Miami football and the upside down ACC scoring rankings

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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In 2020 Clemson led the ACC with an average of 43 points per game, the Miami football team was third averaging 31 PPG. Miami is 13th in the ACC in 2021 averaging 20.8 PPG against FBS opponents. Clemson is last in the ACC this season averaging 14.3 PPG. Offenses in the ACC have seemingly flipped.

Miami has dropped precipitously despite returning 10 starters on offense in 2021. Clemson has fallen in part because of the loss of several key performers from 2020. The Tigers lost Quarterback Trevor Lawrence who was the first pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and ACC all-time leading rusher Travis Etienne.

Pittsburgh is leading the ACC in scoring against FBS opponents in 2021 averaging 46.3 points per game. Wake Forest is second at 37.8 PPG and North Carolina third at 37.6. Miami is at North Carolina on October 16 and Pittsburgh on October 30. The Hurricanes have a lot of work to do in the next 12 days before playing UNC.

Clemson’s offense is bad across the board. The Tigers are last in the ACC against FBS opponents in total offense. Clemson is averaging 279 yards per game. Miami is 11 in the ACC in total offense against FBS opponents averaging 363.3 yards per game. The Hurricanes had a school-record 739 yards against Central Connecticut State.

Virginia who Miami lost to on Thursday leads the ACC in total offense averaging 522 yards per game. Miami held Virginia to 449 yards in their 30-28 loss. The Hurricanes play the top four offense in the ACC this season. Pittsburgh, Duke and North Carolina are ranked second through fourth in the ACC in total offense.

The ACC Coastal is full of four good offenses at the top and three in the middle to bottom of the conference. Georgia Tech is ninth in the ACC in total offense, Miami 11th and Virginia Tech 12th. Clemson was second in the ACC in total offense in 2020 averaging 511.2 yards per game. Miami was sixth at 439.8 YPG.

The Miami football team is averaging 76.5 YPG less than last year. Duke and Pittsburgh improved from 13th and 14th in the ACC in total offense last season, Virginia was eighth. A lot can change from year to year in collegiate sports because of multiple factors. Miami was greatly improved offensive in 2020.

The addition of quarterback D’Eriq King as a transfer from Houston and hiring of offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee boosted Miami. Beginning the season against Alabama was a difficult task for the Miami football team. King suffered an injury in week three against Michigan State and has not returned.

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Miami’s last seven opponents average 6.71st in the ACC total defense. Virginia is 13th in the ACC in total defense. The Hurricanes gained 372 yards against a Cavaliers defense allowing 470.3. North Carolina is sixth in the ACC in total defense, North Carolina State first. Miami has a tough challenge offensively in their next two games.