Miami football plays Virginia Tech who hasn’t created long pass plays

Oct 8, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 8, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports /

Virginia Tech is the second Miami football opponent in its last three games that enters with an offense that has struggled this season entering its meeting versus the Hurricanes. The Miami football secondary has been torched in its last two games versus Middle Tennessee State and North Carolina.

Through five games this season, the Miami pass defense is one of the worst allowing long pass plays beginning at 20 yards and continuing in 10-yard increments. Miami is last nationally in completions allowed of more than 70, 80 and 90 yards. Virginia Tech is one of the worst teams completing deep passes.

Virginia Tech’s longest completion of the 2022 season is 43 yards. Miami has allowed seven receptions of 40 or more yards this season. Middle Tennessee State had four of its five completions of 40 yards or more this season versus Miami. The long completions are more about Miami than their opponents.

Wide receivers Da’Wain Lofton and Kaleb Smith each have a 43-yard reception this season. Lofton has 12 receptions for 119 yards this season. That’s a 6.91-yard average on the other 11 receptions for Lofton. Lofton has not consistently been a deep threat in the Virginia Tech passing game.

Smith leads Virginia Tech with 25 receptions for 402 yards and two touchdowns and his 16.1 yards per reception tops Virginia Tech receivers with multiple catches. Smith has 14 first-down receptions, 11 catches for 15 or more yards and seven for 25 or more yards. Tight end Nick Gallo is second on Virginia Tech in receptions and yards.

Gallo has 19 receptions for 138 receiving yards with a long of 20 but has not reached the end zone. Gallo is not a threat in the deep passing game with only two receptions of 15 or more yards. Stephen Gosnell is fifth on Virginia Tech with nine receptions for 123 yards. Miami has to be aware of Gosnell in the Hokie passing game.

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Virginia Tech is the type of team that Miami has played down to in recent seasons. Miami played far better defensively holding North Carolina to six points in the second half. North Carolina also had a 74-yard TD in the first half. Miami will need a full 60-minute effort and minimize big plays by Virginia Tech in the passing game.