Miami Hurricanes defense will be challenged by NC State QB Devin Leary

Oct 16, 2021; Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA; Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 16, 2021; Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA; Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami Hurricanes defense faces a tough challenge on Saturday against North Carolina State quarterback Devin Leary. Leary has completed 67.3 percent of his passes for 1,534 yards, 15 touchdowns and two interceptions. Leary has thrown 143 passes over four complete games without an interception.

Miami needs more consistency from its past defense. The Hurricanes are 80th nationally in pass defense allowing 234.2 yards per game. Miami has held three of its six opponents under 200 yards passing. The other three opponents have averaged 294.33 passing yards per game. Miami has only four interceptions in 2021.

Leary is 24th nationally averaging 255.7 YPG. Leary has thrown for at least 250 yards in four games this season. In a 24-10 loss to Mississippi State, Leary threw for 330 yards which was the second-highest total of his career. The Miami Hurricanes has to generate pressure on Leary who is a minimal threat to run.

The North Carolina State offensive line has protected Leary well this season. NC State ranks 41st nationally allowing 1.67 sacks per game. Coincidentally Miami is 41st averaging 2.5 sacks per game.  After generating only two sacks the first two weeks of the 2021 season, Miami has 13 sacks in its last four games.

Miami had one sack each against Alabama and Appalachian State, had three sacks each against Michigan State, Central Connecticut State and Virginia and four against North Carolina. Defensive end

Jahfari Harvey

who had the lone pick six this season for Miami last week leads the Hurricanes with3.5 tackles for loss and two sacks.

Miami will be tasked with rushing against NC State left tackle Ikem Ekwonu. Ekwonu is the top graded offensive tackle in college football this season. North Carolina State has a pair of good running backs who complement Leary. Zonovan Knight has 503 rushing yards and is averaging 6.1 yards per carry.

Wolfpack second-team RB Ricky Person has 384 rushing yards on five yards per carry, four TDs and has added 13 receptions for 87 yards and another score. Knight has three rushing TDs and eight receptions for 51 yards. Miami has the 72nd ranked run defense in 2021 allowing 150.83 yards per game.

Next. Miami offensive tempo versus NC State time of possession. dark

Leary is one of the most efficient QBs in college football in 2021. Leary is 34th with a 151.14 passer rating. The Wolfpack seldom turns the ball over. Only two QBs nationally with two interceptions or less have more than the 208 pass attempts Leary has in 2021. The Miami defense has a tough challenge against Leary.