Miami football challenge versus active Middle Tennessee State defense

Sep 17, 2022; College Station, Texas, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 17, 2022; College Station, Texas, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami football team faces a challenge versus an aggressive Middle Tennessee State defense on Saturday at 3:30 PM at Hard Rock Stadium. Middle Tennessee State is in the top 10 nationally in sacks and tackles for loss. The Blue Raiders have also forced six turnovers in their last two games.

Middle Tennessee State is tied for eighth nationally with 27 tackles for loss. Even in a 44-7 loss to James Madison, Middle Tennessee State had eight TFLs. Middle Tennessee State had a season-high 13 TFLs in a 34-19 win over Colorado State in week two. Six Blue Raiders have multiple TFLs in 2022.

Middle Tennessee State is sixth nationally with 12 sacks. James Madison and Tennessee State set a blueprint for the Miami football team on how to slow the Middle Tennessee State pass rush. Middle Tennessee State had nine of their 12 sacks against Colorado State. Colorado State is last nationally with 23 sacks allowed.

Middle Tennessee State had 13 TFLs versus Colorado State and six versus Tennessee State. Four Blue Raiders have multiple sacks in 2022. The player to watch on the Middle Tennessee State defense is defensive lineman Jordan Ferguson who is second on the Blue Raiders with 20 tackles and leads with 3.5 TFLs and three sacks.

ACC Network. 2-1. 834. 3:30 PM ET. 2372. Miami -24.5. 2-1. Saturday September 24

The Miami offense has done a good job limiting big plays by opposing defenses in 2022. The experienced Miami offensive line is 34th nationally allowing 13 TFLs through the first three games. Miami is 39th allowing four sacks in their first three games in 2022. There is a renewed emphasis on the line of scrimmage by Miami.

Head coach Mario Cristobal and offensive line coach Alex Mirabal expect Miami to be physical on the line of scrimmage. In 2022 Miami is playing with more physicality. With a size and talent advantage, Miami should continue to be physical against Middle Tennessee State. This is a different game for Middle Tennessee State.

Expect the Miami football team to use the run to slow down the aggressive Middle Tennessee State defense. Middle Tennessee has been stout versus the run in 2022 ranking 23rd allowing 2.76 yards per carry. Miami is 35th averaging 5.26 YPC. How well Middle Tennessee stops the run could determine how competitive the game is.

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Despite one of the best pass rushes, Middle Tennessee State has been vulnerable throw the air defensively. Middle Tennessee State is 81st allowing 230.7 passing yards per game. James Madison had 287 passing yards and six touchdowns versus Middle Tennessee State. Tyler Van Dyke should thrive versus the Blue Raiders.