After a brief delay due to weather, the Blue Raiders of Middle Tennessee State University stormed the Miami Hurricanes, upsetting them 45-31 in front of a frustrated South Florida crowd at Hard Rock Stadium. Redshirt freshman quarterback Jake Garica led Miami with 169 passing yards in relief of Tyler Van Dyke. Henry Parrish Jr. was again the lead rusher with 57 yards, but left the game with an injury in the third quarter. Key’Shawn Smith was the best receiver with four receptions for 81 yards.
It was an eventful first quarter. MTSU took advantage of two Van Dyke interceptions and set up short fields for their attack. The Blue Raiders led 10-0 for just five minutes into the game. Not to be outdone by his quarterback, Miami running back Jaylon Knighton lost a fumble on the game’s third possession. The Hurricanes immediately returned the favor with an interception by security Kameron Kitchens.
After a 39-yard field goal by Andres Borregales for Miami, MTSU answered with a 71-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Chase Cunningham to wide receiver DJ England-Chisolm. The quarter ended with the Blue Raiders on top, 17-3.
Miami started the second quarter unable to convert a fourth down within the Blue Raider’s 10-yard line. This led to MTSU extending their lead to 24-3 after a Cunningham 9-yard touchdown run. It was set up by an 89-yard catch-and-run by receiver Jaylin Lane.
The Hurricanes finally scored a touchdown late in the second quarter on Henry Parrish’s 6-yard touchdown reception in fourth place, their third fourth down conversion from the drive. MTSU led 24-10 at halftime.
The Blue Raiders rose again by 21 points after attacking 69 meters from Cunningham to receive Elijah Metcalf. Miami responded by replacing the struggling Van Dyke with the aforementioned Garcia. The move paid off, as the Hurricanes scored a touchdown in under two minutes, with Thad Franklin Jr. which plunged in from a meter.
Miami started the fourth quarter with another failed fourth down conversion, this time on MTSU’s six-foot line, when a Garcia pass to Will Mallory’s tight end fell incomplete. MTSU got the Hurricanes to pay immediately with a 98-yard scoring bomb from Cunningham to England-Chisolm for a 38-17 lead, their second long tie of the day.
The Hurricanes answered with a 91-yard kickoff return touchdown by Key’Shawn Smith, bringing the deficit back to 14 points.
After a fourth stop through Miami at 3:45 AM, they were unable to convert one on their own. MTSU then ran out of clocks to end the game.
Up next: Miami has an open week then hosts UNC on October 8. Middle Tennessee State returns home to take on UTSA on September 30 at 7:30 AM EST.
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