Miami football: Situational plays could determine Pinstripe Bowl versus Rutgers

How well the Miami football team and Rutgers play in specialty situations could determine the Pinstripe Bowl.
Miami v Rutgers
Miami v Rutgers / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages
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Third and four down attempts and red zone defense will be situations to watch in the Pinstripe Bowl when the Miami football team plays Rutgers on Thursday. How Miami and Rutgers produce on third and fourth down and in the red zone could determine the outcome of the Pinstripe Bowl on Thursday.

Miami will have challenges offensively and defensively on third and fourth down and in the red zone versus Rutgers. Some matchups will be more advantageous for Miami than others versus Rutgers in the situational plays. Having Jacurri Brown start at QB will give Miami different looks in short yardage and the red zone.

Red Zone

Rutgers is ninth in red zone defense, while Miami is 74th in red zone offense. A closer look at the numbers reveals that Rutgers is 68th nationally, allowing opponents to score touchdowns on 59.52 percent of their red zone trips. Converting their red zone trips into TDs will be critical for Miami versus Rutgers.

Miami is an abysmal 93rd nationally, scoring TDs in 57.14 percent of their red zone trips. The Hurricanes have converted just 53.13 percent of their red zone opportunities into TDs versus Power Five opponents. That ranks 77th nationally. Rutgers is 73rd, allowing TDs on 64.86 percent of Red Zone drives.

Rutgers is the epitome of average in the red zone, ranked 65th nationally. The Scarlet Knights are 59th, scoring TDs on 62.50 percent of their red zone trips. Rutgers is 81st versus Power Five opponents, scoring TDs on 51.72 percent of their red zone trips. A lack of a passing offense limits Rutgers offensively.