Despite a huge victory and offensive performance this past Saturday, every member of this Texas A&M football team and coaching staff know that there’s really no time to rest before they begin preparing for their next opponent—the Miami Hurricanes. Miami has almost a full day of rest more than the Aggies, as the Hurricanes played Miami of Ohio on Friday evening, triumphing 38-3 over the Redhawks. Given that the Aggies are going on the road to Coral Gables, this could serve as an advantage, if only ever so slight—neither are coming off of particularly physically taxing games.
In their opener, the Canes showcased a bit of their own new-look offense, having hired Shannon Dawson as their new OC. Dawson was most recently the OC at Houston under Dana Holgerson, so Texas A&M football fans should expect the Hurricanes to air it out early and often. Tyler Van Dyke, the star quarterback for the Canes, threw for just over 200 yards in less than a full game’s worth of work, though he only had one touchdown pass and ended up throwing an interception as well.
The Hurricanes exhibited a high level of rushing prowess as well, however, totaling 250 yards on the ground. This will certainly be a test for what many Texas A&M football fans hope to be an improved rush defense. When the Aggies have the ball, the man they’ll have to be most worried about is big Leonard Taylor in the middle of the Miami defensive line. He’s a certified game wrecker, and Bryce Foster, Layden Robinson, and Kam Dewberry (or Mark Nabou?) will have their work cut out for them in order to keep Conner clean in the pocket and pave the way for Moss, Daniels, and Owens.
Last year, Durkin had Van Dyke’s head spinning with the different coverages he threw at him. Maybe the Miami signal-caller can adjust better with another year under his belt and in the friendly confines of Hard Rock Stadium, but I think that’s a key matchup that favors the Aggies here—especially given that Durkin’s defensive style tends to perform best against this Holgerson-Briles tree of offensive philosophy. It’s also worth noting that Miami struggled significantly more with their lower-tier week 1 matchup than this Texas A&M football squad did with theirs—the Hurricanes only led 16-3 at the halfway point.
Full predictions along with analysis of betting lines and more will be coming later this week, but suffice it to say I’m favoring the Aggies here. The road to 2-0 begins now.