MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Brad Kaaya passed for 356 yards and four touchdowns, and Miami snapped a four-game losing streak by beating Pittsburgh 51-28 on Saturday.
Stacy Coley and David Njoku each caught two touchdown passes and Ahmmon Richards finished with 144 yards receiving for Miami (5-4, 2-3 Atlantic Coast Conference). Kaaya also ran for a score for the Hurricanes, who avoided becoming the first Miami team to lose five straight in the same season since 1977.
“So many really good things happened, I don’t really know where to start,” Miami coach Mark Richt said. “The bottom line is we got a great victory in front of our home crowd, and I’m very thankful.”
Mark Walton ran for 125 yards, the last 55 of those coming on a touchdown with 2:12 left. It was Miami’s most points in an ACC game since scoring 52 against Duke on Nov. 24, 2012.
“It definitely gets us back on track,” Miami defensive back Corn Elder said.
Nathan Peterman threw for 274 yards and two touchdowns for Pitt (5-4, 2-3). Quadree Henderson had a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown for the Panthers, who have dropped two straight.
“Give Miami credit,” Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi said. “They made more plays than we did.”\
It was stat day for Kaaya, who completed his first 13 passes and finished with a career-best 32 completions on 47 attempts. His four TD passes also tied a career-best, and marked the first time he had that many against an ACC opponent.
James Conner had a rushing touchdown for the Panthers, but was held to 40 yards on 12 carries. George Aston and Jester Weah had touchdown catches for Pitt, which led 21-20 in the second quarter before getting stopped on 10 of its next 11 drives.
Pitt’s previous two ACC losses this season were by a combined four points. The 23-point margin was Pitt’s biggest loss since a 56-28 defeat against Georgia Tech on Oct. 25, 2014.
Pittsburgh: The Panthers had a surprising amount of trouble getting to Kaaya. Pittsburgh — which came in averaging 3.5 sacks per game — sacked him only once, thwarted by a Miami offensive line that yielded 18 during the four-game losing streak. … When teams throw for more than 332 yards against Pitt this season, they’re 4-0. When they don’t, they’re 0-5. … Pitt lost starting defensive tackle Tyrique Jarrett midway through the second quarter.
Miami: The Hurricanes came into the day with seven scoring drives this season of 10 plays or more. They had four on Saturday, three of those being touchdowns. … Kaaya’s 13-for-13 start left him one shy of tying Miami’s school record for consecutive completions, set in 1986 by Vinny Testaverde against Oklahoma.
Pittsburgh: Visits Clemson on Nov. 12, in the Panthers’ final road game of the regular season.
Miami: Visits Virginia on Nov. 12, looking for a win that would secure bowl-eligibility.