Miami Hurricanes defense has shutdown opponents in fourth quarter

MIAMI, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 19: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 19: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The Miami Hurricanes defense has played its best in the fourth quarter in 2020.

The Miami Hurricanes defense who has often been maligned over the past two seasons has been at their best in the fourth quarter in 2020. Miami has outscored its opponents 59-31 in the fourth quarter. The play of the Hurricanes defense over the final 15 minutes has allowed comebacks from double digits in the last two games.

Miami is 40th in 2020 scoring defense, 52nd allowing 149.5 rushing yards per game and 69th in pass defense allowing 240.4 yards per game. The Hurricanes improve to 39th in rush defense in the fourth quarter holding opponents to 3.3 yards per carry and 29th in pass defense allowing a 106.71 fourth-quarter passer rating.

The Miami Hurricanes defense has allowed their least amount of rushing yards in the fourth quarter by a wide margin. The Hurricanes have given up 200 yards rushing on 60 carries and no TDs in the fourth quarter. Miami has allowed 300 rushing yards in the second quarter but only 2.98 yards per carry.

The Miami pass defense in the fourth quarter has been outstanding. Miami has allowed 456 passing yards and 5.56 yards per attempt in the fourth quarter. A 51.2 completion percentage allowed by the Miami defense and 106.71 passer rating in the fourth quarter is also the lowest 15 minutes this season.

All Plays829111964.11972664611
1st Half81565593.5835332216
2nd Half/OT81356374.7267234255
1st Quarter8693004.351531672
2nd Quarter8872592.9824016144
3rd Quarter8754375.8367219164
4th Quarter7602003.330321591
All Plays8290174601923146127.4955953815
1st Half81449364.696572134.133350186
2nd Half/OT81468155.595874120.945545209
1st Quarter8735068.551050149.773327103
2nd Quarter8714360.645522118.06322383
3rd Quarter8643960.950231139.175521106
4th Quarter8824251.245643106.713624103

Information via CFBStats.Com
Miami is winning games in the fourth quarter they lost last season. Late losses were commonplace for the 2019 Hurricanes. North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and FIU also scored their winning points in the fourth quarter or overtime last season. In 2020 the defense is making winning plays in the fourth quarter.

In addition to being holding opponents enough to provide the offense a chance to win, the Miami defense is making big plays in the fourth quarter. Interceptions by Te’Cory Couch and D.J. Ivey and sacks by Couch and Jaelan Phillips have kept Miami in games and allowed got the ball back for the offense in a position to win.

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With the next two games against the elite offenses of Wake Forest and North Carolina, the Miami defense will have to continue to be at their best over the final 15 minutes. Miami can finish the season 10-1 by winning out against the Demon Deacons, Tar Heels and Georgia Tech. A possible New Year’s Six Bowl game awaits.