Following their second and final bye-week of the 2020 campaign, the No. 11 ranked Miami Hurricanes (5-1) look to become bowl eligible Friday night against conference opponent NC State (4-2).
Our 305Sports UM writers gave their take on the road contest.
Art Moreno, Lead Hurricanes Writer (Season Record: 4-1)
34-14 Miami: NC State and UM go into the game both coming off bye-weeks. For Miami, these have shown to be a thorn in the side for Manny Diaz.
Florida State transfer Bailey Hockman is getting the nod at quarterback with the starter Devin Leary sidelined with an injury during the Wolfpack’s game against Duke. NC State is 1-2 with Hockman at the helm.
NC State will field a 3-3-5 defense that has been hot and cold all season. They have allowed over 400 yards 34 points per game and will face a Miami offense that is still looking to prove themselves.
Look for Miami to run the ball consistently against an uneven front. The Wolfpack have been gashed all season for big runs and passes. Miami’s defense at this point has seemed to gel over the past few weeks and are playing with a lot of energy. I expect a big day from them.
Anthony Yero, Lead Hurricanes Writer (Season Record: 6-0)
30-20 Miami: Manny Diaz is yet to win a game off of a bye week as the head coach of the Hurricanes. Those losses came to Virginia Tech and FIU in 2019 and Clemson in 2020. However, I’m giving Miami the benefit of the doubt because they’ve been a different team this season and NC State also comes off of a bye.
Michael Yero, Lead Hurricanes Writer (Season Record: 5-1)
28-10 Miami: Being the leader he is, D’Eriq King will make it his duty to lead his troops past their bye-week woes. With Brevin Jordan out once again, he’ll likely have to rely on senior Mike Harley Jr., along with those short and sweet passes to Cam’Ron Harris and Will Mallory.
As for the defense, Quincy Roche is bound to make his name heard once again, along with an improving secondary. This game will fall in the hands of remaining humble and consistent throughout all 60 minutes.
Jose Zarraluqui, Hurricanes Writer (Season Record: 6-0)
37-14 Miami: NC State is a team Miami can’t sleep on. Typically every season there’s always a game UM slips up on that they definitely should’ve won. This could be one of those games.
In order for Manny Diaz to continue instilling the culture he’s producing at Miami, he’ll need to get the Canes firing on all cylinders to break their bye-week slump. Quarterback D’Eriq King needs to show off his speed on the ground and show off his discipline when throwing the ball. The offense cannot commit unnecessary turnovers and penalties – especially the offensive line.
Many people haven’t been too excited about the receiving vote so far this season, which is very understandable. The receiving core doesn’t have that consistent reliable target, which is something needed on a team trying to win its conference. With Brevin Jordan out for a third consecutive game, Mike Harley Jr. and his receiving core will need to continue making steps in the right direction. Miami’s run game will need to get it going, too, and I believe they will, greatly because the Wolfpack’s s rush defense ranks tenth among ACC teams.
NC State has an offense that Miami’s defense should be able to limit on both the ground and air. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if the defense is a little shaky, especially coming off of a bye-week. Expect that especially from Miami’s cornerbacks. Al Blades Jr and Co. need to come up big today and not let any receivers get behind them. I would expect Blades to be covering the Wolfpack’s top receiver Emeka Emezie. The front seven and defensive line will be put up with the task of shaking up NC State signal-caller Bailey Hockman, who currently has a 43.2 quarterback rating. At the same time, they’ll have to shut down running back Zonovan Knight. Knight has proved himself of being a solid ACC running back, with just over 400 yards on the season. I see the Hurricanes getting it done on both sides of the ball tonight, resulting in a phenomenal looking win.
Trent Lima, Hurricanes Writer (Season Record: 5-1)
38-21 Miami: UM will look to get Cam Harris more touches this game and establish the run after lacking the last few weeks. The defense will get consistent pressure on the edge and make it a long game for backup signal-caller Bailey Hockman. Expect a dominant game from Miami.