D'Eriq King fired four touchdown passes and overcame two costly interceptions to lead No. 13 Miami to a 31-19 victory over visiting Pittsburgh in Atlantic Coast Conference action Saturday afternoon.
King completed 16 of 31 passes for 222 yards for Miami (4-1, 3-1 ACC), with two of the touchdowns to backup tight end Will Mallory, playing in place of star TE tight end Brevin Jordan, who was out with a shoulder injury.
Pitt (3-3, 2-3), which lost its third straight game, was without standout senior quarterback Kenny Pickett (ankle). Redshirt freshman Joey Yellen started in place of Pickett. Yellen, who started one game last year for Arizona State, completed 22 of 46 passes for 277 yards and one TD. He fumbled twice and lost one.
Pitt receiver Jordan Addison caught eight passes for 147 yards, and Alex Kessman went 4-for-4 on field goals.
Miami, with the only points of the first quarter, got a 35-yard touchdown pass from King to Cam'Ron Harris. King took a step forward to simulate a running play and then dropped back and lofted the ball over Pitt's defense.
The Hurricanes extended their lead to 14-0 on King's 6-yard pass to Mallory who ran over a tackler for the touchdown. That 11-play, 45-yard drive was set up when Miami freshman Isaiah Dunson foiled the Panthers' fourth-and-10 fake punt, as he made a nice open-field tackle on upback Brandon Hill.
Pitt closed the first half with a pair of Kessman field goals of 33 and 24 yards, the second of which came after safety Paris Ford intercepted and ran it back to Miami's 12-yard line, where King made a touchdown-saving tackle. The Panthers got to a third-and-1 at the Miami 3 before Hill was dropped for a three-yard loss, necessitating Kessman's field goal and a 14-6 halftime score.
Miami scored on the first drive of the second half to take a 21-6 lead when King hit a wide-open Mike Harley from 38 yards out. Kessman added his third field goal for Pitt, and when Marquis Williams returned an interception 34 yards to set up Yellen's 1-yard flip to Daniel Moraga, the Panthers had cut the deficit to 21-16 with 9:20 left in third quarter.
But Miami answered with a 45-yard King-to-Mallory touchdown for a 28-16 late in the third quarter, and the teams exchanged field goals after that.
Miami takes on Virginia next week, while Pitt tries to reverse its recent fortunes when it faces No. 4 Notre Dame.
--Field Level Media