NCAAF Week 3 Marquee Matchup: Miami vs. Texas A&M

Coming off a stunning upset loss, the Texas A&M Aggies are under pressure to regroup quickly and deliver a win as small favorites on NCAA football odds boards over the Miami Hurricanes.

Miami Hurricanes vs. Texas A&M Aggies

Saturday, September 17, 2022 – 09:00 PM EDT at Kyle Field

When they rolled out the 2022 schedule, a Week 3 matchup at home against the Miami Hurricanes was seen to be a solid opponent to help the Texas A&M Aggies prepare for the upcoming rigors of their SEC schedule.

It turns out that last week’s matchup with Appalachian State may ultimately prove that Jimbo Fisher and the Aggies were heavily overrated in preseason rankings, and are in no way prepared to take on the big boys of the Southeastern Conference.

Unbeaten Miami Plays Underdog Role

Texas A&M can prove that analysis wrong in a prime-time clash with Miami that will be televised nationally by ESPN. The Aggies can also prove the oddsmakers at FanDuel correct in making them 5½-point favorites against the Hurricanes.

Saturday’s total is running 48½ at most betting shops, one of the lowest numbers for any game pitting Power 5 teams against one another.

First Meeting Since 2008

Saturday marks the fourth meeting between Miami and Texas A&M, and the first since 2008, which was the second year of a home-&-home agreement.

The Aggies will be on the road next September in a return match with the Hurricanes. Miami beat Texas A&M in 2007 and 2008, and covered each game as small chalk at top sportsbooks.

The Hurricanes exploded for 27 unanswered points in a 41-23 win at Kyle Field in 2008, and both contests jumped the totals which ran in the low-40s.

‘Canes Recover from Slow Start to Beat Southern Miss

The Mario Cristobal era at Miami has gotten off to a perfect start as the Hurricanes enjoyed a 70-13 romp in a glorified scrimmage against Bethune Cookman in the opener before picking up a 30-7 triumph versus Southern Miss last week.

Lined as nearly a 4-TD favorite against the Golden Eagles in Week 2, Cristobal was no doubt a little nervous when his Hurricanes only managed to take a 10-7 lead into the locker room before pulling away from Southern Miss in the final two stanzas.

Behind the passing of Tyler Van Dyke and the rushing of Henry Parrish Jr., the Hurricanes outgained the Golden Eagles by more than 200 yards, and doubled up on Southern Miss in the first down column (24-12) for a 14-minute advantage on the clock.

Can Aggies Get Ground Game Going?

Kyle Field is very proud to be the Home of the 12th Man, a tradition that is celebrating its 100th year at Texas A&M, and a tradition that the Aggies may have to resort to by putting an extra player on the field to help manufacture some offense.

The running game was supposed to be much better than we’ve seen to this point. Texas A&M is averaging less than 100 yards on the ground against two opponents they should have run for double that amount, and if they can’t improve that part of the game, it’s going to be a long season.

Haynes King and the offense showed the ability to make big plays in the win over Sam Houston with three long touchdowns through the air, and a 95-yard kickoff return in the loss to Appalachian State provided the only real excitement for the Aggies.

Injury and Personnel News

Defense has not been an issue for Texas A&M, and the scary thing is this unit could be even better if they can get a couple of freshmen linemen into the mix. Don’t count on Gabriel Brownlow-Dindy (knee) for a couple more weeks, and Walter Nolen (foot) is day-to-day.

Offensive tackle Zion Nelson (knee) is also on the day-to-day list for Miami, as well as defensive end Akheem Mesidor, the transfer from West Virginia who missed last week’s win over Southern Miss.

We are also awaiting updates on whether Cristobal will reinstate a couple of players from the suspended list. Defensive back Jalen Harrell and receiver Jacolby George were both suspended for the first two games of the season, but both were practicing last week.

Contradicting Trends – Something Has to Give

Miami has been a pretty solid play on the road recently, covering three of four true road games last season and five of the last six. Texas A&M has been a good bet against ACC teams with covers in the last five matchups.

One of those trends won’t continue, and my free college football pick says it’s the Aggies’ record against the ACC. Take the points.

NCAAF Pick: Miami +5½ (-110) at FanDuel