Miami Hurricanes need to force Appalachian State turnovers

BOONE, NC - SEPTEMBER 17: Ahmmon Richards
BOONE, NC - SEPTEMBER 17: Ahmmon Richards /

Last season Appalachian State quarterback Chase Brice led the nation with 15 interceptions thrown and six lost fumbles. Against the Miami Hurricanes last season, Brice was 20/25 for 94 yards without an interception but he did lose a fumble. Miami forced four Blue Devils fumbles in a 48-0 victory in Durham.

Brice was 20-27 for 259 yards, two touchdowns, one interception but did lose a fumble in Appalachian State’s 33-19 season-opening victory over East Carolina last Thursday. The Brice interception was the only turnover by Appalachian State to two forced by the Mountaineers defense.

The Miami Hurricanes need to make sure that the turnover chain makes its first appearance of 2021 at Hard Rock Stadium on Saturday. Appalachian State finished 56th in turnover margin per game in 2020. The Mountaineers forced 18 turnovers last season and committed 17. Miami finished 38th in turnover margin in 2020.

The Hurricanes forced 16 turnovers and committed 12. Miami was among the best nationally at avoiding turnovers in 2020. The Hurricanes have to force more turnovers this season. It is difficult to measure any team against Alabama. The Hurricanes were minus two against the Crimson Tide.

Quarterback D’Eriq King uncharacteristically threw two interceptions and lost a fumble against Alabama. King threw only five interceptions and had two fumbles in 2020. The Miami offense operates at its highest level when they and particularly King avoid turnovers. Miami was third in the ACC in 2020 with 12 turnovers.

With the high rate that Brice turned the ball over last season expect Manny Diaz to dial up a lot of blitzes against the Appalachian State signal-caller. Miami forced 15 turnovers in their eight wins in 2020 and only one in their three losses. Five of those turnovers came against Duke with four on lost fumbles.

Next. Miami 2021 defense should be judged by turnovers and red zone. dark

Miami has to get back to forcing turnovers as a defense. In 2017 when Miami won the ACC Coastal the Hurricanes tied for fourth nationally forcing 31 turnovers in a 10-3 season. That was the first year of the turnover chain. A year later Miami was 16th with 25 turnovers forced. Expect more turnovers with Diaz calling defensive plays.