Miami (Fla.) took an early lead against Miami of Ohio and never looked back, storming past the RedHawks for a season-opening win.
Here are five takeaways from the game.
Defense has dominant debut
In Miami’s first game with new defensive coordinator Lance Guidry calling the plays, the defense was dominant.
The RedHawks recorded 215 yards, averaging only 4.4 yards per play.
Miami’s linebackers set the tone. This group, led by newcomers Francisco Mauigoa and K.J. Cloyd, as well as Wesley Bissainthe, held Miami of Ohio to 51 rushing yards on 25 carries. Mauigoa totaled a team-high five tackles, and Bissainthe had a sack. Cloyd also had three tackles and a tackle for loss.
“It was a lot of hard work, a lot of time being put in for this defense, and Coach [Guidry] got a really good gameplan for us,” Mauigoa said about the defense’s preparation leading up to the game. “I think everybody executed their job.”
The Hurricanes also did an excellent job of getting off the field on third down. Miami of Ohio converted just two of its 12 attempts in these instances.
Offense relies on its run game
While the Hurricanes’ started the game with an explosive touchdown drive that was capped off by a 44-yard catch, run and score by Colbie Young, it was their running game that manufactured a lot of their offensive production.
Miami totaled 250 yards on 36 carries, averaging 6.9 yards per attempt. Veteran and starter Henry Parrish Jr. led this position-by-committee, rushing for 90 yards and a touchdown.
Freshman Mark Fletcher Jr. added 76 yards on the ground, including a 26-yard score. Ajay Allen and Donald Chaney Jr. also rushed for 47 and 38 yards, respectively.
“They’ve all been competing and competing hard. It was hard to tell who was separating, but you probably saw some of that tonight,” head coach Mario Cristobal said about Miami’s running backs. “Everybody looks good … It’s the way it should be.”
Colbie Young emerging as top receiving threat
Young led the Hurricanes with 79 yards on four receptions. The junior wideout escaped multiple tackles on his opening-drive touchdown, showcasing his improved agility.
Highlighting his second half, Young had a 15-yard reception on a slant pass from Tyler Van Dyke.
The Binghampton, New York native flashed at times in his first season with the Hurricanes in 2022, recording over 100 yards in games against Virginia Tech and Duke.
Mixed performance from Tyler Van Dyke
Van Dyke was efficient in Miami’s season debut, completing 17 of his 21 passes for 201 yards. He threw a touchdown, but the highlight of his performance was an accurate 24-yard pass down Miami of Ohio’s sideline to Xavier Restrepo that set up one of UM’s five touchdown drives.
The fourth-year quarterback did throw an interception in the second quarter on a pass intended for Jacolby George.
Cristobal mentioned after the game that he thought Van Dyke “performed really well,” but that “he’d love to have the interception back.
Van Dyke was sporting a bandage on the index finger of his throwing hand throughout the game, but he noted afterward that he feels “100% ripping the football.”
New coordinators, new wrinkles
With Guidry and new offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson coaching their first games, there were a few noticeable takeaways about how players were used:
- James Williams was brought up to the line of scrimmage in at least one instance where he caused a pressure and a hit on RedHawks quarterback Brett Gabbert.
- Jaden Davis was positioned as both an outside and nickel cornerback throughout the game.
- Nyjalik Kelly was dropped back into coverage several times. He almost caught an interception in one instance.
- Wearing tight-end numbers, Samson Okunlola and Matthew McCoy were brought onto the field in the red zone, allowing the Hurricanes to run plays out of their heavy formation with seven offensive linemen.
QB Tyler Van Dyke: 17/21, 201 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception
RB Henry Parrish Jr.: 9 carries, 90 yards, 1 touchdown
RB Mark Fletcher Jr.: 9 carries, 76 yards, 1 touchdown
RB Ajay Allen: 9 carries, 47 yards
RB Don Chaney Jr.: 8 carries, 38 yards, 1 touchdown
WR Colbie Young: 4 receptions, 79 yards, 1 touchdown
WR Xavier Restrepo: 5 receptions, 68 yards
WR Jacolby George: 6 receptions, 56 yards
LB Francis Mauigoa: 5 tackles, 0.5 tackles for loss
DB Te’Cory Couch, 4 tackles
LB K.J. Cloyd: 3 tackles, 1 tackle for loss
Dl Jahfari Harvey: 2 tackles, 1 sack
LB Wesley Bissainte: 2 tackles, 1 sack
LB Bobby Washington: 2 tackles, 0.5 sacks
LB Ryan Ragone: 2 tackles, 0.5 sacks
DL Branson Deen: 2 tackles, 1 tackle for loss
DL Nyjalik Kelly: 1 tackle, 0.5 tackles for loss, 0.5 pass break-ups
QB Tyler Van Dyke
RB Henry Parrish Jr.
WR Colbie Young
WR Jacolby George
WR Xavier Restrepo
WR Brashard Smith
LT Jalen Rivers
LG Javion Cohen
C Matt Lee
RG Anez Cooper
RT Francis Mauigoa
DE Akheem Mesidor
DT Leonard Taylor III
DT Branson Deen
DE Nyjalik Kelly
WLB K.J. Cloyd
MLB Francisco Mauigoa
STAR Te’Cory Couch
CB Jaden Davis
CB Daryl Porter Jr.
S Kamren Kinchens
S James Williams
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