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2021 By the Numbers: Miami vs. Michigan State

2021 By the Numbers: Miami vs. Michigan State

Stefan Adams
Ahead of the Hurricanes’ third matchup of the 2021 season, CIS took a deep-dive and compared both the Miami and Michigan State programs. How do the teams match up in key areas of the game, which players were recruited by the other school, and how does the series history shake out? Let's find out.


Head-to-Head

Miami Rush Offense vs. Michigan State Rush Defense


Through two weeks, the Canes have struggled to get a consistent push up front from their O-Line, which is in large part why they sit near the bottom of the country in rushing offense (94th with 131 ypg). While playing Alabama’s defensive front is no easy task, the right side of the Hurricanes’ line has been a sieve thus far, and Miami’s backfield has also been in flux with the season-ending injury to Don Chaney and suspension of Jaylan Knighton. That’s left Cam’Ron Harris as UM’s only experienced back, and Harris has had subpar results in 2021 until turning it on in the second half of last week’s game against App State (11 carries for 80 yards after half). True freshman RB Cody Brown is expected to see some work against the Spartans on Saturday, with a potential sighting of fellow true freshman RB Thad Franklin a possibility as well. Despite the struggles in the backfield and up front, QB D’Eriq King continues to provide quite the boost with his legs in recording 89 rushing yards through 2 games and bailing UM out multiple times on scrambles when things break down up front.

Although UM’s ground game has had some issues, Michigan State’s run defense hasn’t been much better, clocking in at 74th nationally and giving up 142 ypg. That number begins to look worse when you consider one of the Spartans’ first two games came against FCS program Youngstown State, and the Penguins ran for 167 yards on this MSU front just last week. Senior DE Jacub Panasiuk leads this front seven with 2 TFL, while former top recruit and Tennessee transfer LB Quavaris Crouch (14 tackles, 1 sack) has done his part cleaning things up at the second level. Both sides have displayed concerning traits at times in 2021, but if the Hurricanes can continue their momentum from the second half of the App State game, they should be able to run with some consistency on the Spartans.

Advantage: Miami


Michigan State Rush Offense vs. Miami Rush Defense

MSU brings in what has been the 6th best rushing attack in the nation thus far, averaging 299 ypg behind the legs of Wake Forest transfer RB Kenneth Walker. On an individual level, Walker has cruised to 4th in the country in rushing yards (321 yards, 10.7 ypc, 5 TD’s), and most of that came against a Power 5 opponent in Northwestern during week 1. Michigan State sophomore QB Payton Thorne has also helped to keep defenses honest by rushing for 47 yards and a TD in 2 games.

Miami’s run defense has been just below average thus far in 2021, coming in at 69th nationally in allowing 137 rushing ypg. While junior DT Nesta Silvera (3 TFL) has stepped up in the middle of the defense, UM’s linebacker play has still been problematic overall, and will now be without top LB Keontra Smith (9 tackles) in this game. While the Hurricanes probably won’t completely shut down this MSU rushing attack, the goal is surely to slow things down enough to where the Spartans are forced to pass at times in favorable down and distance scenarios for UM. Still, Miami allowed over 140 combined rushing yards to App State’s two backs last week, so it’s very difficult to pick against Walker and this hot MSU run game.

Advantage: Michigan State


Miami Pass Offense vs. Michigan State Pass Defense

UM’s passing offense has looked out of sorts in the early going of 2021, checking in near the bottom of the barrel at 95th nationally with just 189.5 ypg. While King has been accurate (68.3% completions), most everything has been thrown close to the line of scrimmage (6.0 ypa), and we have yet to see the explosive downfield plays we saw at times last season in OC Rhett Lashlee’s second year at the helm of the offense. Senior WR Mike Harley (8 catches, 50 yards in 2021) is coming off one of the worst games of his career at Miami with multiple drops and penalties against App State and he will be looking for a bounce back vs. MSU, while second-year WR Key’Shawn Smith (team-leading 110 receiving yards on 8 catches) has shown signs of emerging as an all-around threat on the outside. The Canes are also still looking for more production from the TE spot, where junior Will Mallory has recorded just 28 yards through 2 games.

Michigan State’s passing defense comes in at 71st in the country in allowing 210 ypg, and the Spartans gave up 283 yards and 3 TD’s against the only FBS competition they’ve faced this year in Northwestern. However, MSU’s back four does have a potential budding star in senior safety Xavier Henderson (17 tackles, 3 TFL, 2 sacks, INT, PBU), who has been all over the field for the Spartans and profiles as one of the most productive defensive players in the country thus far. So, while this unit can be had through the air, the Hurricanes struggled to throw the ball on App State last week, and we haven’t seen enough from them to truly be comfortable against any secondary at this point.

Advantage: Even


Michigan State Pass Offense vs. Miami Pass Defense

Although they have had trouble throwing the ball in recent years with a carousel of QB’s, the Spartans finally think they have a reliable gunslinger in Thorne, who has led this passing offense to an above average start of 254 ypg (52nd nationally). While the bulk of that did come against FCS Youngstown State and there are still questions to be answered here, Thorne has been accurate (65.2% completions) and effective at getting into the painted area (5 TD passes). With MSU’s running game hitting on all cylinders, Thorne just has to be an efficient game manager that works well off play action and protects the ball, and he has played that role well thus far (0 turnovers). Thorne’s top target has been far and away junior WR Jayden Reed, who has torn up opposing secondaries to the tune of 9 catches for 245 yards (27.2 ypc) and 2 TD’s.

Miami’s pass defense has been one of the worst in the country at this point in giving up 276.5 ypg (112th nationally). While UM’s secondary did look better last week (199 passing yards allowed vs. App State) when not facing QB Bryce Young and Alabama’s dynamic passing attack, they are still working on becoming a more consistent unit, and junior CB DJ Ivey in particular has struggled to stay on his man. Like it often does, this matchup could come down to how well the Hurricanes pressure Thorne, as the Michigan State OL has shown signs of weakness in terms of pass blocking (3 sacks allowed in only FBS game vs. Northwestern).

Advantage: Even


Miami Special Teams vs. Michigan State Special Teams

Miami has one of the best punters in the country with 2020 Ray Guy finalist P Louis Hedley; while on the surface Hedley’s yards per punt has dropped so far (42.7 ypp in 2021 from 47.2 in 2020), most of his kicks have been closer to the opponent’s endzone and he has downed 7 of his 11 punts inside the opponent’s 20, so the Aussie has been an effective field position weapon overall. The Canes’ kicking game has also not missed a beat in replacing Lou Groza winner Jose Borregales, as his younger brother in true freshman Andres has picked right up where his brother left off in going 5-6 on FG’s (one was blocked) while also kicking a game-winning 43-yarder vs. App State last week late in the 4th. Despite their prowess in the kicking game, UM has still had limited success in the return game, although Tyrique Stevenson (13.5 ypr) had two solid punt returns vs. App State last week.

On the flip side, 6th year senior Matt Coughlin has been thoroughly battle-tested as the Spartans starting kicker (73.9% FG on 88 career attempts), although he has gotten off to a slow start with a 1-3 FG line in 2021. Senior punter Bryce Baringer is a former walk-on that was awarded a scholarship this offseason, but he too has had a rocky beginning to his 2021 season (39.9 ypp). Reed (32.0 ypr in 2021) earned All-Big 10 Third Team honors from some outlets as a kick returner last season, and he is a dangerous home run threat that must be bottled up.

Advantage: Miami


Current Betting Line: Miami -6.5


Roster Notes

Michigan State Players recruited by Miami (6):
OL Spencer Brown, OL Dallas Fincher, WR Keon Coleman, OL Geno VanDeMark, CB Ronald Williams, TE Maliq Carr

Miami Players recruited by Michigan State (11): QB D’Eriq King, OL Zalon’tae Hillery, RB Cam’Ron Harris, OL John Campbell, CB Al Blades Jr., DT Jared Harrison-Hunte, LB Keontra Smith, CB Te’Cory Couch, QB Tyler Van Dyke, RB Cody Brown, TE Elijah Arroyo

Michigan State Players from South Florida (0): None


Series History

**
The Hurricanes have won every meeting in this series against Michigan State, standing at 4-0.

**The series is known for its close games, as three of the four matchups were decided by less than a TD, leaving largest margin of victory at 14 points. This was something done by Miami in the two programs’ first ever contest back in 1945 when UM head coach Jack Harding defeated Michigan State HC Charles W. Bachman in Miami by a score of 21-7.


Last Time They Played

**
Back in 1989, the Canes were 2nd in the country when head coach Dennis Erickson led the Hurricanes into East Lansing against the Spartans. In what was a hard-fought defensive battle into the 4th quarter, UM sophomore kicker Carlos Huerta helped spur the Canes to a 26-20 win with 4 made FG’s, including breaking a 20-20 tie with just over 5 minutes to play on a 45-yard kick. Miami would later go on to win their third national title to cap off the season.

**In his first ever meaningful action, Miami redshirt freshman QB Gino Torretta came off the bench early in the second quarter after relieving injured starter Craig Erickson. Torretta finished the game 15 of 29 for 134 yards, a TD, and two interceptions. Three seasons later in 1992, Torretta would go on to win the program’s second Heisman Trophy.

**Miami came in with the No. 1-ranked defense against the run and lived up to the billing, limiting Michigan State to just 80 yards rushing on the day, 31 of which came on special teams from MSU punter Josh Butland after a fumbled snap on a punt attempt. The Canes’ defense also had 5 sacks and 13 TFL in the game.

**
Two notable plays were made by future prominent college coaches: First, former FSU defensive coordinator and current Spartans secondary coach Harlon Barnett tied the game at 20 apiece for Michigan State when the safety took a Torretta pick to the house early in the fourth quarter. Former Miami offensive coordinator and current Maryland OC Dan Enos was the starting QB for MSU and had the ball with a chance to win the game with just under a minute remaining, but fumbled it away on MSU’s own 20 to seal the win for Miami. Enos also had a 19-yard TD run in the game.

 

Comments (20)

MSU has played Northwestern and an FCS team.

We've played Alafuckingbama and the 2nd winningest program in the G5 (behind Boise St).

These numbers mean less than nothing.

Agree. I’m concerned with HOW we played the last two games, not the numbers. If we keep playing error prone football and act like pinball bumpers instead of tackling the ball carrier, it will be a rough game. If we actually play sound football, we’ll win.

p.s. Northwestern was pretty solid last year. This year’s team is the weakest it’s been in a long time. And they still played MSU tough. MSU is just not that good and is way overhyped. So if we lose, that shows how far we’ve fallen.
 
I can't decide who this game is more important to, Manny or the mopes here. Miami wins tomorrow, and then dominates 1-AA team, gets Rooster back, gets Tae back, gets the five star freshmen into the mix, gets into conference play, and they might not have much to mope about for a while.

I'm sure they'll find something though.
 
I can't decide who this game is more important to, Manny or the mopes here. Miami wins tomorrow, and then dominates 1-AA team, gets Rooster back, gets Tae back, gets the five star freshmen into the mix, gets into conference play, and they might not have much to mope about for a while.

I'm sure they'll find something though.
The mopes. They are on a hot streak and can’t look ahead…
 
Ahead of the Hurricanes’ third matchup of the 2021 season, CIS took a deep-dive and compared both the Miami and Michigan State programs. How do the teams match up in key areas of the game, which players were recruited by the other school, and how does the series history shake out? Let's find out.


Head-to-Head

Miami Rush Offense vs. Michigan State Rush Defense


Through two weeks, the Canes have struggled to get a consistent push up front from their O-Line, which is in large part why they sit near the bottom of the country in rushing offense (94th with 131 ypg). While playing Alabama’s defensive front is no easy task, the right side of the Hurricanes’ line has been a sieve thus far, and Miami’s backfield has also been in flux with the season-ending injury to Don Chaney and suspension of Jaylan Knighton. That’s left Cam’Ron Harris as UM’s only experienced back, and Harris has had subpar results in 2021 until turning it on in the second half of last week’s game against App State (11 carries for 80 yards after half). True freshman RB Cody Brown is expected to see some work against the Spartans on Saturday, with a potential sighting of fellow true freshman RB Thad Franklin a possibility as well. Despite the struggles in the backfield and up front, QB D’Eriq King continues to provide quite the boost with his legs in recording 89 rushing yards through 2 games and bailing UM out multiple times on scrambles when things break down up front.

Although UM’s ground game has had some issues, Michigan State’s run defense hasn’t been much better, clocking in at 74th nationally and giving up 142 ypg. That number begins to look worse when you consider one of the Spartans’ first two games came against FCS program Youngstown State, and the Penguins ran for 167 yards on this MSU front just last week. Senior DE Jacub Panasiuk leads this front seven with 2 TFL, while former top recruit and Tennessee transfer LB Quavaris Crouch (14 tackles, 1 sack) has done his part cleaning things up at the second level. Both sides have displayed concerning traits at times in 2021, but if the Hurricanes can continue their momentum from the second half of the App State game, they should be able to run with some consistency on the Spartans.

Advantage: Miami


Michigan State Rush Offense vs. Miami Rush Defense

MSU brings in what has been the 6th best rushing attack in the nation thus far, averaging 299 ypg behind the legs of Wake Forest transfer RB Kenneth Walker. On an individual level, Walker has cruised to 4th in the country in rushing yards (321 yards, 10.7 ypc, 5 TD’s), and most of that came against a Power 5 opponent in Northwestern during week 1. Michigan State sophomore QB Payton Thorne has also helped to keep defenses honest by rushing for 47 yards and a TD in 2 games.

Miami’s run defense has been just below average thus far in 2021, coming in at 69th nationally in allowing 137 rushing ypg. While junior DT Nesta Silvera (3 TFL) has stepped up in the middle of the defense, UM’s linebacker play has still been problematic overall, and will now be without top LB Keontra Smith (9 tackles) in this game. While the Hurricanes probably won’t completely shut down this MSU rushing attack, the goal is surely to slow things down enough to where the Spartans are forced to pass at times in favorable down and distance scenarios for UM. Still, Miami allowed over 140 combined rushing yards to App State’s two backs last week, so it’s very difficult to pick against Walker and this hot MSU run game.

Advantage: Michigan State


Miami Pass Offense vs. Michigan State Pass Defense

UM’s passing offense has looked out of sorts in the early going of 2021, checking in near the bottom of the barrel at 95th nationally with just 189.5 ypg. While King has been accurate (68.3% completions), most everything has been thrown close to the line of scrimmage (6.0 ypa), and we have yet to see the explosive downfield plays we saw at times last season in OC Rhett Lashlee’s second year at the helm of the offense. Senior WR Mike Harley (8 catches, 50 yards in 2021) is coming off one of the worst games of his career at Miami with multiple drops and penalties against App State and he will be looking for a bounce back vs. MSU, while second-year WR Key’Shawn Smith (team-leading 110 receiving yards on 8 catches) has shown signs of emerging as an all-around threat on the outside. The Canes are also still looking for more production from the TE spot, where junior Will Mallory has recorded just 28 yards through 2 games.

Michigan State’s passing defense comes in at 71st in the country in allowing 210 ypg, and the Spartans gave up 283 yards and 3 TD’s against the only FBS competition they’ve faced this year in Northwestern. However, MSU’s back four does have a potential budding star in senior safety Xavier Henderson (17 tackles, 3 TFL, 2 sacks, INT, PBU), who has been all over the field for the Spartans and profiles as one of the most productive defensive players in the country thus far. So, while this unit can be had through the air, the Hurricanes struggled to throw the ball on App State last week, and we haven’t seen enough from them to truly be comfortable against any secondary at this point.

Advantage: Even


Michigan State Pass Offense vs. Miami Pass Defense

Although they have had trouble throwing the ball in recent years with a carousel of QB’s, the Spartans finally think they have a reliable gunslinger in Thorne, who has led this passing offense to an above average start of 254 ypg (52nd nationally). While the bulk of that did come against FCS Youngstown State and there are still questions to be answered here, Thorne has been accurate (65.2% completions) and effective at getting into the painted area (5 TD passes). With MSU’s running game hitting on all cylinders, Thorne just has to be an efficient game manager that works well off play action and protects the ball, and he has played that role well thus far (0 turnovers). Thorne’s top target has been far and away junior WR Jayden Reed, who has torn up opposing secondaries to the tune of 9 catches for 245 yards (27.2 ypc) and 2 TD’s.

Miami’s pass defense has been one of the worst in the country at this point in giving up 276.5 ypg (112th nationally). While UM’s secondary did look better last week (199 passing yards allowed vs. App State) when not facing QB Bryce Young and Alabama’s dynamic passing attack, they are still working on becoming a more consistent unit, and junior CB DJ Ivey in particular has struggled to stay on his man. Like it often does, this matchup could come down to how well the Hurricanes pressure Thorne, as the Michigan State OL has shown signs of weakness in terms of pass blocking (3 sacks allowed in only FBS game vs. Northwestern).

Advantage: Even


Miami Special Teams vs. Michigan State Special Teams

Miami has one of the best punters in the country with 2020 Ray Guy finalist P Louis Hedley; while on the surface Hedley’s yards per punt has dropped so far (42.7 ypp in 2021 from 47.2 in 2020), most of his kicks have been closer to the opponent’s endzone and he has downed 7 of his 11 punts inside the opponent’s 20, so the Aussie has been an effective field position weapon overall. The Canes’ kicking game has also not missed a beat in replacing Lou Groza winner Jose Borregales, as his younger brother in true freshman Andres has picked right up where his brother left off in going 5-6 on FG’s (one was blocked) while also kicking a game-winning 43-yarder vs. App State last week late in the 4th. Despite their prowess in the kicking game, UM has still had limited success in the return game, although Tyrique Stevenson (13.5 ypr) had two solid punt returns vs. App State last week.

On the flip side, 6th year senior Matt Coughlin has been thoroughly battle-tested as the Spartans starting kicker (73.9% FG on 88 career attempts), although he has gotten off to a slow start with a 1-3 FG line in 2021. Senior punter Bryce Baringer is a former walk-on that was awarded a scholarship this offseason, but he too has had a rocky beginning to his 2021 season (39.9 ypp). Reed (32.0 ypr in 2021) earned All-Big 10 Third Team honors from some outlets as a kick returner last season, and he is a dangerous home run threat that must be bottled up.

Advantage: Miami


Current Betting Line: Miami -6.5


Roster Notes

Michigan State Players recruited by Miami (6):
OL Spencer Brown, OL Dallas Fincher, WR Keon Coleman, OL Geno VanDeMark, CB Ronald Williams, TE Maliq Carr

Miami Players recruited by Michigan State (11): QB D’Eriq King, OL Zalon’tae Hillery, RB Cam’Ron Harris, OL John Campbell, CB Al Blades Jr., DT Jared Harrison-Hunte, LB Keontra Smith, CB Te’Cory Couch, QB Tyler Van Dyke, RB Cody Brown, TE Elijah Arroyo

Michigan State Players from South Florida (0): None


Series History

**
The Hurricanes have won every meeting in this series against Michigan State, standing at 4-0.

**The series is known for its close games, as three of the four matchups were decided by less than a TD, leaving largest margin of victory at 14 points. This was something done by Miami in the two programs’ first ever contest back in 1945 when UM head coach Jack Harding defeated Michigan State HC Charles W. Bachman in Miami by a score of 21-7.


Last Time They Played

**
Back in 1989, the Canes were 2nd in the country when head coach Dennis Erickson led the Hurricanes into East Lansing against the Spartans. In what was a hard-fought defensive battle into the 4th quarter, UM sophomore kicker Carlos Huerta helped spur the Canes to a 26-20 win with 4 made FG’s, including breaking a 20-20 tie with just over 5 minutes to play on a 45-yard kick. Miami would later go on to win their third national title to cap off the season.

**In his first ever meaningful action, Miami redshirt freshman QB Gino Torretta came off the bench early in the second quarter after relieving injured starter Craig Erickson. Torretta finished the game 15 of 29 for 134 yards, a TD, and two interceptions. Three seasons later in 1992, Torretta would go on to win the program’s second Heisman Trophy.

**Miami came in with the No. 1-ranked defense against the run and lived up to the billing, limiting Michigan State to just 80 yards rushing on the day, 31 of which came on special teams from MSU punter Josh Butland after a fumbled snap on a punt attempt. The Canes’ defense also had 5 sacks and 13 TFL in the game.

**
Two notable plays were made by future prominent college coaches: First, former FSU defensive coordinator and current Spartans secondary coach Harlon Barnett tied the game at 20 apiece for Michigan State when the safety took a Torretta pick to the house early in the fourth quarter. Former Miami offensive coordinator and current Maryland OC Dan Enos was the starting QB for MSU and had the ball with a chance to win the game with just under a minute remaining, but fumbled it away on MSU’s own 20 to seal the win for Miami. Enos also had a 19-yard TD run in the game.

Good lord watching Tez and Maryland play together was Unfair. I’ve never seen 2 d-tackles that good playing together on a college team.
 
I can't decide who this game is more important to, Manny or the mopes here. Miami wins tomorrow, and then dominates 1-AA team, gets Rooster back, gets Tae back, gets the five star freshmen into the mix, gets into conference play, and they might not have much to mope about for a while.

I'm sure they'll find something though.
Well, the fact that you’re even asking yourself that stupid question (“mopes” don’t have millions and career on the line) 3 games into the season tells you that the “mopes” may be on to something.

Rooster and Tae are going to send us to the Coastal championship, huh? Let’s see if that happens.
 
Stop reading after Miami's so called rush offense advantage. Its like you guys just refuse to admit whats been seen with plain eyes for years. I imagine this entire line spends 3 hours on the toilet everyday because they can't seem to push their turds out.
 
Ahead of the Hurricanes’ third matchup of the 2021 season, CIS took a deep-dive and compared both the Miami and Michigan State programs. How do the teams match up in key areas of the game, which players were recruited by the other school, and how does the series history shake out? Let's find out.


Head-to-Head

Miami Rush Offense vs. Michigan State Rush Defense


Through two weeks, the Canes have struggled to get a consistent push up front from their O-Line, which is in large part why they sit near the bottom of the country in rushing offense (94th with 131 ypg). While playing Alabama’s defensive front is no easy task, the right side of the Hurricanes’ line has been a sieve thus far, and Miami’s backfield has also been in flux with the season-ending injury to Don Chaney and suspension of Jaylan Knighton. That’s left Cam’Ron Harris as UM’s only experienced back, and Harris has had subpar results in 2021 until turning it on in the second half of last week’s game against App State (11 carries for 80 yards after half). True freshman RB Cody Brown is expected to see some work against the Spartans on Saturday, with a potential sighting of fellow true freshman RB Thad Franklin a possibility as well. Despite the struggles in the backfield and up front, QB D’Eriq King continues to provide quite the boost with his legs in recording 89 rushing yards through 2 games and bailing UM out multiple times on scrambles when things break down up front.

Although UM’s ground game has had some issues, Michigan State’s run defense hasn’t been much better, clocking in at 74th nationally and giving up 142 ypg. That number begins to look worse when you consider one of the Spartans’ first two games came against FCS program Youngstown State, and the Penguins ran for 167 yards on this MSU front just last week. Senior DE Jacub Panasiuk leads this front seven with 2 TFL, while former top recruit and Tennessee transfer LB Quavaris Crouch (14 tackles, 1 sack) has done his part cleaning things up at the second level. Both sides have displayed concerning traits at times in 2021, but if the Hurricanes can continue their momentum from the second half of the App State game, they should be able to run with some consistency on the Spartans.

Advantage: Miami


Michigan State Rush Offense vs. Miami Rush Defense

MSU brings in what has been the 6th best rushing attack in the nation thus far, averaging 299 ypg behind the legs of Wake Forest transfer RB Kenneth Walker. On an individual level, Walker has cruised to 4th in the country in rushing yards (321 yards, 10.7 ypc, 5 TD’s), and most of that came against a Power 5 opponent in Northwestern during week 1. Michigan State sophomore QB Payton Thorne has also helped to keep defenses honest by rushing for 47 yards and a TD in 2 games.

Miami’s run defense has been just below average thus far in 2021, coming in at 69th nationally in allowing 137 rushing ypg. While junior DT Nesta Silvera (3 TFL) has stepped up in the middle of the defense, UM’s linebacker play has still been problematic overall, and will now be without top LB Keontra Smith (9 tackles) in this game. While the Hurricanes probably won’t completely shut down this MSU rushing attack, the goal is surely to slow things down enough to where the Spartans are forced to pass at times in favorable down and distance scenarios for UM. Still, Miami allowed over 140 combined rushing yards to App State’s two backs last week, so it’s very difficult to pick against Walker and this hot MSU run game.

Advantage: Michigan State


Miami Pass Offense vs. Michigan State Pass Defense

UM’s passing offense has looked out of sorts in the early going of 2021, checking in near the bottom of the barrel at 95th nationally with just 189.5 ypg. While King has been accurate (68.3% completions), most everything has been thrown close to the line of scrimmage (6.0 ypa), and we have yet to see the explosive downfield plays we saw at times last season in OC Rhett Lashlee’s second year at the helm of the offense. Senior WR Mike Harley (8 catches, 50 yards in 2021) is coming off one of the worst games of his career at Miami with multiple drops and penalties against App State and he will be looking for a bounce back vs. MSU, while second-year WR Key’Shawn Smith (team-leading 110 receiving yards on 8 catches) has shown signs of emerging as an all-around threat on the outside. The Canes are also still looking for more production from the TE spot, where junior Will Mallory has recorded just 28 yards through 2 games.

Michigan State’s passing defense comes in at 71st in the country in allowing 210 ypg, and the Spartans gave up 283 yards and 3 TD’s against the only FBS competition they’ve faced this year in Northwestern. However, MSU’s back four does have a potential budding star in senior safety Xavier Henderson (17 tackles, 3 TFL, 2 sacks, INT, PBU), who has been all over the field for the Spartans and profiles as one of the most productive defensive players in the country thus far. So, while this unit can be had through the air, the Hurricanes struggled to throw the ball on App State last week, and we haven’t seen enough from them to truly be comfortable against any secondary at this point.

Advantage: Even


Michigan State Pass Offense vs. Miami Pass Defense

Although they have had trouble throwing the ball in recent years with a carousel of QB’s, the Spartans finally think they have a reliable gunslinger in Thorne, who has led this passing offense to an above average start of 254 ypg (52nd nationally). While the bulk of that did come against FCS Youngstown State and there are still questions to be answered here, Thorne has been accurate (65.2% completions) and effective at getting into the painted area (5 TD passes). With MSU’s running game hitting on all cylinders, Thorne just has to be an efficient game manager that works well off play action and protects the ball, and he has played that role well thus far (0 turnovers). Thorne’s top target has been far and away junior WR Jayden Reed, who has torn up opposing secondaries to the tune of 9 catches for 245 yards (27.2 ypc) and 2 TD’s.

Miami’s pass defense has been one of the worst in the country at this point in giving up 276.5 ypg (112th nationally). While UM’s secondary did look better last week (199 passing yards allowed vs. App State) when not facing QB Bryce Young and Alabama’s dynamic passing attack, they are still working on becoming a more consistent unit, and junior CB DJ Ivey in particular has struggled to stay on his man. Like it often does, this matchup could come down to how well the Hurricanes pressure Thorne, as the Michigan State OL has shown signs of weakness in terms of pass blocking (3 sacks allowed in only FBS game vs. Northwestern).

Advantage: Even


Miami Special Teams vs. Michigan State Special Teams

Miami has one of the best punters in the country with 2020 Ray Guy finalist P Louis Hedley; while on the surface Hedley’s yards per punt has dropped so far (42.7 ypp in 2021 from 47.2 in 2020), most of his kicks have been closer to the opponent’s endzone and he has downed 7 of his 11 punts inside the opponent’s 20, so the Aussie has been an effective field position weapon overall. The Canes’ kicking game has also not missed a beat in replacing Lou Groza winner Jose Borregales, as his younger brother in true freshman Andres has picked right up where his brother left off in going 5-6 on FG’s (one was blocked) while also kicking a game-winning 43-yarder vs. App State last week late in the 4th. Despite their prowess in the kicking game, UM has still had limited success in the return game, although Tyrique Stevenson (13.5 ypr) had two solid punt returns vs. App State last week.

On the flip side, 6th year senior Matt Coughlin has been thoroughly battle-tested as the Spartans starting kicker (73.9% FG on 88 career attempts), although he has gotten off to a slow start with a 1-3 FG line in 2021. Senior punter Bryce Baringer is a former walk-on that was awarded a scholarship this offseason, but he too has had a rocky beginning to his 2021 season (39.9 ypp). Reed (32.0 ypr in 2021) earned All-Big 10 Third Team honors from some outlets as a kick returner last season, and he is a dangerous home run threat that must be bottled up.

Advantage: Miami


Current Betting Line: Miami -6.5


Roster Notes

Michigan State Players recruited by Miami (6):
OL Spencer Brown, OL Dallas Fincher, WR Keon Coleman, OL Geno VanDeMark, CB Ronald Williams, TE Maliq Carr

Miami Players recruited by Michigan State (11): QB D’Eriq King, OL Zalon’tae Hillery, RB Cam’Ron Harris, OL John Campbell, CB Al Blades Jr., DT Jared Harrison-Hunte, LB Keontra Smith, CB Te’Cory Couch, QB Tyler Van Dyke, RB Cody Brown, TE Elijah Arroyo

Michigan State Players from South Florida (0): None


Series History

**
The Hurricanes have won every meeting in this series against Michigan State, standing at 4-0.

**The series is known for its close games, as three of the four matchups were decided by less than a TD, leaving largest margin of victory at 14 points. This was something done by Miami in the two programs’ first ever contest back in 1945 when UM head coach Jack Harding defeated Michigan State HC Charles W. Bachman in Miami by a score of 21-7.


Last Time They Played

**
Back in 1989, the Canes were 2nd in the country when head coach Dennis Erickson led the Hurricanes into East Lansing against the Spartans. In what was a hard-fought defensive battle into the 4th quarter, UM sophomore kicker Carlos Huerta helped spur the Canes to a 26-20 win with 4 made FG’s, including breaking a 20-20 tie with just over 5 minutes to play on a 45-yard kick. Miami would later go on to win their third national title to cap off the season.

**In his first ever meaningful action, Miami redshirt freshman QB Gino Torretta came off the bench early in the second quarter after relieving injured starter Craig Erickson. Torretta finished the game 15 of 29 for 134 yards, a TD, and two interceptions. Three seasons later in 1992, Torretta would go on to win the program’s second Heisman Trophy.

**Miami came in with the No. 1-ranked defense against the run and lived up to the billing, limiting Michigan State to just 80 yards rushing on the day, 31 of which came on special teams from MSU punter Josh Butland after a fumbled snap on a punt attempt. The Canes’ defense also had 5 sacks and 13 TFL in the game.

**
Two notable plays were made by future prominent college coaches: First, former FSU defensive coordinator and current Spartans secondary coach Harlon Barnett tied the game at 20 apiece for Michigan State when the safety took a Torretta pick to the house early in the fourth quarter. Former Miami offensive coordinator and current Maryland OC Dan Enos was the starting QB for MSU and had the ball with a chance to win the game with just under a minute remaining, but fumbled it away on MSU’s own 20 to seal the win for Miami. Enos also had a 19-yard TD run in the game.

Good stuff but one glaring thing. You pumped up their rush attack with the stats but failed to mention that both teams they played had two of the worst Defenses in the whole nation. I mean near dead last for Youngstown and not much better with NWestern.
 
Sounds like they have a below average (or bad) kicker and punter. If we force multiple 3 and outs (or quick drives) on defense, we should get a good field position and score easy TDs. In my opinion, this should be the biggest factor of this matchup in addition to attempting to slow down their running game.
 
MSU has played Northwestern and an FCS team.

We've played Alafuckingbama and the 2nd winningest program in the G5 (behind Boise St).

These numbers mean less than nothing.
And we haven't looked good in either. Now we're down Chaney and our starting lb in Smith when we weren't that great to start with. Luv my Canes but they haven't given me any reason to be hopeful about the outcome of this game.
 
I can't decide who this game is more important to, Manny or the mopes here. Miami wins tomorrow, and then dominates 1-AA team, gets Rooster back, gets Tae back, gets the five star freshmen into the mix, gets into conference play, and they might not have much to mope about for a while.

I'm sure they'll find something though.
Listen you are the Anti CIS. You think too much with your head. Here everything is knee jerk or Orange & Green Glasses. No in-between. So thank you for being who you are and GO CANES!!
 
You would have never thought we’d be concerned about matching up against a mediocre MSU team.

My we have fallen to be searching for kinks for a win , but here we are eye to eye with mediocrity.

We can break the mediocrity chain today we have really good talent we really do .

Do we believe do we really that’s the question?

The fork in the road has arrived today .

Mediocrity or championships

Easy to choose but one is oh so hard to take , we will see TODAY

GOCANES
 
Miami went against two of the best coached teams in college football the past few weeks. Manny on the other hand is an average coach but a great recruiter so I expect Miami will roll teams with coaches that are not in the top tier. He may not be the answer but he's good enough to win us 10 games with this squad, if we win this game it should be the beginning of us going on a roll...
 
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Miami went against two of the best coached teams in college football the past few weeks. Manny on the other hand is an average coach but a great recruiter so I expect Miami will roll teams with coaches that are not in the top tier. He may not be the answer but he's good enough to win us 10 games with this squad, if we win this should be the beginning of us going on a roll...
91C4F02D-3583-400C-B59B-0F7A560F5F56.gif
 
Welp. I am putting my king for Heisman nfts on sale here in a few minutes. Dm me for bids. No lowballs, plz
 

2022 Commits

WR
6'2"
185
Nashville, TN
CB
6'0"
160
Lexington, MS
QB
6'4"
205
Valdosta, GA
CB
6'1"
175
Fort Myers, FL
CB
6'2"
180
Alabaster, AL
S
6'1"
170
Orlando, FL
WR
6'1"
185
Mandeville, LA
MLB
6'1"
210
Manvel, TX
OT
6'7"
275
Sandersville, GA

Latest Predictions

by ajone228
High
by Canedog
Medium
by Canedog
Certain
by Umbra
Medium
by Canes2082
High
09/04 @
ALA
Loss 44 - 13
09/11 vs
APP
Win 25 - 23
09/18 vs
MSU
Loss 38 - 17
09/25 vs
CCSU
Win 69 - 0
09/30 vs
UVA
Loss 30 - 28
10/16 @
UNC
Loss 45 - 42
10/23 vs
NCST
10/30 @
PITT
11/06 vs
GT
11/13 @
FSU
11/20 vs
VT
11/27 @
DUKE
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