Miami football creating big offensive plays limiting defensive ones key vs. MSU

Sep 4, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 4, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby-USA TODAY Sports /

In 2020, the Miami football team had one of the most explosive offenses in college football. The Hurricanes offense has regressed in 2021 despite returning 11 starters. Against Michigan State on Saturday, big plays are going to be critical. Miami has to create big plays on offense and limit them defensively.

Michigan State ranks 17th nationally with four plays of 40 yards or more. The Spartans have started each of its first two games with a  75-yard touchdown. With 27 plays of 10 or more yards, Miami ranks 74th nationally. That is the Hurricanes highest ranking when measuring explosive plays in increments of 10 yards.

Michigan State is one of the best defenses nationally preventing big plays. The Spartans rank eighth allowing only 14 plays of 10 or more yards combined against Northwestern and Youngstown State. Miami is going to have a tough time offensively creating big plays. Michigan State has played a bend but don’t break defense in 2021.

The Spartans have been susceptible on third down. Michigan State ranks 92nd nationally allowing opponents to convert 42.5 percent on third down. Miami is 82nd converting 36.67 percent of their third downs. Miami will have to avoid third and long and hit on some big plays to alleviate the pressure of long drives.

Michigan State was missing three defensive linemen against Youngstown State. Two are working their way back according to Spartans’ head coach Mel Tucker. Itayvion “Tank” Brown is not expected to play for Michigan State. The Spartans are 43rd nationally with five sacks in its first two games.

Miami is tied for 100th nationally allowing an average of three sacks per game. Against what could be a decimated Michigan State DL, the Hurricanes have to be able to protect D’Eriq King giving him time to throw. The key should be wide receiver, Charleston Rambo. Rambo is expected to be the deep threat Miami lacked in 2020.

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Rambo has 12 receptions for only 86 yards through the first two games of the season. With Oklahoma, Rambo averaged 15.5 yards per reception. Rambo is averaging only 7.7 YPC with the Miami football team. The Hurricanes need him to produce more. Even possession receivers average more than 7.7 YPC.