Struggling Miami aims to breeze past Central Connecticut State
The Miami Hurricanes are reeling.
Miami, which started the season ranked 14th in the nation, is out of the Top 25 after an expected loss to top-rated Alabama, a narrow escape over mid-major Appalachian State and a convincing loss to visiting Michigan State.
On Saturday afternoon, the. Hurricanes (1-2) will host Central Connecticut State (1-2).
To add to their woes, the ‘Canes might be without their star quarterback as D’Eriq King has a shoulder injury on his throwing arm.
“He’s roughed up pretty good,” Miami coach Manny Diaz told The Joe Rose Show on local radio. “I’m concerned for D’Eriq, but I never bet against that guy.”
If the Hurricane decide to rest King on Saturday, their quarterback options are two players who have combined to throw just three collegiate passes: Tyler Van Dyke and Jake Garcia.
Van Dyke, a 6-foot-4, 225-pound redshirt freshman, is from Connecticut, which would make Saturday’s game against CCSU a fitting first start of his collegiate career if it works out that way.
So far, Van Dyke is 0-for-3 as a college passer.
“We’re confident in what they can do,” Diaz said of Van Dyke and Garcia, a freshman. “We’re excited to see them on this stage.”
Either way, it should be an easier day for the Hurricanes against Central Connecticut State, which is coming off a 56-10 loss to Southeastern Louisiana this past Saturday.
Running back Nasir Smith rushed for 83 yards on 21 carries in that game, and he perhaps could give Miami trouble after the Hurricanes missed one tackle after another in the loss to Michigan State.
Romelo Williams, the Blue Devils’ starting quarterback, is making a homecoming as he is from South Florida.
In high school, Williams led Miramar to a huge upset win over nationally ranked St. Thomas Aquinas.
This season, Williams is getting his first extended action in three years, and he will be looking for an even bigger upset.
“The hunger is intense,” Williams told Inside The U. “Who doesn’t want to play Miami? I’m excited.”
Meanwhile, Miami likely will be without starting left guard Jalen Rivers, who has a knee injury. The Hurricanes also won’t have running back Jaylan Knighton, who will serve the final game of his four-contest suspension for violating team rules.
Without Knighton and also Don Chaney Jr., who sustained a season-ending knee injury against Appalachian State, the Hurricanes have relied almost exclusively on Cam’Ron Harris to carry the ball. Harris leads Miami with 172 rushing yards, but his 4.2 average is well below his career norm of 5.0.
Charleston Rambo leads Miami in receptions (24), scrimmage yards (241) and total touchdowns (two).
Defensively, the Hurricanes have generated just two turnovers so far.
“Our three (games) have been below our expectations,” Diaz said of Miami’s poor start. “That’s fair. Our performances are hurting all of us.”
–Field Level Media