football Edit

Miami focused on winning, not revenge against Texas A&M

Last year, Miami started 2-0 and was confident going into a road tilt against Texas A&M for its third game. Unfortunately for Hurricanes fans, Miami would fail to get into the end zone and fall 17-9 in College Station. After the loss, Miami would lose six out of its next nine games en route to a 5-7 season.

"We were 2-0 going into last year," Tyler Van Dyke said. "We were all in a good mood. I think the biggest thing is that it doesn't come easy to us. This year, we know that we were 5-7. We have to work for it. We can't just show up there and expect to win. I feel like that's the biggest difference from this year to last year. Everyone's dialed in, and everyone's locked in and ready to roll."


Revenge for Miami?

It will be a homecoming for two Aggies on Saturday (3:30 PM Eastern Kickoff). Running back Amari Daniels, who played his high school ball at Miami Central, and Defensive End Shemar Stewart, who played at Monsignor Pace in Miami Gardens.

Stewart shared his thoughts on how this game will end in this week's press conference.

"I know they want to get their revenge on us after last year. That ain't going to happen this year. Maybe some other time not this time."

One player who played in last year's game was All-American safety Kamren Kinchens. Kinchens was asked this week about if the word revenge was ever used this week in preparation for A&M.

"Not really," Kinchens said. "It's a new season. Played them last year, we lost but every game we're trying to go out and win. Even if we played the team or didn't play the team before, we got our eyes set on winning."

Special Teams Looking To Right Wrongs

There were three field goals made in last year's game by kicker Andy Borregales, but he did miss two that may have changed the outcome of the game.

"This game, last year, I was off a little bit, but I'm coming in with a mindset with it's a new game, it's a new year. It's also a new me, new team, so I think we'll do really good this year."

A player that wasn't available in last year's game was Van Dyke's close friend and roommate, Xavier Restrepo. "X" suffered a foot injury just before the A&M game and didn't travel with the team for the game.

"No, I didn't go. I had surgery the Friday when I left," Restrepo said. "It's another opportunity to be great. Every opportunity, no matter who the team is, Texas A&M is a really good football team, but it doesn't matter what team it is. I'm always grateful for another opportunity every single week, and this week it's Texas A&M. For sure, super excited."

In close games, special teams plays can be critical to the outcome, and in last year's game, Tyrique Stevenson made a critical error, muffing a punt in Miami territory. The game's lone turnover would lead to a touchdown three plays later.

Restrepo takes over the punt return duties this year, as Cristobal mentioned that he earned the opportunity.

"I've been punt returning my whole life, ever since I was ten years old. It's something I always worked on. It's part of my game, I guess."

Offense is set up to be better than last year

Running Back Henry Parrish was the leading rusher in last year's matchup against the Aggies (16 carries for 85 yards) and is the lead back after another solid showing in game one against Miami (OH) (9 carries, 90 yards). Parrish is now part of a four-man rotation with Ajay Allen, Mark Fletcher, and Don Chaney Jr., who collectively averaged 7.1 yards per carry last season.

"We beat ourselves last year, and we have a more competitive group. These guys ready to work, and I'm looking forward to that."

Miami had seven penalties for 52 yards compared to five for 55 yards for A&M.

The passing game was the more significant concern in last year's matchup, as dropped balls from the receivers and missed throws from Van Dyke ultimately were the downfall. In the waning moments of the game, on a 4th and four, Van Dyke attempted a pass to Brashard Smith that was dropped, which would've resulted in a first down and kept the drive and game alive.

"They have a really good pass rush," Van Dyke said about A&M's offense. "They got some big dudes up there. Got after me last year. The secondary is very impressive. Like I said, number one pass defense in the nation last year. Obviously some good cornerback transfers. So looking forward to the challenge they are going to give us."

Miami kept Van Dyke clean, not allowing one sack and just one pressure in the win over Miami (OH). It's the type of performance needed to stop an athletic front seven from being disruptive this week. Miami outgained A&M 392 to 296 last year but failed to execute in the red zone, scoring zero touchdowns.

The Aggies held the Lobos to 3-13 on third down and held UNM out of the end zone in the Lobos one red zone attempt, but did give up a field goal.

"Texas A&M, great defensive line, great front seven, really good team, really good defense," Center Matt Lee said. "Got a lot of good guys on their personnel. We got to run the ball effectively, throw the ball downfield and execute, be smart, and do all the things we got to do to win."

On the ground, A&M gained 134 yards on 29 attempts averaging 4.6 per carry. The Miami defense will look to be prepared for a running game that wasn't as impressive as Miami's. The Hurricanes are confident that they can have a similar output in game one holding the Redhawks to 51 yards on 25 carries (two yards per carry).

"They got a really good offense," Linebacker Francisco Mauigoa said. "They got a really good quarterback who can throw and can run, too. Really bid offensive linemen. On the film, they look good. We just got to be well prepared, everyone doing their business. I think Coach G has a good scheme for us. All we got to do is just execute and just adjust. That's how we are attacking it, day by day."

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