Miami football win over Central Connecticut State needs perspective

Sep 25, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 25, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

The 69-0 victory by the Miami football team over Central Connecticut State on Saturday needs perspective. Central Connecticut State dropped to 1-3 with the loss. The Blue Devils lost to FCS Southeast Louisiana 56-10 last weekend. There is a vast difference where Miami ranks as a team with Saturday’s numbers taken out.

After Saturday’s games, against FBS teams, the Miami football team ranks 104th in scoring offense, 101st in scoring defense, 82nd in scoring offense and 101st in scoring defense. Those numbers change drastically among FBS teams in all games. The blowout win for Miami over Central Connecticut State was expected.

When adding the stats against Central Connecticut State, Miami ranks 59th in scoring offense, 83rd in scoring defense, 32nd in total offense and 72nd in total defense. The true Miami football team is somewhere between all those numbers. Saturday was the first time Miami played an FCS team since 2019.

All ACC teams played only one non-conference game in 2020. Miami defeated UAB 31-14 to open their 2020 season. The Hurricanes defeated FCS Bethune-Cookman 63-0 in 2019. Other than getting young players snaps, FBS teams do not gain much by playing against FCS opponents.

Young Miami quarterbacks Tyler Van Dyke and Jake Garcia were able to compete in a live game replacing injured starter D’Eriq King. King is out indefinitely with an injured shoulder. Van Dyke made the first start of his college career and was 10-11 for 245 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.

Garcia was 11-14 for 147 yards, two TDs, no interceptions and one carry for 45 yards. King seems likely to be out when Miami hosts Virginia in their ACC opener on Thursday. Neither Van Dyke nor Garcia separated themselves on Saturday. With one more year of experience, Van Dyke seems more likely to start.

Miami had by far its best game of the season against Central Connecticut State. The Hurricanes set a program record with 739 yards. Miami had 417 yards passing and five TDs and 322 rushing with another five TDs. The previous 2020 highs on offense were 440 total yards and 388 passing against Michigan State.

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Miami had a season-high 175 yards rushing against Appalachian State. The Miami defense set season bests across the board in the win over Central Connecticut State. Miami allowed 198 total yards, 169 passing and 29 rushing against the Blue Devils. The previous 2021 bests defensively were against Appalachian State.

Miami allowed 326 total yards, 199 passing and 127 rushing in the victory over Appalachian State. Miami hosts Virginia on Thursday night in their ACC opener. Virginia averages 35.2 points per game which rank 39th nationally and allows 27.5 PPG which is 87th in FBS. UVA opened 2021 against FCS William and Mary.

The Cavaliers defeated the Tribe 43-0. Virginia had 545 total yards and allowed 183 in the victory over William and Mary. Virginia is seventh nationally in total offense averaging 546 yards per game.  The Cavaliers are 100th in total defense allowing 423 yards per game. That falls to 503 YPG and 118 versus FBS teams.

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The Miami offense should have a chance to continue to be successful against Virginia on Thursday. Miami will be challenged on Saturday against a tough Virginia offense. It could be a high-scoring nationally televised game. Miami will be helped by the return of running back Jaylan Knighton from a four-game suspension.