What an unexpected chant of events for Miami and Texas A&M. The Aggies were expected to come into this week 3 matchup 2-0 and a top 5 team. Unfortunately, the Aggies were defeated against App State.
App State have been known as the giant slayers or just the ultimate underdogs since that defeat #2 Michigan 15 years ago to the day.
Now, Miami has a chance to do the same in College Station. The Canes will come in 2-0 after a sloppy but 30-7 win over Southern Miss.
Unlike App State, the Canes come in with a potential 1st round QB. Tyler Van Dykes didn’t play up to his standards in week 2. Dykes was 21/30 for 263 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception.
The Canes were very sluggish starting the game. It could be accredited to the early start time of 12pm. However, if the Canes come out slow against a Texas A&M team that has something to prove, the Canes could fall.
The Aggies will come in looking to make up for a terrible loss to App State. The strength of the team seems to be the defense.
Offensively, the Aggies have been anything but perfect. The Aggies scored just 1 offensive touchdown all game. The other touchdown came from a kick return.
Furthermore, the Aggies need to find ways to get their young talented receivers the ball early. Against Miami that could very well be the difference in the game.
So far, the Canes look like they have defensive backs that are dangerous to throw against, but the rest should be easy pickings.
Nonetheless, the Aggies will need to also lock in their quarterback situation. Thus far, QB Haynes King has had a tough time getting the offense going. We shouldn’t be surprised if LSU transfer Max Johnson starts against Miami.
If history holds, Miami has typically done terrible against quarterbacks making their season debuted. Head coach Jimbo Fisher needs to consider doing such a thing to save the season.
Fisher has lost only once against the Hurricanes when he was leading Florida State. However, the Aggies have lost back-to-back meetings against the Canes. However, Miami has not beaten an SEC program since 2013 when they beat Florida.
Something has to give if the Aggies expect to pull off a win against the Canes this time.
The Canes should come into this game looking to improve and play a complete game.
Against BCU and Southern Miss, the Canes did not look like they were awake to play. Almost like they were sleep walking until the second half.
In both wins, the scoreboard looked like the Canes had a convinces win, but watching the game left you with more questions than answers.
Tyler Van Dyke admitted that he didn’t play well against Southern Miss. TVD keeping his self accountable for the sluggish start by the Canes. Miami did not take the lead until a few seconds before halftime.
TVD and the rest of the Canes know that a slow start against Texas A&M could be disastrous. The key for Miami will be to start fast.
Miami running backs will face a d-line loaded with talent. Depending on how well the Miami offensive line can get off the ball will determine how well the Canes ground game will be.
In the first half against southern miss, Miami had only 54 yards. That number would greatly improve in the second half. Parrish, Knighton, and Thad Franklin will need to get to the second level of the defense if they want to be successful.
As for the passing game, the Canes have a great chance to score points. TVD is good and so is the weapons Miami have.
If the Canes can get the ball into the receivers hands I believe they will run away with this.
However, the Canes secondary will need to improve. Tyreek Stevenson, James Williams, and Kam Kitchens can’t be the only guys making plays.
DJ Ivey continues to be a liability in coverage. Malik Curtis was given the start against Southern Miss, but in back to back plays he was cooked. Will head coach Mario Cristobal give a different guy the opportunity to start against the Aggies? We’ll see.
As far as the Linebackers, the Canes weren’t tested much at all against Souther Miss. I do expect the Aggies to go directly at them in on Saturday.
Miami’s defense has had a very hard time stopping the short passes across the middle of the field. Overall, the key to Miami winning will be determined by the Canes fast start and the improvements in the secondary.
Until Miami’s D-line starts to get pressure on the quarterback, the secondary will be at the mercy of how well each individual locks down their man.