Sims: Takeaways from Miami’s loss to Georgia Tech

Redshirt freshman defensive lineman Ahmad Moten sacks a Georgia Tech player during Miami's game against GT at Hard Rock Stadium on Oct. 7, 2023. Photo credit: Alexandra Fisher


That was Miami’s winning probability on ESPN with 1:22 remaining in the fourth quarter. A dumbfounded crowd at Hard Rock Stadium saw what happened afterward in the plays that followed. Whether Donald Chaney Jr. fumbled or not, that was the call. Kamren Kinchens then bit on a double move by Georgia Tech wide receiver Christian Leary that allowed Leary to haul in his only reception of the game, which proved to be the game-winning touchdown.

Miami should have never even been in that position. Taking a knee and the game ends with Miami remaining unbeaten. This was a catastrophic ending to a game that played out on national television.

All that aside, there was still almost a full four-quarters of football played before that infamous sequence of events. Let’s jump into some takeaways from the other 58 minutes of the game.

Miami’s defense is not to blame; this one’s on the offense

The offense had been averaging 43.8 points per game through the first four games of the season. But against Georgia Tech, Miami was only able to record 20 points. 20 points to a team that let up 38 to a much weaker opponent in Bowling Green the week before.

Miami’s three turnovers in this game were the most it’s had this season in a single game.

Georgia Tech quarterback Haynes King came into the night averaging nearly 300 yards through the air, but Miami held him to just 151 yards. King was not efficient either. He completed 12 of 25 passes, along with two interceptions.

The Yellow Jackets’ leading rusher and receiver were held to less than 50 yards on the night. Georgia Tech converted only five of its 13 third-down attempts. The ‘Canes defense only let up 250 yards of total offense. Miami’s defense allowed just 14 yards in the first quarter and shut out Georgia Tech in the first half.

While the blunders by the defense late in the game were detrimental, it should have never been in that position. The offense kept putting the defense in unfavorable situations, and eventually, the whole team paid the price.

Tyler Van Dyke came back down to Earth

Van Dyke quadrupled his interception total on the season with a trio of picks against Georgia Tech. All three of his turnovers came when Miami was knocking on the door or when Georgia Tech would have great field position. The Yellow Jackets were able to score ten points off of those turnovers.

Van Dyke had been one of the best quarterbacks in the ACC, and while he put up an okay stat line, his turnovers kept halting Miami’s momentum. He’ll have to show out next week against one of the top NFL draft prospects in North Carolina’s Drake Maye.

Xavier Restrepo stayed hot

There were a few bright spots for the ‘Canes offensively. Van Dyke’s connection with Restrepo remains elite. Restrepo was able to haul in 12 passes and rack up 123 yards. This was his third time going over 100 yards this season.

The bye week is a problem, no matter who is at the helm

The games after a bye remain a massive problem for Miami. The ‘Canes are now 2-7 since 2017 in regular-season contests following a week off. The Hurricanes have a week-by-week mindset and for whatever reason, the bye week throws a wrench in their flow. Luckily for Cristobal and the ‘Canes, Miami does not have a bye week the rest of the year. Miami to reset and shift its focus to next week like it’s done all year.

Even after everything – the interceptions, the slow start on offense, and the three points in the first half – the ‘Canes were in a position to win the game. The game was over. All they had to do was kneel down and the game would’ve ended with a UM victory.

The ‘Canes will try and flush this embarrassing loss with a tough test next week in Chapel Hill against the 12th-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels. Kick-off for that primetime matchup is set for 7:30 p.m.