Sep 14, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Hurricanes quarterback Tyler Van Dyke (9) runs with the football against the Bethune Cookman Wildcats during the first quarter at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

No. 22 Miami has no trouble dispatching Bethune-Cookman

Tyler Van Dyke passed for two touchdowns and ran for another as the 22nd-ranked Miami Hurricanes routed the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats 48-7 on Thursday night in Miami Gardens, Fla.

Van Dyke played just one half, completing 19 of 23 passes for 247 yards as Miami (3-0) cruised. The Hurricanes scored touchdowns on their first four possessions and nearly had a fifth if not for a fumble into the end zone by Colbie Young.

Wide receiver Xavier Restrepo had six catches for 120 yards for Miami. The Wildcats (1-2) have never beaten Miami, losing all seven games in the series.

Bethune-Cookman quarterback Luke Sprague, making his first start of the season, lasted just one series before leaving the game due to an injured right shoulder. Sprague went 3-for-3 for 23 yards, but he took a couple of big hits.

Miami played without four defensive starters, all out due to injury: All-American safety Kamren Kinchens; ends Akheem Mesidor and Nyjalik Kelly; and tackle Branson Dean.

Still, the Hurricanes led 14-0 after the first quarter, 34-0 at halftime and 41-0 heading into the fourth.

The Hurricanes were nearly flawless in the first half other than the fumble and one penalty for five yards.

Van Dyke went 5-for-5 for 34 yards passing on Miami’s first possession. He capped the drive with a 10-yard touchdown run.

The Hurricanes made it 14-0 on Ajay Allen’s 8-yard run, capping an 11-play, 93-yard march. A highlight on the drive was a 20-yard catch by Restrepo on third-and-7.

Miami extended its lead to 20-0 as Van Dyke threw a 20-yard scoring pass to Jacolby George on a bubble screen. Andres Borregales missed the extra point.

The Hurricanes made it 27-0 on a four-play, 55-yard drive. Donald Chaney Jr., who carried on every play, capped the march with a 3-yard rumble up the middle.

On its final possession of the first half, Miami moved 74 yards in just 35 seconds and four plays — all through the air. The touchdown came on a 27-yard post pattern to Brashard Smith with 27 seconds left in the first half to make it 34-0.

The Wildcats spoiled Miami’s shutout bid on Walter Simmons III’s 6-yard scoring run with 1:19 left in the game. Simmons made a great effort to reach for the right pylon.

–Field Level Media

Sep 9, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Hurricanes safety James Williams (20) reacts as trainers check on Miami Hurricanes safety Kamren Kinchens (5) after an injury against the Texas A&M Aggies during the fourth quarter at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Miami S Kamren Kinchens says he’s ‘doing better’ after scary injury

Miami All-American safety Kamren Kinchens, who was airlifted to a trauma center Saturday night at the end of the Hurricanes’ game, wrote on social media Sunday that he is “doing better.”

Kinchens collided with Texas A&M receiver Ainias Smith after a 20-yard completion with just under two minutes left in Miami’s 48-33 win and fell down to the turf. He was attended to for nearly 10 minutes before being removed from the field and taken to Ryder Trauma Center in Miami.

The school hasn’t yet revealed the nature of Kinchens’ injury, but later that night the program’s official Twitter account posted a photo of Kinchens sitting up in his hospital bed, making the school’s signature “U” with his hands.

Kinchens then released a short message Sunday afternoon.

“I want to Thank everyone for the prayers, I’m doing better Love Y’all,” Kinchens wrote.

Kinchens had seven tackles and an interception during the victory over then-No. 23 Texas A&M.

“So far, the reports that we have on (Kinchens) are that everything seem to be relatively normal, so I’m going to head over there right after I get done with the press conference and see how he’s doing,” Hurricanes coach Mario Cristobal said in his postgame press conference. “I think we’re going to be fine. Obviously, aside from that, it’s hard to talk about the game when something like that happens, but the guys played really hard.”

Last season as a sophomore, Kinchens earned first-team All-American honors while grabbing six interceptions. He also was first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference.

Kinchens earned first-team preseason All-American honors prior to this season and is one of the team leaders.

–Field Level Media

Sep 2, 2023; College Station, Texas, USA; Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Conner Weigman (15) warms up on the sideline during the first quarter against the New Mexico Lobos at Kyle Field. Mandatory Credit: Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

No. 23 Texas A&M brings new-look attack to Miami

No. 23 Texas A&M won a low-scoring slugfest when it faced Miami last season. But the Aggies’ offense looks nothing like it did a year ago entering Saturday afternoon’s rematch with the Hurricanes in Miami Gardens, Fla.

The Aggies gained just 264 total yards when they beat Miami 17-9 in September 2022 in College Station, Texas. They got only 140 passing yards from then-starting quarterback Max Johnson, and De’Von Achane, who carried the run game, is now in the NFL.

It’s a new year, and Texas A&M (1-0) appears to have settled its quarterback question. Sophomore Conner Weigman, a former five-star prospect, had as many passing touchdowns as incompletions (five) in a season-opening, 52-10 win over New Mexico.

Three of Weigman’s touchdowns went to Noah Thomas, all in the first half, while Evan Stewart added eight receptions for 115 yards and two scores.

“When they had unblocked defenders and people got through, I thought Conner did an excellent job of buying time, stepping one or two little steps away by just a couple feet to be able to get the ball out his hands,” Aggies coach Jimbo Fisher said. “And he was really good, and still accurate with it and got the ball to playmakers.”

The Aggies’ defense faces a stiffer test this week against an experienced quarterback in Tyler Van Dyke and a Miami rushing attack that gained 250 yards in the season-opening win over Miami (Ohio).

The Hurricanes (1-0) got rushing touchdowns from Mark Fletcher Jr., Henry Parrish Jr. and Donald Chaney Jr. in the second half — ranging from 12 to 26 yards — to pull away for a 38-3 victory.

“We got the guys up front and physicality, but it’s a different opponent,” Fisher said. “Miami is a very good opponent and they know how to run it. (Miami coach Mario Cristobal is) a line coach himself. He’s gonna have those guys ready to run it and you guys still gotta play the play-action passes and things are always gonna come off those things.”

Cristobal is wary of Texas A&M’s sizable defensive front, which could make things tougher in the run game. Meanwhile, Van Dyke wore tape on the index finger of his throwing hand in the opener — he purportedly bruised it in late August — but Cristobal said he has no limits.

“So much was made of it in the media when they saw him with it. Some people thought it was a prosthetic finger or something,” Cristobal said. “Whatever makes him feel comfortable.”

Miami wants to avenge last year’s loss and make a statement in its only marquee nonconference game.

“The juice takes care of itself,” Cristobal said. “I don’t think there’s anything I can do at a practice or meeting to increase that. They’re well aware of the opportunity that we have in front of us.”

According to Cristobal, wide receiver Colbie Young is OK after leaving the opener early with a possible leg injury. Tight end Elijah Arroyo missed the opener with an injury, but Cristobal said there was “a good chance” he’d be available against Texas A&M.

Texas A&M linebacker JD Davis, who was “banged up” against New Mexico, per Fisher, is expected to play.

–Field Level Media

Jul 25, 2023; Charlotte, NC, USA;  Miami quarterback Tyler Van Dyke answers questions during ACC Media Days at The Westin Charlotte. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Miami QB Tyler Van Dyke mulled transfer, stayed for Mario Cristobal

Miami quarterback Tyler Van Dyke was tempted to transfer out of the program, he said on Tuesday at ACC Media Days in Charlotte, N.C.

But Van Dyke “couldn’t do it,” he said, instead explaining his allegiance to Miami coach Mario Cristobal.

After the Hurricanes finished Cristobal’s first season 5-7, Van Dyke said five programs contacted him, trying to persuade him to enter the transfer portal.

“There was a time, everything was so bad with how the season went, and I had no idea what was going on with the coaching staff, that I was considering (a transfer),” Van Dyke said. “But I couldn’t do it. This is where I wanted to be the entire time.”

Van Dyke, entering his third year as Miami’s starting quarterback, conveyed his belief in Cristobal, who was hired ahead of the 2022 season after a successful run as head coach of Oregon.

“I’ve had immense trust in Coach Cristobal throughout this entire process,” Van Dyke said. “The guys he’s brought in to help our team. Just the coaches he brought in to help us as players. It’s been great. This offseason, we’ve worked hard.

“(There are) a lot more guys in our leadership council, and a lot of the guys stepped up. Nobody wants to be 5-7. So it set a fire under us. And now, like I said before, we’re just excited to get things going.”

Van Dyke threw for 1,835 yards, 10 touchdowns and five interceptions in nine starts last season after earning 2021 ACC Rookie of the Year honors. He took over the starting job that year when D’Eriq King went down with an early-season injury and threw for 2,931 yards, 25 touchdowns and six picks in 10 games.

Van Dyke may not have transferred, but the Hurricanes lost almost two dozen players to the portal after the disappointing 2022 campaign. Cristobal also replaced both of his coordinators; he fired offensive coordinator Josh Gattis, while defensive coordinator Kevin Steele left for the same job at Alabama.

Shannon Dawson will be Miami’s new offensive coordinator and Lance Guidry is the new DC. Dawson was hired away from Houston.

“What Shannon has done in his history really fits Tyler, his skill set, the pieces around him,” Cristobal said. “It gives him the opportunity to enhance a supporting cast.”

As for the expectations for Cristobal’s second year coaching his alma mater, the 52-year-old used the “r” word — rebuilding.

“I think whenever you start up at a program again, and it has a rebuilding aspect, you have to sometimes go through a season like that and not make any excuse or sugarcoat it, but you go directly at the things that need to be addressed, and it starts with people,” Cristobal said. “People in the locker room, people on the coaching staff, people in a support staff role.

“Now, we’re eager to get to camp so we can put all of that to good use, and the bottom line is just to get to work. Not worry about anything or anyone and just get to work and put to good use this hard work that we have done.”

–Field Level Media

Sep 8, 2022; Northport, AL, USA; Tuscaloosa County High's running back Kevin Riley (6) runs the ball against Hewitt-Trussville at Tuscaloosa County High School Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022. Mandatory Credit: Will McLelland-Tuscaloosa News

Football Hewitt Trussville Vs Tuscaloosa County High School Football

Miami earns commitment from 4-star RB Kevin Riley

Running back Kevin Riley, a top-100 high school recruit in the Class of 2024, said Monday that he will play his college football at Miami.

Riley attends Tuscaloosa County High School in Alabama and had the Crimson Tide as a finalist. He chose coach Mario Cristobal and the Hurricanes over Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Georgia and a host of other Power Five schools.

“After a great talk with Coach Cristobal and the entire Hurricane Staff I would like to proudly announce my commitment to the University of Miami,” Riley wrote on social media.

Riley is listed as 5-foot-11 and 195 pounds. He’s ranked No. 81 overall in the Class of 2024 and the No. 6 running back, according to the 247Sports composite.

Cristobal took over at Miami, his alma mater, in 2022 after a five-year run at Oregon. The Hurricanes went 5-7 in his first season.

–Field Level Media

Oct 29, 2022; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Florida Gators head coach Billy Napier looks on against the Georgia Bulldogs during the second half at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Recruit Jaden Rashada flips from Miami to Florida

Four-star quarterback prospect Jaden Rashada called an audible over social media on Friday morning by agreeing to join Florida, four-plus months after committing to Miami.

Rashada is listed by 247Sports’ composite rankings as the No. 7-rated quarterback in the 2023 class. He initially selected the Hurricanes over the Gators as well as LSU, Mississippi and Texas A&M in June.

“After a lot of prayer, conversations with my family and those close to me, I have decided to change my commitment and play for the University of Florida,” Rashada wrote early Friday morning on Twitter.

“I have tremendous respect for Miami and what they are going to accomplish there, but I have watched this season and Coach (Billy) Napier and his team are building something very special in The Swamp and I want to be a part of it.”

Per Sports Illustrated, Rashada has thrown for 4,883 yards and 63 touchdowns and added 420 yards and five scores during his four-year high school career at Pittsburg (Calif.) High School.

The addition of Rashada gives Florida the No. 8 overall recruiting class for 2023, per the 247Sports rankings.

–Field Level Media

Sep 30, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; A general view of a Miami Hurricanes helmet in the end zone prior to the game between the Miami Hurricanes and the Virginia Cavaliers at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Blue-chip edge rusher Jayden Wayne commits to Miami

Edge rusher Jayden Wayne, a top-50 prospect in the Class of 2023, committed to Miami.

From Washington state, Wayne now plays for IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. Miami coach Mario Cristobal, previously the head coach at Oregon, managed to lure him away from the Ducks, as well as his other suitors — Alabama, Georgia, Michigan State and LSU.

Wayne is ranked No. 6 at his position and No. 41 overall by the 247Sports composite.

His commitment represents another recruiting coup from the Northwest for Cristobal. Last week, four-star Riley Williams, an Oregon native, committed to the Hurricanes.

Williams also plays at IMG Academy.

With Wayne’s commitment, Miami now has the ninth-ranked class for 2023, according to the 247Sports composite.

–Field Level Media

Sep 30, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; A general view of a Miami Hurricanes helmet in the end zone prior to the game between the Miami Hurricanes and the Virginia Cavaliers at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Francis Mauigoa, top OT in Class of 2023, commits to Miami

Francis Mauigoa, considered the best offensive tackle prospect in the Class of 2023, committed to Miami on Monday.

The 6-foot-5, 330-pounder from American Samoa is ranked the No. 1 tackle and No. 9 overall prospect by the 247Sports composite.

Mauigoa chose the Hurricanes over a list of finalists that included Alabama, Florida, Southern California and Tennessee.

It was the latest recruiting victory for new Miami coach Mario Cristobal, who took over the post last offseason. Four-star quarterback Jaden Rashada committed to the Hurricanes in late June and No. 2-ranked tight end Riley Williams committed Friday.

Miami’s 2023 recruiting class moved into the top 10 overall, per 247Sports’ rankings, at No. 8 in the nation.

–Field Level Media

Feb 2, 2022; Coral Gables, Florida, USA; Miami Hurricanes head football coach Mario Cristobal talks on a phone while sitting court-side during the second half between the Miami Hurricanes and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Watsco Center. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Miami lands commitment from No. 2 TE prospect Riley Williams

Riley Williams, the No. 2 tight end prospect in the Class of 2023, announced Friday he would play for Miami.

The four-star player picked the Hurricanes over Alabama and Ohio State. He is ranked No. 66 overall in his class, per the 247Sports composite.

Williams, listed at 6-foot-6 and 230 pounds, hails from Portland, Ore., but plays for IMG Academy in Florida. That Oregon-to-Florida connection mirrors that of Mario Cristobal, the former Ducks coach who took over at Miami this offseason.

“Miami is the school for me,” Williams told On3 Sports. “My relationship with Coach Cristobal played a huge role in my decision. Over time, you see how real people are, and I have known Coach Cristobal for a while, and he is genuine. He has been the same person from the beginning.”

The Hurricanes recently made a recruiting splash when four-star quarterback prospect Jaden Rashada committed.

–Field Level Media

Feb 2, 2022; Coral Gables, Florida, USA; Miami Hurricanes head football coach Mario Cristobal talks on a phone while sitting court-side during the second half between the Miami Hurricanes and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Watsco Center. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Alonzo Highsmith leaves Seahawks for Miami role

Seattle Seahawks scouting exec Alonzo Highsmith will be moving to the opposite corner of the country, back to his home and alma mater, having accepted a role as general manager of football operations for the Miami.

The longtime NFL executive is a member of the Miami Sports Hall of Fame. He finished his college career with 2,935 all-purpose yards and 25 touchdowns, and helped lead the Hurricanes to the 1983 national championship.

“Alonzo is a true Miami Hurricane,” said Miami head coach Mario Cristobal. “Alonzo brings experience as a student-athlete, a first-round NFL draft pick and an NFL executive. He shares our vision for the trajectory and the culture of this football program, and his knowledge and experience will allow him to make a positive and powerful impact on our program and community.”

Highsmith will work directly with Cristobal to support all administrative functions of the football program, from budget related items to culture building. He will also be a liaison between the administration and the football program and between former Miami players and staff.

Additionally, he will assist with scouting and roster assessment and supervise NFL relations.

–Field Level Media