Miami beats Bethune-Cookman 48-7 with a complete team effort

Junior wide receiver Colbie Young leaps for intended touchdown pass during Miami's game against Bethune-Cookman at Hard Rock Stadium on Sept. 14, 2023. Photo credit: Alexandra Fisher

Miami welcomed the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats back to Hard Rock Stadium in front of a reported crowd of 40,077 people. The ‘Canes defeated the Wildcats 48-7 Thursday night in Miami Gardens. Just like their last matchup, the ‘Canes sent them packing with a loss.

The ‘Canes recorded almost 600 yards of total offense and had everyone contributing. The starters were out by the end of the third quarter. Freshman quarterback Emory Williams made his second appearance of the season as the backup for Tyler Van Dyke – playing a majority of the second half.

Miami playmakers were showing off on the stat sheet. Jacolby George scored his fourth touchdown of the season in just three games and picked up where he left off against Texas A&M. Running Back Ajay Allen secured his first two touchdowns as a ‘Cane, along with 68 yards rushing. Running Back Don Chaney Jr. accounted for all 55 yards on the touchdown drive that made it 27-0 in the second quarter. Chaney was also the leading rusher for the team on the night, with seven carries for 73 yards.

“TVD operated at a very high level. So did the receivers. Xavier with another great day, Jacolby George played well,” Miami head coach Mario Cristobal said. “All the running backs ran really hard. The first team offensive line, the tight ends, they blocked really well.”

The score was 34-0 at the end of the first half of football. In the first frame, Tyler Van Dyke found seven different receivers. Xavier Restrepo had six catches for 120 yards as the leading receiver on the night. Colby Young and Jacolby George had four receptions a piece for 39 and 47 yards, respectively. Van Dyke himself ended the first half and the game with a stellar stat line. He completed 19 of his 23 passes, 247 yards, two touchdowns, and a 201.5 passer rating. Van Dyke even opened the scoring with a rushing touchdown, the second of his career.

Bethune-Cookman had a trio of quarterbacks play that all recorded mixed results. Luke Sprague, the starter, was injured early on, and Tylik Bethea came in to back him up. Near the end of the contest, Walter Simmons III led the only Wildcat scoring drive. Simmons was the leader in yards with 62. JoJo Bazil was the leading rusher with 22 yards. Terry Lindsey had two receptions and was the top receiver with 20 yards.

The offense and defense both executed greatly. Freshman defensive lineman Rueben Bain recorded his first career sack as part of a stifling performance from the ‘Canes defense. Sixth-year senior Jake Lichenstein had a sack and a fumble recovery in some meaningful minutes.

“It felt pretty good,” said Rueben Bain about his first sack. “I’m ready for the next one.”

Williams finished with 102 yards and hit 9-11 of his passes. The true freshman looked solid in his first real-time under-center for the ‘Canes. Williams had the Miami offense gain 8.4 yards per play and a whopping 32 first downs. 70% of Miami’s drives ended up in touchdowns, including the first four consecutively.

“He’s been doing it in practice. He’s a very smart decision-maker. He knows where to go with the ball,” Van Dyke said. “His future is very very bright.”

Miami dominated in all facets of the game, just as expected. The ‘Canes will travel to face the Temple Owls next Saturday. Kickoff takes place at 3:30 p.m.