Mario Cristobal discusses what Miami football needs to work on

Sep 3, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 3, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami football team dominated Bethune-Cookman 70-13 as expected in the season opener on Saturday at Hard Rock Stadium. Head coach Mario Cristobal was pleased with how the Hurricanes played in his inaugural game as the Miami head coach while acknowledging they have work do to in multiple areas.

Miami was balanced offensively with 305 yards rushing and 300 passing. The rushing performance was impressive with Thad Franklin and starter Henry Parrish as the only healthy scholarship running backs who played on Saturday. Parrish led Miami with 108 yards on 14 carries and three touchdowns.

Franklin ran nine times for 78 yards and two touchdowns. Miami starting quarterback Tyler Van Dyke was 13-16 for 193 yards and two TDs. Two of the three incompletions thrown by Van Dyke were purposely out of bounds. Second-team QB Jake Garcia was 8-8 for 107 yards and one TD.

Xavier Restrepo was by far the most productive Miami receiver with five receptions for 100 yards and a TD. The Miami defense produced six tackles for loss, two sacks and three interceptions including a Gilbert Frierson pick-six. Cristobal discussed the big plays on offense and defense and what needs to be worked on.

"“Things that stand out that we have to work on that showed up in not such a positive way are a couple penalties that need to be avoided that we can’t waste…On first and goal, obviously we fumbled the ball there and that’s inexcusable…We went under center and that didn’t work out with a new center.I should’ve done a better job coaching that. There were a couple substitution errors. Aside from that, there was a lot of balance and big plays on both sides of the ball. We took control of the game early and I am really proud of the second and third-team guys who went in there and executed at a high level and sustained the momentum to close out the football game.We’re 1-0 and there were some good things and some stuff to work on. We’re looking forward to getting back to work tomorrow.”"

Van Dyke fumbled in the third quarter on the Bethune-Cookman two-yardline after Miami lost starting center Jakai Clark to an injury. Jonathan Denis who is lefthanded replaced Clark and that caused the confusion on the snap per Cristobal. Cristobal in hindsight said he would have put Van Dyke in the pistol or shotgun.

The Miami football team finished with six penalties for 48 yards. The one that seemed to irk Cristobal the most was a personal foul on Kamren Kinchens after an interception. Cristobal acknowledged that Kinchens got excited, but wants him to be more cognizant of playing within the rules and what the referees could call.

Miami produced 24 plays of more than 10 yards on Saturday, four of 20 yards or more, two of 30 plus yards and one each of 40 and 50 plus yards. Key’Shawn Smith was exceptional returning three kickoffs for 184 yards. Frierson added pick six for big plays by Miami on offense, defense and special teams.

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In discussing the Kinchens interception and response, Cristobal mentioned the culture he is trying to set with the Miami football team. That also relates to substitution errors and the fumble. Expect those to be cleaned up when Miami hosts Southern Mississippi on Saturday. Cristobal has high standards from his players.