Miami’s most underrated football opponent in 2021, North Carolina state


The game of the year for the Miami soccer team in 2020 was a 44-41 victory at North Carolina State. Miami quarterback D’Eriq King made the show with 430 passing yards and five touchdowns and 105 rushing yards. King threw a 54-yard touchdown pass to Mike Harley with 2:43 remaining gave Miami the victory over the Wolfpack.

North Carolina State was one of the CCA’s surprise teams in 2020. The Wolfpack finished the regular season with four straight wins after starting 4-3. NC State lost 23-31 to Kentucky at the Gatorbowl. The Wolfpack dismiss two elite offensive linemen, quarterback Devin Leary and running back Zonovan Knight.

The Miami football team limited Knight to 45 yards on 13 carries, but he scored two touchdowns. Knight put the Wolfpack ahead 38-31 in the third quarter with a 100-yard kickoff return. Knight led the ACC RB in the preseason All-ACC teams with 96 votes. NC State is chosen to finish second in the ACC behind Clemson.

Leary did not play against Miami last season after sustaining a fibula fracture a few days before the teams met in Raleigh. NC State is overlooked by most of the media and left out of the top 25 consensus. Pro Football Focus featured recent NC State as one of the “5 underrated teams entering the 2021 college football season.

Why they sleep: State NC offense is underestimated by 2021. First, the program has one of the most comprehensive centers in college football in Grant Gibson and one of the best run blockers in Ikem Ekwonu.

And they will pave the way for running back Zonovan Knight, who is the CCA’s most valuable returning running back, according to PFFWAA. Then there is the receiving unit, which overflows with potential. Wide receiver Emeka Emezie is coming off a year of late career breakthrough after coming back on the road.

After average ratings of 60.7, 63.2 and 61.4 from 2017 to 2019 and a short stint from the slot to open 2020, Emezie looked like a different player on the outside as of week 5 of the year. last. He recorded a receiving score of 77.3, 2.40 yards per run and a Power Five contested catch rate of 83.3% as of that point.

He saw media coverage on nearly half of his exterior shots during that time, and came second behind then-Alabama-wide DeVonta Smith to receive the rating on those pieces.

Starting quarterback Devin Leary also looked like a new man in all four games we’ve seen of him in 2020, as he made at least four important throws in the three games he started.

At the end of the line: Defense is nothing to brag about, but if offense can reach its full potential, it’s a team above 0.500 pretty easily. It wouldn’t be a complete shock to see NC State start the year 5-1.

The Miami football team can’t ignore the Wolfpack. Miami plays in the Research Triangle for consecutive weeks. Playing at NC State a week after North Carolina will be a tough step for the Miamis. Emezie recorded four receptions for 95 yards against Miami in 2020. Harley burned NC State for eight receptions, 153 yards and two touchdowns.

The Miami football team need at least one NC State / UNC split to stand a chance of winning the ACC Coastal Division in 2021. Miami returns to the Raleigh-Durham area for the third time in 2021 when she plays Duke on November 21. Miami won 48-0 at Durham in 2020. Miami will be heavily favored against Duke in 2021.

Miami’s defense obviously needs a better performance against NC State in 2021. Miami will need the defensive line to be able to generate more negative plays defensively. The Hurricanes made six tackles for a loss and two sacks against the Wolfpack in 2020. Miami’s offense totaled 620 yards against NC State last season.

If Miami at NC State games last season, the Hurricanes and Wolfpack will once again be one of the games of the year in the ACC. King and Leary should be a duel to watch. The ACC is full of exceptional QBs. King is the only QB in the past five years with a 400/100 game. He also accomplished those numbers with Houston.


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