for his first TD reception of the season.
Pittsburgh: Hosts No. 4 Notre Dame next Saturday.
Miami: Plays its third night home game of the season next Saturday against Virginia.
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