After beginning the season nationally ranked 15th in the Associated Press Top 25 and 16th in the USA Today Coaches Poll, the Miami football team dropped to 10th in the 247 Sports ACC Power Rankings following a week four 45-31 loss to Middle Tennessee State. Miami has a bye week before hosting North Carolina on October 8.
The loss to Middle Tennessee State was another by the Miami football program in a long list of inexcusable defeats to Group of Five programs. ESPN analyst Paul Feinbaum called Miami the biggest fraud in college football. Miami will be able to push the reset button beginning ACC play versus North Carolina.
The Middle Tennessee State game reinforced some problems with Miami and introduced others. Miami had been one of the best defenses nationally in the first three games. Middle Tennessee State completely exposed Miami and the Kevin Steele defense. Miami was routinely burned for long-pass plays.
Middle Tennessee State had four completions of 69 yards or more. North Carolina has the second-best passing offense in the ACC. North Carolina is one of the top teams in the ACC at producing big games in the passing game. Miami is ranked by 247 Sports as the fourth-best team in the ACC Coastal.
"10. MIAMI HURRICANES (2-2, 5)“Not scoring a touchdown at Texas A&M is one thing. Getting boat raced at home by a Conference USA opponent is not even in that same conversation. Middle Tennessee came into a half-empty Hard Rock Stadium and saw a former walk-on in quarterback Chase Cunningham complete 16 of 25 passes for 408 yards, throwing three touchdowns to one interception.Things got so bad that Mario Cristobal benched Tyler Van Dyke for Jake Garcia. Cristobal’s team has one week to get it together before it hosts North Carolina Oct. 8.”"
Pittsburgh is fourth in the 247 Sports power rankings as the highest ranked team in the ACC Coastal division with Duke seventh and North Carolina eighth. Miami is the second highest-rated team in the ACC behind Clemson according to the ESPN Football Power Index. Miami has a lot to evaluate during the bye week.
Miami went from an inept offensive effort versus Texas A&M to a complete team loss against Middle Tennessee State. The bye week comes at a critical time as Cristobal and the Miami football staff reevaluate their team after four games. Miami needs to play with a sense of urgency versus North Carolina.