Miami Scouting Report: Close Games Common For Hurricanes

Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech and Miami square off on Saturday night. (ACC pool photography)

It’s Miami time. Starting quarterback D’Eriq King and top tailback Cam’Ron Harris are out with season-ending injuries, the secondary is full of freshmen, head coach Manny Diaz is on the hotseat, and the athletic department is topsy turvy. Despite all that, the Hurricanes are sitting on a 5-5 record, a record boosted by a three-game winning streak that included Pitt and NC State. They’re coming off a tough loss to FSU last week…let’s see what’s going on.


Second-year quarterback Tyler Van Dyke (#9) is getting the headlines. He’s made from the pocket-passer/gunslinger mold, and might remind you a little of BC’s Phil Jurkovec:

He doesn’t like leaving the pocket (he averages about two scrambles a game), and he’ll throw into tiny spaces instead of tucking and running. More than a few times, he’s gotten his receivers in trouble by jamming balls into tight windows. Tight end Will Mallory (#85) might want to hang up his cleats while he can still walk. That also means there could be opportunity for picks when Van Dykes locks in on double-covered receivers or throws up prayers when the heat arrives. He also tends to miss high, so deep defenders will have to be ready for tips and overshoots. Last, the Hokies need to watch out for gimmick plays—they opened a lead against Pitt with a double-reverse pass, then started a near-comeback against FSU with the same play.

More impressive to me were some of the big-time grabs the receivers made. Mike Harley (#3) is still a speed threat, while Oklahoma transfer Charleston Rambo (#11) and relative newcomer Xavier Restrepo (#7) made some tough catches. Rambo’s got good hands and great body control: