Miami football: Stock report after Week 4
Some things never change.
Even though Miami hadn’t played Temple since 2005, the result didn’t change when the schools renewed their rivalry Saturday.
The Hurricanes never trailed, routing Temple 41-7 on a rainy and windy Saturday afternoon in Philadelphia.
Miami now has beaten Temple 14 straight times.
Players of the week: Take your pick – Tyler Van Dyke, Henry Parrish Jr., Te’Cory Couch, Jahfari Harvey, Colbie Young, Xavier Restrepo, Jacolby George, Brashard Smith …
Van Dyke completed 17 of 24 passes for 220 yards, 3 touchdowns and no turnovers. His prettiest pass was a 39-yarder dropped perfectly in the hands of George as he raced down the right sideline. Van Dyke also had the longest run of his career – a 37-yarder.
George led all Miami receivers in yards (90) and average (18.0 on 5 catches). For the season, George already has career highs in catches (21), yards (292) and touchdowns (4).
Restrepo had 2 touchdown catches, reaching the end zone for the 1st time this season. He also have 7 receptions, giving him a career-high-tying 24 for the season.
Parrish didn’t start but had a game-high 139 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns. He led Miami’s running backs with an 8.7 average.
Young made the most sensational play of the game, fully stretching his 6-foot-5 frame to catch the ball at the 3 and then stretching to reach the end zone.
Couch (2 interceptions) and Harvey (recovered a fumble) were standouts on defense.
Smith had only 3 touches – 2 kickoffs returns and 1 reception – but he produced 76 yards and put on display his terrific speed. He’s a game-breaker who just needs the ball a bit more.
Freshmen of the week: Starting right tackle Francis Mauigoa mauled his opponent throughout in a dominant performance. Wide receiver Ray Ray Joseph, meanwhile, continues to flash his potential, taking 2 1-foot passes – glorified handoffs really – and gaining 28 yards with his electrifying speed.
Biggest surprises: The initial surprise was that Donald Chaney Jr. got the start over Parrish. Not that this was a bad decision. Chaney had run hard in a reserve role in Miami’s previous game, averaging a contest-high 10.4 yards per carry during a 48-7 victory over Bethune-Cookman. His 73 yards also were a game high.
Miami coach Mario Cristobal rightly rewarded Chaney with the start. That had to feel good for Chaney, who has battled injuries during his career but so far is healthy and productive in 2023.
Chaney ran hard again Saturday – 61 yards and a 6.8 average.
But his elevation to the starting lineup must have given Parrish that extra motivation.
The other surprise was that Miami was not at all bothered by the rainy and windy conditions. Sometimes, bad weather can level the playing field and help the lesser-talented team.
But that did not happen Saturday as Miami was methodical, efficient and clinical in the way it disposed of the Owls.
Biggest concerns: Parrish (left arm) and center Matt Lee (right ankle) left the game during the second half. Cristobal, however, said both injuries were minor.
Developing trends: Miami’s offensive line continues to improve. The linemen gave Van Dyke great protection in the pocket, and they helped Miami’s ground game produce 323 rushing yards.
Similarly, Miami’s defense was stout, holding Temple to 11 yards on 16 carries. Even though Miami had 3 defensive-line starters still out with injuries, the Hurricanes dominated up front, showing their depth.
Thomas Gore led Miami with 2 tackles for loss, and fellow defensive tackle Leonard Taylor had a big sack when the score still was relatively close during the 2nd quarter. That sack led to Temple going for it and failing on 4th down.
Cristobal, a former offensive lineman, likes smash-mouth football, and – in Year 2 – it looks like he has the physicality he wants, although there’s still a long way to go this season.
Key stats: Miami won the turnover battle 3-0. For the season, Van Dyke has done a great job taking care of the ball, firing 11 touchdown passes and getting intercepted just once.
First impression after Game 4: Miami is off to its best start since 2017, when it opened with 10 consecutive wins and finished 10-3.
The Hurricanes will be off next weekend before finishing the regular season with 8 straight weeks of ACC games. That includes road games against 4th-ranked Florida State and 17th-ranked North Carolina. Other intriguing games will be visits from traditional power Clemson and unbeaten Louisville as well as a trip to North Carolina State.