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Film Forecast: Miami Hurricanes vs. Rutgers Scarlet Knights, Pinstripe Bowl

The Hurricanes head to Rutgers territory to play the Scarlet Knights at Yankee Stadium on Thursday, December 28th.

Rutgers v Penn State Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

The Miami Hurricanes (7-5) head to New York City to face the Rutgers Scarlet Knights (6-6) in the Bad Boy Mowers Pinstripe Bowl. I hope you have off for the holidays because the game is on Thursday, December 28th at 2:15pm eastern.

Miami is giving Jacurri Brown his first start of 2023, which is his 3rd career start. This will be one of the harder bowl games to place bets on as Miami is more talented but has more question marks heading into this pointless exhibition game.

The Doppler

Per Bill Connelly’s SP+, the Hurricanes are a clear favorite in the matchup over the Knights. Miami is 22nd overall in SP+ lined up against Rutgers at 59th overall. Miami’s offense is 32nd in SP+, while the Rutgers defense is 22nd. Rutgers offense is 98th while Miami’s defense is 36th. The ‘Canes have a clear kicking game advantage over the Scarlet Knights, too. Miami is ranked 3rd while Rutgers is 32nd.

Obviously the most important stat is the final score on the scoreboard. In that category, Miami has Rutgers by one win in the regular season. UM is 36th in points per game (30.6) while the Knights are 110th (19.9 PPG).

Miami is 32nd in points per play, while RU is 96th. Miami has the clear lead in yards per play as well. The ‘Canes are 24th in YPP, Rutgers is 110th.

3rd down conversions are huge for offenses and defenses. Miami’s 3rd down offense is only 62nd in FBS, while RU’s is a lowly 86th. This could be a game to bet the over on punts!

The Josh Gattis honorary Time of Possession battle goes to Miami. The ‘Canes and Marioball are 18th in TOP, Schianoball is 44th.

On defense, Rutgers has the points per game allowed advantage at 32nd (22.6) while Miami is 43rd (23.5). Miami’s 3rd down defense is far and away better than RU’s. Miami is 27th, while Rutgers is 82nd.

Two key categories lean to Rutgers- turnover margin and penalties. Rutgers is 33rd in turnover margin with +0.4, Miami is 88th with -0.3. In penalties per game, UM is 83rd (6.3) while RU is 35th (5.1).

Rutgers Offense

RU Running Back Kyle Monangai hit the 1,000 rushing yard mark in ‘23. Monangai also picked up seven TD’s on the ground for Schiano this season. He’ll be a hoss to take down with a depleted defensive line group for Miami.

The Scarlet Knights aren’t known for throwing the rock but WR JaQuae Jackson did average 16.4 yards per catch on 22 receptions with one TD. Christian Dremel led the team in three receiving categories with 34 catches, 440 yards, and three TD’s.

QB Gavin Wimsatt isn’t very good behind center. Wimsatt averaged six yards per attempt with eight INT’s on only nine TD’s. But, Wimsatt can run the football and that’s hurt Miami’s defense. Wimsatt rushed for 488 yards (including sack yardage) and nine TD’s on 4.0 yards per carry.

Above- The Knights run game should scare you to a degree. That deep, slow mesh like Wake Forest could be brutal against a Miami defense that’s over-aggressive. Also the Miami defense has been horrible at tackling in the back end, and two starting safeties are out.

Above- Rutgers lined up and jammed a few short yardage TD’s in on zone runs vs. Temple. Here in space they used the QB on zone read option and he follows the RB as a lead blocker off the pull read.

Above- Miami has made some bad QB’s look good and Rutgers love of Mesh Wheel worries me. They hit it twice for big highlight plays vs. Temple.

Above- Guidry gets impatient and starts to blitz and take risks. If Rutgers picks up the pressure young CB’s will be 1-on-1 vs. these fade routes. I expect Miami to play the fade well because RU can’t throw but veteran WR’s

Rutgers Defense

LB Mohamed Toure was the stud of the RU defense in ‘23. Toure led the team in tackles for loss with 7.5 and sacks with 3.5 while also picking up 85 tackles, and two PBU’s.

Rutgers leading tackler was LB Deion Jennings with 86 stops. Over his career, Jennings has logged 236 tackles and 18.5 TFL’s.

DB Robert Longerbeam led the team in PBU’s with 10 and picked up one INT in ‘23. DB Max Melton led the team in interceptions with three, and logged six PBU’s of his own. Catches will clearly be hard to come by for Miami WR’s.

On the D-Line, Aaron Lewis and Wesley Bailey picked up three sacks a piece this season. They’re a formidable duo for the Miami OL that will miss center Matt Lee if he has officially opted out of the bowl game.

Above- What’s open vs. the Rutgers defense? Mesh wheel came right back at ‘em from Temple. Dawson ran mesh at times and maybe putting Brashard Smith at RB is an option if he’s playing... opts out are a pain in this era.

Above- Two TE sets (12 personnel) are a Miami thing but throwing to the TE’s isn’t. Maybe Brown will get more use of the TE’s because he’s a run threat?

Above- Rutgers pressure gets to the Temple Q for a huge sack. The Miami OL vs. the Rutgers pressure will be interesting to see.

Above- Fade routes should hit against Rutgers, but can Brown get the right ball placement to make these throws an “only my guy” type of pass?

Above- The middle of the defense in the red zone, I’m tellin’ ya. Attack the middle inside the +10 yard line.

Above- The RU defensive backs are big on INT’s and PBU’s. Brown can’t force throws or suffer bad ball placement like on this throw.

The Forecast

ESPN has the Hurricanes as a 66.5% chance at winning over Rutgers. The Canyonero Keys to victory are:

1- Stop the run. DC Lance Guidry needs to load the box and force Rutgers into ‘and long’ situations. Their QB can’t get the job done even with ~3 new starters in the back end for Miami.

2- Play to Brown’s strengths. I really hope Dawson and Cristobal don’t try to make Brown play like Tyler Van Dyke and Emory Williams. Let Brown be Brown and finally adjust the damn offense to your QB. I thought Josh Gattis did that well in ‘22 with Brown.

3- Limit turnovers. Brown was careful with the ball in his first career start against Georgia Tech in ‘22, and then Clemson came and stole his lunch money the week after. The dude hasn’t started in over a year but making bad mental mistakes won’t help his transfer process. As for the running backs and receivers- don’t give a bad RU offense a short field!

Prediction: Rutgers by 3. Rutgers is going to bring their best and Miami is on their 3rd string QB and has a group of key players in the transfer portal and in the NFL Draft prep process. The Scarlet Knights are also playing a ‘near home’ bowl game, and commit less turnovers and penalties.