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Three things to watch: bye week

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Let’s watch some enjoyable football as the Hurricanes rest this weekend

NCAA Football: Virginia at Miami
Miami Hurricanes quarterback Tyler Van Dyke (9) runs with the football during Miami’s 30-28 loss to Virginia on September 30 at Hard Rock Stadium.
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

As you likely know by now, the Miami Hurricanes (2-3, 0-1) are off this week before taking on North Carolina on October 16.

So why the weekly article for three things to watch? Well, to be perfectly honest, watching Miami football this season hasn’t been all that fun. And there are other teams playing this season—and games happening this weekend—that are likely going to be highly entertaining and fun to watch.

College football is supposed to be fun. So let’s have some fun this weekend watching. Here are three things to watch during Miami’s bye week that will hopefully entertain you.

Wake Forest (the anti-Miami) looks to stay hot

Wake Forest (5-0, 3-0) is the only undefeated team left in the ACC and the Demon Deacons will look to stay unbeaten when they take on Syracuse in the Carrier Dome on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

If you think about it, Wake Forest is really the exact opposite of Miami as a program right now, the anti-Miami if you will. The Demon Deacons don’t recruit well nationally—they have signed just two 4-star recruits in the last four recruiting classes according to 247Sports.com — but get every ounce of potential out of the players they have signed.

On the flip side, Miami has signed 43 4-star recruits and three 5-star recruits according to 247Sports.com and has players not living up to that potential at every position on the depth chart. But, that’s a discussion for another day.

With quarterback Sam Hartman taking snaps (yes, that Sam Hartman), Wake’s offense is unique, innovative, and successful. There’s really no reason that Wake Forest won’t be 8-0 heading into a tough November portion of its schedule as the Demon Deacons should win October games against Syracuse, Army, and Duke.

Good for the Demon Deacons for doing more with less and being well-coached. The Hurricanes should take notes.

Iowa looks to win a huge Big Ten matchup

I used to think Big Ten football was boring and slow (and still kind of do) but Miami being such a finesse team this season has opened my eyes big time.

If you want to be successful in college football, it starts on the offensive and defensive lines. The Hurricanes have been painfully bad on offense this season because of their putrid offensive line and have regressed on defense because of defensive line—mostly defensive end—issues.

Iowa has no such trouble. The Hawkeyes will host Penn State in a top five matchup on Saturday at 4 p.m. on Fox. Iowa has controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball all season and while it hasn’t always been pretty, the Hawkeyes are winning games their way.

Iowa has a true identity—play great defense, establish the running game, and do the little things well enough to win the football game. If you had to answer the same question about Miami right now, what is the Hurricanes’ identity? I’m not sure they have one.

Iowa will be tested in a massive Big Ten matchup against Penn State on Saturday. A win for the Hawkeyes almost assures them a spot in the Big Ten Championship game in December as they do not have a ranked team left on the schedule after Saturday.

Georgia’s defense for the ages

Did you see this interview with South Carolina coach Shane Beamer after his team lost to Georgia? It’s a doozy.

Refreshing to see a coach be that honest. And he’s right of course. Georgia’s defense is incredibly stacked with talent and is dominant.

I’m not going to position by position on Georgia’s defense and discuss each player but consider this question: is the best player on Miami, Florida, and Florida State’s defenses a Georgia transfer?

Tyrique Stevenson has been Miami’s best defender in the secondary this season, Jermaine Johnson has anchored FSU’s defensive line this year, and Brenton Cox has been huge for Florida. All of those players started their college careers at Georgia. Sheesh.

After physically dominating Arkansas and winning 37-0 without starting quarterback JT Daniels, Georgia will take on rival Auburn on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. The Bulldogs are putting a defense for the ages on the field right now as they have only allowed 13 points in three SEC games.

The schedule gets tougher with Auburn, Kentucky, and Florida coming up but Georgia appears to have one of the best defenses college football has seen in quite some time. Don’t miss it this weekend.