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Georgia Tech Football: Opponent Preview - Miami

Georgia Tech will travel to Miami where it has struggled to find success over the years. The defense will need its best game to pull this one out.

NCAA Football: Miami at Georgia Tech Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia Tech has a nasty road schedule in the middle of their season with only a slight reprieve coming in a home game with Bowling Green. The Miami Hurricanes will be the last road game before the bye and a two-game home stretch. The Hurricanes hold a slight advantage in the series with a 14-13 lead after they won the last two. Miami and Georgia Tech have played every year except the 2020 COVID season since Miami joined the ACC in 2004. They played sporadically in the 60s and 70s with Georgia Tech usually being the victor.

Last year was Head Coach Mario Cristobal’s first year with Miami after having success with his offense at Oregon. It was a surprise that Miami managed to lure him away from a consistent program but it showed Miami was willing to invest in getting the right man for the job. Things didn’t pan out well in the first year despite having a talented team returning for Coach Cristobal. They went 5-7 with a bad loss to Middle Tennessee early in the season. They returned ACC Rookie of the Year, Tyler Van Dyke, at quarterback but never found their footing as he struggled to adjust to the new offense. Their best game of the season came against GT in a 35-14 win. Their other two conference wins were Virginia Tech and an OT win against Virginia that left them in 5th for the Coastal.


Tyler Van Dyke will return for his third season and should have a better year than last year if he can keep himself healthy. He threw for 1,835 yards last year with 10 touchdowns to 5 interceptions. Miami brings in a new OC with Shannon Dawson from Houston to help improve the passing game. They didn’t have a true star at wide receiver last year but they do return all but one and continue to add through the portal so expect a true leader to emerge this year. The biggest concern for the passing game will be the loss of TE Will Mallory who led the team last year with 538 yards.

The running game had some depth last year and used a rotation but backups Jaylan Knighton and Thad Franklin have transferred. Henry Parrish led with 616 yards and will return this year so he should be the workhorse again but Nebraska transfer Ajay Allen could be the only other depth they have, so keeping them healthy will be key.

Mario Cristobal has been known to develop talent along the offensive line and this will be one year he will need to do it. Miami does return 120 career starts along the line thanks to Zion Nelson returning from a preseason injury last year and Alabama transfer Javion Cohen. However, they do lose four of last year's starters along the line including both tackles, right guard, and center. Fortunately for Miami, they do have a schedule to help ease them into the season.


Miami has not had the best of luck with its defense in the last few years. Several talented players have emerged but as a unit, they have failed to be consistent. They allowed four teams to score 40+ points on them last year and two of those teams were Middle Tennessee and Duke. There is potential this year though as they return 10 total starters and add some top players through the portal and recruiting class.

The defensive line should be solid this year as they return both ends in Akheem Mesidor and Jahfari Harvey who combined for 12.5 sacks last year. They add additional depth with Branson Deen from Purdue at one of the defense tackle positions. Corey Flagg returns at linebacker and Miami snagged a great portal addition with Fransico Mauigoa who tallied 60 tackles and 5.5 for loss for Washington St. Defending the run was the strong point of the line last year allowing 143 yards per game and shouldn’t be any worse this year.

The secondary struggled to defend the pass allowing 234 average a game but does return their top two tacklers. Kamren Kinchens had a 6 interception season though three came against Georgia Tech. This unit also dug into the portal to add three experienced veterans and should have plenty of competition in camp to improve this year.

Special Teams

Special Teams was a strong point for Miami last season with Punter Lou Hedley and Kicker Andrew Borregales. Borregales was 17-20 on field goals with his long coming at 49 yards. He will return this year and should keep the Hurricanes a threat for scoring when the offense stalls. Hedley does depart and will probably be missed by the Miami faithful for his production and looking like a biker you wouldn’t want to mess with in a bar. Dylan Joyce, who also hails from Australia like Hedley, will take over punting as Miami continues its pipeline from Down Under.


Georgia Tech is going to get Miami middle of the season and that should give the Hurricanes plenty of time to work out the kinks of last season. Texas A&M will be their only test before getting Tech at home after a bye. Georgia Tech will have just played Bowling Green and the two previous weeks will be Ole Miss and Wake Forest on the road. Georgia Tech will certainly be battle-tested at this point but Miami has started to stockpile talent and has a lot of returning experience. It won’t be as lopsided as last year with improvement for the Yellow Jackets but the Hurricanes might be too much with Tyler Van Dyke healthy and a defense that should take a step forward. Score: Georgia Tech 17 - Miami 32