234 days after transferring to Miami, D’Eriq King took the field for the first time wearing orange and green.
The graduate transfer hadn’t played in a college football game since Week 4 of the 2019 season (358 days). And he had to shake off some rust early before producing in UM’s 31-14 victory over the UAB Blazers.
“We’ve got to hit those shots when we get them,” King told reporters after the game.
King was able to reach the end zone twice, once through the air and once with his feet, extending his streak of consecutive games with a rushing and passing touchdown to 16, which is an FBS record.
He completed 66% of his passes for 144 yards, while also contributing greatly to Miami’s rushing dominance, recording 84 of the team’s 334 rushing yards.
The Hurricanes’ offense played conservative and stuck with the run game throughout the match, handing it off 38 times. And while King wasn’t able to showcase his arm as much as we expected, it was enough to excite many.
With that said, here are 24 thoughts on the 24 passes that King threw in his first game at Hard Rock Stadium.
1 — (9:31 – 1st) Pass complete to Dee Wiggins for 9 yards for a 1ST down.
King gets a lot of depth on his drop back and it leads to a direct line pass to Wiggins for a first down.
Great blocking, especially by Cam’Ron Harris, to give the quarterback time to hit his receiver.
2 — (8:35 – 1st) Pass complete to Mike Harley for 13 yards for a 1ST down.
King takes no more than a second and a half to deliver another strike right where it belongs to Harley.
He knew exactly where he wanted to throw before he even snapped the ball, given that he delivered the pass before Harley beat his defender.
3 — (7:44 – 1st) Pass complete to Harris for a loss of 2 yards.
King hits Harris on a screen, but redshirt sophomore Cleveland Reed missed the block and it resulted in a two-yard loss.
Can’t do much about that. If Reed hit the block, the pass would have resulted in a solid gain.
4 — (6:58 – 1st) Pass incomplete to Jeremiah Payton.
No clue what went on here. Payton did a curl but King threw it deep.
Aside from that, the Hurricanes put themselves at a vulnerable 3rd & 14 position after the two-yard loss on the play before.
5 — (13:32 – 2nd) Pass incomplete to Harley.
King overthrows Harley down the sideline and UM gets the three and out.
King clearly isn’t worried about throwing it deep, but after consecutive run plays, he only throws one pass on the drive and heads back to the sideline.
6 — (12:11 – 2nd) Pass complete to Wiggins for 11 yards for a 1ST down.
King shows us why he was the most anticipated quarterback in college football this offseason with this play.
The pocket collapses so he escapes and delivers an excellent pass to Wiggins on the run for a first down.
7 — (7:32 – 2nd) Pass incomplete to Harley.
King misses Harley on the flat route. Area was pretty contested but just not a good pass by King.
8 — (6:43 – 2nd) Pass complete to Wiggins for 5 yards.
Good block = good gain.
King hits Wiggins on the screen, and a great block by tight end Brevin Jordan leads to the five-yard pickup.
9 — (3:10 – 2nd) Pass incomplete to Harley.
Once again, King misses when looking at Harley down the sideline.
On the slow-motion replay, the ball appears to be out of reach for Harley.
10 — (2:23 – 2nd) Pass incomplete to Brevin Jordan
King kept his composure in the pocket and hits Jordan on the money. But in 2020 fashion, the ball goes through the hands of Jordan.
I’m very impressed with this pass, as he pinpoints it despite the number of defenders in the vicinity.
11 — (1:03 – 2nd) Pass complete to Harley for 6 yards.
King hits Harley to kick off the two-minute drill.
12 — (0:48 – 2nd) Pass complete to Harris for 7 yards for a 1ST down.
King uses his awareness to prevent taking the sack and dumps it off to Harris for the first down.
Throughout the first half, King kept his composure in the pocket even when there’s pressure. With a fairly young offensive-line, King will have to remain vigilant of his surroundings.
13 — Pass complete to Mark Pope for 15 yds to the UAB 33 for a 1ST down.
King has time to drop back and throws the quick pass to Pope for 15 yards and a first down.
The offense continues to move at a fast pace and King shows that he can make quick reads.
14 — (0:31 – 2nd) Pass incomplete.
Some may see this as a throw away, I look at it as a smart IQ play.
King was only sacked once in the game, but he was pressured numerous times. Getting rid of the ball in dangerous situations is exactly what you want to see from your quarterback.
15 — (0:21 – 2nd) Pass complete to Harris for 2 yards.
On 3rd & 19 with the first half winding down, King hits Harris on a screen pass in search for some extra yards.
Jordan missed a block which closed an opening for Harris and left him trying to split the defense and picking up just two-yards.
16 — (11:48 – 3rd) Pass incomplete to Payton.
Not too sure what happened here.
King rolls over to the right and overthrows a wide-open Payton in the endzone. Miami was unable to score a touchdown on the drive and had to settle with a field goal.
17 — (10:53 – 3rd) Pass complete to Harris for 3 yards to the UAB 9.
I don’t like this play call.
3rd & 11 in the red zone and the Hurricanes settle with a screen pass to Harris. With tight ends Jordan and Will Mallory on the roster, they should be targeted on these types of plays.
18 — (6:04 – 3rd) Pass complete to Harley for 8 yards.
Offensive line rotates extremely well and gives King time to hit Harley for an eight yard gain.
Good way to start off the drive.
19 — (4:49 – 3rd) Pass complete to Jordan for 22 yds to the UAB 6 for a 1ST down.
Another pass on the money by King.
He’s able to roll out of the pocket and throw an absolute dime to Jordan despite being surrounded by defenders.
20 — (4:07 – 3rd) Pass incomplete to Harris.
Can’t blame him.
King gets pressured immediately and throws a pass intended for Harris on the ground.
21 — (2:34 – 3rd) Pass complete to Jordan for 25 yards for a 1ST down.
Just give Jordan the ball and let him go to work.
Simple as that. Jordan was targeted four times last night, which is less than usual. And despite the lack of looks, he turned his three receptions into 51 yards 17 YPC).
22 — (2:14 – 3rd) Pass complete to Payton for 13 yards to the UAB 37 for a 1ST down.
For the third time, King is able to drop back, take his time, and hit his receiver on a curl for a first down.
King has continued to show off his arm strength and throw fast passes.
23 — (0:00 – 3rd) Pass complete to Jordan for 4 yards for a touchdown.
That’s what I’m talking about.
The 6-foot-3, 235-pound Jordan is a force to be reckoned with in the endzone and outmatches his defender almost always.
He and Mallory should become King’s favorite targets in the red zone this season.
24 — (12:44 – 4th) Pass complete to Pope for 3 yards. Penalty, offensive holding to the MIA 21.
While it may have been a short gain and also called back by a holding penalty, this was one of his most impressive throws of the night.
King is milliseconds away from being sandwiched by two UAB defensive lineman, but he maintains his composure in the pocket and hits Pope for the gain.