Miami Hurricanes WR Mark Pope has nearly exceeded career numbers in 2020

Oct 11, 2019; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 11, 2019; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

Miami Hurricanes wide receiver Mark Pope has quietly nearly doubled his career numbers entering 2020 through the first six games.

Miami Hurricanes wide receiver Mark Pope entered the 2020 season with 19 receptions for 277 yards and two touchdown receptions. Through six games this season, Pope has 18 receptions for 233 yards. Pope added four carries for 24 yards rushing through his four seasons. Pope has emerged in the Miami passing game.

Pope is clearly on pace to nearly double his career highs in receptions and yards for a season. Although he has yet to find the end zone this season. The three best games of Pope’s career against FBS opponents have been this season. Pope had four receptions for 64 yards against Louisville and 4-64 against Florida State.

Pope began the season as the Hurricanes top punt returner but after losing two fumbles was replaced by true freshman Xavier Restrepo. Through the first four games of 2020, Pope had five punt returns for an average of 22.2 yards per return. Pope has four games this season with four or more receptions.

The single-game high for Pope before 2020 were three receptions in 2019 against FCS Bethune-Cookman and in the Miami loss to Louisiana Tech in the Independence Bowl. Miami was able to produce on a pair of deep passes to open the victory against Virginia when D’Eriq King connected with Mike Harley and Will Mallory.

Pope might be the most explosive player in the Miami WR corps. Pope is tied for second on Miami in receptions, third in receiving yards and in yards per reception among players with seven or more receptions averaging 12.9 YPC. Offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee has been creative getting the ball to the WRs in space.

The inconsistent production from Pope, senior Mike Harley and junior Dee Wiggins led to the offensive coaching staff listing all nine scholarship WRs as starters for the win over Virginia last week. Harley had a breakout game with 10 receptions for 170 yards. Pope could be next with some forgiving pass defenses on the schedule.

Next. Miami remaining opponents allow more yards, fewer points. dark

Through the first six games, Miami Hurricanes’ opponent defenses allow a cumulative average of 219.28 passing yards per game. The teams remaining on the Miami schedule allow 257.36 passing yards per game. D’Eriq King should have more open space in the secondary to connect with Pope and the Miami receiving corps.