Miami Hurricanes deep passing game finally works versus Virginia

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - SEPTEMBER 19: (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - SEPTEMBER 19: (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

The Miami Hurricanes deep passing game finally had success on Saturday night in a 19-14 victory over Virginia.

The Miami Hurricanes deep passing game had struggled this season entering their game Saturday night against Virginia. Miami quarterback D’Eriq King was 6-8 for 187 yards and three touchdowns on passes that traveled over 20 yards in the air. The Hurricanes deep passing game was working early in the game.

Per Pro Football Focus King was the third highest graded passer of the week and the five completed passes of throws 20 yards or more downfield led college football in week eight. Per PFF via Dave Lake of Inside the U, the performance King had graded out as the highest by a Miami QB since Brad Kaaya in 2014.

King showed that the Miami Hurricanes offense was committed to the deep ball early. King completed a 32-yard pass to tight end, Will Mallory, on the first play. That was followed by a 43-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Mike Harley on the next play. Harley set career highs with 10 receptions and 170 yards.

Harley accounted for more than half of the 322 yards King threw for and nearly half of his 21 completions. King completed seven passes that went for 25 or more yards to four different receivers. Mallory finished with two receptions for 58 yards against Virginia.

King has completed 61 percent of his passes for 1,398 yards 11 TDs and four interceptions through the first six games of the 2020 season. The added dimension King brings is he has rushed for 301 yards and two TDs this season. King is the sixth ranked QB in FBS per PFF. King is ranked 17th as a passer and third as a runner..

Next. Miami has appeared to pass the torch at running back. dark

The career night for Harley against Virginia and hopeful return of Brevin Jordan against North Carolina State November 5 will hopefully elevate a Miami passing game that was missing in the first five Hurricanes games this season. If Miami can consistently connect deep it should help the rest of the offense this season.