After completing 16 passes in 32 attempts for 138 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions, Tyler Van Dyke was benched in the third quarter. Jake Garcia replaced Van Dyke and was 10-19 for 169 yards, no TDs and no interceptions as the Miami football team suffered a shocking 45-31 loss to Middle Tennessee State.
Van Dyke threw interceptions on the first two Miami drives of the game. The first interception came on the first Miami play of the game and gave the ball to Middle Tennessee State at the Hurricanes’ 13 yardline. Miami held the Blue Raiders to a three and out and a 28-yard field goal gave them a 3-0 lead.
On the second play from scrimmage on the next drive Van Dyke was intercepted by defensive lineman Zaylin Wood who returned the pick 15 yards for a TD to give Middle Tennessee State a 10-0 lead less than five minutes into the game. After the teams exchanged turnovers, Miami final scored.
An 11-play, 47-yard drive in 3:06 stalled just outside the red zone at the Middle Tennessee State 21. Andres Borregales kicked a 39 yard field goal to cut the Miami deficit to 10-3. Miami drove to the Middle Tennessee State six on the next drive but Van Dyke was incomplete to tight end Will Mallory on fourth down.
On the second play of their drive Middle Tennessee State had an 89 yard completion and on third and goal scored a TD to stretch the lead to 24-3. Miami scored its first red zone TD in its last seven trips inside the opponents 20 two drives later. Van Dyke connected with Henry Parrish Jr. for a six yard for a TD on fourth and two.
Miami began the second half with the ball down 24-10. Miami punted twice and Middle Tennessee State once before a 69-yard TD pass burned the Miami defense again to push the Blue Raiders’ lead back to 21 points at 31-10. Garcia replaced Van Dyke on the next Miami drive after the two punts to begin the third quarter.
Two big completions by Garcia to tight end Will Mallory and wide receiver Key’Shawn Smith put the Miami football team at the Middle Tennessee State one-yard line. Thad Franklin ran it in from the one to bring Miami back within two scores and a second straight conversion in the red zone.
After forcing a three and out on the next drive, Garcia led Miami to the Middle Tennessee State one yardline. Thad Franklin was unable to score on three straight runs from the three yardline. Garcia was imcomplete to Mallory on fourth down and Middle Tennessee State took over on their own two.
The Blue Raiders scored on 98-yard touchdown pass on the first play following the turnover on loss of downs. Key’Shawn Smith returned the ensuing kickoff 91 yards for a TD to cut the defiict back to 14. Miami was unable to get another stop as Middle Tennessee State pushed the lead to 45-21 following a long drive.
Franklin scored on a one-yard run on the next drive to close the scoring at 45-31. Miami was unable to move the ball on its final drive of the game. Miami finished the game with three scores in five trips in the red zone. The Miami football team would likely have attemped field goals on the other red zone trips in a closer game.
Miami has now scored only three touchdowns in its last 11 trips in the redzone. That also included three field goals. Miami has to do a better job converting red zone opportunities into touchdowns. The inablity to convert in the redzone is a big reason Miami lost the last two weeks. Miami has a bye before hosting UNC on October 8.