Toledo at Miami
Saturday, 12:30 pm PT
CRIS Opener: Miami -12.5 O/U 60.5
CRIS Current: Miami -13.5 O/U 60.5
There’s an obvious bit of unknown where Miami is concerned as they return to the field for the first time in three weeks. Making the Hurricanes even more of a mystery is that their only game this season was played against lower echelon FCS entrant Bethune-Cookman. The one element that likely can be factored into the Miami piece of this handicap is their eagerness to return to the playing field which should translate into 60 minutes of effort and energy. The two weeks off has allowed Miami to probably regain the services of leading WR Ahmmon Richards (hamstring) who did not play in their opener and starting DT Kendrick Norton. They may be cautious with Richards but having him on the field gives the ‘Canes a way to possibly ease the potential of seeing an eight man box against their rushing attack.
Toledo was magnificent offensively last week as they erased a 14 point halftime deficit en-route to their 54-51 victory over Tulsa. The Rockets had five touchdowns in that game of 49 yards or more and QB Logan Woodside threw six TD passes. Defensively however, they were shredded for 423 rushing yards and 6.2 per carry which doesn’t bode well for them versus Miami whose strength is their running game. Toledo has all the weapons to cause problems for the Miami defense which allowed four dives of 10+ plays to Bethune-Cookman but it’s questionable whether they can slow down the ‘Canes ground attack led RB Mark Walton.
This could end up being a defensive nightmare for Toledo which just got pounded with 66 rushing attempts by Tulsa and now face another physical run oriented offense. Selling out against the run may not even be enough but if it is, one-one matchups in the passing game will be open for QB Malik Rosier to exploit. Conversely, Miami DC Manny Diaz isn’t as concerned with his units’ athletic ability as he is the amount of preparation it takes to handle Toledo’s playbook full of motions and formations. The Hurricanes defense is fully focused on rebounding from their less than stellar Week 1 performance and they bring a front seven like nothing Tulsa has seen thus far this season. The 88 degree weather and high 90’s humidity may play a role as well if the home team can grind down the Golden Hurricane defense. Line is priced fairly so have to take a small stance with the home favorite which can be expected to enter this game like a powder keg ready to explode.