Miami football: receivers improved significantly in recent games

Oct 15, 2022; Blacksburg, Virginia, USA; Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 15, 2022; Blacksburg, Virginia, USA; Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /

The wide receivers for the Miami football game have developed significantly over the past few weeks. Leading receiver Xavier Restrepo being lost for six weeks with a foot injury hindered the Miami pass offense for a few games after his injury. Miami receivers have improved significantly in the past two games.

Restrepo had 11 receptions for 172 yards and a TD in the few two games of the 2022 season versus Bethune-Cookman and Southern Mississippi. It took the Miami receivers a few games to develop following the loss of Restrepo. Tight end Will Mallory had 11 receptions for 172 yards in the last two games before getting injured.

Mallory left the game against Virginia Tech on Saturday with a reported head and shoulder injury. Mallory leads the Miami football team this season with 23 receptions and 304 receiving yards. Wide receivers Frank Ladson, Brashard Smith and Colbie Young were all significant contributors versus North Carolina and Virginia Tech.

Ladson has 19 receptions for 182 yards and his first Miami touchdown in the last three games which also included the loss to Middle Tennessee State last month. Smith has broken out in the last two games with 11 receptions for 135 yards. With Restrepo out, Smith has also been the punter returner for Miami.

Young has made the most significant improvement of the Miami receivers in the last two games. The three receptions for 43 yards Young had versus North Carolina were his first at the FBS level. Young topped that with nine receptions for 110 yards and a TD in the 27-10 Miami win over Virginia Tech last week.

The development of the Miami receivers, particularly Ladson, Smith and Young has helped quarterback Tyler Van Dyke emerge from his slump in the first four games this season that caused his benching versus Middle Tennessee State. Van Dyke is 71-03 attempts for 871 yards and five TDs with one interception in the last two weeks.

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There were a lot of questions about what was wrong with the Miami passing game in the first four weeks. Van Dyke and the Miami pass offense have emerged in the last two weeks largely because of the improvement of the Miami WRs. Miami will have more WR options when Jacolby George and Restrepo return from injury.