NCAA Football: Miami at Middle Tennessee

Middle Tennessee He entered the Hard Rock Stadium and handed over the number 25 Miami A 45-31 upset loss on Saturday as a 26-point underdog. The loss sparks a quarterback controversy for the Hurricanes and a second straight loss and a 2-2 start to the Mario Cristobal era that will leave many fans feeling uneasy. The win marked Middle Tennessee’s first AP Top 25-ranked opponent in program history, and remarkably, put the Blue Raiders at 3-0 all-time against the Hurricanes after defeating their previous meetings in 1931 and 1932.

As Miami tried to claw its way back into the game, Middle Tennessee jumped out to a 24-3 lead and continued to answer in each round. The Hurricanes benched quarterback Tyler Van Dyke in favor of Jake Garcia, but Chase Cunningham and the Middle Tennessee offense couldn’t stop him from moving the ball on defense. Texas A&M About 17 points a week ago in College Station, Texas.

Miami had a lot of notable injuries in this game, including the secondary, but this game was a lot about how Middle Tennessee handled its business, adding to the damage for the Hurricanes. The offense struggled to hit all afternoon, while Middle Tennessee had touchdown plays — not drives, but plays — of 71 yards, 69 yards and 98 yards on their first drive of 20 yards.

That 98-yard score was especially painful; Despite having second-and-goal from the 1-yard line, it came up short on Miami’s heels. The Hurricanes started the fourth quarter with a chance to cut the lead to seven, but instead found themselves in a three-touchdown deficit with less than 15 minutes to play.

A quarterback change would be the biggest storyline for a Miami team falling out of the top 25 rankings, and now the ACC must refocus its efforts to beat Coastal. Miami is 2-2 overall but has yet to play a conference game, meaning decisions on the offense will determine whether the Hurricanes are preseason projections to beat their ranked side.

Tyler Van Dyke, last year’s ACC Offensive Rookie of the Year, completed a season-best 16 of 32 passing attempts for 138 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions before Jack Garcia took the bench, finishing 10-of-19 for 161 yards. The pass, however, led to two late touchdown drives. Miami fans at Hard Rock Stadium began chanting Garcia’s name as Van Dyke continued to fight and Garcia entered the game, sparking the offense and giving life to the Canes’ comeback efforts.

Now, both Mario Cristobal and offensive coordinator Josh Gattis have decisions to make regarding the quarterback’s future. It could be a week before the team returns to action. North Carolina October 8 at home.

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