No. 20 Miami looks to beat Temple for 14th straight time

Sep 14, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Hurricanes quarterback Tyler Van Dyke (9) throws the football prior to the game against the Bethune Cookman Wildcats at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

No. 20 Miami will hit the road for the first time this season and will look for its first 4-0 start since 2017 when it visits Temple in Philadelphia on Saturday afternoon for a non-conference game.

The Hurricanes (3-0) have won 13 straight meetings with the Owls (2-1), although the former Big East rivals haven’t tangled since Miami’s 34-3 win in 2005. The Hurricanes opened the week as 25-point favorites.

Miami ranks third in the ACC in scoring offense (44.7 points per game) and third in scoring defense (14.3). The defense ranks eighth in the nation in fewest rushing yards allowed per game (60.3), and opponents are averaging just 2.2 yards per rush against the Hurricanes.

Individually, the Hurricanes are powered by quarterback Tyler Van Dyke, who leads the ACC in passing efficiency.

Van Dyke is completing 76 percent of his passes and averaging 274 yards per game this season. He has eight touchdown passes and just one interception.

“He’s playing at a really high level,” Miami coach Mario Cristobal said.

Van Dyke’s favorite target is slot receiver Xavier Restrepo, who ranks second in the ACC with 104.7 receiving yards per game.

Two other Miami receivers have stood out. Jacolby George is tied for the league lead with four touchdown catches, and Colbie Young ranks fifth in the ACC with 209 receiving yards.

Meanwhile, the Owls, who finished 3-9 last year in their first season under coach Stan Drayton, lost 36-7 at Rutgers on Sept. 9 but rebounded last Saturday with a 41-9 win over Norfolk State.

Temple’s offense is led by quarterback E.J. Warner and receivers Dante Wright and Amad Anderson Jr.

The Owls’ quarterback, the son of Pro Football Hall of Famer Kurt Warner, emerged last year when he passed for 18 touchdowns but had 12 interceptions in 11 games.

This year, Warner has four TD passes and two interceptions, both against Rutgers. His completion percentage has decreased from 60.5 last year to 52.5 this season.

But Warner, a true sophomore, is still dangerous. He was the American Athletic Conference’s Rookie of the Year in 2022. His 3,028 passing yards last year were the second most in Temple history and the most by an Owls freshman.

Wright, a transfer from Colorado State, leads Temple in catches (16) and receiving yards (185). Anderson, who started his career at Purdue, is in his fifth college season. For his career, he has 109 catches for 1,304 yards and nine touchdowns.

Edward Saydee, who led Temple in rushing yards last season with 639 and finished second with 901 scrimmage yards, is off to a slow start. He has just 45 yards in three games, averaging 2.1 per carry.

Joquez Smith, a true freshman, leads Temple with 187 rushing yards and a 7.8 average. He had 142 yards against Norfolk State. Smith, who is from Tampa, will face his home-state team in the Hurricanes.

“We’re young,” Temple coach Stan Drayton said when asked about Smith. “Some of our best talent is young talent.”

–Field Level Media

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