Miami Hurricanes freshmen continue leading way defeating Pittsburgh

Oct 30, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 30, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

Miami Hurricanes freshmen continued to make a huge impact in the 38-34 victory at Pittsburgh on Saturday. Freshman quarterback Tyler Van Dyke was 32-42 for 426 yards, three TDs and one interception, running back Jaylan Knighton had 91 total yards and two TDs and WRs Xavier Restrepo and Keyshawn Smith contributed.

Van Dyke completed 32 passes in 42 attempts for 428 yards, three touchdowns and one interception at Pittsburgh. Van Dyke earned his second consecutive ACC Rookie of the Week for his performance against the Panthers. In the last two games, Van Dyke is 57-75 for 751 yards, seven TDs and one interception.

Knighton had 91 total yards against Pittsburgh and two TDs. Over the last three games, Knighton has 422 yards and six TDs. Restrepo has become reminiscent of former Miami leading receiving Braxton Berrios. Against Pittsburgh, Restrepo had seven receptions for 89 yards. Restrepo has 15 receptions for first downs in 2021.

Smith had three receptions for 82 yards and the game-winning TD. In the first half, Smith had a big 57-yard reception that set up Miami’s first TD. Two plays later Van Dyke completed a 20-yard TD pass to true freshman tight end Elijah Arroyo to tie the game at seven. It was the first TD of Arroyo’s career.

Several players with freshmen eligibility made an impact for Miami against Pittsburgh. True freshmen safeties Kamren Kinchens and James Williams started for Miami. Williams had nine tackles an interception and was named the ACC defensive back of the week. Kinchens had four tackles and one tackle for loss.

Second-year freshmen, cornerback Marcus Clarke and linebacker Corey Flagg also started. Clarke had six tackles and Flagg five. Redshirt freshman Jahfari Harvey had four tackles. Clarke, Flagg, defensive tackle Jared Harrison-Hunte, Kinchens and Williams were all freshmen eligible players who started for Miami on defense.

Next. Miami produced big plays defeating Pittsburgh. dark

With Van Dyke, Knighton and Smith on offense, six Miami freshman eligible players started for the Hurricanes. Even in the age of players receiving an extra year of eligibility because of COVID, that’s a high number. The young Miami Hurricanes have mostly outplayed the upperclassmen in 2021.