Sep 24, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders quarterback Chase Cunningham (16) celebrates after throwing a touchdown pass against the Miami Hurricanes during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Chase Cunningham, Middle Tennessee blitz No. 25 Miami

Chase Cunningham passed for 408 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another score as the visiting Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders upset the 25th-ranked Miami Hurricanes, 45-31, on Saturday afternoon.

MTSU’s DJ England-Chisolm caught two passes for 169 yards and two scores. Jaylin Lane had four catches for 130 yards, and Elijah Metcalf had one catch for a 69-yard score.

The Hurricanes (2-2), who have lost two straight games, benched star quarterback Tyler Van Dyke in the third quarter in favor of Jake Garcia.

Miami also suffered unspecified injuries to its top two running backs, Henry Parrish Jr. and Jaylan Knighton.

MTSU (3-1) knocked off an ACC team for the first since beating Syracuse in 2017.

The Hurricanes, who lost 17-9 last week to Texas A&M, struggled in the first half on Saturday, extending their streak to five consecutive quarters without a touchdown.

Miami turned the ball over on its first three possessions, falling behind 24-3 in the second quarter. All three turnovers occurred deep in Miami territory.

The Canes finally scored a touchdown on a six-yard near-lateral pass to Henry Parrish Jr. with 1:20 left in the second quarter, cutting the Canes’ deficit to 24-10.

In the third quarter, MTSU took a 31-10 lead on a 69-yard TD pass to Metcalf.

With 7:43 left in the third, Van Dyke was benched in favor of Garcia, who immediately led the Canes to a 72-yard TD drive. The key play was a 39-yard downfield pass to Key’Shawn Smith, which set up Thad Franklin’s one-yard TD run.

On the first play of the fourth quarter, Miami was stopped on a fourth-and-goal incompletion. On the next play, Cunningham hit England-Chisolm on a fly pattern for a 98-yard score.

Smith took the ensuing kickoff for a 91-yard TD return, cutting Miami’s deficit to 38-24.

But MTSU added Frank Peasant’s one-yard TD run with 8:42 left to put the game away.

–Field Level Media

Sep 17, 2022; College Station, Texas, USA; Miami Hurricanes quarterback Tyler Van Dyke (9) passes against the Texas A&M Aggies during the second half at Kyle Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

No. 25 Miami in search of rebound vs. Middle Tennessee State

Middle Tennessee State is well aware of the daunting task ahead when it hits the road Saturday to face No. 25 Miami and its intimidating defense.

“Those suckers can fly at every position,” Middle Tennessee State head coach Rick Stockstill said of Miami. “They have a really good and talented defense. They put a lot of pressure on you.”

Miami (2-1) is coming off a disappointing 17-9 loss at Texas A&M, although it is tied for the ACC lead in fewest points allowed per game at 12.3. Hurricanes linebacker Corey Flagg Jr. and defensive lineman Leonard Taylor are in the top 10 of the conference in tackles for loss per game at 1.17.

In the loss to Texas A&M, Miami’s defense produced three sacks and held quarterback Max Johnson to 140 passing yards.

“Our front seven, particularly our front four, put a lot of pressure on them,” Hurricanes coach Mario Cristobal said. “We made them uncomfortable. Even some of the throws they made were under duress.”

Next up for Miami is its last nonconference test before beginning the ACC schedule against North Carolina on Oct. 8.

Middle Tennessee State (2-1) hasn’t defeated an ACC team since knocking off Syracuse 30-23 in 2017, but the Blue Raiders don’t lack for confidence.

Raiders quarterback Chase Cunningham, a second-year starter, has improved his accuracy from 62.5 percent last season to an impressive 72.6 in 2022.

Cunningham, who started MTSU’s first five games last year before he sustained a knee injury, is averaging 197.3 yards passing this season.

The Raiders, though, have not proven to be a deep passing threat. Their top two receivers, Izaiah Gathings and Yusuf Ali, are both averaging less than 8.1 yards per catch.

Top running back Frank Peasant is averaging 72.7 yards per game and 5.0 per carry as the Raiders have lost to James Madison (44-7) before beating Colorado State (34-19) and Tennessee State (49-6) the past two weeks.

When Miami has the ball, quarterback Tyler Van Dyke will be looking to redeem himself after a mediocre performance against the Aggies.

The primary issue for Van Dyke last week is that he couldn’t get the Hurricanes in the end zone. And while he did pass for 217 yards, he was just 21 of 41 in the air.

Miami running backs Henry Parrish Jr. (85 yards, 5.3 average) and Jaylan Knighton (77 yards, 5.5) were impressive against the Aggies.

But the Hurricanes have two issues to clean up Saturday.

Without injured receiver Xavier Restrepo, Miami will look for a go-to target, with candidates including tight end Will Mallory and wide receivers Jacolby George and Key’Shawn Smith.

And Miami’s special teams had a fumbled punt, a blocked field goal and a missed field goal against Texas A&M.

“We’ve got to score touchdowns,” Cristobal said.

Meanwhile, the Raiders could have some fun plays in store for the Hurricanes.

Last week, MTSU used a “heavy backfield” in a goal-line situation, taking out four wide receivers and inserting four defensive linemen: Ja’Kerrius Wyatt, Zaylin Wood, Jordan Ferguson and Marley Cook.

“They’re the most aggressive blockers I’ve ever seen,” Peasant said. “Once we called that, it was an automatic touchdown.”

–Field Level Media

Sep 10, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Hurricanes quarterback Tyler Van Dyke (9) attempts a pass against the Southern Miss Golden Eagles during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

In search of rebound, No. 24 Texas A&M meets No. 13 Miami

The heat will be on Saturday night when No. 13 Miami visits No. 24 Texas A&M at College Station, Texas.

Texas A&M (1-1) is coming off a humbling home loss to a mid-major squad, falling 17-14 to Appalachian State last weekend.

That loss sent the Aggies tumbling from their previous ranking of No. 6 in the nation. It also left coach Jimbo Fisher contemplating a switch at quarterback after Haynes King led the offense to just seven points in the loss, not counting a special-teams touchdown.

LSU transfer Max Johnson and true freshman Conner Weigman are the options if Fisher is intent on making a change. Center Bryce Foster is expected to return Saturday.

Miami (2-0) moved up two spots in this week’s AP poll following a 30-7 home win over Southern Miss. The Hurricanes trailed 7-3 in the second quarter and led just 10-7 at halftime before running away with the victory.

The trip to College Station will be the first major test of the new coaching staff, led by Mario Cristobal.

“We want to play more polished and precise football,” Cristobal said.

When Fisher was at Florida State from 2010-17, his Seminoles played polished football against Miami, going 7-1 in head-to-head meetings.

Now, though, Fisher has some issues to address after Appalachian State dominated time of possession against Texas A&M, holding the ball for nearly 42 minutes to 18:31 for Miami.

The Aggies also lost the turnover battle 2-0, the first-down fight 22-9, and the total-yards contest 315-186.

If there’s a true strength for the Aggies, it’s kick returner Devon Achane, who scored last week on a 95-yard race downfield. Achane also ran one back 96 yards for a touchdown last year against Alabama, giving Miami a keen area of focus on special teams.

Asked about the Hurricanes, Fisher emphasized the challenge.

“They’re a great team,” he said. “Their quarterback (Tyler Van Dyke) is dynamic.”

Van Dyke, projected as a first-round NFL draft pick next year, is coming off a shaky first half against Southern Miss. He rallied in the second half and finished the game 21 of 30 for 255 yards, one touchdown and his first interception of the year.

“I missed throws that I never usually miss,” Van Dyke said. “I make those throws in practice all the time. My mechanics sometimes get a little bit too low.”

Van Dyke also was sacked four times, which he attributed to some issues on the offensive line labeled blocking “miscommunication.”

Miami running back Henry Parrish Jr. enters off two consecutive games of at least 100 yards. The Aggies are familiar with Parrish from his days at Ole Miss.

Miami’s top receiver is Xavier Restrepo, who operates out of the slot. He leads the team in catches (11) and receiving yards (172) and has averaged 15.6 per catch.

The Hurricanes also got back left tackle Zion Nelson and running back Jaylan Knighton from injury last week. Both were on play counts but could be full-go this week. Nelson is a possible high-round NFL talent, and Knighton led Miami in rushing yards (561) and total touchdowns (11) last year.

–Field Level Media

Sep 3, 2022; Hattiesburg, Mississippi, USA; Southern Miss Golden Eagles running back Frank Gore Jr. (3) runs from Liberty Flames cornerback Chris Megginson (4) in the second half at M.M. Roberts Stadium. Liberty won in overtime, 29-27. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

No. 15 Miami takes on So. Mississippi, Frank Gore Jr.

Stop Frank Gore Jr.

That will be Job No. 1 for 15th-ranked Miami (1-0) Saturday afternoon when it plays host to Southern Mississippi (0-1).

Gore, son of the former NFL star running back, ran 32 times for 178 yards, a 5.6 average, and two touchdowns last week in a 29-27 four-overtime loss to visiting Liberty.

“He’s got really good vision and instincts,” Hurricanes defensive coordinator Kevin Steele said. “He got to touch the ball 32 times. That’s a lot.”

Then again, the Golden Eagles — who enter Saturday’s game as 26-point underdogs – completed only four passes against Liberty, throwing the ball only 13 times. That’s not a lot.

Three Golden Eagles players threw the ball against Liberty, including Gore, who went 1-for-4 for 48 yards. Gore, who is from Miami and will be making a homecoming on Saturday, is a running back by trade. But the Golden Eagles at times line him up behind center in a Wildcat formation.

Southern Miss’ main QB is Ty Keyes, a 6-2, 215-pound redshirt freshman who went 4 of 8 for 89 yards against Liberty. He was intercepted twice.

“He’s always been super talented,” Southern Miss coach Will Hall said of Keyes. “He’s just now starting to get it.”

Trey Lowe was the Eagles’ other passer on Saturday, going 0-for-1.

Because of that relatively weak passing game, Miami is expected to feast on a Southern Miss team that is 6-20 going back to the end of the 2019 season.

Miami flexed on Bethune-Cookman last Saturday, winning 70-13, as the Hurricanes scored touchdowns on nine of their 11 possessions. They had only one true error, and that came on a fumbled center-snap exchange. The other non-touchdown drive came when they ran the clock out at the BC 9-yard line at the end of the game.

Against Southern Miss, the Hurricanes have more available talent as star running back Jaylan “Rooster” Knighton is expected to return from injury. He would add to a ground game that already includes Ole Miss transfer Henry Parrish Jr., who rushed for three first-half touchdowns and had 108 yards and a 7.7 average in his Hurricanes debut.

The third running back in Miami’s mix is 6-foot, 240-pound battering ram Thad Franklin, who had nine carries for 78 yards, an 8.7 average and two touchdowns.

Miami quarterback Tyler Van Dyke, a potential first-round NFL pick in 2023, is coming off a light work day when he completed 13 of 16 passes for 193 yards, two TDs and no interceptions in less than three quarters of play.

The Hurricanes’ top receiver was Xavier Restrepo, who caught five passes for 100 yards and one TD.

“It was a pretty good performance by the guys, and I’m really proud of their focus,” Hurricanes offensive coordinator Josh Gattis said. “Tyler went through his reads in the correct way, and he managed the game. Tyler made some big-time throws, especially the deep shot to Restrepo.”

–Field Level Media

Michigan offensive coordinator Josh Gattis watches warmups before a game against Northern Illinois at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021.

Reports: Miami hires Michigan OC Josh Gattis

Michigan offensive coordinator Josh Gattis has agreed to serve in the same role with Miami, multiple media outlets reported on Sunday.

Gattis won the 2021 Broyles Award, given each year to the top assistant coach in the nation.

Gattis was hired as the Wolverines’ offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach before the 2019 season. He is the first Michigan assistant to win the Broyles Award since defensive coordinator Jim Herrmann was honored in 1997.

Under Gattis’ watch, Michigan finished No. 16 in the nation in scoring offense last season at 35.8 points per game. The Wolverines won the Big Ten and clinched a bid in the College Football Playoff.

The reported departure of Gattis will leave Michigan without an offensive and defensive coordinator. Mike Macdonald left the Wolverines to take over the defensive coordinator position with the Baltimore Ravens.

In addition, multiple reports in recent days have had Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh interviewing for the top job with the Minnesota Vikings, though Minnesota is now expected to head in another direction.

–Field Level Media

Nov 26, 2021; Seattle, Washington, USA; Washington State Cougars running back Deon McIntosh (3) and Washington Huskies linebacker Carson Bruener (42) during the first quarter at Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Miami faces uncertain road to meet Wazzu in Sun Bowl

It appears the Miami Hurricanes won’t get to take part in most of the Sun Bowl’s pregame trappings — if they even make it to El Paso, Texas, at all.

A COVID-19 outbreak, with more than 10 players reportedly testing positive, cast a doubt on whether the Hurricanes (7-5) would be able to meet Washington State (7-5) on New Year’s Eve in one of college football’s oldest bowl games.

The Hurricanes were scheduled to travel to El Paso this weekend, but now they might make the trip as late as Dec. 30, Sun Bowl chairman John Folmer told the Miami Herald.

“We’re not looking for anyone else to play but Miami. The people in El Paso are buying tickets because of Miami. People in El Paso follow Miami,” Folmer said.

“If the game was (the week before Christmas), we wouldn’t have them. We told them we’d wait until whenever they could get here, and they responded by saying, ‘We’re going to do the best we can to make it happen, and we’ll arrive when we can, even if it’s one day before the game.”‘

The Hurricanes will be led by interim coach Jess Simpson, even though Mario Cristobal has already been hired to replace the fired Manny Diaz.

Miami has won five of its past six games, scoring 31 or more points in each of the victories.

Freshman quarterback Tyler Van Dyke averaged 365.6 passing yards and threw for 20 touchdowns and just three interceptions in those six games, earning the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Newcomer of the Year award.

“I told myself I was just going to go out there and start playing with confidence,” Van Dyke said. “My teammates have supported me and helped me the rest of the way. I’m very grateful for that.”

Leading receiver Charleston Rambo (79 catches for 1,172 yards and seven touchdowns) has opted out of the bowl game to prepare for the NFL draft, as has defensive tackle Jon Ford.

The same can be said for Washington State’s leading rusher, Max Borghi (880 yards and 12 touchdowns), right tackle Abraham Lucas and cornerback Jaylen Watson.

“We had a lot of conversations about it, and we obviously wish them the best of luck, and we support them,” Cougars coach Jake Dickert said. “Everyone has their own individual situations.”

Deon McIntosh, a Miami-area native, is expected to get most of the carries in Borghi’s absence.

The Cougars could be missing two other members of their offensive line, as left tackle Liam Ryan has been dealing with an unspecified injury and right guard Cade Beresford transferred to Boise State.

Washington State won six of their last eight regular-season games, including snapping a seven-game losing streak in the Apple Cup with a 40-13 victory against rival Washington. Borghi rushed for 129 yards and two touchdowns in that game.

Dickert became the interim coach after Nick Rolovich was dismissed Oct. 18 for failing to comply with Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s mandate that all state employees be vaccinated against the coronavirus. Dickert was named the permanent coach the day after the Apple Cup.

The Cougars and Hurricanes have met once before, in the 2015 Sun Bowl. Washington State built an early lead and held on to win 20-14 as the fourth quarter was played in blizzard-like conditions.

–Field Level Media

Clemson University Athletic Director Dan Radakovich gets off the bus before the game with NC State University at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh, N.C., September 25, 2021.

Ncaa Football Clemson At Nc State

Miami reportedly set to hire Clemson AD to same role

A busy month keeps getting busier for the Miami Hurricanes.

According to multiple reports Wednesday night, the school is set to hire Clemson’s Dan Radakovich as its athletic director. Radakovich has held the same role at Clemson since 2012, and the Tigers’ football team reached four national championship games and won two of those under his watch.

At Miami, Radakovich is expected to become one of the nation’s highest-paid athletic directors. The school plans to make the hiring official Thursday, ESPN reported.

Radakovich is no stranger to the university. He earned a master’s degree from there in 1982.

The report comes one day after Miami introduced Mario Cristobal as its new football coach. Cristobal, a Miami native who previously coached at Oregon, spoke optimistically about the Hurricanes’ future.

“Sky’s the limit,” Cristobal said. “It’s been done before with a lot less. Now it’s an opportunity to take it to a new level with a lot more. Let’s get this thing right.”

Before his stint with Clemson, Radakovich served as Georgia Tech’s athletic director from 2006 through 2012.

–Field Level Media

Sep 25, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Hurricanes running back Cam'Ron Harris (23) runs the ball for a touchdown during the first half against the Central Connecticut State Blue Devils at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Miami RB Cam’Ron Harris declares for NFL draft

The Miami Hurricanes gained a coach but are losing a top offensive weapon.

One day after Miami fired Manny Diaz and hired head coach Mario Cristobal, running back Cam’Ron Harris declared for the 2022 NFL Draft on Tuesday.

Harris, who suffered a season-ending right knee injury in October, announced his decision on social media.

“It’s been a challenging journey for me not finishing the season because God had other plans,” he wrote, in part. “I have decided to declare for the 2022 NFL Draft. Thank you Miami.”

Harris rushed for 409 yards and five touchdowns and caught 11 passes for 119 yards and a touchdown in seven games this season.

A four-star recruit in the 2018 class, Harris finishes his Hurricanes career with 1,794 rushing yards and 22 scores plus 393 receiving yards and four TDs.

–Field Level Media

Nov 27, 2021; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Miami Hurricanes quarterback Tyler Van Dyke (9) with the ball during the first half of the game against the Miami Hurricanes at Wallace Wade Stadium. at Wallace Wade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jaylynn Nash-USA TODAY Sports

Tyler Van Dyke breaks records as Miami cruises past Duke

Tyler Van Dyke threw for 381 yards and three touchdowns, leading the Miami Hurricanes to a 47-10 win over the host Duke Blue Devils on Saturday afternoon in an ACC game at Durham, N.C.

Miami (7-5, 5-3) has won five of its past six games, and Van Dyke has passed for more than 300 yards and at least 3 TDs in six consecutive contests, a Canes record.

The Canes subdued Duke with 44 consecutive points, overcoming a brief 10-3 deficit.

Van Dyke completed 34-of-49 passes, hitting targets such as Charleston Rambo (eight catches, 101 yards, two TDs) and Mike Harley (13 catches, 96 yards).

Rambo broke the Miami single-season reception and yards records with 79 receptions and 1,183 yards. Harley broke the Hurricanes career receptions record with 182 catches.

Previously, those records were held by Leonard Hankerson (72 catches), Allen Hurns (1,162 yards) and Reggie Wayne (172 catches).

Duke (3-9, 0-8) failed on two fake punts and lost its eighth straight game.

Blue Devils running back Mataeo Durant rushed 22 times for 68 yards and finished with 1,241 yards this season. He broke Duke’s single-season rushing record of 1,236, set by Steve Jones in 1972.

Jaylen Stinson had Duke’s only TD, going untouched on a 94-yard kickoff return.

The game started with Stinson’s 37-yard kickoff return, which helped lead to Charlie Ham’s 40-yard field goal. An interception by Miami’s DJ Ivey on that drive was negated by an offsides penalty.

Miami tied the score 3-3 on Andres Borregales’ 35-yard field goal, but Stinson took the ensuing kickoff all the way for a 10-3 Duke lead.

Van Dyke threw TD passes on Miami’s next two possessions: a 21-yard bullet down the middle to Xavier Restrepo and a 12-yard lob to Rambo in the back-right corner of the end zone, which gave Miami its first lead of the day at 17-10.

Miami ended the first half with a 30-10 lead as Jaylan Knighton ran for a two-yard touchdown, and Borregales added field goals of 29 and 25 yards.

The Canes outgained the Devils 356-85 in the first half, including Van Dyke’s 290 passing yards.

In the third quarter, Miami went up 47-10 on Borregales’ 43-yard field goal; Rambo’s 14-yard, one-handed reception in the end zone; and Thad Franklin Jr.’s nine-yard run.

With the lead secure, Miami put in its backups early in the fourth.

–Field Level Media