MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Last season in the roaring din of Aggieland, the Miami Hurricanes racked up 392 yards of total offense but never once found the end zone.
Texas A&M made the return trip to South Florida Saturday. And to the delight of the roaring Hard Rock Stadium faithful, the Canes made sure to visit the end zone early, often, and in a variety of fashions.
Quarterback Tyler Van Dyke threw a career-high five touchdown passes, wide receiver Jacolby George had a career-best three touchdown catches and fellow wideout Brashard Smith electrified the crowd with a 98-yard kickoff return for a score as Miami earned a wild, 48-33 win over No. 23 Texas A&M.
The Canes improved to 2-0 while the Aggies dropped to 1-1.
“The guys played really hard,” head coach Mario Cristobal said. “They overcame a lot of mistakes and self-inflicted wounds and found a way to just keep making one more play, get one more stop, another explosive.
“It was just a complete team effort. I’m certainly proud of these guys. We played a really good game against a really good football team, a really talented football team.”
Miami amassed 451 total yards and Van Dyke threw for 374 of them, completing 21 of 30 passes to six different teammates in a breakout game for Miami’s receiving corps. Xavier Restrepo racked up a career-high 126 receiving yards, and Colbie Young hauled in six passes for 75 yards and a score. George totaled 94 yards on five receptions – his three scoring grabs now gives him four for his career.
Miami’s defense forced three second-half turnovers and harassed Aggies quarterback Connor Weigman throughout the evening. All-America safety Kam Kinchens, who was injured late in the game, registered two takeaways, leading to 10 points. Fellow safety James Williams paced the Canes with nine tackles, and cornerback Te’Cory Couch iced the game with a late interception.
“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,” Cristobal said.
“We are working our way there,” Cristobal said. “We are nowhere where we want to be. We’ve got a couple of guys who are nicked up, banged up, and we’ll see what that looks like but all in all just a massive step for the program.
“(The Aggies) are a really good football team. They’ve recruited everyone in the country over the last few years so they are loaded to the gills, but we work hard, we practice hard, we train hard, we prepare hard. We felt that if we eliminated mistakes we’d be able to take over the football game and we did.”
Miami has a quick turnaround, hosting Bethune-Cookman Thursday night at Hard Rock Stadium. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. on ACC Network.