Miami Hurricanes offensive tempo vs. critical NC State possession time


The Miami Hurricanes’ offensive pace against North Carolina State ball control will be critical when the teams start at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Hard Rock Stadium. Miami is in the top 20 offensively games per game. North Carolina State ranked 17th nationally in possession time averaging 32: 17.17 per game.

The Miami Hurricanes offense hasn’t been as productive as expected this season with 10 returning starters. Miami lost four of those starters for the remainder of 2021. Quarterback D’Eriq King, left guard Jalen Rivers, center Corey Gaynor and running back Cam’Ron Harris suffered late-season injuries.

Tyler Van Dyke replaced King in QB, Navaughn Donaldson moved from right guard to LG, Jakai Clark is center and Jaylan Knighton is the running back. Midway through the 2021 season, more than a third of Miami’s offense has turned around since the opener against Alabama. Unsurprisingly, an inconsistency followed.

The state of North Carolina is led by QB Devin Leary and RB Zonovan Knight. Leary missed the game against Miami last season with an injury. Miami limited Knight to 13 carries for 45 yards and one reception for five yards offensively. Knight had a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to put NC State ahead 38-31 in the third quarter.

Leary is racing for the ACC Player of the Year completing 67.3% of his passes for 1,534 yards, 15 touchdowns and two interceptions this season. Knight has 503 rushing yards this season and is averaging 6.1 yards per carry. Emeka Emezie and Thayer Thomas run the NC State in reception and Devin Carter poses a deep threat.

North Carolina State is 52nd nationally for total offense with an average of 425.3 yards per game. The Wolfpack is 43rd with 260.3 passing yards per game and 67th with 165 rushing yards per game and 46th with 4.67 yards per carry. NC State is built around their strong defense.

The North Carolina state defense is one of the best and most improved in the country in 2021. Miami shredded the North Carolina state defense last season for 44 points and 625 yards. This year will probably be more of a struggle. NC State is sixth nationally with 14.3 points per game and 11th with 292.7 yards per game.

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