Miami football different ways to lose versus FIU, MTSU and LA Tech

Sep 24, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 24, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami football program has found different ways to lose with defeats in three of its last four games versus Conference USA opponents. Miami lost to FIU and Louisiana Tech in 2019 and followed that up with an embarrassing performance for the team in a 45-31 defeat to Middle Tennessee State on Saturday.

When Mario Cristobal was hired part of the expectations were that losses to Group of Five or FCS teams would end or at least be significantly reduced. Louisiana Tech finished the highest of the three C-USA teams Miami lost to. The Bulldogs finished tied for first in the C-USA West Division in 2019 but lost the tiebreaker.

FIU finished the 2019 season 6-7 overall and 3-5 in fifth place in Conference USA. These are not elite Group of Five teams Miami is losing to. While at Oregon, Cristobal lost one game to a Group of Five team, that was Boise State. The Broncos have been one of the Elite Group of Five teams for about 20 years.

In the loss to FIU in 2019, Miami fell behind 23-3 in the fourth quarter. Led by quarterback Jarren Williams Miami tried to rally but ultimately lost 30-24. Williams finished 19-36 for 249 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. The Miami football team was fortunate that FIU turned the interceptions into only six points.

All three interceptions thrown by Williams were in Miami territory. In a game Miami was given a 90.2 percent chance to win by the ESPN Football Power Index, the Hurricanes helped FIU earn the upset. Miami outgained FIU 413-297. The Hurricanes failed to score twice in the red zone while trailing 10-0 in the first half.

Miami scored 21 points in the fourth quarter versus FIU, but allowed 14. The Hurricanes dug themselves too big of a hole to climb out of without the defense getting fourth-quarter stops. FIU overcame 14 penalties for 144 yards. Future Miami kicker Jose Borregales led the way for FIU with three field goals.

The 14-0 loss to Louisiana Tech in the Independence Bowl by the Miami football team was mostly because of an anemic offense. Louisiana Tech needed a TD with 1:15 remaining to cement the win. The Miami defense allowed 337 yards including 174 rushing but did enough to keep the Hurricanes in the game.

Miami committed three turnovers and had only 227 yards in total offense under three QBs in the loss. The performance by Miami was it’s second worst offensively that season. Miami gained 208 yards in a 16-12 win over Pittsburgh. The Hurricanes had four games under 300 yards of total offense in 2019.

Tate Martell, N’Kosi Perry and Tate Martell combined to go 15-34 for 153 yards and two interceptions versus Louisiana Tech. Miami ran 24 times for 74 yards. It was one of the worst Miami offensive performances in modern history. It was a shockingly bad performance by the Hurricanes.

The loss to Middle Tennessee State on Saturday was a great blowout and at home. Miami lost to FIU at Marlins Park and Louisiana Tech is in Ruston about 70 miles from Shreveport where the Independence Bowl is played. Middle Tennessee State led 24-3 in the second quarter and maintained at least a 14-point lead throughout.

dark. Next. Cristobal only had P5 regular season losses at Oregon

Miami has a lot to fix during the bye week before hosting North Carolina on October 8. Maybe greater than how poorly Miami played offensively and defensively is examining why they allowed a mediocre C-USA team to dominate them. This question is becoming too frequent.