D’Eriq King has improved significantly throwing deep ball last two games

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

D’Eriq King has improved throwing deep after struggling earlier this season.

After completing eight passes in 33 attempts on passes that were 20 yards or more in the air through the first five games this season, D’Eriq King had six completions against both Virginia and North Carolina State on passes that went that far. King was 6-7 for 187 yards and a TD in Miami’s 19-14 win against Virginia.

King was 6-11 for 176 yards and three TDs in the 44-41 Miami win over North Carolina State. King had 430 passing yards and 105 rushing yards against the Wolfpack. The Miami receiving corps had its best game of the season. The top four receivers for Miami against NC State all had receptions for at least 25 yards.

After a long reception of 21 yards through the first four games, senior WR Mike Harley has long receptions of 38, 43 and 54 yards in each of the last three games. Harley has 18 receptions for 322 yards and three TDs in the last two games. WRs Dee Wiggins and Mark Pope and tight end Will Mallory contributed last week.

Pope had six receptions for 97 yards and a TD with a long of 39 yards in the win over NC State, Wiggins had 7-77 and a 39 yard TD reception and Mallory finished with 6-78 and a TD with a long of 27 yards. Miami offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee spoke about King’s development on long balls as quoted by the Miami Herald.

"“We always knew he could throw a good deep ball…It takes time to get on the same page.”"

Miami will be challenged to complete passes deep against Virginia Tech on Saturday. The Hokies are tied with Clemson for third in the ACC with only 21 deep passes allowed in seven games this season. Miami is fifth in the ACC with 30 completions for 20 or more yards. That is any pass play over 20 yards, not just in the air.

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Miami has to continue to make big plays. The Hurricanes offense has evolved throughout the season. Miami’s 620 yards against NC State were its highest this season, 103 more than the Hurricanes had against Florida State. Miami averaged 7.5 yards per play, which is its second-highest output to an 8.1 average versus Louisville.