Miami football: 2023 Great defense and mediocre offense compares to 2018 season

Nov 4, 2023; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 4, 2023; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports /

The production the Miami football team has had defensively in 2023 and inconsistent play offensively, particularly at quarterback, is comparable to how the 2018 season played out for the Hurricanes. Miami finished the 2018 season 7-6 after a 5-1 start. Miami is 6-3 entering their game at Florida State on Saturday.

The 2018 Miami football team averaged 28.8 points per game and finished 66th out of 130 teams nationally. Miami allowed 19.5 PPG finishing 18th of 130 nationally. The Hurricanes were 105th averaging 358.8 total yards per game. Miami was fourth nationally allowing 278.9 total YPG.

Miami is 31st averaging 437.9 total YPG and 19th allowing 311.4 YPG. The offensive numbers have gotten far worse during conference play. Miami is eighth in the ACC averaging 373.0 total YPG. The Hurricanes rank sixth defensively in ACC games allowing 342.2 total YPG. Scoring numbers have also declined in ACC play.

Miami is 30th nationally allowing 20.0 PPG and 38th averaging 32.1 PPG. The Hurricanes are eighth in ACC play allowing 22.8 PPG and seventh permitting 26.0 PPG versus conference opponents. Other than a 41-31 loss at North Carolina, the Miami defense has been steady versus ACC opponents.

The 2018 Miami team similarly fell off in the ACC. Miami was ninth in ACC games in 2018 averaging 24.6 PPG. The Hurricanes were 14th and last against conference opponents averaging 337.3 YPG. Miami was second against the ACC allowing 18.0 PPG and 290.6 YPG. Miami wasted a championship-level defense in 2018.

The 2023 defense is not at the same level as 2018, but they are also carrying the team right now. Miami would not have earned overtime wins over Clemson and Virginia before the loss to North Carolina State without the production of the defense. Miami was dominant defensively in the third quarter versus NC State.

Miami forced three consecutive three-and-outs in the third quarter. North Carolina State had nine plays for five yards in the third quarter versus Miami on Saturday. Miami was unable to sustain the consistency defensively as North Carolina State went on an eight-play 97-yard drive to extend their lead to 17-7.

The common theme between the 2018 and 2023 Miami teams is that the defense kept the Hurricanes competitive. Miami needs far more consistency offensively to finish the season strong. Miami finishes the season against FSU’s seventh-ranked defense in the ACC, Louisville who is second and Boston College who is eighth.

Next. Miami has painted itself into a QB corner. dark

The Miami football team is going to have to get more creative offensively, improve in the red zone and on third down and avoid turnovers. Mario Cristobal and offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson are going to have to make difficult personnel decisions if players are not performing. That starts on Saturday at Florida State.