Pass rush will be critical for Miami football at North Carolina State

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 /

The Miami football team is second and North Carolina State is third in sacks in the ACC ahead of their game in Raleigh on Saturday. Whichever team generates a better pass rush could be the difference in the game at Carter-Finley Stadium. Miami has 28 sacks this season and North Carolina State has 24.

The Miami football team has been more consistent into getting in opposing backfields than North Carolina State. Miami leads the ACC with 63 tackles for loss. North Carolina State is sixth with 53. Miami is third in the ACC allowing 37 TFLs and North Carolina State is 12th in the conference allowing 54 TFLs.

The Miami offensive line has been one of the best in the country this season. Miami has allowed only eight sacks. North Carolina State is sixth in the ACC allowing 16 sacks. Miami and North Carolina State each have five players in the top 50 in the ACC in TFLs. There are three players in the game in the top 10 in TFLs.

Miami linebacker Francis Mauigoa is tied for second in the ACC with 11.0 TFLs. Antwaun Powell-Ryland of Virginia Tech leads the ACC with 11.5 TFLs. Rueben Bain of Miami is ninth in the ACC with 7.5 TFLs. Bain has 18 tackles, six TFLs and five sacks in the last three games. NC State defensive lineman Patrick Payton has 7.5 TFLs.

North Carolina State has been far more prolific at home getting into opposing backfields. The Wolfpack has 37 TFLs in five games at home and 16 in three games on the road. North Carolina State has 19 sacks in five home games and five in three road games. Carter-Finley Stadium should be loud on Saturday night.

Miami has 20 sacks in six games on the road and eight combined in games at Temple and North Carolina State. The Hurricanes have 46 TFLs in six home games and 17 in their two road games. The numbers are a bit skewed with Miami winning 48-7 at Temple, but losing 41-31 at North Carolina.

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Miami needs to start strong versus NC State. If Miami can get take the lead early it will allow Bain and the other Miami pass rushers more opportunities. Miami had 11 TFLs and five sacks versus North Carolina, but the Hurricanes defense allowed over 200 yards rushing. Miami should not be as challenged defensively versus NC State.