Miami football has trailed at halftime in every 2021 FBS game

Oct 16, 2021; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 16, 2021; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami football team has been outscored 98-46 in the first half in 2021 versus football bowl subdivision opponents. Miami has trailed in each of those games. Poor first quarters against North Carolina and Virginia put Miami in holes they were unable to rally from. Miami had a total of 22 first-quarter yards the last two games.

Virginia outgained Miami 151 to 10 in the first quarter and outscored the Hurricanes 9-0 on September 30. The Cavaliers led 16-7 at halftime and earned a 30-28 victory. In winning the last three seasons against Miami, North Carolina has outscored the Hurricanes 48-16. The only Miami touchdown was on an interception return.

Jahfari Harvey had the pick-six yesterday to keep Miami close. Miami followed up the abysmal offensive performance in the first quarter against Virginia with an equally anemic output against North Carolina. The Tar Heels outgained the Hurricanes 176-12 in the opening 15 minutes on Saturday.

The slow starts have hindered the Miami football team this season. The poor first quarters have made it nearly like Miami is playing three-quarters of football against an opponent playing for 60 minutes. Quarterback Tyler Van Dyke who has replaced starter D’Eriq King has really struggled in the first quarter.

Van Dyke is 4-12 for 16 yards in the opening quarter in the last two games. If Miami is going to turn around a 2-4 start to the 2021 season, they have to be more productive in the first quarter. Van Dyke is last in the ACC with a 52.3 completion percentage. Other than King, accuracy has been an issue recently with Miami QBs.

The Miami defense has also been much better after the first quarter. Miami allowed 204 yards in the second half against Virginia and 107 against North Carolina. The Hurricanes held the Cavaliers to 35 yards in the fourth quarter. North Carolina had 34 in the final 15 minutes. UNC got scores when they needed them.

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Field position has also played a role. North Carolina had scoring drives of 21 and 12 yards in the first half and 58 in the second. The Miami offense has to limit turnovers. Miami is 115th nationally with a negative five turnover margin. The Hurricanes are minus-six against FBS teams. Getting off to a good start will be critical.