Miami Hurricanes pass offense hitting stride before layoff

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

The Miami Hurricanes passing offense was beginning to hit its stride before their two-week layoff.

The Miami Hurricanes pass offense has improved considerably throughout the 2020 season. As the calendar has turned to November, quarterback D’Eriq King and his receiving corps have started to build a rapport. The Miami pass offense was on pace to have by far its best month before the two-week forced layoff.

The Miami Hurricanes averaged 266.7 passing yards per game in September, dropped to 221.7 in October and 343 PYPG in two games in November. The biggest reason for the improvement of the Hurricanes passing game has been the progress of the Miami wide receivers. Senior WR Mike Harley has become the go-to for King.

Harley has played his best football in November. In wins over North Carolina State and Virginia Tech, Harley has 15 receptions for 234 yards and two touchdowns. That was preceded by a 10 reception for 170 yards and one TD game against Virginia to end October. Harley has already set career highs in receptions and receiving yards.

November has been by far the best month for King with Miami. In two games, King has completed 69.6 percent of his pass attempts, is averaging 8.7 yards per attempt with six TDs, no interceptions, a 167.52 passer rating and is averaging 342.5 yards per game. King is 27th nationally averaging 260. PYPG.

King is the ninth leading passer in yards per game nationally in November and 15th in completion percentage. The Miami passing game can still improve to another level this season. Miami will get a chance to put up big numbers in their last three games against three of the worst pass defenses in the country.

North Carolina is 92nd nationally in pass defense, Georgia Tech 98th and Wake Forest 104th. The Tar Heels allow 261.8 passing yards per game, the Yellow Jackets 268.9 and Demon Deacons 275.4. Miami is 38th nationally averaging 268.9 PYPG. In November, the Miami pass offense is ninth averaging 343 PYPG.

Offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee has elevated the Miami offense to another level. King has done an excellent job spreading the ball around to his receivers. Junior WRs Mark Pope and Dee Wiggins and tight end Will Mallory have all been clutch in November. All three have set career highs in receptions and yards this season.

Pope has 10 receptions for 147 yards and two TDs in November. Those are his season highs for any month, despite Miami only playing two games. Wiggins has also reached season highs in November with 15 receptions for 183 yards and one TD in November. Wiggins had career highs of 8-106 against Virginia Tech.

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Mallory had the best game of his Miami career against North Carolina State earlier this month with six receptions for 78 yards and a TD. King threw for 430 and five TDs as Miami won 44-41 in Raleigh. As King continues to develop a connection with his receivers, the Miami passing game should continue to improve in 2020.