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Miami Can’t Afford Another Bye Week Slump

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Miami hasn’t been strong off of bye-weeks this season

Virginia Tech v Miami Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

From the outside looking in, the Miami Hurricanes should be able to run the FIU Panthers out of the stadium on Saturday. Though their records are similar, Miami at 6-4 and FIU at 5-5, these two teams are not equal when it comes to talent, and it’s clear that the Canes are the better team. Though, the fact that the Hurricanes are coming off a bye-week could potentially hurt them.

Two previous times this season, Miami has had the “luxury” of bye-weeks, and while bye-weeks are normally looked at in sports as a positive, they’ve been anything but for the Hurricanes in 2019.

The first game off of a bye came against the North Carolina Tar Heels in the first week of September. UNC came out and hit Miami right in the mouth, jumping out a quick 17-3 first quarter lead. UM lost that game 28-25.

A month later, Miami was again coming off a bye-week, and this time they were hosting the Virginia Tech Hokies at Hard Rock Stadium. Jarren Williams threw three quick interceptions, and Va Tech came out up 21-0 at the end of the first. UM lost 42-35.

So that means, in the two first quarters Miami has played in off of bye-weeks, they’ve been outscored 38-3, and have wound up losing both games.

Now I know that FIU isn’t on the level of UNC or Virginia Tech, but the Hurricanes also can’t get into that mind set either. Miami is currently riding a three game winning streak and has tons of momentum going their way, so a slow start against the Panthers on Saturday is not what they need.

The Canes would do well to come out Saturday like they did against Louisville in their previous game, where Miami put up 21 first quarter points, scoring on all three drives in the first 15 minutes.

They then added two more scoring drives in the second quarter to take a 35-14 lead into the halftime locker room, en route to a 52-27 victory

I’m not saying that the Canes will lose to FIU if they’re not up 21-0 after the first quarter, but it would be nice to see Miami not be affected by their latest bye-week and start finish. So keep a close eye on how prepared Manny Diaz and his team are right from the opening kickoff.