Last year’s game between Miami and Kansas State was a thriller in Coral Gables. One in which the Hurricanes came up just short and lost 28-24. These two teams play again later today in Manhattan and Miami is looking for revenge on the road. What will it take for Miami to pull the road upset?
The answer resides on the defensive side of the ball. Miami’s defense looked overmatched last week against Boston College, but the offense played well enough to pull out the win. Boston College quarterback Chase Rettig passed for 441 yards and two touchdowns last week against the Canes’ secondary, and Rettig is far from the best quarterback in the ACC.
The U did a much better job against the Eagles running game, allowing a total of 96 yards on the ground. This is probably the best news for Miami going up against a run first team in Kansas State. Last week against Missouri State, K-State quarterback Collin Klein only passed for 169 yards. Klein and the rest of the Wildcats offense is run heavy. Last weekend they were able to rack up 324 rushing yards.
One would think that Kansas State’s offense plays right into the Miami defense’s hands, but is that really the case? Klein isn’t a bad passer and I would expect the Wildcats to throw the ball more this week considering the success Boston College had a week ago. The amount of rushing yards that defense gave up may also be a bit misleading. Miami wasn’t dealing with a running back like Montel Harris, and K-State has a much more potent running game then the Eagles.
If the defense can’t step up their game in this one then it will be up to Miami’s offense to simply outscore the Wildcats. That responsibility would fall on two players: QB Stephen Morris and RB Duke Johnson. Morris wasn’t the most accurate passer against BC, he completed 28-of-45 pass attempts for 207 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He will have to be more accurate in this one.
Johnson was the story of the ACC last week. The true freshman bum rushed the show gaining 135 yards on only seven carries. He also scored twice. Miami will need similar production from the young back in this game.
In the end a Miami win is doable, but it would take a close to perfect game for the Hurricanes. The defense needs to improve as does the quarterback play. Miami’s running game should keep this close, but it will take a lot if the Hurricanes are going to avenge last year’s loss.