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Miami starts quickly, holds on to beat Pitt Panthers in finale

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The University of Miami jumped to a 20-0 lead, then held on to close out a tumultuous season with a close victory over the Pitt Panthers.

The Hurricanes finished 8-4 with a 29-24 victory on the road against a Pitt team that had previously lost to highly ranked Notre Dame, North Carolina and Iowa. But it had problems from the start against the Hurricanes.

Miami got 261 yards passing from quarterback Brad Kaaya, who moved into fifth place on the team’s all-time passing list. The Canes also had 99 yards from running back Joe Yearby and 80 yards receiving from Mark Walton. Darrin Hall had 103 yards rushing for Pitt.

For the Hurricanes, it was a tumultuous season in which coach Al Golden was fired. The team gave up 59 points to North Carolina and 58 to Clemson. Still, UM won four of their last five and should get a decent bowl bid out of their season.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit

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