The Miami Hurricanes came out determined to put the failings of 2022 behind them, and started to do just that with a 38-3 win over the Miami (OH) Redhawks on Friday night.
Led by a steady (and occasionally spectacular) passing game, and a workmanlike running game, the Canes imposed their will on the visitors from Oxford, OH and cruised to a relatively easy victory.
Early on, Miami went to the air and took advantage of a great play to open the score. On just the 3rd play from scrimmage, Canes QB Tyler Van Dyke hit WR Colbie Young on a slip screen. Young did the rest, stumbling for a bit, bur regaining his balance and outrunning the defense for a 44 yard score.
After that, things slowed down for the Canes. The defense was stout, holding the Redhawks to 4 3-and-outs in their first 6 drives. New players on the defense showed their value, with LBs Francisco Mauigoa —older brother of true freshman RT Francis Mauigoa — and KJ Cloyd leading the way. Branson Deen and Jaden Davis also showed their value with key plays.
Miami — the Hurricanes, duh — were able to move the ball after forcing those Miami (OH) punts, but unable to find the endzone again in the first half. It’s a good thing, then, that they have one of the best kickers in America — Andres Borregales. He hit kicks from 32, 34, and 43 to help propel his team to a 16-3 halftime lead.
In the second half, the Hurricanes were able to put together a couple early scoring drives and push the margin from close to non-competitive. A 26 yard Mark Fletcher TD run (and accompanying 2pt conversion) — the first of his career — and a dynamic 12 yard score from Henry Parrish pushed the Canes’ lead to 31-3, and enabled younger players to get experience on both sides of the ball.
In his season debut, QB Tyler Van Dyke was solid if unspectacular. 17-22 passing for 201 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception. Van Dyke was clearly hampered by an injury to his throwing hand, but even without that, he threw the ball into harms way more often than you’d like. Still, it was a a solid night, but much more will be needed from him for Miami to reach their goals this season.
Both Emory Williams and Jacurri Brown got time at QB after TVD exited the game, in that order. More will be needed from both, but that’s an early look at next year’s QB battle for the Canes.
Miami’s offense was very balanced on the day. The OL did a good job in pass protection and run blocking. Henry Parrish led the way with 90 yards, followed by Fletcher Jr (76), transfer Ajay Allen (47), and Chaney Jr (38). On the day, the Canes rolled up 250 yards rushing, to go along with 243 yards passing in a balanced offensive effort that fell just short of 500 total yards.
Along with Miami’s first win at home in 356 days (since September 10, 2022 against Southern Miss), one of the bright spots tonight was the fact that 11 true freshmen got into action in the season opener. With a team that’s rebuilding depth, it’s good to get the young kids reps to learn from while the opportunity exists.
Now 1-0 to start the year, Miami shifts their focus to next weekend’s marquee non-conference matchup against the Texas A&M Aggies. That figures to be a much tougher test than the Redhawks were tonight, and we’ll talk more about that as the week progresses.