Miami preparing for first road test of season against Texas A&M

Sophomore safety James Williams hypes the crowd up before Miami's game against Southern Miss on Sept. 10 at Hard Rock Stadium.
Sophomore safety James Williams hypes the crowd up before Miami's game against Southern Miss on Sept. 10 at Hard Rock Stadium. Photo credit: Alexandra Carnochan

On Saturday, the No. 13 Miami Hurricanes will be traveling to College Station, Texas for their first road game of the season to face off against the No. 24 Texas A&M Aggies.

The undefeated Hurricanes are looking to keep their winning streak alive coming off an impressive 30-7 victory against Southern Miss. The Aggies find themselves in a must-win game after having an embarrassing 17-14 home loss to the Appalachian State Mountaineers last weekend. 

It has been a disappointing start to a highly anticipated season for the Aggies. After bringing in the No. 1 ranked recruiting class in 2022, the Aggies started the season ranked No. 6 in the preseason AP poll.

“I think they’re extremely talented … They didn’t have their best day,” Miami head coach Mario Cristobal said to reporters when asked about Texas A&M’s offensive performance against Appalachian State.

Led by fifth-year head coach Jimbo Fisher, the Aggies have struggled with poor quarterback play from Haynes King who threw for only 97 yards last week and tossed two interceptions the week before.

The Aggies have named LSU transfer quarterback Max Johnson the starter for the game, according to a report by The Battalion.

The strength of the offensive was supposed to be the running game, but the offensive line has had multiple injuries and players with little experience are getting most of the playing time. 

With a shutout in Week 1 and only 17 points allowed in Week 2, Texas A&M’s identity is their defense. The only way Miami is going to be able to put up points on Saturday is if their star players come to play, and that starts with quarterback Tyler Van Dyke.

“It’s just a good feeling going to another team’s stadium and making the crowd quiet,” Van Dyke said when asked by reporters why he likes playing on the road.

The redshirt sophomore has thrown for 442 yards, three touchdowns and one interception in UM’s first two contests. In order to deliver a win on Saturday, Van Dyke needs to be a game-changer.

Transfer running back Henry Parrish Jr. has been spectacular to start the year. He has 242 yards and four touchdowns on the ground while averaging a little over 6.7 yards per carry.

Parrish will be receiving some more help on Saturday. Miami head coach Mario Cristobal said star left tackle Zion Nelson and electric running back Jaylan Knighton took 100% of the reps in practice this week and are “full-speed” for Saturday.

This game against the Aggies presents the Hurricanes with a golden opportunity: a chance to beat a top Southeastern Conference team in a stadium that fits over 102,000 people would be a fairytale start to Cristobal’s head coaching tenure at Miami.

The ‘Canes and the Aggies will kick off from Kyle Field this Saturday at 9 p.m.