Miami Hurricanes offense will be tested by stout North Carolina State defense

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

The Miami Hurricanes offense needs to break out of their slow starts when they host North Carolina State on Saturday. North Carolina State has one of the best defenses in the country in 2021. The Wolfpack has improved significantly from last season when Miami won 44-41 in Raleigh.

North Carolina State enters the game on Saturday sixth nationally allowing 14.3 points per game and 12th in total defense at 292.7 yards per game. Miami scorched North Carolina State for 625 yards last season. D’Eriq King threw for 435 yards and five touchdowns and added 105 rushing yards.

North Carolina State was 62nd in scoring defense in 2020 at 29.2 points per game and 71st in total defense allowing 415 yards per game. Miami’s offense has been inconsistent with King out for the season after injuring his shoulder in week three against Michigan State. Tyler Van Dyke has shown promise.

Van Dyke has completed 46.9 percent of his passes for 358 yards, three TDs and two interceptions in the first half. In the second half, Van Dyke has completed 55.6 percent for 379 yards two TDs and one interception. Miami needs far more consistency out of Van Dyke throughout the game.

Miami should have an opportunity to pass against North Carolina State. The Wolfpack rank 35th in pass defense allowing 201.8 yards per game. Mississippi State and Louisiana Tech shredded the North Carolina State defense. Mississippi State threw for 294 yards and two TDs without an interception in a 24-10 victory.

The Bulldogs eschew a running game and had 15 carries for 22 yards. Louisiana Tech was by far the most successful offensively against North Carolina State this season. Those other Bulldogs had 480 total yards in a 34-27 loss. Louisiana Tech had 341 passing and 139 rushing against North Carolina State.

North Carolina State has held its other four opponents this season under 300 total yards. Miami has topped 400 yards against Michigan State, Central Connecticut State and North Carolina in 2021. The Hurricanes need to play offensively how they have the last two weeks against Virginia and North Carolina in the second half.

Miami had 80 yards in the first half


North Carolina and 341 in the second half.


Virginia, Miami had 94 yards in the first half and 278 in the second half. Miami has to get off to a better start offensively against one of the best defenses in the nation. The one good thing could be the lack of a pass rush for the Wolfpack.

North Carolina State ranks 99th nationally averaging 1.67 sacks per game. The Hurricanes continue to be one of the worst teams protecting the passer. The Miami Hurricanes are 104th nationally allowing 3.17 sacks per game. Miami allowed three sacks each against North Carolina and Virginia.

The Miami Hurricanes are likely going to have to use the pass set up the run. North Carolina State is eighth nationally allowing 90.83 rushing yards per game and 24th with opponents averaging 3.26 yards per carry. With Cam’Ron Harris out for the season, Jaylan Knighton will be the primary ball carrier.

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Knighton had 17 carries for 91 yards rushing and two TDs and added two receptions for 73 yards and a TD. The explosiveness Knighton provides Miami offensively gives the Hurricanes a critical dimension. The Miami offense needs to establish itself early against the Wolfpack for its best chance at a win.