The Miami Hurricanes football team will enter Week 3 now as the AP Poll 22nd ranked team in the country. This, of course, all comes after beating Texas A&M last weekend, where the Hurricanes put almost 50 points on the Aggies. The matchup this week, however, will more than likely be a lot less stressful as Miami plays host to HBCU school Bethune-Cookman.
*Watch college football LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
The Wildcats have been a familiar opponent for the Hurricanes over the years, although the FCS school has never fared well against them. In the all-time series, the Hurricanes have outscored the Wildcats 302-50, with an average score of 50-8. Though Miami head coach Mario Cristobal is playing coy as any coach would, being respectful of the opponent on deck, most know this should be nothing but a blowout victory for the Hurricanes once again. Nevertheless, let's get into some Miami football predictions for the Thursday night matchup.
4. Miami will go back to the run game against Bethune-Cookman
Tyler Van Dyke threw for 374 yards and five touchdowns against Texas A&M last weekend. It was a comeback game for the once Heisman hopeful. But it's doubtful that Miami will need that type of a performance against a far less talented Bethune-Cookman. It's highly unlikely Van Dyke is even in the game by the second half.
Van Dyke is liable to throw for around a 150 yards, making some big throws downfield, maybe even getting one or two scores. But expect Miami to go back to the run, bleeding the clock down as they'll be outmatching Bethune-Cookman in every facet. Expect guys like Henry Parrish, Don Chaney, Nebraska transfer Ajay Allen and maybe even Mark Fletcher if he's healthy to all get scores and big yardage.
3. Miami will hold Bethune Cookman to 10 points or less
Only once has Bethune-Cookman been able to put 14 points on Miami back in their first ever meeting back in 2014. Only in two other games have they put up over 10 points in their six meetings. The Hurricanes don't have to do too much, but with the different mentality this team has under Cristobal in year two, they'll be looking for a shutout. That's happened twice in the history of this matchup. That could very easily happen again in what looks like a much improved Miami defense.
2. Miami will look to be adding experience and depth
This is one of those games where you see exactly what the rest of your team looks like. For Cristobal and staff, they know who their starters are, the front end guys. But what does this team really look like after that? Better yet, who wants to get on the field and get playing time? The Miami football team won't need guys like Van Dyke and Parrish on their offense long, just like the won't need guys like James Williams and Te'Cory Couch on defense long.
This year's Miami football team is looking to see what it not only has presently but in the future. They'll be looking at guys like backup quarterbacks Jacurri Brown and Emory Williams and other players on both sides of the ball on their depth chart to see exactly where they are as a team, because that's what matters as the season progresses.
1. Miami will score at least 60 points
Last year, the Hurricanes put 70 points on the Wildcats, the most any Miami team had scored on a Bethune-Cookman team. And that was in a year in which the Hurricanes went 5-7 and had a putrid offense. No matter what, at least for a few seasons, there's going to be the fear that matchups like this one may be the next Middle Tennessee State game from last season in which the Hurricanes shockingly lost.
Hurricanes fans will have PTSD about that game for probably the next 20 years. But Bethune-Cookman isn't Middle Tennessee State. And this certainly isn't the same Hurricanes team from last season, that is at least through two games. Anything can happen in college football, but it would take a lot for this year's Miami football team to lose to the likes of a team like Bethune-Cookman.