Sep 14, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Hurricanes tight end Cam McCormick (84) runs with the football against Bethune Cookman Wildcats cornerback Stephen Sparrow (27) during the first quarter at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Miami TE returning for ninth season of college football

Miami tight end Cam McCormick is returning for an unprecedented ninth season of college football in 2024.

“Last ride,” the 6-foot-5, 260-pound super-duper senior posted Thursday on social media.

A three-star prospect in the 2016 recruiting class from Bend, Ore., McCormick began his collegiate journey at Oregon before transferring to the Hurricanes in 2023 to reunite with former Ducks head coach Mario Cristobal.

McCormick missed most of the 2018, 2019 and 2020 seasons at Oregon with a broken ankle that required multiple surgeries, then sustained a season-ending Achilles injury in early 2021.

Multiple medical redshirts have extended a career that includes just 26 catches for 231 yards and four touchdowns in 36 games. McCormick caught eight passes for 62 yards in 13 games at Miami in 2023.

“Cam is an amazing young man of service, a great athlete, hard worker, and a natural-born leader,” Cristobal said in a statement Thursday. “His return is a testament to his character and the values he brings to our team. We are excited to have him back for the upcoming season.”

McCormick, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Oregon before transferring, petitioned the NCAA for another year of eligibility in September.

Playing a ninth season in 2024 will break the record for the longest FBS tenure that he currently shares with former Northern Illinois linebacker Kyle Pugh (2015-22), according to multiple reports.

–Field Level Media

Sep 3, 2022; Waco, Texas, USA; Albany Great Danes quarterback Reese Poffenbarger (7) runs with the ball against the Baylor Bears during the first quarter at McLane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Miami lands FCS passing leader Reese Poffenbarger

Miami received a commitment Monday from 2023 FCS passing leader Reese Poffenbarger, ESPN reported.

He led the FCS in passing yards (3,614) and touchdowns (36) in 15 games at Albany, guiding the Great Danes (11-4) to the FCS semifinals.

A former walk-on, Poffenbarger announced on Dec. 20 that he was entering the transfer portal with two years of eligibility remaining.

“Albany will forever have a place in my heart and we did a lot of special things,” Poffenbarger told ESPN. “At the end of the day, I thought it was time to move on and put myself in the best position to compete for a national championship and one day play in the NFL.”

The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Maryland native will join a quarterback competition with Hurricanes sophomore Jacurri Brown and freshman Emory Williams.

–Field Level Media

Sep 23, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA;  Miami Hurricanes offensive lineman Jalen Rivers (64) sets up to block in the second half against the Temple Owls at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Lewis-USA TODAY Sports

Pinstripe Bowl: Miami looking to end bowl-win drought at Rutgers’ expense

For Miami offensive lineman Jalen Rivers, a win in Thursday’s Pinstripe Bowl against Rutgers at Yankee Stadium in New York would be important.

“We haven’t won a bowl game in a minute,” he said. “I don’t know when that was, but it’s been a minute. It’s important to just change that trajectory of us not winning bowl games. This will be an important step in the right direction, and it’s a step in the right direction heading into next year as well.

“So we can showcase what we have and what we put on film right now so we can have a better opportunity, a better confidence going into next year.”

The Hurricanes’ last bowl victory was Dec. 28, 2016, against West Virginia in the Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando, Fla.

This season’s squad got off to a great start by winning all four of its nonconference games and earning a spot in the AP poll, but it stumbled early and often in Atlantic Coast Conference action. The lowlight was an October loss to Georgia Tech where Hurricanes coach Mario Cristobal’s strategic play-calling error gave the Yellow Jackets the ball back and a last chance to win. Georgia Tech completed the game-winning touchdown pass in the final seconds.

Miami (7-5) wasn’t far from 10 wins in the regular season. It lost three conference games by a single score, including a 27-20 decision on Nov. 11 at unbeaten Florida State. But the Hurricanes’ underwhelming 3-4 conference record means all the headlines in South Florida are about Miami’s top-rated recruiting class in the ACC.

However, Cristobal said the opportunity to play in New York and at a historic venue should provide the necessary motivation for a good performance.

“For our players, it’s such a different and new experience,” he said. “They obviously know the legendary status of where we’ll be playing at and the caliber of the great opponent we have in Rutgers. … For them, a great experience, another opportunity to play game number 13.”

That opportunity won’t be shared by quarterback Tyler Van Dyke, who hit the transfer portal for Wisconsin after throwing for 2,703 yards, 19 touchdowns and 12 interceptions this year.

Rutgers coach Greg Schiano is excited about the idea of playing in New York as well.

“There’s no place like New York around the Christmas holiday,” Schiano said. “Then throw in the great part of playing in such a great bowl game. It doesn’t get a lot better than that.”

Much like the Hurricanes, the Scarlet Knights (6-6) have a chance to end an up-and-down season on a high note. They opened up 6-2 but then crumbled in November, losing four straight Big Ten games by an average of 20 points.

But Rutgers is still playing just its second bowl game in nine years, and Schiano doesn’t plan on changing his approach now or any time soon. His Scarlet Knights teams are known for being physical, a mentality that starts with intense practices.

“I don’t want guys that think they are coming to one thing and all of a sudden they show up and it’s something totally different,” Schiano said. “We are transparent with it.”

Miami has won all 11 meetings between the teams. They have not met since 2003, when the Hurricanes beat Rutgers 34-10.

–Field Level Media

Nov 24, 2023; Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA; Miami Hurricanes running back Henry Parrish Jr. (21) runs against Boston College Eagles defensive back CJ Clinkscales (26) during the first half at Alumni Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Miami tops Boston College to end three-game losing skid

Tyler Van Dyke was 23 of 36 for 290 passing yards and two touchdowns while Henry Parrish Jr. rushed for a pair of scores as Miami beat Boston College 45-20 on Friday at Chestnut Hill, Mass.

The Hurricanes (7-5, 3-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) scored on four of their five first-half drives and cruised to the win, breaking a three-game losing streak.

Parrish, who returned following an injury in the third quarter, racked up 111 yards on 11 carries.

Van Dyke connected with nine different receivers to lead Miami’s attack, including Xavier Restrepo, who logged 117 yards on six catches. Jacolby George and Colbie Young each hauled in a touchdown.

Thomas Castellanos ran and threw for a total of two touchdowns for Boston College (6-6, 3-5), which finished the regular season on a three-game losing streak. The dual-threat quarterback accounted for 151 passing (15 of 25, two interceptions) and 130 rushing yards.

Miami held a 532-294 advantage in total yards, including a 196-58 count during its 21-point second quarter.

The Eagles began the game with a 10-play, 75-yard scoring drive before punting on their next four possessions.

Castellanos began the opening series with a pair of quarterback keepers and connected with Dino Tomlin on a 40-yard pass on the way to Kye Robichaux scoring on a 1-yard run.

A pair of long third-down conversions and drawing a 15-yard penalty allowed Miami to tie the game on a 1-yard run by Mark Fletcher Jr., who gained the last 18 yards of the 15-play, 67-yard drive over 7:21.

Parrish cut to the outside for a 15-yard run that put Miami ahead with 12:49 left in the second. The drive took just 3:03, thanks in part to an earlier 25-yard connection between Van Dyke and George.

The Hurricanes made it a two-score game with four minutes before halftime as Young caught a 10-yard touchdown. Restrepo’s 24-yard grab on fourth down set up the score.

Another George catch set up Parrish’s 2-yard touchdown run late in the first half.

After Gilbert Tongrongou’s fumble recovery changed possession early in the third, Castellanos broke through for a 21-yard touchdown that brought Boston College back within 28-14.

George caught a 4-yard touchdown with 2:49 left in the third, capping an 11-play, 92-yard drive that included a diving 28-yard catch by Restrepo in the red zone.

Andres Borregales’ 26-yard field goal with 8:36 remaining extended the Hurricane lead.

After a turnaround catch by Boston College’s Jaedn Skeete along the sideline, Lewis Bond’s 2-yard, over-the-shoulder catch in the back of the end zone made it a 38-20 game with 5:50 left. A two-point conversion attempt failed.

Ajay Allen’s 30-yard run with 1:07 left put the exclamation point on the Miami win.

–Field Level Media

Nov 18, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Louisville Cardinals wide receiver Chris Bell (0) breaks a tackle attempt from Miami Hurricanes defensive back Jadais Richard (25) during the second quarter at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

No. 10 Louisville downs Miami to reach ACC title game

For the first time ever, Louisville will play for the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship in football.

Jack Plummer’s 58-yard touchdown pass to Keon Coleman Jr. with 4:17 left in the game proved to be the winning score for visiting No. 10 Louisville in its 38-31 triumph on Saturday over Miami in South Florida.

Louisville (10-1, 7-1 ACC) will face No. 4 Florida State for the conference title in Charlotte, N.C., on Dec. 2.

The victory marks the first double-digit-win season for the Cardinals since 2013, their lone campaign in the American Athletic Conference. Meanwhile, Miami (6-5, 2-5) will finish with a losing record in conference play for the second straight season.

The Cardinals clinched the win over the Hurricanes by forcing a third consecutive incomplete pass in a fourth-and-goal situation from Louisville’s 4-yard-line. Miami put itself in a position to tie the game with under two minutes to play by driving 75 yards in eight plays, but the Canes couldn’t find the endzone.

Miami got the ball back with 19 seconds left but failed to score. The Hurricanes completed a Hail Mary pass with 5 seconds left, with Xavier Restrepo hauling in a 45-yard completion, but he was brought down 4 yards short of the goal line.

Plummer completed 24 of 37 passes for 308 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Louisville also got rushing touchdowns from Isaac Guerendo and Evan Conley, who were key parts of a Louisville rushing attack that piled up 162 yards on 34 carries.

Tyler Van Dyke completed 24 of 39 passes for 327 yards for Miami, throwing one touchdown. Mark Fletcher Jr. led the Canes’ rushing game with 126 yards and two scores on 17 carries.

The contest was a back-and-forth one that featured five lead changes. Miami led 21-20 at halftime. Just before intermission, Louisville defensive back Trey Franklin was ejected for targeting.

Miami defensive back Kamren Kinchens came up with the lone turnover in the game, picking off Plummer in the first quarter. Louisville defensive end Mason Reiger tallied the only sack of the contest.

–Field Level Media

The Florida State Seminoles and the Miami Hurricanes are tied 10-10 at the half on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023.

No. 4 Florida State remains perfect by dispatching Miami

Trey Benson ran for two touchdowns — including the go-ahead 38-yarder in the third quarter — as No. 4 Florida State defeated visiting Miami 27-20 in Tallahassee, Fla., on Saturday afternoon.

Jordan Travis passed for 265 yards and one touchdown for Florida State (10-0, 8-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), which won its 16th consecutive game. Travis became the first quarterback in Seminoles history to beat Miami three straight years.

Miami (6-4, 2-4) benched quarterback Tyler Van Dyke for the first time in his career. True freshman Emory Williams started instead. Williams completed 8 of 23 passes for 175 yards and two TD.

Williams left the game with 2:42 left due to an injury to his throwing arm. On fourth-and-2, he dove for the sticks and got injured.

Hurricanes wide receiver Jacolby George had a huge game with five catches for 153 yards and two touchdowns.

The Seminoles got two star wide receivers — Johnny Wilson and Keon Coleman — back from the injury list. Wilson had five catches for 82 yards. Coleman had four catches for 24 yards.

Miami, however, was without starter cornerback Daryl Porter due to injury.

Florida State opened the scoring on Benson’s 5-yard run with 7:13 left in the first quarter. That capped a 10-play, 55-yard drive.

In the second quarter, after Miami’s Andres Borregales missed a 51-yard field goal due in part to a bad hold, Florida extended its lead to 10-0 on Ryan Fitzgerald’s 33-yarder.

Miami finally got on the board on Williams’ 3-yard fade pass to George with 2:42 left in the half.

After a sack of Travis at the goal line that was nearly ruled a safety, Florida State punted, giving Miami a short field. That led to a 27-yard field by Borregales, tying the score at 10 on the last play of the first half.

Miami had hoped for more on that drive, but, on third-and-1 at Florida State’s 4-yard line, Mark Fletcher Jr. was dropped for a loss.

Florida State started the second half with an on-sides kick that failed. That led to Borregales’ 51-yard field goal.

On the Seminoles’ next possession, Ja’Khi Douglas caught a short slant and turned it into a 69-yard play. Florida State, with a first-and-goal at Miami’s 5, had to settle for a 22-yard field goal by Fitzgerald.

Florida State took a 20-13 lead on Benson’s 38-yard run with 5:48 left in the third.

With 11 minutes left in the fourth, Florida State extended its lead to 27-13 on a 6-yard TD catch by Coleman.

But with 8:22 left, Miami cut its deficit to 27-20 on Williams’ 85-yard TD pass to George.

After Williams left the game injured, Miami got to its 49. But on fourth down, Van Dyke was intercepted by Jarrian Jones, virtually ending the game with 40 seconds left.

–Field Level Media

Oct 28, 2023; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack linebacker Payton Wilson (11) celebrates after scoring a touchdown on an interception during the second half against the Clemson Tigers at Carter-Finley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

NC State looking to maintain momentum vs. Miami

Miami and North Carolina State have shared disappointments this season, yet both remain in contention in the Atlantic Coast Conference entering Saturday’s meeting in Raleigh, N.C.

The visiting Hurricanes (6-2, 2-2 ACC) have won two in a row, needing overtime in each of those home outings to outlast Clemson and Virginia.

“Our team, by now, should feel that there is not a situation that we can’t overcome,” Miami coach Mario Cristobal said. “It was good to see all that pay off. The validation, the hard work. Never looking back, always going forward.”

NC State (5-3, 2-2) defeated Clemson last week, a solid showing after an open week on the schedule. The Wolfpack have vowed to stay together after taking some midseason criticism.

“It just made us stronger as a whole,” Wolfpack freshman receiver KC Concepcion said.

NC State coach Dave Doeren has 100 wins between Northern Illinois and NC State combined. His 77 wins with the Wolfpack are tied with Earle Edwards (1954-70) for the most in school history.

“I’d like to own it singular and not tied,” Doeren said.

NC State is still trying to sort out issues on offense, but there have been encouraging signs. The only two turnovers in the Clemson game were committed by the Tigers.

“Plus-two in turnover margin, that’s how you win games,” Doeren said. “We did not turn the ball over on offense and had some explosive plays. There’s definitely positives.”

MJ Morris has started the past three games at quarterback, with the Wolfpack going 2-1.

NC State linebacker Payton Wilson picked up another ACC weekly honor as the top linebacker for last week. He’s a bit dinged up, Doeren said, but should be fine for the Miami game.

“I think Payton is playing better than anybody in college football,” Doeren said of the ACC leader in tackles. Wilson also returned an interception for a touchdown against Clemson.

Miami’s Rueben Bain Jr. has been dubbed the ACC’s top defensive lineman the past two weeks and three times this season. The Hurricanes registered 10 tackles for loss, with six sacks, in the 29-26 win against Virginia.

–Field Level Media

Sep 23, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Miami Hurricanes quarterback Tyler Van Dyke (9) warms up prior to the game against the Temple Owls at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Lewis-USA TODAY Sports

QB Tyler Van Dyke expected to lead Miami vs. Virginia

After a one-game injury absence, Miami quarterback Tyler Van Dyke appears ready to return Saturday when his Hurricanes host Virginia in an Atlantic Coast Conference matchup.

Miami (5-2, 1-2) is coming off its first win over Clemson since 2010, and the Hurricanes did it with true freshman quarterback Emory Williams making his first career start.

Virginia (2-5, 1-2) is coming off its first-ever road win over a Top 10 opponent, knocking off then-No. 10 North Carolina 31-27. The Cavaliers lost their first 30 road games against Top 10 foes before last Saturday’s shocker.

“What you saw,” Virginia coach Tony Elliott said, “is a group that believed.”

There’s a good amount of belief on the Hurricanes’ side, too, especially after they knocked off Clemson 28-20 in two overtimes last week.

Miami would’ve had just one loss this season had coach Mario Cristobal ordered Van Dyke to take a knee in the final seconds against Georgia Tech. Instead, a fumble led to an upset and a two-game skid that was broken last Saturday.

Now Van Dyke, who sat out last week due to an apparent leg injury, is poised to return.

“He was really close to being able to play (against Clemson),” Cristobal said. “So yeah, we feel good about (Van Dyke facing Virginia).”

Van Dyke ranks second in the ACC in passing yards per game (286.8). He is completing 70.5 percent of his passes for 16 touchdowns, with six interceptions.

Virginia shuffled its two quarterbacks — Tony Muskett and Anthony Colandrea — earlier in the season. But it’s been all Muskett the past three games, and Virginia is 2-1 in those contests.

Against UNC, Muskett completed 20 of 30 passes for 208 yards and one touchdown, with one interception.

Saturday’s game will feature the top two pass-catchers in the ACC: Virginia’s Malik Washington (56 receptions) and Miami’s Xavier Restrepo (54).

As for head-to-head battles, watch Virginia’s offensive line against Miami’s defensive front. Virginia rushed for 228 yards and a 4.2 average against the Tar Heels. The Hurricanes lead the ACC in fewest rushing yards per game (79.6) and fewest yards per carry (2.7).

The last five meetings in this series have been decided by one-possession margins. Miami won 14-12 in four overtimes at Virginia last season.

–Field Level Media

Oct 7, 2023; Clemson, South Carolina, USA; Clemson Tigers cornerback Toriano Pride Jr. (23) and safety R.J. Mickens (9) tackle Wake Forest Demon Deacons defensive back Justin Simpkins (80) during the fourth quarter at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports

Clemson looking for another lopsided win over Miami

Perhaps the last team that slumping Miami wants to see this week is Clemson.

That’s because the Hurricanes have lost four straight games to the Tigers by a combined score of 178-30.

Like it or not, Clemson (4-2, 2-2) will visit Miami (4-2, 0-2) on Saturday night for an Atlantic Coast Conference battle.

While Clemson has won two straight games since losing to Florida State in overtime, Miami is reeling.

The Hurricanes lost in the final second at home against Georgia Tech on Oct. 7. And last weekend, Miami blew a halftime lead and lost 41-31 at then-No. 12 North Carolina.

“We’ve got to be better,” said Miami quarterback Tyler Van Dyke, who has five interceptions in his last two games.

Van Dyke reportedly is dealing with a right leg injury, but coach Mario Cristobal confirmed he will play Saturday.

“Was he banged up in the game? Yes, he got banged up,” Cristobal said. “But is he tough? Absolutely, he’s really tough. He wants to win, and he’s ready to roll.”

Van Dyke leads an offense that ranks second in the ACC in scoring (37.7 points per game). He is tied for the league with 16 touchdown passes, and his 286.8 yards-per-game average ranks second.

Miami slot receiver Xavier Restrepo leads the ACC with 47 catches. In receiving yards, Restrepo (574) and Jacolby George (462) rank third and fourth, respectively.

Hurricanes running back Henry Parrish Jr. — who lost a fumble at the goal line against North Carolina — ranks sixth in the league in rushing yards (452) and seventh in average yards per carry (6.3).

Defensively, the Hurricanes rank third in the ACC in average points allowed (19).

Miami hasn’t beaten Clemson since 2010.

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney is one win away from 166 career victories, a total that would break a tie with the late Frank Howard for the school record.

“Hopefully, I’m here a long time, and we win many more games,” Swinney said. “But Frank Howard is Clemson.”

The Tigers, who are coming off a bye week, have had their struggles offensively this year, especially in a 28-7 season-opening loss at Duke. Overall, Clemson ranks fifth in the league with a 32.2-point scoring average.

Clemson’s Cade Klubnik ranks sixth in the ACC in average passing yards (228.3) and Will Shipley ranks sixth in rushing yards (450).

Defensively, the Tigers rank fourth in the league in average points allowed (19.3).

–Field Level Media