Did Miami's offense turn the corner in win over North Carolina State?
Miami’s offense sputtered at times in the weeks after D’Eriq King went down with an injury vs. Michigan State, but the Hurricanes seem to have settled into a new identity.
That identity revolves around quarterback Tyler Van Dyke, who was exceptional in Miami’s 31-30 win over North Carolina State last week. Van Dyke threw for 325 yards and 4 touchdowns in the victory.
It was an important bounce-back game for Van Dyke after he threw 3 interceptions vs. North Carolina the week before. Perhaps more importantly, it established a blue print for how Miami’s passing game can be successful moving forward.
Instead of a RPO-heavy attack that Miami featured with King under center, the Hurricanes are now able to stretch the field vertically. They did that over and over again vs. the Wolf Pack in Week 8.
Removing Miami’s 69-0 win over Central Connecticut State, the Hurricanes have produced 21 passing plays of more than 20+ yards this season. Nearly one third (6) of those plays came vs. NC State last week.
Here’s a few examples:
Ridiculous throw & catch from Tyler Van Dyke to Charleston Rambo for the 25 yard TD!! #TheU 🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/EIq2gaUEUj
— ✯✯✯✯✯ (@FTBVids_YT) October 23, 2021
Things are bad at Miami, but Tyler Van Dyke is pretttyyyyy good at QB for thempic.twitter.com/sniTUiyXh0
— Unnecessary Roughness (@UnnecRoughness) October 24, 2021
Tyler Van Dyke 60 yard bomb to Charleston Rambo! #TheU pic.twitter.com/AtcBRymBL5
— ✯✯✯✯✯ (@FTBVids_YT) October 24, 2021
The result was a career day for both Van Dyke and speedster Charleston Rambo, who had one of his best games since he was catching passes from Kyler Murray and Jalen Hurts at Oklahoma. Rambo caught 9 passes for 127 yards and two scores — just his second time to go over the 100-yard benchmark since transferring to Miami.
Another noticeable change in Miami’s passing game vs. NC State was Jaylan Knight’s usage. He entered last week’s game with just 13 career receptions for 208 yards. Then he caught 6 passes for 83 yards and 1 touchdown vs. the Wolf Pack, unlocking a previously-seldom used element in this offense.
Miami has five games remaining this season as it attempts to make a ninth consecutive bowl game. Of the Hurricanes’ remaining opponents, only Virginia Tech (37) has a top-40 passing defense nationally. Two of their opponents, Georgia Tech and Duke, are outside the top 100.
The Hurricanes face Pittsburgh this week as they look to build off the momentum from last week’s victory. The Panthers are No. 46 nationally in passing defense, but have looked vulnerable at times. They surrendered over 350 passing yards to both Georgia Tech and Western Michigan earlier this season.
Kickoff vs. Pitt this week is at 12:00 p.m. ET.