The Miami football team hosts Middle Tennessee State after an excellent performance defensively in a 17-9 loss at Texas A&M last week. Middle Tennessee State ranks 86th or lower in most offensive categories in 2021. The Blue Raiders have thrived in the red zone and have converted 50 percent of their fourth downs.
The Miami defense is in the top 20 in most rankings this season. Miami held Texas A&M to 140 pass yards and 120 rushing with six tackles for loss and three sacks. One of the positives in the loss to Texas A&M was Miami winning the battles on the line of scrimmage. Miami averaged 4.9 yards per rush and allowed 3.9.
Third-down conversions is the one stat that Miami has struggled at times this season allowing opponents to convert 36 percent of the time which ranks 54th nationally.. Texas A&M was slightly below that converting four out of 12 on third downs. Miami allowed Bethune-Cookman and Southern Mississippi 10-27 on third down.
Middle Tennessee State is 93rd nationally in scoring, 116th in total offense, 120th in rushing and 96th in passing despite being 44th in pass attempts per game. In their two games versus FBS opponents in 2022 Middle Tennessee State is averaging 1.69 yards per carry with 126 rushing yards.
Middle Tennessee State inflated their stats last week with 433 total yards in a 49-6 win over FCS Tennessee State. Miami had its worst game defensively in the opener allowing 342 total yards in a 70-13 win over FCS Bethune-Cookman in the opener. Miami has allowed 505 yards and 24 points combined in the last two games.
Expect more of the same from the Miami football team defensively versus Middle Tennessee State. The Blue Raiders run a version of the Mike Leach air raid offense. Miami defensive coordinator Kevin Steele faced Leach and Mississippi State in the same role at Auburn from 2016-2020.
Steele has led the Miami defense to being stout again as they were from 2016 through 2018 before DC Manny Diaz was elevated to head coach for the 2019 seaon. Miami has a chance to work problems out versus Middle Tennessee State before heading into the bye week. Miami opens ACC play October 8 versus North Carolina.