MANHATTAN, Kan. (CBSMiami) – The Miami Hurricanes were at one time a defensive behemoth that constantly put stars into the NFL. But after giving up more than 30 points and 440 yards passing to an average Boston College team, the defense is the team’s biggest worry.
Last week, the Hurricanes defense blew several coverage assignments in man-to-man coverage and allowed Boston College’s offense to complete 32 of 51 passes for 441 yards. It was the third most passing yards any Canes team has given up behind only Doug Flutie throwing for 472 in 1984 and Cade McNown throwing for 513 yards in 1998.
Miami did win the turnover battle against BC, but was penalized 9 times for 78 yards and held the ball for nearly seven minutes less than BC. Still, Miami won thanks to a stout running game that accounted for three touchdowns and rushed for more than 6 yards per carry.
Now, Miami must travel to the Little Apple, Manhattan, Kansas to play Bill Snyder’s 21st ranked Kansas State Wildcats. Much like Miami, Kansas State is a vertically passing challenged team that will once again rely heavily on the run game.
In K-State’s season opener against SW Missouri State, the Wildcats scored 51 points and ran the ball 40 times for 324 yards and three touchdowns. K-State completed 19 passes and two touchdowns against the overmatched Bears. K-State ran for more than 8 yards per carry and committed just two penalties in the game.
One area Kansas State struggled in during the opening game was on third down. The Wildcats were just 5-13 on third down, or 39 percent against SW Missouri State. Given that Miami’s defense will be far superior in the running game, K-State may struggle against the Canes. Miami only gave up 96 yards on 34 carries against BC, for average of just 2.82 yards per rush.
UM’s defense will be trained on K-State quarterback Colin Klein who is a solid fullback playing quarterback for Snyder. Teams that have beat K-State in the last two years have dared Klein to beat them with his arm, which UM will likely do.
However, given UM’s porous pass defense in the opening game against BC that could be playing with fire.
UM and Kansas State kickoff on Saturday at noon and can be seen on FX.