CORAL GABLES, Fla. — The 25th-ranked Hurricanes have relied on their running game for the first three games.
A replay against Middle Tennessee on Saturday (3:30 p.m. ACCN) will likely result in a winning result.
However, when looking at the bigger picture of the season, they should focus on finding success through the air.
Tyler van Dyke and the passing game has leveled off Josh Gattis‘s new offense earlier in the season and ranked 56th in passing and 101st in touchdown passes. The recipients lacked production outside Xavier Restrepo who will miss at least the next five games with a foot injury.
Meanwhile, the Blue Raiders are vulnerable to the pass and rank 80th in passing yards allowed per game while their 10 touchdown passes allowed are the fifth-highest, making this a great opportunity for the Hurricanes, in their last Making a non-conference game statement heading into a bye week.
Being productive in the passing game would go a long way.
First, it would show their upcoming ACC opponents that they can be an airborne threat as a balanced offense becomes increasingly difficult to defend. If they’re not getting positive results in the passing game while their running game seems to be a strength, teams will notice it on film and take the necessary actions to slow the run, such as slowing down the run. B. Adding more players in the box who could manage to run harder while the Hurricanes have to knock them through the air. That could still be the game plan against them this season, but showing a performance in passing would at least help make them a more difficult offense.
Second, it would give recipients heading into bye week some much-needed confidence. There aren’t many proven receivers on the list, and they’re in the spotlight for hitting the top two goals in particular Key Shawn Smith and Michael Redding III both in the ACC percentage of targets caught with Redding ranked 33rd at 57.1 percent (8 of 14) and Smith ranked 38th at 50 percent (6 of 12) among the 46 wide receivers with at least 10 goals in the lower ranks lie. If these two continue to get the most playtime, it’s important to make them more productive.
The other recipients could use confidence boosts as well, starting with Brashard Smith after ending the last game with a drop. two more wideouts, Frank Ladson and Romello Brinsonhave the potential to break out but have had limited targets and this would be a great opportunity to involve them much more as they have capitalized on their limited opportunities with Ladson catching his 2 targets in the season while Brinson catching 2 of 3 .
Jacoby George hurt is what should open the door for true newbies Isaiah Horton to join the Two-Deep, although he has yet to make his debut. Colbie Young played in the opener but wasn’t aimed.
The Hurricanes have enough wide receiver ability to be productive, especially with what Van Dyke brings to the team. You also have enough quantity (that’s not an Iowa situation) and don’t need to risk wild experiments. Just stick with these guys, show them trust and find ways to get them the ball.
Finally, a strong passing performance would help calm critics worried about the new offense, which failed to generate a single touchdown against the Aggies. The loss was disappointing, but building on the loss and improving offense while picking up the wins will help put that disappointment in the past and ease the minds of many.
The consistent message conveyed by Mario Cristobal and staff around the Hecht Athletic Center and on the Greentree practice fields are said to go 1-0 every week. It’s the don’t look ahead mentality, be where your feet are that many coaches crave in their programs.
Barring a collapse, the Hurricanes will go 1-0 this week.
How they do it will be crucial.
Christopher Stock has been reporting on the Miami Hurricanes since 2003 and can be reached by email at [email protected] and on Twitter @InsideTheU.