BY SCOTT MORGANROTH
Regardless of the opponents record there is no way you can take your opponent lightly in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The Miami Hurricanes found that out on October 7, when they lost to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, who were 2-3 going into the matchup, and lost the game in the final seconds as by not using victory formation, the Canes lost a fumble that led to a 23-20 loss at Hard Rock Stadium. Head Coach Mario Cristobal owned up to his mistake a couple days later.
Would the Hurricanes (25) bounce back the following week in Chapel Hill facing the North Carolina Tar Heals (12)? That would not be the case as North Carolina Head Coach Mack Brown had his club up 35-17 by the end of the third quarter and cruised to the win. North Carolina won the contest 41-31.
To this point, the Hurricanes were 0-2 in ACC Competition and were looking to snap that streak against the Clemson Tigers, but they would have to do it without starting QB Tyler Van Dyke, who missed the game do to an injury.
Enter Freshman QB Emory Williams who was getting his first start. The youngster showed no fear and he completed 24/33 151 yards along with one touchdown pass, plus an interception.
He had some help from running back Ajay Allen, who had 16 carries for 54 yards and scored a touchdown.
Wide receiver Colbie Young caught six passes for 26 yards and a touchdown.
Clemson took a 17-7 at the end of the third quarter but Miami took over in the fourth quarter in the fourth quarter and overtimes out scoring Clemson 21-3 and pulled out a 28-20 triumph vs Dabo Swinney and his club.
Could the Hurricanes add another win against the Virginia Cavaliers (2-5), to close out October and reach Bowl Eligibility?
For the second straight win, the Hurricanes went to overtime and won 29-26 over the Cavaliers.
It was a tough night for Van Dyke who was 20/30 163 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT.
Ajay Allen was a factor in the ground game with 11 carries, for 67 yards and a touchdown. Miami’s leading receiver was Xavier Restrepo, who had three receptions for 48 yards.
But the man of the night was kicker Andres Borregales, who kicked three field goals and made his only two extra points.
This victory improved the Canes to 6-2 and the team reached Bowl Eligibility.
This set the stage for a road game on Saturday as Miami went to Raleigh, NC to face the North Carolina State Wolfpack.
Once again, it was a tough night on the gridiron for Van Dyke as he went 21/38 for 173 yards, 0 TD and three interceptions.
Mark Fletcher had a solid game on the ground with 23 carries for 115 yards while Jacolby George had five receptions for 59 yards,
The big numbers that stood out was Miami was 4-15 in 3rd down efficiency, six penalties for 55 yards. The Hurricanes out gained NC State 292-231 yards and Miami led in time of possession 35:16-24:44. Miami also had a fumble loss.
There is no doubt that this was one of the worst performances of the year against an opponent that no has the same record, 6-3. The Hurricanes lost the game 20-6.
Now the stage is set as Miami travels to Tallahassee to take on the Florida State Seminoles. Game time is 3:30 PM ET.
The Hurricanes open up as 14 point underdogs on the road at Florida State for Week 11.
There is No/Over/Under listed at open.
If the Hurricanes even have a chance to win this game, Van Dyke must play his best game ever.
Otherwise. If the struggles continue, No. 4 Florida State (9-0-0) could turn this game into a scrimmage.
There is no doubt there will be lots of bowl representatives and scouts in attendance at Doak Campbell Stadium.
Now the Canes have a chance to let the country know that the program is progressing under Mario Cristobal.
Scott Morganroth can be reached at email@example.com
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