No. 18 NC State eyes revenge against struggling Miami
Maybe this time it will be different for North Carolina State.
The 18th-ranked Wolfpack (5-1, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), winners of four consecutive games, will visit the Miami Hurricanes on Saturday night.
NC State has lost the past three meetings, including a 44-41 defeat in Raleigh last year. Miami trailed by 10 points early in the fourth quarter of that contest.
The Hurricanes (2-4, 0-2) are struggling badly this season. Miami’s defense has more holes than Pebble Beach, and the offense is without star quarterback D’Eriq King, who is sidelined for the year due to a shoulder injury.
Miami has lost six straight games against Power 5 opponents, but NC State is just a 3-point favorite.
“I can’t control the lack of respect we seem to get,” Wolfpack coach Dave Doeren said. “Our team recognizes that people don’t think we’re good.”
Wolfpack quarterback Devin Leary is completing 67.3 percent of his passes and has thrown for 15 touchdowns while getting intercepted just twice.
NC State’s 1-2 running back punch of Zonovan Knight and Ricky Person Jr. has scored eight total touchdowns. Knight leads the team with 503 rushing yards and a 6.1 average.
Miami’s defense, which has had trouble stopping the run, does not match up well with NC State’s big and physical wide receivers, either, including 6-foot-3, 215-pounders Devin Carter and Emeka Emezie. Thayer Thomas, who is 6 feet and 195 pounds, is also a tough out.
Emezie leads the Wolfpack in receptions (34) and yards (377). Carter is second on the team in yards per catch (17.2), and Thomas leads in TD receptions (four).
Meanwhile, with King out, Miami has turned to second-year freshman quarterback Tyler Van Dyke.
He is 0-2 as a starter against FBS opponents, but he was close to winning both games. Andres Borregales missed a 33-yard field goal on the final play of a loss to Virginia. Then, last week at North Carolina, Miami was in position for a game-tying, chip-shot field goal or a possible winning TD when Van Dyke’s pass was deflected and intercepted. The result was a 45-42 loss.
“Tyler can rip the ball,” Miami coach Manny Diaz said. “What he’s learned these past two weeks is that he can do it.”
In his two ACC games, Van Dyke has completed 35 of 74 passes for 467 yards, with two TDs and three interceptions. He also has rushed for 42 yards.
Besides Van Dyke, Miami’s offense is led by running back Jaylan Knighton and wide receiver Charleston Rambo.
Cam’Ron Harris tops Miami in rushing (409 yards, 5.8 average), but he sustained a season-ending leg injury against the Tar Heels. The faster Knighton stepped in and had 165 scrimmage yards.
Rambo leads Miami in receptions (35) and yards (422).
Diaz also announced that wide receivers Dee Wiggins (62 career catches, including 31 last year) and Mark Pope (52 career catches, including 33 last year) have left the team. Both players struggled with drops and combined for just four catches this year as younger receivers passed them on the depth chart.
–Field Level Media