Miami vs. Texas A&M can be the start back to glory for the Hurricanes

Sebastian the Ibis leads the team run out before Miami’s game versus Miami (OH) at Hard Rock Stadium on Sept. 1, 2023. Photo credit: Jared Lennon

While it was good to see the Miami Hurricanes throttle a team, it was the expectation to have beaten Miami, OH. By no means was this the turning point in the Cristobal area.

Many ‘Canes fans held their breath for another instance that the substantial underdog became victorious against the Hurricanes.

The same situation played out against Middle Tennessee State and Duke last year. The ‘Canes were set up for an easy win at home, played down to competition, and limped home with an loss. Last season was a disaster for year one of the Mario Cristobal era. ‘Canes fans and pundits alike know that. There were chances for a repeat of last season’s debacle as the game spread kept shrinking and shrinking.

Miami (OH) is no cakewalk. They are a solid team. Last year, they went .500 in the Mid-American Conference. The ‘Canes were on upset alert, according to a few different sites, and the aura of disappointment was beginning to seep its way into the seats of Hard Rock Stadium.

However, Miami did not succumb to the noise and played a good football game. They did what they were supposed to do. Miami beat Miami (OH) the way they should be beating teams like Miami (OH). The 38-3 victory in an efficient game is what fans should expect. The ‘Canes played a great game on Friday night, but that statement should not come as a surprise.

While this win is nice, it was only the first week of a long season. Fans can’t draw further conclusions about the season from such a performance.

Texas A&M is a much different story. Their number-one-ranked recruiting class in 2022 is already paying massive dividends. They have five-star prospects, including elite playmakers at wide receiver and quarterback. Texas A&M is not the same team the “Canes played last year. They are much better.

According to ESPN’s matchup predictor, Miami is projected as a 4.0-point underdog at home but has a 52.7% chance of winning this game. Texas A&M crushed their opening weekend matchup, beating New Mexico by 52-10.

A pair of sophomores led them. Quarterback Conner Weigman and receiver Evan Stewart are an elite duo, something other than what the ‘Canes saw last year. Weigman is much better than Max Johnson, and Evan Stewart was the number-one receiver in the 2022 class. Stewart had eight catches for 115 yards and two scores against New Mexico. Weigman tossed a casual five touchdowns on 18-23 passing for 236 yards. This offense is talented.

The ‘Canes look to have a stout defense, though. They played an incredibly efficient game against Miami (OH). There are playmakers on this defense as well. The one real weakness Miami has is at the corner position. It’s a very inexperienced room, and with the passing attack that the Aggies have, it could get ugly. Safeties Kam Kinchens and James Williams will have to come up big.

But the ‘Canes have a shot. Tyler Van Dyke and the rushing attack looked good. But don’t confuse the promising play from Friday night as some expectations going forward. Miami played well, but that is what fans should see every time. It should not be some relief that the Hurricanes survived a big test from Miami (OH).

If Mario Cristobal wants to bring this team back to the highs of the glory years like he said he does, Saturday could be the catalyst for doing so. This team needs to win games on big stages and in big moments. The Aggies present that opportunity in spades. The climb back up the college football royalty mountain starts on September 9th.