No. 22 Hurricanes roll to 3-0 start with blowout win against Bethune-Cookman
MIAMI GARDENS — The Hurricanes showed no signs of fatigue despite returning to Hard Rock Stadium five days after beating Texas A&M on the same field.
No. 22 Miami (3-0) rolled to a 48-7 win against an overmatched Bethune-Cookman on Thursday night, outgaining the Wildcats 589-165.
The Hurricanes got off to a quick start. Tyler Van Dyke opened the scoring on the first drive of the game, as UM drove down the field with a nine-play, 65-yard series. Van Dyke ended it with a 10-yard touchdown run, his first score on the ground this season and the second of his career.
Miami largely stuck with the ground game, finishing the win with 240 rushing yards. Ajay Allen, who transferred from Nebraska in the offseason, scored his first touchdown as a Hurricane on an 8-yard carry, putting UM up 14-0. Don Chaney Jr. racked up 55 yards on his first drive of the game, capping it with his second score of the season on a 3-yard touchdown carry.
Allen added a second touchdown with 3:03 left in the third quarter, scoring from 4 yards out. Chris Johnson Jr., a Dillard High alumnus, scored his first career touchdown with a 21-yard score in the fourth quarter.
Chaney led Miami with 73 rushing yards on seven carries.
Van Dyke did not have a quiet game, though. He completed 19 of 23 passes for 247 yards and a pair of touchdown passes. He connected with Jacolby George for a 15-yard touchdown, which was George’s fourth of the year. He also tossed a 27-yard score to Brashard Smith.
Van Dyke has eight touchdown passes this season.
The Wildcats could not catch a break in their defeat. Their most promising drive of the game ended with a forced fumble by Francisco Mauigoa, which was recovered by Jake Lichtenstein.
Freshman Emory Williams took over for Van Dyke early in the third quarter, and he completed nine of 11 passes for 102 yards in his second career game.
Offense keeps clicking
If you were concerned that Miami would be sluggish coming off a short week and a physical game against an SEC defense, the Hurricanes quickly assuaged your fears.
The Hurricanes had a strong, nine-play, 65-yard drive to open the game and did not slow down. Miami scored on all but one of its first-half drives. The only time the Hurricanes did not reach the end zone was when Colbie Young caught a slant inside the 5-yard line but fumbled at the 1-yard line and turned the ball over in the end zone.
UM rushed for 240 yards in the win and racked up a season-high 589 total yards.
Receivers continue hot start
Miami’s wide receivers continued the roll they got on last week.
Slot wide receiver Xavier Restrepo had his second consecutive 100-yard game, finishing the contest with 120 receiving yards. He has 314 receiving yards in three games this season.
After catching three touchdowns against the Aggies, George caught another one Thursday and had 52 receiving yards.
Smith had his first touchdown catch of the season (though he scored on a kickoff against Texas A&M on Saturday) and racked up 55 yards.
Young had a drop and a fumble but finished the game with 55 yards.
Defensive line gets in the backfield
Miami had no trouble pressuring Bethune-Cookman’s quarterbacks on Thursday.
The Hurricanes finished the game with four sacks. Freshman Rueben Bain recorded his first college sack, and Miami also got sacks from Jake Lichtenstein, Jared Harrison-Hunte and Chase Smith. UM had 10 total tackles for loss.
Mauigoa also forced Bethune-Cookman quarterback Tylik Bethea to fumble, which Lichtenstein recovered.
‘Canes rotate players
UM had plenty of time to rotate in substitutes in the blowout win. The Hurricanes brought in many reserve players for most of the second half.
Williams got into the second game of his college career, and Miami brought in some freshmen like running back Chris Johnson Jr., wide receiver Robby Washington, defensive lineman Jayden Wayne, linebackers Bobby Washington Jr. and Raul Aguirre and cornerback Damari Brown.
Injury replacements do well
Miami had several players out for their win on Thursday, but their replacements filled in admirably.
Kam Kinchens missed the game after his scary injury at the end of the Texas A&M game. Miami started Jaden Harris in his spot. Harris had a tackle in the win Thursday.
Miami was also missing three starting defensive linemen: ends Akheem Mesidor and Nyjalik Kelly and tackle Branson Deen. The Hurricanes started Jahfari Harvey, Jared Harrison-Hunte and Rueben Bain in their stead.
Bain and Harrison-Hunte each had a sack, and Harvey had a tackle. Lichtenstein also filled in and had a sack and a fumble recovery.