Sep 3, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Hurricanes running back Henry Parrish Jr. (21) celebrates with teammates after scoring during the second quarter against the Bethune Cookman Wildcats at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Henry Parrish Jr. scores three times as No. 16 Miami crushes Bethune-Cookman

Henry Parrish Jr. scored three first-half touchdowns in his Hurricanes debut as 16th-ranked Miami defeated the visiting Bethune-Cookman Wildcats, 70-13, on Saturday afternoon in the season opener for both teams.

It was also a happy debut for Mario Cristobal, who enjoyed his first game as Miami’s coach.

Other than a fumbled snap and running out of time at the end of the game, Miami scored a touchdown on its other nine possessions, and that excluded a defensive score on Gilbert Frierson’s 32-yard interception return. A deflection by Miami defensive lineman Akheem Mesidor set up that play.

Canes quarterback Tyler Van Dyke, a projected NFL first-round pick in 2023, completed 13-of-16 passes for 193 yards and two touchdowns. He was not intercepted and played just 2 1/2 quarters.

Slot receiver Xavier Restrepo had five catches for 100 yards and one touchdown to lead Canes pass-catchers.

Miami’s Key’Shawn Smith starred on special teams, returning three kickoffs for 184 yards.

Bethune-Cookman was led by quarterback Jalon Jones, who completed 11-of-20 passes for 243 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

Parrish, who is from Miami but arrived on the Hurricanes roster after transferring from Ole Miss, ran 14 times for 108 yards. He started in place of Jaylan Knighton, who was rested.

The Canes were also without two other offensive starters: left tackle Zion Nelson and wide receiver Jacolby George.

Bethune-Cookman scored on the game’s initial possession as Jones completed 4-of-5 passes for 72 yards, leading to Dylan Moghaddam’s 29-yard field goal. BCU overcame three penalties on that drive and might have had a touchdown if not for a strip at the goal line by Miami linebacker Waynmon Steed Jr.

Miami took a 7-3 lead on its first possession. Key’Shawn Smith ran the kickoff 70 yards, and the Canes scored on Thad Franklin’s four-yard run. All 30 scrimmage yards came on runs.

BCU never led again as Miami’s offense dominated the rest of the half, grabbing a 42-10 lead at the break.

Among the first-half highlights, Miami safety Kamren Kinchens intercepted a pass, leading to Parrish’s first touchdown, a five-yard run.

With 6:00 left in the third quarter and Miami leading 49-13, Cristobal rested Van Dyke and inserted backup Jake Garcia.

Second-half highlights for Miami included safety James Williams’ one-handed interception and Jacob Lichtenstein’s blocked field goal.

–Field Level Media

Nov 20, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Hurricanes quarterback Tyler Van Dyke (9) attempts a pass against the Virginia Tech Hokies during the second half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

No. 16 Miami kicks off Mario Cristobal era with Bethune-Cookman

The Mario Cristobal era has arrived at Miami.

The long-awaited opener will be Saturday when Bethune-Cookman visits the No. 16-ranked Hurricanes.

Cristobal returned to Coral Gables to be the Hurricanes’ head coach after leading Oregon to a pair of Pac-12 championships and a 35-13 record, signing a 10-year, $80 million contract at Miami.

The Hurricanes are 41-point favorites for Saturday’s game, and expectations are high in part because of quarterback Tyler Van Dyke, the ACC’s reigning Newcomer of the Year. He began last year on the bench as an untested second-year freshman.

But after an injury to D’Eriq King, Van Dyke went 6-3 as a starter. He passed for 25 touchdowns and just six interceptions while climbing into NFL draft prospect discussions.

To keep climbing, Miami, which finished 7-5 last season, will have to replace star wide receivers Charleston Rambo and Mike Harley.

The leading candidates are Xavier Restrepo, Key’Shawn Smith and Clemson transfer Frank Ladson. Other receivers who are competing for time are Jacolby George, Romello Brinson and Brashard Smith.

“Charleston was really reliable for me, always being in the right spot,” Van Dyke said of Rambo’s performance last year. “I see some of these (newer) guys being capable of that.”

The Hurricanes’ offense is counting on tight ends Will Mallory and Elijah Arroyo and running backs Jaylan Knighton, Henry Parrish and bruiser Thad Franklin.

Van Dyke said about 85 percent of new offensive coordinator Josh Gattis’ playbook has been installed as August ends.

“In the spring and early in the fall, there were some questions about reads and some confusion,” Van Dyke said. “But that’s cleared up now.”

Miami’s defense will be led by 6-foot-5, 225-pound safety James Williams, shutdown corner Tyrique Stevenson and linebacker Caleb Johnson, a UCLA transfer. Miami’s most-hyped defensive lineman is tackle Leonard Taylor.

Bethune-Cookman, meanwhile, is coming off a 2-9 season and will open with Miami for the fourth time in program history.

That record was jarring for Wildcats coach Terry Sims, whose squad went 7-4 in 2019 before skipping the 2020 season due to COVID concerns.

“We are looking to redeem ourselves,” Sims said. “We had a setback last year after having not been together as a team for 20 months. No workouts, no meetings, no practices, no nothing.

“The first time we saw our team following the end of the 2019 season was on August 1 last year. This year, we have grown closer as a team. We’re going to be an aggressive, attacking football team.”

The Wildcats are 0-4 in the all-time series with Miami and have been outscored 169-37.

Sims, who is 36-30 with four winning seasons in six years at Bethune, has settled on Jackson State transfer Jalon Jones as his starting quarterback.

Jones beat out East Carolina transfer Walter Simmons.

Senior tight end Kemari Averett, who made first-team All-SWAC last year, is the Wildcats’ top weapon. He caught 52 passes for 888 yards, a 17.1-yard average, and 11 touchdowns.

Wide receiver Darryl Powell Jr. caught 22 passes last year for 471 yards and a team-best 21.4-yard average.

“It’s a veteran group,” Sims said.

–Field Level Media

Sep 3, 2021; Orlando, Florida, USA; UCF Knights wide receiver Jaylon Robinson (1) celebrates with offensive lineman Samuel Jackson (73) after scoring a touchdown against the Boise State Broncos during the second half at Bounce House. Mandatory Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

UCF looks to limit miscues in clash with Bethune-Cookman

Correcting mistakes is the mantra this week for UCF as the Knights prepare for Saturday night’s encounter with Bethune-Cookman in Orlando, Fla.

“I told our players we’ve got to improve,” coach Gus Malzahn said after reviewing his team’s season-opening 36-31 comeback victory over Boise State on Sept. 2. “We’ve got to improve in all three phases. I made a lot of mistakes. That’s normal for a first game.”

The Knights trailed the Broncos 24-7 with just over five minutes left in the second quarter. UCF (1-0, 0-0 American), however, scored with just six seconds remaining in the half and added another touchdown on their first possession of the second half.

Quarterback Dillon Gabriel threw four touchdown passes but also had two interceptions, including one on the Knights’ first series as they were about to go in to score. Tyric LeBeauf returned the ball 100 yards for a touchdown.

“Obviously, the first one he’d like to have that back,” Malzahn said. “There’s no doubt about that. … The second was just tough coverage. Really probably wasn’t a good call at that point.”

Gabriel had only four interceptions in 10 games last year.

Bethune-Cookman (0-1, 0-0 SWAC) also had two turnovers in its opening 38-28 loss at UTEP last Saturday, but penalties were a continuing concern for the Wildcats. They were penalized 12 times for 102 yards in their first outing since the 2019 season finale.

“We haven’t played in two years, and I felt like we had some jitters going in,” quarterback Shannon Patrick said. “We just had some mental mistakes, but we came back in the second half and played a lot better, putting 28 points on the board.”

Patrick completed 15 of 22 passes for 215 yards and two touchdowns against an interception. The Wildcats rushed for only 118 yards.

“I thought we made a lot of good plays in all three phases of the game, but we left too many plays on the field,” coach Terry Sims said. “We lost discipline at times and had way too many penalties, and that’s something we don’t do as a football team.”

This will be the second of back-to-back home games for the Knights to open the season. They are at Louisville (Sept. 17) and Navy (Oct. 2) their next two outings.

Bethune-Cookman will host Alabama A&M on Sept. 16 to begin a stretch of nine FCS outings.

–Field Level Media

Sep 14, 2019; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Hurricanes running back Cam'Ron Harris (23) scores a touchdown against Bethune Cookman Wildcats safety Tydarius Peters (21) during the second half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Bethune-Cookman cancels all sports for 2020-21

Bethune-Cookman University has nixed all sports for the entire academic year, becoming the first Division I school to opt out due to impacts of the coronavirus.

The private and historically Black school is located in Daytona Beach, Fla., an area seeing a spike in cases of COVID-19 in the county and state.

“B-CU will forgo all spring athletic competition, including football and men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, softball and track and field,” school president Dr. E. LaBrent Chrite said in a letter sent out Monday night. “The recent spike in COVID-19 positivity rates in the state, across Volusia County and on our campus provides clear and unambiguous evidence, in our view, that now is simply not the time to resume athletic competition.”

The university locked down last week with 30 students isolated and quarantined on campus. The school announced 15 positive cases between Oct. 16 and Oct. 21.

This was to be BCU’s final year in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference; the school announced earlier this year that it was moving to the Southwestern Athletic Conference in 2021.

The Bethune-Cookman’s women’s basketball team was predicted to win the southern division of the MEAC this season behind senior forward Amaya Scott, who was named the conference’s preseason player of the year.

–Field Level Media