With a 4-0 start to the 2023 season, the Miami football team has improved significantly after finishing 5-7 in 2022. Coming off their bye week, the Miami football team still has several areas they can improve on as they begin ACC play versus Georgia Tech on Saturday night at Hard Rock Stadium.
Penalties continue to be a problem for the Miami football team. Through the first five weeks of the season, Miami is 116th averaging 68.5 penalty yards per game and 117th committing 7.5 penalties per game. The Hurricanes are 12th in the ACC in penalty yards per game and 11th in penalties per game.
Miami was 109th in penalties per game in 2022, 108th in 2021 and 112th in 2020. The Hurricanes were 94th averaging 59.2 penalty yards per game in 2022, 105th averaging 63.6 in 2021 and 113th at 70.5 in 2020. Miami has improved its penalty yardage from 2020 but is up over the last two seasons.
Miami has been elite defensively this year in several categories. The Hurricanes are 23rd nationally allowing opponents to score 72.73 percent of the the time they reach the red zone. Miami is 53rd nationally with opponents scoring touchdowns on 54.55 percent of their red zone trips.
Miami ranks in the top 15 nationally in points allowed, total defense and against the run. With the Hurricanes second nationally allowing 48.00 rushing yards per game, opponents have been forced to throw. The Hurricanes are 63rd allowing 225.0 passing yards per game. Those numbers are slightly inflated.
A look deeper inside the Miami pass defense reveals a different story. Miami is 33rd allowing opponents to complete 57.4 percent of its pass attempts, 28th with a 114.34 passer rating against and 38th with teams averaging 6.6 yards per pass attempt. Expect the passing yards per game to continue being relatively high.
The special teams for Miami have had mixed results this season. After losing All-American punter Lou Hedley, the Hurricanes are 108th nationally averaging 36.0 net yards per punt in 2023. Miami is 105th nationally averaging 6.8 yards per punt return. Miami has been better in kickoff returns and place kicking.
Miami is fifth nationally averaging 31.13 yards per kickoff return. Brashard Smith leads the nation averaging 44.40 per kickoff return with one touchdown. Miami is 65th allowing 19.09 yards per kickoff return. Andres Borregales has made seven of his eight field goal attempts this season ranking 24th nationally in percentage.
Miami is nearly a three TD favorite versus Georgia Tech on Saturday. If the game on Saturday goes as expected, Miami should have a chance to workout some of their faults versus Georgia Tech. With North Carolina and Clemson the next two weeks, Miami has to become more efficient as a team.