Miami football needs to be productive third down vs UAB

MIAMI, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 23:(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 23:(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

Third down conversions in the UAB-Miami football game will prove to be more critical than most games. The Blazers’ strength in 2019 will match-up against the Hurricanes’ weakness.

Third down conversions in the UAB against Miami football game match the Blazers third-ranked third-down defense in 2019 against the Hurricanes 129th or second-worst third-down offense last season. New Hurricanes quarterback D’Eriq King and new offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee will give Miami a fresh look offensively.

In their season opener against Central Arkansas, UAB allowed the Bears to convert six our of 13 third-down attempts. The 46.1 percent conversion rate by Central Arkansas would have put the UAB defense 117th nationally in 2019. Miami reaching close to that conversion rate should lead to a successful outcome against UAB.

Miami was abysmal on third down in 2019. The Hurricanes converted 44 out of 162 third-down attempts for a 27.16 rate. Only Akron who finished 0-12 in 2019 was worse on third down offensively than Miami last season. Improving on third down is critical for Miami in 2020. They should have a good test against UAB.

The Blazers defense was one of the best in the country overall in 2019 in addition to being stout on third down. UAB was 28th in scoring defense allowing 21.6 points per game and eighth allowing 301.9 yards per game. Central Arkansas had 293 yards on offense but produced 35 points from three turnovers.

UAB played one game against a Power Five team in 2019. Tennessee scored 30 points because of four Blazers turnovers. The UAB defense was consistent allowing 302 yards and holding the Volunteers to five of 13 on third down. Lack of success on third down by the Miami offense played a huge role in losses to CUSA teams in 2019.

Miami was 1-10 on third down in a 30-24 loss to FIU in 2019 and 5-14 in a 14-0 loss to Louisiana Tech last season. Many factors go into why a team is not successful on third down. Success on the ground against the Blazers will go a long way towards determining how Miami performs on third down.

Next. Expect Miami to produce TO chain often versus UAB. dark

In 2019, Miami ranked 120th in rushing in 2019 averaging 118.08 yards per game. With D’Eriq King at quarterback and Rhett Lashlee hired as the new Miami offensive coordinator the expectations for the Hurricanes offense are much higher in 2019. Staying out of third and long will be critical in the season opener against UAB.