Miami football: UNC QB Drake Maye is Heisman Trophy contender

Sep 10, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 10, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami football game against North Carolina will be the biggest test for the Hurricanes’ defense throughout the 2022 season. North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye has emerged as a longshot Heisman Trophy contender. Fanduel lists Maye as the 10th favorite for the Heisman Trophy in their current odds.

Maye is seventh nationally averaging 318.8 passing yards per game, fourth with a 187.64 passer rating and tied for first with Will Rogers of Mississippi State with 19 touchdown passes.  Maye has thrown for over 300 yards in three of five games this season and thrown multiple TD passes in every game.

The elite numbers from Maye in 2022 are after redshirting last season behind current Washington Commanders QB Sam Howell. Miami will be tested in the secondary. Maye has 39 completions of 15 or more yards and 17 of 25 or more. Miami is one of the worst pass defenses allowing big plays this season.

Maye has run for 255 yards and three TDs. Miami has been susceptible to running QBs in recent seasons. Maye leads the ACC this season in passer rating, passing yards per game and TD passes and is third in completion percentage. Miami is 13th in the ACC in passer rating against and 12th in passing yards allowed per game.

The Miami pass defense was exposed in the 45-31 loss to Middle Tennessee State. Middle Tennessee State scorched the Miami football team for 408 yards, three TDs and one interception. Four pass plays by the Blue Raiders accounted for 327 passing yards and all three TDs. The shortest of those four was for 69 yards.

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Miami is the only team in the country to allow four pass plays of 60 or more yards this season. North Carolina enters the game on Saturday against Miami with three straight wins against the Hurricanes. In the last two years, UNC has scorched Miami for 107 points and 1,160 points. That has to change on Saturday.