MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Tyler Van Dyke’s first pass of the year resulted in the first of four Miami Hurricanes touchdowns Friday night, and they defeated the Miami-Ohio RedHawks 38-3 in the season opener for both teams.
Coming off a shoulder injury that hindered him last season, Van Dyke connected on his first five passes. The Hurricanes’ fourth-year quarterback finished 17 of 22 with 201 yards and an interception. He said he bruised his thumb about a week ago, but it didn’t affect him much.
“Overall, I felt pretty accurate,” Van Dyke said. “The line did a good job protecting for me. I only took one hit, so happy with the performance. Happy with the win. Definitely need to clean the interception up a little bit, but gotta move on and prepare for next week.”
Brett Gabbert, who is the brother of Kansas City Chiefs backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert, completed 12 of 21 passes with 127 yards for the RedHawks.
Van Dyke found receiver Colbie Young for a 44-yard score on the Hurricanes’ first offensive possession, but three of the team’s four scoring drives ended in field goals.
Freshman Mark Fletcher Jr. scored on a 26-yard run on Miami’s first drive of the second half, set up by a 20-yard pass over the middle from Van Dyke to Xavier Restrepo. A successful two-point conversation made it 24-3.
Henry Parrish Jr. led the Hurricanes with 90 yards rushing and added a 12-yard rushing score in the fourth quarter.
“It’s the way it should be. When Miami was really good, you remember those running back rooms, what they were like,” said Hurricanes coach Mario Cristobal.
The RedHawks could not generate much offense against a Miami defense showing early improvements from a unit that finished in the bottom half of the ACC last year in yards allowed per play.
Four of the first five drives for Miami-Ohio resulted in punts, and Gabbert was sacked twice.
Graham Nicholson nailed a 48-yard field goal for the RedHawks just before halftime to make it 16-3 at the break.
Gage Larvadain led Miami-Ohio with 80 receiving yards, including 71 yards after the catch.
“As the game went on, our defense played too many snaps,” said Miami-Ohio coach Chuck Martin. “That’s not their fault. That’s mostly our offense’s fault. Left them on the field too long. As we got worn down, they ran the ball better in the second half.”
The Hurricanes moved the ball with ease thanks to their potent rushing attack. Behind a revamped offensive line, the Hurricanes outgained the Redhawks 152 to -4 in the first half, and 242 of their 485 total yards were on the ground.
Emory Williams replaced Van Dyke with a 28-point lead and played the final 9:15. Aveon Smith replaced Gabbert.
Donald Chaney Jr.’s 20-yard TD run with less than five minutes remaining capped the scoring, and Miami snapped a five-game home losing streak.
“Coach Cristobal has really been on us about making sure Hard Rock is the hardest place in college football,” said Miami’s All-American safety Kamren Kinchens, “so day in and day out that’s what we do. Make sure we’re working as hard as we can so when we get here, we earned it.”
Lightning in the area delayed the start of the game by about 25 minutes.
THE REAL MIAMI?
The RedHawks (established 1809) are Miami University, and the Hurricanes (established 1925) are the University of Miami. The battle between the two Miami’s has been dubbed the “Confusion Bowl,” and there has been subtle jabbing about which team is the “real” Miami.
“The real Miami is where?” a reporter asked Gabbert during a news conference earlier this week.
“Oxford, Ohio,” Gabbert replied. “We’ll show them September 1.”
Miami-Ohio: The RedHawks were outsized, lost the battle at the line of scrimmage and did not take advantage of holding the Hurricanes to field goals early.
Miami: The Hurricanes’ offense was balanced with the experience of Van Dyke, plus new offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson. The running back-by-committee approach resulted in three different rushers amassing more than 40 yards on the ground.
Miami (OH): At UMass on Sept. 9.
Miami: Hosts No. 23 Texas A&M on Sept. 9.
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