The Miami Hurricanes started their season by snapping a five-game home losing streak with a decisive 38-3 victory over the Miami (Ohio) University RedHawks on Friday night at Hard Rock Stadium.
It was a game dominated by the Hurricanes’ rushing attack. The ‘Canes achieved 250 yards on the ground with their offensive line consistently getting to the second level of Miami of Ohio’s defense.
All four running backs – Henry Parrish Jr., Mark Fletcher Jr., Ajay Allen, and Don Chaney Jr. – took advantage of their chances. All the backs had at least eight carries of at least 38 yards, and all except for Allen found the end zone. Parrish ran nine times for 90 yards, while Fletcher ran nine times for 76. The ‘Canes were breaking off big chunk runs seemingly at will.
“All four of those guys are tough… I trust each and every one of them. The competition in the room is really good,” quarterback Tyler Van Dyke said. “They each have a different skill set that they bring to the table. Very excited to see what those guys are going to do moving on.”
Miami’s defense also performed well. It held Miami of Ohio to 2-for-12 on third-down conversions and allowed only 215 total yards. Linebacker Fransico Mauigoa led the ‘Canes in total tackles with five. Linebacker Wesley Bissainthe and defensive lineman Jahfari Harvey each recorded a sack en route to a stifling Hurricanes defensive performance.
“It was a lot of hard work. A lot of time is being put in for the defense. I think everyone executed their job,” Mauigoa said. “It can be down to the little details, and I think it was a good way to start the season.”
The Hurricanes’ offense couldn’t have gotten off to a faster start. Wide receiver Colbie Young took a screen pass 44 yards to the end zone on just the third play from scrimmage, giving the ‘Canes a 7-0 lead. Van Dyke started five-for-five, earning 68 yards and a touchdown.
Van Dyke finished his night with 201 yards on an efficient 17 completions out of 22 passes. He had a touchdown thanks to Young and an interception early in the second quarter.
After Van Dyke threw the interception, Miami of Ohio found a rhythm on offense. The RedHawks put together a drive into UM’s territory and secured their first and only points from a 48-yard field goal.
The ‘Canes responded immediately and got back the three points thanks to a drive with a 37-yard run from Parrish. The field goal from Andres Borregales made the score 16-3 in favor of Miami to end the first half.
Borregales had three field goals and three extra-point kicks on the evening, going without a miss against the RedHawks.
“Andy’s a big part of this team. He’s a clutch kicker. He makes big-time kicks,” Van Dyke said. “Everybody on this team trusts him. Glad he’s on our team.”
The Hurricanes’ defense came out hot from halftime and continued to hold Miami of Ohio without a third-down conversion. Then, Xavier Restrepo and Mark Fletcher led the ‘Canes down the field to set up Fletcher, the true freshman, for a 22-yard scoring run. Restrepo scored the two-point conversion to give UM a 21-point lead.
After the Hurricanes scored another touchdown via a Parrish run to make the score 31-3, Van Dyke was taken out of the game with just under ten minutes left for freshman quarterback Emory Williams.
On the one drive Williams had throws on, the Hurricanes scored. Chaney finished that drive with a 20-yard run to put the ‘Canes up 38-3. A turnover on downs for the RedHawks with less than two minutes remaining sealed the victory for Miami.
The ‘Canes will host the Texas A&M Aggies next Saturday at Hard Rock Stadium. Kickoff will be at 3:30 p.m.