By the Numbers: Miami vs. FIU

By the Numbers: Miami vs. FIU

Stefan Adams
Ahead of Miami-FIU today, CIS took a deep-dive and compared the two 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.


Miami Rush Offense vs. FIU Rush Defense

Overall on the season, Miami has been one of the worst teams in the country running the ball, coming in at 116th in the nation with just a paltry 119.9 ypg. However, UM showed signs of life last week on the ground, as the Canes had a season-high against FBS opponents in rushing for 197 yards vs. Louisville and OC Dan Enos mixed in the ground game much more. Both DeeJay Dallas and Cam’Ron Harris average over 5 ypc on the season and were able to exploit the Cardinals’ below average run D last game, and this week, they’ll have an opportunity to build on that success against the Panthers’ even worse rushing defense. FIU comes into the game ranked 113th in the nation allowing 205.2 ypg on the ground, and, aside from DT Teair Tart (8.5 TFL), are devoid of playmakers in their front seven. The Canes ran for 248 yards last season against FIU, and there’s nothing preventing a similar performance from UM in 2019.

Advantage: Miami

FIU Rush Offense vs. Miami Rush Defense

In Anthony Jones and Napoleon Maxwell, the Panthers have an effective two-headed backfield that averages upwards of 5 yards per carry and has combined for 14 TD’s. At 46th in the country with 179.7 ypg, FIU’s running game is the strength of their offense and head coach Butch Davis likes to use the run to set up the pass. However, it so happens that the strength of Miami’s defense is their run D, as they come in ranked 13th nationally and allowing just 104.8 ypg. The Canes are expert-level at knifing into opponents’ backfields and blowing up plays for losses, and they are third in the country at getting teams behind the sticks with 9 TFL per game. With 7.5 TFL in his last two games, LB Shaq Quarterman has been playing out of his mind lately and would love to feast on a lesser opponent like FIU. Miami held FIU to just 17 yards rushing in their meeting last season, and I’m not expecting this game to be much different.

Advantage: Miami

Miami Pass Offense vs. FIU Pass Defense

At 36th in the country with 267.6 ypg, Jarren Williams and Miami’s passing attack has been on fire the past two weeks, culminating in a school-record 6 TD passes for Williams last game vs. UL. Receiving options such as Mike Harley and Dee Wiggins continue to break out and the duo caught a pair of TD’s against the Cardinals in UM’s last game. Not to be outdone, FIU’s secondary is one of the best in the nation, coming in at #13 allowing just 180.3 ypg through the air. Cornerback Rishard Dames is a ballhawk and leads the way for the Panthers with 3 INT’s, but FIU has depth throughout their back-end with 5 players recording at least 4 PBU’s this season. The big issue, though, is the fact that FIU has one of the weakest pass rushes in the country, ranking 113th with 13 sacks total in 2019 (1.3 per game). If the Panthers’ rush isn’t able to get to Williams, it could be a long game for FIU, as Miami’s athletes will be able to get separation and Williams has shown he can pick teams apart when he has time.

Advantage: Miami

FIU Pass Offense vs. Miami Pass Defense

He’s not having the biggest year on the field, but FIU QB James Morgan (58.7% passing, 187.7 ypg, and 10-2 TD-INT ratio) is getting NFL buzz and is a projected mid-round pick right now (4-6th round according to Morgan is held back by a run-first offense that lacks explosion on the outside (passing game ranked 91st at 204.2 ypg), but the senior certainly has the arm and the experience to make Miami pay if they take him lightly. Although FIU’s O-Line does lead Conference USA and is 15th in the nation in protecting the QB (13 sacks allowed, 1.3 per game), UM of course will bring one of the more ferocious pass rushes in the country to the field on Saturday, led by DE Gregory Rousseau and his 12 sacks. That 4th ranked pass rush (3.7 sacks per game) takes a lot of pressure off UM’s secondary, which has been spotty this season and ranks 38th with 205.9 ypg allowed. Ultimately, Miami’s D-Line has too many athletes not to create complete havoc in this game up front for FIU and make life difficult on Morgan.

Advantage: Miami

Miami Special Teams vs. FIU Special Teams

FIU K Jose Borregales (older brother of Andres) had been one of the more reliable kickers in the country over the past few seasons, but has struggled a bit as a junior to go 12-19 (63%) on FG’s in 2019. Miami K Camden Price has brought some stability to a poor kicking game the past three weeks since taking over the job, hitting 4 of 5 FG’s and 11-11 XP’s. UM punter Louis Hedley has emerged as a weapon in helping Miami win the field position battle most weeks, placing 4th in the ACC in ypp (45.6), while FIU’s Tommy Heatherly has been a solid, middle of the pack punter this year with 43.8 ypp. The game features two of the better punt returners in the nation in UM’s KJ Osborn (2nd nationally at 19.0 yards per punt return) and FIU’s Maurice Alexander (3rd at 18.7 yards per punt return).

Advantage: Even

Roster Notes

FIU Players recruited by Miami (3):
RB Anthony Jones, LB Donovan Georges, DT Kane Taylor

Miami Players recruited by FIU (11): DE Scott Patchan, S Robert Knowles, WR Mike Harley, OL Corey Gaynor, DT Jonathan Ford, LB Bradley Jennings, CB Trajan Bandy, OL DJ Scaife, CB Al Blades, DE Jahfari Harvey, LB Sam Brooks

FIU Players that were committed to Miami (0): None

Miami Players that were committed to FIU (1): S Robert Knowles

FIU Players from South Florida (29): WR Maurice Alexander (Booker T. Washington), RB Anthony Jones (Miami Central), LB Sage Lewis (Monsignor Pace), WR Austin Maloney (Columbus), DB Christian Irving (American Heritage), WR Darius Scott (Booker T. Washington), DE Alexy Jean-Baptiste (Coconut Creek), K Jose Borregales (Booker T. Washington), WR Shemar Thornton (Hallandale), DB Rishard Dames (Booker T. Washington), DB Richard Dames (Booker T. Washington), LB Romelo Brooks (Miami Killian), LB Jamal Gates (Dwyer), DE Noah Curtis (American Heritage B/D), DE Kevin Oliver (Western), DB Josh Turner (American Heritage B/D), DB Dorian Hall (South Broward), LB Chris Whittaker (Chaminade-Madonna), LB Tevin Jones (Miami Norland), OL Mershawn Miller (Miami Central), DT Rashad Colson (Miami Norland), WR DeAndre Williams (Booker T. Washington), LB Donovan Georges (Champagnat Catholic), DE Jason Mercier (Atlantic), DB Maurquel Dillard (Stranahan), DB Jamal Anderson (South Dade), RB Shaun Peterson (Nova), RB Lexington Joseph (Miami Central), TE Kamareon Williams (Atlantic)

Series History

Miami leads the overall series with FIU, 3-0.

**The largest margin of victory in this series is 35 points, accomplished by Miami during the teams’ first meeting in 2006 (35-0).

**Speaking of the 2006 version, the series is most remembered for the on-field, benches-clearing brawl that took place in the third quarter after a PAT, resulting in 13 ejections and, later, 31 player suspensions between the two teams; the fight lasted less than 2 minutes, but the game stoppage took upwards of 15 more minutes to clear the field and sort out ejections.

Last Time They Played

In the 2018 version of the game, the Canes went up 31-0 and held FIU to 48 total yards of offense through three quarters before emptying their bench; FIU fought back with 17 unanswered in the 4th quarter, but ultimately fell 31-17 to Miami at Hard Rock Stadium.

**QB N’Kosi Perry relieved an ineffective Malik Rosier mid-way through the first quarter and shined by throwing for 224 yards, 3 TD’s, and 1 INT on 17-25 (68%) passing.

**Miami rushed for 248 yards on the day, led by Travis Homer’s 13 carries for 114 yards and 1 TD, while the UM defense held the Panthers to just 17 yards rushing.

**DT Gerald Willis racked up 3 TFL, leading the way for Miami to tally 11 TFL in the game.


Comments (16)

There is only 14 teams that have fewer passes thrown against them. As I said in another thread that yards per game stat on pass defense is misleading. Does not tell the whole story. Why pass when you can run it down their throats
Miami 59 Fiu 6, we about to stomped they ***. Banda is getting a pick 6
There is only 14 teams that have fewer passes thrown against them. As I said in another thread that yards per game stat on pass defense is misleading. Does not tell the whole story. Why pass when you can run it down their throats
FIU does have a decent rating defending the pass of 116 which ranks #24 nationally, helped mostly by not giving up the big play and 8 int.

We will be the best pass O they face, let's see what happens.
Maybe brevin can get a TD or 2. I know he’s in the watch list for an award
Hope the game gets ugly quick and Jarren puts it away by half. Would like to see Lo and “the Tate package” in 4th quarter mop up duty to give Duke and our bowl opponent another wrinkle in Enos game to worry about.

EDIT: Actually now that I think about it, after seeing Jarren throw 6 TDs out of only 15 completions in beautiful fashion, I’d rather the coaches just keep polishing and molding Williams to be the goat.
Didn't realize KJ was second in the country in yards per punt return. Good for him, and his draft stock.