The Miami Hurricanes (3-0) are on the road in Week Four against the Temple Owls. The game is set for a 3:30pm (eastern) kickoff on ESPN2.
Both The U and the Owls faced FCS opponents in Week Three. The ‘Canes steam rolled Bethune-Cookman while Temple pounded Norfolk State 41-9 on Saturday. This is Miami’s second Group of 5, and third non-Power 5 opponent through the first four games of the season.
Per Bill Connelly’s SP+ analytics system, the Hurricanes are 22nd in the country at 3-0. The offense is ranked 29th, the defense 18th and the kicking game 20th. Temple, at 2-1, is ranked 103rd overall, 110th on offense, 91st on defense, and 127th in kicking.
Temple is scoring 24 points per game (89th in FBS) while allowing 22 PPG (67th in FBS). Miami is scoring 44.7 PPG (10th in FBS) while allowing only 14.3 PPG (26th in FBS).
Miami is 4th in yards per play while Temple is 111th. The ‘Canes are 5th in points per play, while the Owls are 113th.
The Hurricanes are 123rd in penalties per game with nine and need to clean that up before ACC play. Temple is 45th in penalties / game with five.
Miami is 33rd in turnover margin per game with 0.5 while Temple is 59th in the country with a 0.0.
We’re going to use Temple’s game against Rutgers for our film forecast material. A P5 opponent holds more water than an FCS school for film review purposes.
Temple and Rutgers played a snoozer with the game sitting at 13-0 Scarlet Knights at the half. Temple then hit their lone touchdown on a nine yard pass. The final was 36-7 with Rutgers taking home the win, after a 23 point 4th quarter for RU.
Temple’s offense finished 5-of-16 on 3rd down and 2-of-4 on 4th down. The Owls will go for it on 4th down, so Miami has to be prepared to be a four-down defense.
Temple quarterback, EJ Warner, threw two interceptions while averaging only 4.9 yards per pass attempt. Warner hit Dante Wright for the Owls TD; and Wright, Amad Anderson and Zae Baines had explosive receptions.
Joquez Smith averaged five yards per carry but the Temple run game was stuffed as a whole averaging only 2.8 yards per carry. Rutgers defense came away with only one sack and two TFL’s but 13 registered pass breakups with their two INT’s.
Miami transfer kicker Camden Price made his one PAT attempt, he didn’t attempt a field goal.
Above- Temple dropping in the corner route vs. Rutgers. The Owls ran mesh and the interior mesh caught the LB and S’s eyes. OODA Loop stuff there allowing the WR to come free on the corner route.
Above- When WR’s are bunched up, especially in condensed splits, a lot of communication has to occur in the back end by the safety to that side. We’ve seen James Williams communicate like a wild man back there, it’s needed! DB’s have to talk and adjust on the fly.
Above- Something I want to see from Miami vs. Temple. You shouldn’t have to blitz a ton, but with Akheem Mesidor potentially out Miami might need to use Wesley Bissainthe and Jaden Davis in the pressure game.
Above- Miami’s cornerbacks are much improved. In ‘22 I would just assume this is going to happen again. In ‘23, not so much. Davis, Te’Cory Couch and the guys have done a much better job in coverage in the Lance Guidry defense.
Above- If you read my work even at a 5% clip you know I hate the red zone fade. I’ll stomach it on 1st and 10 but 3rd and 4th down it’s just silly unless you have Calvin Johnson out there.
No1 threat (outside WR) runs the glance (5y slant) and the slot no2 threat runs a baby hitch and go. The Rutgers DB was smoked by getting outside of his man. The inside was free and an easy TD.
Above- Without Kam Kinchens someone needs to step up and be the guy that can pick this type of tipped ball off. Will it be Davis? Williams? Who is going to ball hawk back there for Miami until Kinchens is healthy again?
The Owls defense allowed Rutgers to pick up 8-of-15 third down conversions and stripped and recovered a Rutgers fumble. The RU run game really got going with Kyle Monanagi averaging 5.9 yards per carry and scoring once. The Scarlet Knights scored three times on the ground off of 4.9 yards per carry.
JaQuae Jackson averaged 23.8 yards per catch as the Knights had explosive receptions on the Owls defense. Ja’shon Benjamin caught a 33-yard TD. QB Gavin Wimsatt carved up Temple’s secondary for 9.4 yards per attempt with no turnovers.
The Temple defense picked up a sack, seven TFL’s and five PBU’s against New Jersey’s best. Punter Dante Atton put two punts inside the 20 and there were no returns on either side all game.
Above- Georgia Tech was very aggressive in stripping the ball against Miami under previous regimes. Securing the ball is the 1st thing any ball carrier must rep. Colbie Young fumbled into the end zone against BCU when he let the Wildcats get into his head on Thursday night. Tuck it up and take what you’re given.
Above- What’s open? Van Dyke and Dawson have to find the backs in the flat. Let those guys work. Henry Parrish Jr. has really developed into a nice overall weapon like Travis Homer or Deejay Dallas. He can run, catch, block and has shown more explosive qualities this season.
Above- Van Dyke to Jacolby George, Young or Xavier Restrepo deep is music to our ears. “What’s open?” if that CB lines up inside of seven yards on a Miami WR the fade has to be open. Get the safety away from helping with a curl or dig from no2 and let no1 run the fade.
Above- You know Mario likes seeing this. Tight ends, nasty splits, split zone and a TD. Cam “Scrooge” McCormick should salivate at this kick out block potential.
Above- Parrish is the man for now but Don Chaney has to be excited about the Owls being a little hesitant to finish. Chaney doesn’t need to be fancy, just channel Larry Jones and be a mess of elbows, shoulders and thighs coming downhill at a rotating safety.
1- Look like a real P5 football program. Miami has cleaned up a lot of the mistakes and clearly updated the offensive scheme. There are still issues in the kicking game, but most of the pre-snap penalties and ugly turnovers (next) are a thing of 2022.
2- Turnovers. Ugly turnovers cost Miami the MTSU game in ‘22. I think everyone in the program has put that behind them. Cristobal seems to have gotten the picture on what type of coaches are needed to teach players the game. With that in mind, while Miami is giving the ball away less, they need to take the ball away more. That’ll be hard without Kam Kinchens at safety.
3- Protect Van Dyke. Van Dyke has been protected much better in the Air Raid mold. The ball is out quicker, routes break faster, there’s dump offs available as rush routes again. He’s also saving himself by being more mobile than ever before. His escapability, scrambling, and boot footwork are getting him out of sacks.
I think Miami can beat Temple by much more than the 10 I predicted in the off-season. We’ve seen the product, the offense is MUCH improved. Rutgers put up 23 in the 4th quarter against Temple in Week Two.
Prediction: Miami by 20.