Miami football has to avoid Alabama hangover effect

Sep 4, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 4, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Miami football team has to rebound from its 44-13 loss to Alabama on Saturday when they host Appalachian State this week. Alabama has routinely won season-opening games at neutral sites convincingly beginning with a 34-10 victory over Clemson in 2008. Alabama’s opponents have gone 9-1 in their next games.

The only team Alabama defeated in a neutral site season opener that lost its next game was Florida State in 2017. Florida State lost 24-7 to Alabama and lost 27-21 to North Carolina State in its next game. Five of Alabama’s opponents have played FCS teams in their next game. FSU was the only one to have a Power Five opponent.

Other than Florida State playing NC State, the Miami football team might have the toughest second game opponent for any of the teams that opened against Alabama. Appalachian State defeated East Carolina 33-19 in Charlotte to begin the season on Thursday. The Mountainers are 64-15 since the beginning of the 2015 season.

Miami has not played well in neutral-site openers against ACC teams recently. The Hurricanes began the 2018 season with a 33-17 loss to LSU at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. Miami lost 24-20 to Florida in Orlando in 2019. The Miami football team won its next game in 2018 but lost its second game in 2019 to North Carolina.

"Alabama Neutral site opponents in season openers2008 Clemson 34-10/W 45-17 Citadel2009 Virginia Tech 34-24/W 52-10 Marshall2012 Michigan 41-23/W 31-25 Air Force2013 Virginia Tech 35-10/W 45-3 Western Carolina2014 West Virginia 33-23/W 54-0 Towson2015 Wisconsin 35-17/W 58-0 Miami (OH)2016 USC 52-6/W45-7 Utah State2017 FSU 24-7/L27-21 NC State2018 Louisville 51-14/W 31-7 Indiana State2019 Duke 42-3/W 45-13 NC A&T"

CBS Sports wrote about the prospect for Miami against Appalachian State and the remainder of the season. The numbers indicate that teams rebound from losing to Alabama. Including Miami, Alabama has defeated season opening neutral site opponents by an average of 21.3 points per game.

"17. Miami (14): Just don’t get beat twice, Miami. You’ve seen it happen to numerous Alabama opponents in these kickoff games, and sometimes it doesn’t just impact Week 2 but the entire season.Appalachian State is a tough opponent, and it’s going to test Manny Diaz and the leadership of this roster to get the team dialed in for the Mountaineers on (Saturday). That win would solidify the Hurricanes as a top 25 team, while a loss would certainly bounce them from the rankings and create an uphill climb back."

Five Alabama season opening neutral site opponents played FBS programs in their next game. Those teams outscored their opponents by an average of 27.8 PPG. Miami needs to come out with the same sense of urgency against Appalachian State as the four teams who won convingly against Group of Five opponents.

dark. Next. Miami still rated high by Pro Football Focus

The Miami losses in 2018 and 2019 led to seasons of 7-6 and 6-7. Miami has to put the loss to Alabama behind them and focus on the remainder of the season. The Hurricanes can still acomplish winning the ACC Coastal Division and potentially earning a berth in a New Years Six Bowl Game.