Tyler Van Dyke was pulled in the second half, the Miami defense allowed four plays of 69 yards or more and Middle Tennessee shocked the Hurricanes 45-31 at Hard Rock Stadium. The Miami football team falls to 2-2 with the loss and Middle Tennessee State improved to 3-1. Miami dug itself a huge first-half deficit.
Middle Tennessee State took a 24-3 lead in the second quarter and the teams traded scores for the remainder of the game. The Blue Raiders had completions of 71, 89, 69 and 98 yards. The 71, 69 and 98-yard completions went for touchdowns. Middle Tennessee State led 10-0 less than five minutes into the game.
After a 28-yard field goal gave Middle Tennessee State the lead 4:14 into the game, Blue Raiders’ defensive tackle Zaylin Wood had a 15-yard interception return for a touchdown 42 seconds later. That was the second interception thrown in as many drives for Tyler Van Dyke. The field goal drive for MTSU began at the Miami 11.
Van Dyke finished 16-32 for 138 yards one touchdown and two interceptions. Jake Garcia replaced Van Dyke in the third quarter and was 10-16 for 161 yards. Henry Parrish had 14 carries for 57 yards before leaving with an injury. Frank Ladson led Miami with six receptions for 65 yards and Key’Shawn Smith had four for 81.
Smith also had a 91-yard kickoff return. The kickoff return was far too late as it cut the deficit to 38-24 in the fourth quarter. The Miami defense failed to get a needed stop. Miami was awful defensively after a good performance at Texas A&M last week. Middle Tennessee State finished with 507 yards in total offense.
Middle Tennessee State quarterback Chase Cunningham was 15-24 for 400 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. The interception by Kam Kinchens came after a Jaylan Knighton fumble turned the ball over to Middle Tennessee State on the previous drive. Miami turned the ball over on its first three drives.
The loss to Middle Tennessee State is the fourth by the Miami football team in the last four years to a Conference USA Team. The Miami football team lost to FIU and Louisiana Tech in 2019. It was also the third loss in the last four games by Miami to a Conference USA team. Miami opened the 2020 season with a win over UAB.
Following two straight losses, Miami will host North Carolina to begin ACC play on October 8. North Carolina fell to 3-1 with a 45-32 loss at home to Notre Dame. After an elite performance by the Hurricanes’ defense in the 17-9 loss to Texas A&M last week, the Miami coaching staff has a lot to contemplate during the bye week.