Takeaways from Miami’s win over Temple

Fourth-year wide receiver Xavier Restrepo and fourth-year offensive line Jalen Rivers celebrate during Miami's win against Temple at Lincoln Financial Field on Sept. 23, 2023. Photo credit: Elijah Heatley

The 18th-ranked Miami Hurricanes moved to 4-0 for the first time since 2017 when they took care of business on a rainy Saturday in Philadelphia, defeating the Temple Owls 41-7. The defense and rushing attack showed up and carried Miami to a swift victory. The Temple offense had a tough time getting anything going, and for the most part, Miami’s offense ran unbridled in the inclement conditions.

Now, onto some takeaways:

The rushing attack can carry the offense

Temple is not known to have a terrific run defense. Still, the ‘Canes ran to the tune of 323 total yards. Henry Parrish Jr. led Miami with a whopping 139 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.

“It was really really windy out there, making it a little bit tougher passing the ball,” Tyler Van Dyke told reporters after the game. “Good thing we can run the ball, hats off to the guys up front.”

After this victory, Miami moved to 12th in rushing yards per game (222.5) in the country. Donald Chaney Jr. got the start, and freshman Mark Fletcher Jr. received the second most carries. Both backs went for over 50 yards on the day.

Defensive line depth showed out

Starters Ahkeem Mesidor and Branson Deen were both out, so Rueben Bain Jr. and Jahfari Harvey got the start. Leonard Taylor III recorded one of Miami’s three sacks on the day. The defensive line was integral to holding Temple to 11 yards on the day. Temple was under pressure all day. The defensive line helped force three turnovers without two of its best players.

Tyler Van Dyke can be a rushing threat

It’s been back-to-back weeks where Van Dyke has been able to make plays with his legs. The Connecticut native was able to rush for a touchdown last week against Bethune-Cookman, and this week, again, he made a defense pay by using his legs on a 37-yard first-quarter carry.

“I felt slow but I saw nobody out there and just pulled it,” Van Dyke said. “I wish I could have gotten a little bit more out of that but 37 yards ain’t too bad.”

The big three receivers stayed consistent

Once again, Miami’s trio of wideouts filled up the stat sheet. Jacolby George led the way with 90 yards receiving, averaging 18 yards per reception. Xavier Restrepo was able to add two more touchdowns to go with seven receptions for 41 yards. Colbie Young showed off his athletic ability as he elevated for an impressive touchdown catch in the first half. This was another good day from the receiving core for the ‘Canes.

Other members of the secondary stepped up with Kinchens out

Veteran defensive back Te’Cory Couch was able to haul in two interceptions and was a huge difference-maker for the defense. Jaden Davis, a transfer from Oklahoma, led the team in tackles from his defensive back spot.

This was Couch’s first collegiate game with two INTs.

“I just give credit to all the guys around me, [defensive] line, linebackers, other [defensive backs] in the secondary,” Couch said. “I couldn’t do it without those guys so I just give those guys all the credit.”

Cristobal is not satisfied

“We left some meat on the bone out there,” Cristobal said. “Some good stuff, some bright spots but a lot of stuff to fix.”

Miami’s head coach is not content with the 4-0 record. The former Hurricane player wants more. This message of not being satisfied is reflected in his player’s words and attitudes as well.

“I feel like it gives us a lot of confidence but I don’t really like to look at it like that,” offensive lineman Anez Cooper said. “I just look at it like the next game because if you have too much confidence you feel like you are too good or something so we just focus on us and keep playing game-to-game.”

The undefeated Miami Hurricanes get a week of rest before they face off against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on Oct. 7th. Kick-off from Hard Rock Stadium is set for 8 p.m.