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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: NC State Wolfpack 2023 Edition

Oh hey look, further offensive regression and a game that could have been won getting away from Miami. GREAT!

Miami v NC State Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

Miami went on the road to start November and lost at NC State 20-6.

Mike Schiffman delivered his 3 stars from the game

And, since I’m late writing this, Justin Dottavio’s film review is also up

And now, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly:

The Good

  • The defense. Absent one drive (which was a back breaker when it happened but we’ll talk about that later), Miami’s defense dominated this game. They were fast, physical, and disruptive. I want to say this here and now: this loss was NOT on them.
  • James Williams with a huge hit to end NC State’s 2nd drive. QB thought he could run and get the first down. Then, a Mack Truck from the secondary wearing a white #20 jersey arrived on the scene in a HURRY. WOOOOOO!!!!
  • Jaden Davis, given a free run cuz multiple OL were blocking Rueben Bain on the play, sacks NC State’s QB, and forces a fumble. Recovered by Jared Harrison-Hunte. This play would end up going for naught, as TVD threw YET ANOTHER interception on the ensuing drive. However, the play to get the TO? It was good.
  • Mark Fletcher. The true freshman RB had a career game, with 23 carries for 115 yards. He was a physical presence in the run game, and showed why he was such a sought-after recruit. Bravo to you, 22!
  • While the rest of these numbers aren’t great, I’m going to list them to illustrate all the areas in which Miami outperformed NC State last night. Which is all for naught cuz the scoreboard favored the Wolfpack. But this will show how improbable that was.
  • Outgained NC State 292-231
  • Won time of possession 35:16 to 24:44
  • Threw for 50 more yards
  • Ran for 9 more yards
  • Had 7 more 1st downs (19-12)
  • Ran 70 offensive plays to their 48
  • Had a (barely) higher completion percentage (55% to 52%)
  • 5 TFLs
  • 2 Sacks
  • 4 QB hurries
  • 2 PBUs
  • 1 Forced Fumble (Davis on the aforementioned strip sack)
  • 1 Fumble Recovered (Harrison-Hunte on that same play)
  • 1 Interception (Kinchens)
  • All of that....AND LOST!

The Bad

  • Losing. It sucks and I hate it. You know this by now.
  • Honestly, outside of one, 97 yard drive, DOMINATING this game and losing. That’s a real killer.
  • Andres Borregales’ missed FG. That didn’t lose Miami the game, but it didn’t help. Only his 2nd miss of the year (the other being in the Texas A&M game), but it stung nonetheless.
  • Nah. Everything else is going in The Ugly. Moving on.....

The Ugly

  • QB Tyler Van Dyke. This is a PROBLEM. His regression, whether injury based, psychologically based, or...????? has killed anything Miami wants to do offensively.
  • Let’s look at the numbers: 21-38 for 173 yards, 0 TD, 3 INT, and a lost fumble. So, all 4 of Miami’s turnovers were of his giving.
  • And, to be clear, there were open receivers! But Van Dyke’s psyche is so broken he’s scared to throw the ball now. And even then, still finds ways to throw it to the other team.
  • FOR EXAMPLE, on 4th and goal, this is an RPO. Which means there’s the option to throw it. To Colbie Young. WHO WAS WIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIDDDDDDEEEEEEEE open in the endzone. All alone. Nobody within 10 yards. And Tyler handed it off for fear of fucking up. Well, Tyler, I’m sorry to inform you....
  • TVD’s last TD pass? At North Carolina on October 14th. Sure, he missed a game in there, but his next TD throw will be about a MONTH after his last one.
  • TVD’s last 4 games: 96/152 passing (63.2% completions) for 1,015 yards. with 5 TDs and 10 INTs, and a lost fumble.
  • TVD’s last 2 games: 41/68 passing (60.1% completions) for 336 yards, 0 TDs, 5 INTs, and a lost fumble.
  • TVD’s last 2 games have been the worst games of his career, next to the Middle Tennessee State game from 2022. So we’re LITERALY watching the worst performances we’ve ever seen from him, at the tail end of his 3rd year starting.
  • Van Dyke has been so putrid, that his performance has hamstrung OC Shannon Dawson and the offense overall. Sure, Dawson could be a bit more creative, but to what end? Tyler can’t read it or make the throws. And the run game, which is OBVIOUSLY the strength of the offense at present — since the QB is as likely to throw the ball to the opposition as his own receivers — doesn’t have much room to work, bc other teams are bringing everybody into the box to stop the run since they know that the Miami passing game is non-existent at present.
  • This is harsh, but I believe fair, criticism. Van Dyke is regressing in front of our eyes. If he’s too hurt to be effective, then either he needs to admit that or the coaches need to see that and sit him down for his own health. But this shell of a player — who has had some of the most dynamic passing performances in Hurricanes history — cannot be the only or best option for Miami at QB. That’s just not possible.
  • 6 penalties for 55 yards. I know it was chippy out there, but still. Can’t have that.
  • 4-15 on 3rd down
  • 0-2 on 4th down
  • 1-3 red zone scoring
  • 0-3 red zone touchdowns
  • Allowing 3-3 red zone scoring for NC State, including 2 TDs. Ballgame.
  • Being inside the NC State 5 yard line twice and scoring a COMBINED 3 pts
  • 0 Touchdowns overall
  • 4 Tyler Van Dyke turnovers — 3 interceptions and a lost fumble
  • 0 explosive plays. Not. A. Single. One.
  • More injuries. Starting CBs Darryl Porter Jr and Jaden Davis both left the game and didn’t return. That’s on top of the M*A*S*H* unit injury situation the defense is already undergoing. Simply put: Miami doesn’t have the depth of game-ready players to withstand this rash of injuries.
  • The advanced stats dashboard is a bloodbath. Remember, green is good, purple is bad. You won’t find any green on Miami’s side of things.
  • None of Miami’s offensive performance on the day was better than 25th percentile. And Havoc rate, usually a strength, was fine at 39th percentile. but that’s IT! Everything else, super duper trash.
  • I honestly don’t know what else to say. That was a shitshow of a performance from the offense, and the majority of that rests squarely on Tyler Van Dyke’s putrid performance.

Team Grades

Offense: F - - -

Save Mark Fletcher’s incredible work in his first career 100+ yard game, this was a nightmare. Tyler Van Dyke is clearly broken physically and mentally, and no matter what plays are schemed up or called, it doesn’t matter. He’s unable to make the plays, and that cost Miami. Sorry, but this is all on Tyler.

Defense: B+

I know I’m going to get pushback on this, but the defense was dominant today. No, they didn’t pitch a shutout, but if the offense had given them anything, this is a win. The only thing downgrading their performance from an A was the 97 yard TD drive NC State had in the 4th quarter. That was a backbreaker, NCSU’s longest scoring drive of the year, and the series that put the game FULLY out of reach. Still, this unit did their job all night long. And I’m not going to let you forget that.

Special Teams: C-

Punting was fine. Returns were okay. Coverage was good. Borregales missed a FG, and that’s the big demerit here.

Coaching: D

This is a tough one for me. Guidry and defense? That coaching was a solid B+/A. Dawson and offense? Tyler Van Dyke is such a broken player, that even the good play calls looked like shit, so it’s hard to gauge. Cristobal and game management? Still left much to be desired.

But on that last point, the game management decision to continue to play Tyler killed this game. That has to be addressed. And look, I saw the clip after the game. I’ll embed it here below, but I’ll also give you the translation to the coach-speak: they’re not considering a change at QB and Tyler will be out there with the 1st team offense next weekend.

I honestly don’t know what else to say. Good job having the team play hard until the end. But, there are some tough conversations and decisions to be made with this coaching staff. And they start and end with Tyler Van Dyke,.

That’s it for this installment of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.


On to Florida State we go.

Go Canes