The Miami football team continued its trend of struggling in the red zone during a three-game losing streak. Miami officially scored three touchdowns and a field goal in five red zone trips. Miami was stopped on downs at the North Carolina two on its other red zone in a 27-24 loss to the Tar Heels.
Miami also failed to score when Jaylan Knighton fumbled in the fourth quarter at the North Carolina 17 yardline. The Knighton fumble presumably did not count as a red zone trip because it came after a nine-yard gain and Miami did not run a play once they got into the red zone. Miami is 78th nationally in TD red zone percentage.
Miami has scored 17 TDs in 28 red zone trips for 60.71 percent. The Hurricanes would have a 58.6 TD percentage if the Knighton fumble was included which would place Miami 84th in red zone TD percentage just ahead of 22nd-ranked Kentucky. The inability when Miami gets inside the five is particularly surprising.
Miami head coach Mario Cristobal and offensive line coach Alex Mirabal preached physicality from the Hurricanes throughout the offseason, through training camp and into the regular season. The Hurricanes ran well early in the season, but have struggled recently and that has particularly manifested in the red zone.
On the failed red zone drive Miami had first and goal from the two-yard line. Miami failed to get in with three-run plays before Tyler Van Dyke was incomplete on fourth down. On the red zone trip that Miami kicked a field goal, they got to the 20 with two seconds remaining in the first half. Miami chose to take the points.
The Miami football team struggles in the red zone go back to the 17-9 loss at Texas A&M last month. All three Miami field goals versus Texas A&M occurred in the red zone. Andres Borreagales had a 36-yard FG attempt blocked after Miami drove to the Texas A&M 18. Miami has lost too many scoring opportunities this season.
The Hurricanes are 72nd with 23 total scores in 28 red zone opportunities for 82.14 percent. Miami offensive coordinator Josh Gattis has to figure out with Cristobal and Mirabal how Miami can improve in short yardage and particularly in the red zone. Converting scoring opportunities will be critical for the rest of the season.