9.9 - FPI Projected Wins
ESPN’s Football Power Index paints a much rosier picture for Miami than it did during the preseason. The ‘Canes opened the season with the 21st best FPI rating and a prediction of 8.0 wins. After its 4-0 start, Miami has improved to the 15th best rating and a prediction of 9.9 wins.
Miami’s strong start certainly surpassed the majority of State of the U’s expectations. Most of us had Miami at 7 or 8 wins. KappaCane and Jake Marcus were bold enough to predict 9 wins.
197.81 - TVD’s Passer Rating
Tyler Van Dyke’s passer rating is second (!!) in the nation behind only Caleb Williams, USC’s defending Heisman winner. TVD also has the No. 2 passer grade according to Pro Football Focus behind Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. Van Dyke’s transformation has been incredible considering how far he regressed last year.
8-2 - Combined Record of Texas A&M and Miami (OH)
If you measure a season by who you beat, it’s a promising sign that Miami’s top two non-conference opponents are undefeated against football teams not named Miami.
After getting crushed by the Hurricanes 38-3 in their season opener, the RedHawks have rattled off 4 straight wins including a 31-24 win at the Big XII’s Cincinnati Bearcats. As for Texas A&M, the Aggies have started their SEC schedule 2-0 with two strong home wins: 27-10 vs. Auburn and 34-22 vs. Arkansas.
These are good football teams who should receive upper-tier bowl invitations. Beating them handily is a testament to the program’s improvement from last year. Heck, Texas A&M could even land in the SEC title game, depending on how they fare this weekend at home against Alabama.
0 - Players Injured for the Whole Season
Sure, there’s been injuries. None were scarier than seeing All-American safety Kamren Kinchens being carted off the field in the waning moments of the Texas A&M game. But Monday morning Cristobal said that Kinchens is ready to go this weekend for Georgia Tech.
Cristobal: Miami All-American Kam Kinchens to return for Georgia Tech after scary injury https://t.co/cc3UY0Yu53— Miami Herald (@MiamiHerald) October 2, 2023
But this isn’t just about Kinchens. Other key contributors such as Mark Fletcher (concussion), Matt Lee (lower extremity), Henry Parrish (upper extremity), Akheem Mesidor (lower extremity), and Branson Deen (lower extremity) have all missed time, but all seem to be on the mend. Fletcher cleared concussion protocol and returned for the Temple game. Shortly after the Temple game, Cristobal described Parrish and Lee’s injuries as “not serious.” Mesidor and Deen may or may not be back this week, but it shouldn’t be too much longer for them. An added bonus is that TE Elijah Arroyo, RB TreVonte’ Citizen, and OT Zion Nelson are reportedly all close to returning from their injuries that have held them out since the start the season.
Point being is that the injury bug is biting way less than it did last season and nobody has already been ruled out the whole season. Knock on wood.