The Miami football team converted four first downs in 15 attempts on third down, kicked a field goal in three red zone trips and had four turnovers to two for North Carolina State in a 20-6 loss in Raleigh on Saturday night. Miami also had five trips inside the North Carolina State 30 that resulted in only six points.
The Miami football team had a stretch into the third quarter where they failed to convert on nine straight third-down attempts. On two of those third-down failures, North Carolina State forced turnovers. On third and nine from the North Carolina State 17 in the second quarter, Tyler Van Dyke threw an end zone interception.
That was the first failure Miami had in the red zone on Saturday night. On the next drive with third and 16 from their own 15, Van Dyke fumbled and North Carolina State recovered at their own nine yardline. The Miami defense pushed North Carolina State back 12 yards on four plays and forced a 39-yard Brayden Narveson field goal.
Miami held North Carolina State to three consecutive three-and-outs and five total yards on its first three drives of the second half. On its fourth drive of the second half Miami drove 72 yards in 12 plays over 7:25 to the North Carolina State three. Miami had fourth and one from the NC State three yardline in the fourth quarter.
The Miami football team was unable to convert the fourth and one as Shyheim Battle stopped Fletcher for the momentum-changing play. After gaining five yards on its previous three drives, North Carolina State drove eight plays and 97 yards in 4:44 to extend its lead to 17-6 which basically put the game away.
Kendrick Raphael ran 31 yards for a TD when Miami failed to wrap him up. Lamar had only three carries for 41 yards on the night. Scoring three points on three red zone trips, particularly on the road is a near guarantee to lose. North Carolina State had a TD and two field goals in its three red zone trips.
In each of the field goals North Carolina State kicked in the red zone, they gained possession inside the Miami 20 yardline. The Miami defense holding North Carolina State to those two field goals was a positive. North Carolina State finished the game by converting three of their 11 third down attempts.
The last two interceptions thrown by Van Dyke came after Miami needed to make something happen trailing by two scores with less than five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. The earlier ones were devastating. Miami lost at least three points on the red zone interception in the second quarter.
If Van Dyke doesn’t throw an interception, Andres Borregales would have had an attempt to give Miami a 9-6 lead. The fumble later in the first half gave NC State three points that allowed them to push their lead to 10-6. On the first drive of the second half, Miami drove 48 yards in eight plays in 4:34.
Borregales missed a 45-yard field goal which was only the second one he did not convert this season. If Miami made the field goal on that drive, the strategy later in the game would likely have been different when Miami was unable to convert the fourth and one with Fletcher. Miami’s inability in key situations cost them.