The Miami Hurricanes look to make it three straight with a 12:30pm ET tilt against the NC State Wolfpack. The Canes are already bowl eligible and the Wolfpack are looking to become eligible with a win. Here are three keys to the game.
Miami Offensive Line Needs to Hold Steady
During Miami’s four game losing streak, the offensive line was putrid and that’s being generous. They gave up a total of 18 sacks during that streak. They have since given up only 1. That doesn’t tell the whole story as Kaaya was on his back for most of those losses as well and you could tell he was shook. Mark Richt clearly made some adjustments to the blocking pattern because Kaaya has had more time to make his throws. The last two games the offense has been much better, including the running game which was on a milk carton during that three game losing streak. If Miami didn’t have that dismal O-line play during that stretch, who knows how this season would have ended up. But if my aunt had….ah never mind, not going there.
Freshman WR Ahmmon Richards is a Stud
I’ll say it again Ahmmon Richards is a stud. He’s in a great position to break Michael Irvin’s freshman receiving record. Irvin had 840 yards and 9 TDs in his redshirt freshman campaign. Richards right now is sitting on 732 yards and 7 TDs. Richards has the single game freshman record which he broke against Appalachian State with 142 yards and broke his own record against Pitt with 144 yards. He has been a big play receiver often times overshadowing Stacey Coley who’s another NFL caliber receiver. It’s fun to watch Richards as he’s seems almost impossible to guard and run crisp routes. He should put up some nice numbers against NC State secondary, which isn’t terrible, but not good enough to handle Miami’s weapons.
Corn Elder is Also a Stud
This one is not a surprise. We knew coming in that Corn Elder was going to be one of the leaders on the defense. He has not disappointed. Elder has a tremendous amount of instinct when he’s on the field. He always seems to have a knack for the ball. He only has 1 INT this season, but that’s because teams are smart enough not to throw in his direction too much. He’s a great on the ball defender, zone defender, it doesn’t matter. He’s a complete defensive back that knows how to work within Manny Diaz’s aggressive system. As a DB, he’s tied for the lead with freshman LB Shaq Quarterman, another stud with 61 total tackles. Oh and he has 3 sacks for a total of 29 yards lost and 4.5 tackles for a loss for 34 yards. This is what you call complete production from a defensive back. Expect to hear his name a lot against NC State as he’s always in the mix and will be playing on Sundays next season.