Miami football: Best defensive performance vs. FBS since 2020

Sep 1, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 1, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports /
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The defense for the Miami football team held Miami (Ohio) to 215 total yards in a 38-3 season-opening win on Friday. That was the fewest yards Miami allowed versus an FBS opponent since giving up 177 in a 48-0 win at Duke in 2020. It was the fewest yards allowed overall since giving up 198  to Central Connecticut State in 2021.

Miami defeated Central Connecticut State 69-0 in the 2021 game that featured the collegiate debut of Tyler Van Dyke. The first-team Miami defense was particularly dominant in the win over Miami (Ohio). Miami (Ohio) had 120 yards through the first three quarters before gaining 95 yards on its last two drives.

The Redhawks went three and out in four of its first six drives and a fifth was four plays. Miami generated six tackles for loss and two sacks. The Hurricanes held the Redhawks to 51 rushing yards on 25 carries. Miami (Ohio) had a six-play, 44-yard drive near the end of the first half that ended with a 48-yard field goal.

On the first four drives of the game, Miami (Ohio) had 10 plays for 23 yards. The fourth drive for the Redhawks was the one that culminated in their field goal. On the first three drives of the second half, Miami (Ohio) had 59 yards on 15 plays. Those three drives all occurred in the third quarter.

The 50 rushing yards Miami allowed were its fewest since holding Southern Mississippi to 24 yards on 23 carries in a 30-7 week two win in 2022. Under new Miami defensive coordinator Lance Guidry, Marshall was fourth nationally allowing 93.0 rushing yards per game in 2022.

Marshall had six games in 2022 allowing opponents less than 100 yards rushing. In a 26-21 upset win at Notre Dame, Marshall held the Fighting Irish to 130 rushing yards on 37 carries for just 3.51 yards per carry and two touchdowns. Stopping the run is almost an obsession with a Guidry-led defense.

The Miami football team ranks fifth in run defense among the 38 teams that played games this season through Friday. That Miami held a very good group of five teams to 51 yards rushing on 25 carries is more impressive than the programs who played FCS programs early in the 2023 season.

Miami (Ohio) quarterback Brett Gabbert completed 12 passes in 21 attempts for 127 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. The Hurricanes were able to limit big plays. Miami (Ohio) had three pass plays of 15 or more yards and only two runs of 10 or more yards. That is a vast improvement over the 2022 Miami defense.

Next. Miami ran for its most yards vs. FBS opponent since 2018 in Miami (Ohio) win. dark

Miami will be tested more significantly next week when it hosts Texas A&M. The Hurricanes held the Aggies to 124 yards rushing on 32 carries with one touchdown in 2022. Texas A&M had only 264 yards in a 17-9 win over Miami in College Station last season. Texas A&M hosts New Mexico on Saturday night.