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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Final: Miami 41, Pitt 31

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to kickoff …

Game: Pitt (6-5, 3-4 ACC) vs. Miami (8-3, 4-3 ACC)

Time: 3:32 p.m.

Site: Heinz Field

TV, radio: ABC (national), 93.7 The Fan, Pitt IMG Sports Network

Here is the official live summary.

Here is our Pitt page. Jerry DiPaola is on the scene.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic, a lifelong Pittsburgher, is an award-winning sports columnist for Trib Total Media covering the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt and, recently, his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the country's top four columnists by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the country's top three columnists by the National Headliners. For 2013, he was named the state's top columnist by the Keystone Press Awards and top columnist in Western Pennsylvania by the Golden Quills.


  1. JRay3 says:

    Well the Panthers close out their 2013 regular season with a chance to send these seniors who have been through so much during their time with a victory.

    Pitt has not defeated Miami since 1997 and have lost seven consecutive to the Hurricanes and are 9-22-1 all-time versus Miami. Today offers an opportunity to turn the script on these Coastal Division rivals.

    Outside of the chance to close out the 2013 season on a positive note by winning two consecutive ACC games, this game gives these young Panthers another chance to knock off a marquee opponent to add to that nice Notre Dame win and give a little more proof that this program is taking small steps forward under Paul Chryst who inherited one of the biggest messes in all of college football.

    Lastly, this game could have some bowl implications for the Panthers as well. A win today could help improve their slotting and destination. As it stands now the ACC tie in games most mentioned with Pitt are the Military Bowl in Annapolis, the Independence Bowl in Shreveport or the Music City Bowl in Nashville. Also have seen Pitt mentioned as a fill-in for a conference that does not have enough bowl eligible teams, mainly covering for the Big Ten in either the Pizza Bowl in Detroit or Heart of Dallas Bowl played at the Cotton Bowl.

    GO Pitt!

  2. Bizrow says:

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  3. Drew71 says:

    pitt’s record is 6-5 (3-4).

  4. Bizrow says:

    Isn’t it ridiculous that a 6-6 team is bowl eligible?

  5. Absolutely. And, if they lose their bowl game, they end the season with a losing record. Almost like the NCAA’s giving automatic bids to teams who win their conference tourneys but play like garbage during the season.

  6. Drew71 says:

    We’re at the Kennedy Space Center.

    Just saw a woman with the Best. Mullet. Ever.

    I love science.

  7. Jandy says:

    Are you sure it was a woman?
    Just sayin’

  8. JohninOshkosh says:

    I don’t have a problem at all with Pitt going to a bowl game. No issues at all with any bowl, really. Money for the program. Money for the conference. Money for the corporate sponsors and money for the community. I was on a bowl committee one year. Lots of work and important for the community involved.

    Plus, it gives us something to watch over the holidays.

    Sitting here in Iowa City watching the Hawkeyes and the Cornhuskers. Every person here, with the exception of me went to Iowa, lives in Iowa City or works at Iowa!

    Then, I’m making them all watch Pitt. Go Pitt!

  9. Drew71 says:

    Miami is 1-3 over its last four games. It would be an upset but it is a winnable game. And playing at home (pray for Pittsburgh weather), a win would go a long way to building excitement as a sporting must-see location for next season (since it isn’t so much for the Steelers anymore). In fact a win against Miami would sent a very positive turn-around-season message.

  10. Drew71 says:

    I checked

  11. Jandy says:


  12. Bizrow says:

    I just think there are too many of them John

    Iowa just scored…

  13. I agree, Biz. 6-6 should be rewarded by an end to the season.

    Even if 7-5 was the standard, at least a loss in a bowl game and you still have a winning record.

  14. Drew71 says:

    Much better. Thanks for correcting.

    You must finally made it back from the Inner Harbor.

    Couldn’t find a beach, huh?

  15. Lad9 says:

    Senior Day here at Heinz Field. The new sod is in and the field actually looks great. I am done predicting, but I believe that it will be a close game and I think the Panthers have a shot at an upset. I am going to focus on Aaron Donald today and enjoy one of the all time Pitt greats. Let’s go Pitt!

  16. theplanisworking says:

    I rushed home in time to see the opening kickoff.
    I wish I wouldnt have.

    7-0 bad guys. :(

  17. theplanisworking says:

    Miami too fast for Pitt.
    This might be Florida St. all over again. :(

  18. Lad9 says:

    Special teams again Hippo. On the second TD the Zebras missed a blatant hold btw.

  19. Bizrow says:

    Wow, whatta crappy start

  20. theplanisworking says:

    Are these the same zebras as last night’s Steelers game?

  21. J Walter Weatherman says:

    Illegal substitution on a punt return, giving Miami a 1st down. Those grad assistants running the ST units sure are doing an outstanding job. Really, though, that’s on Chryst. Way too many illegal substitution and illegal formation penalties, as well as poor time management this season. Those are all on the coach.

  22. JRay3 says:

    Just a horrific Pass Interference call that extends the Miami drive, has to be better accountability for such atrocious officiating on key plays. Should have been 4th down and long FG try.

  23. J Walter Weatherman says:

    Pitt caught a break with a couple TD drops by Miami, but horrible PI call by refs on uncatchable pass to keep that Miami drive alive.

  24. J Walter Weatherman says:

    Lafayette Pitts is not good.

  25. JRay3 says:

    1st Quarter accurately sums up why this is 6-5 team.

    Fumble opening kick leads to early 7-0 hole.
    Punt block, leads to another easy 7 for opposition.
    Penalty for illegal substitution extends Miami drive and give them a gift 3.
    Chance to move deep into Miami territory on wide open pass to Boyd, goes through his hands on ball that was a little high but catchable. Next play come up one yard short, punt well into end zone and give up deep ball on ensuing play.

    Nothing I’ve seen has shown me Miami is that much better but so many mistakes, mental errors on the Pitt side really handicap this team.

  26. theplanisworking says:

    When will the city of Pittsburgh have a good football team again?

    This is embarrassing. :(

    24-7 bad guys.

  27. J Walter Weatherman says:

    Yup, that’s about it. I’ve said it before, but if you want a depressing thought, just imagine what this Pitt defense will be like next year without Donald and Hendricks? They better be able to score a lot of points.

  28. Drew71 says:

    We were on a tour bus at the Kennedy Space Center returning from a launch pad.

    The bus slowed and the driver pointed out an eight foot bald eagle nest. He explained that the same two eagles return every year…the current couple for ten years. He said they fly down from the north each September, hatch an eaglet or two, and fly off in May.

    Here’s the thing…

    He told the bus passengers that the male flies off in one direction, the female in another. Each May. Not to see each other again until September.

    When he said that, I applauded.

  29. Bizrow says:

    Well, what else can go wrong?

  30. JRay3 says:

    Blewitt just blew it. Have never seen a that low a line drive on FG try. More special teams problems lead to another missed opportunity.

  31. JRay3 says:

    The city game can not get here soon enough.

  32. theplanisworking says:

    Between Pitt and the Steelers, it may be many years before the city of Pittsburgh sees good football again.

  33. JRay3 says:

    Yep, I’m actually a Rams fan and it seems like forever since i cheered good football, but I do tell my father who is part of Steeler Nation, that the Steelers have the look of a team that has much rebuilding to do.

  34. J Walter Weatherman says:

    This officiating crew will probably not be doing many more games.

  35. florida steeler says:

    What a joke of a football team. How did Pitt get this bad?? They are awful and it sure looks like Boyd and Donald are the only true D-1 payers on this team today.
    What do Pitt coaches see in LaFayette Pitts?? He is really bad, yet, he starts. Whew!!!!!

  36. florida steeler says:

    The minor bowls do not make money for the schools. In fact, most schools lose money going to some of these jokes of bowl games played for the money grabbing ESPN.

  37. Brandie says:

    When Pitt gets under the salary cap. Til then, for both teams, The Mendoza line is the standard…with apologies to the Mendoza line.

  38. theplanisworking says:

    Trust me Brandie, with the caliber of player out on the field……………… Pitt isnt paying anybody !!

  39. J Walter Weatherman says:

    Savage has made a couple of good plays moving out of the pocket today. Who’d of thunk?

  40. theplanisworking says:

    If Pitt doesnt at least close the score, or come back to win, this could be very bad for the Panthers.

    Pitt will still be bowl eligible, but will be one of 10 ACC teams to finish bowl eligible. There are 8 slots for ACC teams in bowls. Pitt would need some help to get to a bowl. Pitt is 1-3 against good competition this year, and doesnt bring many fans to bowl games.

    I hope they make it.

  41. J Walter Weatherman says:

    Savage is having a nice game, considering Street isn’t playing. Quite shocked at some of the plays he’s making out of the pocket.

  42. Bowls will take Pitt before some 7-5 Sun Belt team, which there are many of.

  43. There are also a half-dozen MAC teams with 6 wins. Even with 40-11 bowls out there, all these 6-6 and even some 7-5 teams can’t make it.

  44. theplanisworking says:

    I hope you are correct, Reverend.

  45. Arriba Wilver says:

    Wow. After all the complaints about Boyd not being used enough, they just said he passed Larry Fitzgerald for most receptions by a Pitt Freshman in history.

  46. theplanisworking says:


  47. JohninOshkosh says:

    Not true at all

  48. florida steeler says:

    Check your facts. Last year in 70 bowl games, the average loss by teams was $169,000. That is FACT. Pitt LOST money. Look at the salaries of the CEO’s of these bowl games. The Bowls are one big corporate farce.
    Schools MUST sell tickets and if not, guess what, the school buys them.

  49. florida steeler says:

    Check January 7, 2013 editorial on ESPN about schools losing money at bowl games and get back to me.

  50. JohninOshkosh says:

    Don’t need to read an anti bowl editorial. Was on a finance committee for a bowl. Saw the checks cut. No state school is going to take a loss. So I stand by: not true at all.

  51. florida steeler says:

    You are WRONG. I don’t care what bowl committee you claimed to be on. Read the FACTS Oshkosh. Don’t want ESPN, try Bob Smizik or try USA today that researched the bowls. Put facts on here rather than spewing incorrect information.
    ESPN was not an editorial–it was fact. College programs LOSE money in the minor bowls. The average loss last year by schools was $169,000 and those are true NCAA FACTS.

  52. Arriba Wilver says:

    How’s about this fact. You said Pitt lost money last year going to the BBVA. Got a link?

    They may have or may not based on what you’ve stated so far, but you are painting with a broad, very ambiguous brush. So, the link for the “fact” Pitt lost money last year going?

    Here’s an interesting analysis, but still doesn’t answer the specific question about Pitt:

  53. JohninOshkosh says:

    Well, I guess I’ll take your word, FS. All I know is my own experience and I have no idea how your articles did their accounting.

    Happy Holidays to you.

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