Miami football beat Temple with 3 DL starters remaining out

Sep 23, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Mandatory Credit: Andy Lewis-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 23, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Mandatory Credit: Andy Lewis-USA TODAY Sports /

The defense for the Miami football team dominated Temple in the second half despite playing without defensive line starters Brandon Deen and Akheem Mesidor for the second straight game. and Nyjalik Kelly playing limited snaps. Mesidor tied for the Miami team lead with 10.5 tackles for loss and led with seven sacks in 2022.

Deen, Kelly and Mesidor being out for the last two games provided opportunities for snaps to several young Miami DL. Rueben Bain continues to be impressive as a freshman leading the Miami DL with three tackles versus Temple. Georgia State transfer Thomas Gore filled in with two tackles, two tackles for loss and two sacks.

Leonard Taylor who has been the sole healthy DL starter in the last two weeks, had two tackles, a TFL and his first sack of the season on Saturday. The rest of the defense has stepped up with Deen, Kelly and Mesidor missing the last two games. Cornerback Jaden Davis who is making a case for All-ACC led Miami with six tackles.

Linebacker Corey Flagg continues to silence his critics after recording three tackles versus Temple. Te’Cory Couch atoned for getting beat for a 46-yard gain early in the game with three tackles, two interceptions and a pass breakup on Saturday. Twenty different Miami football players recorded tackles on Saturday.

Miami had 14 different players with multiple tackles. Overall it was a dominant defensive performance, particularly in the second half. Couch stopped the Temple drive with an end zone interception after allowing the long completion. The Miami offense drove 80 yards on the subsequent drive to extend their lead to 14-0.

Near the end of the first half, defensive end Jahfari Harvey recovered a fumble at the Temple 25. Henry Parrish scored on a 13-yard touchdown run four plays later to extend the Miami lead to 24-0. Temple scored on its final drive of the first half to trail 24-7 at halftime. The two first-half turnovers for Miami were huge.

Without the interception by Couch in the end zone and fumble recovery by Harvey the halftime score could have been 17-14. The Miami football team had 232 yards in the first half and Temple finished with 196. Miami made Temple one-dimensional. The Owls had 194 yards passing and two rushing at halftime.

Miami tightened up defensively in the second half. Temple had 83 yards in the second half to finish with 279 for the game. Temple quarterback E.J. Warner, the son of Pro Football Hall of Fame signal-caller Kurt, finished 22-39 for 240 yards with one TD and the two interceptions by Couch.

Miami held Temple to 11 yards rushing on 16 carries. The second half was truly a dominant performance by the Miami defense. Temple never crossed midfield in the second half. The final drive by Temple ended at exactly the 50-yard line. Miami allowed slightly more than the 271 yards per game it allowed before Saturday.

The Miami run defense that was ranked seventh nationally entering the weekend allowing 60.33 yards per game will likely move up after dominating Temple. Miami now allows 48.0 rushing yards per game through four weeks. That would have put the Hurricanes third nationally after week three.

Miami offense setting milestones through first 4 games. dark. Next

Following a bye week Miami will host Georgia Tech on October 7. Georgia Tech won 30-16 on Saturday at Wake Forest to improve to 2-2. Georgia Tech entered the weekend 42nd allowing 35.0 points per game and 14th producing 513.3 yards per game. Former Texas A&M QB Haynes King leads a balanced Georgia Tech offense.