No. 23 Texas A&M and Miami both stayed home for bowl season after disappointing regular seasons in 2022. Now, the proud programs are looking to forge new trajectories for 2023 when they meet up Saturday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. The Hurricanes and Aggies both easily pushed aside inferior foes in Week 1, but now comes a true test as both squads trot retooled offenses onto the field against stout defenses.
Miami allowed just nine first downs and 215 total yards in a 38-3 win over Miami (Ohio) last week, while Texas A&M held New Mexico to 222 yards in a 52-10 season-opening victory. The subdued nature of the Week 1 competition for both teams meant that the Miami and Texas A&M offenses weren’t required to reveal all their secrets, which sets the stage for an intriguing chess match between coaching staffs.
Last season, the Aggies outlasted the Hurricanes 17-9 in a pitiful defensive struggle as both teams struggled to throw the football. But with Shannon Dawson now coordinating Miami’s offense after a successful run at Houston and famed offensive guru Bobby Petrino now orchestrating things for A&M, the 2023 version of this game should feature a bit more offense.
Texas A&M vs. Miami: Need to know
Coordinator showcase: Second-year Miami coach Mario Cristobal and sixth-year Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher each had to swallow some pride and make coordinator changes. For Cristobal, that meant hiring Dawson from a Houston program that attempted 499 passes last season. By contrast, The Hurricanes attempted just 413 passes in 2022 while opting for a balanced run-pass approach. The ‘Canes relied heavily on the run again in Week 1, but there was no need to air it out against an overmatched foe. Texas A&M’s passing game showed obvious signs of improvement against New Mexico, however, and it will be telling to see if that continues against the Hurricanes after the Aggies struggled mightily to throw the football in last year’s matchup.
Quarterback battle: Max Johnson got the start for Texas A&M in last year’s meeting but has since given way to former five-star prospect Conner Weigman. After showing promise late last season, Weigman tossed five touchdowns while completing 18 of 23 passes in Week 1. Noah Thomas caught three of those touchdowns and looked like a potential breakout star for the Aggies after playing a limited role as a freshman in 2022. Miami quarterback Tyler Van Dyke completed 17 of 22 passes with a touchdown and an interception for the Hurricanes against Miami (Ohio), but the talented fourth-year junior is still looking to reclaim the promising trajectory he showed as a redshirt freshman in 2021 prior to Cristobal’s arrival as coach.
ACC vs. SEC: The ACC posted a 2-1 record against the SEC in Week 1 as North Carolina beat South Carolina and Florida State beat LSU. Tennessee’s win over lowly Virginia accounted for the SEC’s only victory, and the ACC can continue to flex on the SEC this week. If Miami beats Texas A&M and Wake Forest handles Vanderbilt at home, the league would be 4-1 against the SEC. With No. 3 Alabama also hosting No. 11 Texas, Mississippi State hosting Arizona and Auburn traveling to California, it’s a big week for the SEC. The league underperformed in Week 1 and needs a strong showing Saturday to make a valid claim for best league in the sport early in the 2023 campaign.
How to watch Texas A&M vs. Miami live
Date: Saturday, Sept. 9 | Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
Location: Hard Rock Stadium — Miami, Florida
TV: ABC | Live stream: fubo (Try for free)
Texas A&M vs. Miami prediction, picks
Both offenses have been revamped under first-year coordinators after abysmal 2022 seasons, but the jury is still out on how committed the head coaches are to playing aggressive offense. Fisher and Cristobal are veteran coaches who like to control the football and lean on their defenses. They combined to score just 26 points in last season’s 17-9 Texas A&M victory, and it’s hard to see that total doubling in 2023 unless some defensive touchdowns and big special teams plays impact the action. Prediction: Under 51
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