MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Tyler Van Dyke threw a career-high five touchdown passes, Brashard Smith returned a kickoff 98 yards for a score and Miami overcame a slow start to defeat No. 23 Texas A&M 48-33 Saturday.
Smith caught kick near Miami’s end zone and burst forward, untouched, for the Hurricanes’ longest score of the young year. He celebrated only briefly on the sideline, then scampered back onto the field for kickoff coverage.
The play gave the Hurricanes an eight-point lead in the third quarter, and they built on that. It was a stark turnaround after Texas A&M jumped out to a 10-point first-quarter lead.
Van Dyke had two touchdown passes of 3 yards, as well as 52-, 11- and 64-yard scores. He finished with 374 yards passing to bring his season total to 575 — an impressive start after he struggled last year.
Aggies quarterback Conner Weigman finished 31 of 53 for 336 yards, including a 9-yard TD pass on fourth down to Noah Thomas that brought the Aggies within eight points with five minutes. On the very next drive, Miami’s Jacolby George caught a 64-yard touchdown pass — his third score of the day.
Weigman threw his first collegiate interception when Hurricanes All-American safety Kamren Kinchens caught a pass intended for Ainias Smith in the third.
The Hurricanes lost to Texas A&M 17-9 a year ago in a down 5-7 season.
Under second-year head coach Mario Cristobal, Miami (2-0) now has new offensive and defensive coordinators and a revamped offensive line after that unit was among their biggest weaknesses last season. The result has been a 250-yard rushing performance in a commanding 38-3 win over Miami (Ohio) in its opener and an impressive comeback win in the first real test of 2023.
Miami ran into a massive wall in the Aggies defensive line, which features multiple five-star recruits. Texas A&M (1-1) limited Miami to 77 yards rushing and 3.2 yards per rush. The Hurricanes made up for it in the passing game, as their receivers broke free for 241 yards after the catch.
The 6-foot-5, 215-pound Colbie Young hauled in six passes for 75 yards and a touchdown. Xavier Restrepo added six catches for 126 yards.
The Aggies, led by sixth-year head coach Jimbo Fisher and new offensive coordinator and play-caller Bobby Petrino totaled 433 yards.
Special teams jumpstarted the Aggies’ offense early.
Texas A&M’s first drive of the game started at Miami’s 15 after a blocked punt, and Weigman strutted into the endzone from the 1 to cap a three-play, 57-second drive that gave the Aggies a 7-0 lead.
In the second quarter, the Aggies recovered a muffed punt by George, which led to a 9-yard rushing touchdown by Amari Daniels, making it 17-7.
George made up for it when he caught the go-ahead touchdown that made it 21-17 just before halftime.
Aggies receiver Evan Stewart had 11 catches for 142 yards.
Lightning in the area delayed the start of the game by about 30 minutes.
A RARE VISIT
Texas A&M is the second SEC opponent to ever face the Hurricanes at Hard Rock Stadium, and first since the Florida Gators visited in 2013. Miami won that game 21-16.
Texas A&M: After a strong first quarter, the Aggies came undone with a missed field goal, interception and fumble in the latter three quarters — all momentum-killing plays on the road.
Miami: With a dominant win in their season opener and a statement win over a ranked opponent, Miami is showing that it is vastly improved from last year’s team.
Texas A&M is at risk of tumbling out of the AP Top 25 after the loss.
Texas A&M: Hosts Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday.
Miami: Hosts Bethune-Cookman on Thursday.
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