Miami Hurricanes 2023 Week 3 Preview: Bethune Cookman

Photo by Edwin Garcia


Miami, Florida – Alright ladies and gentlemen you know the drill, it’s week 3 of the season and the Miami Hurricanes host the Bethune Cookman Wildcats. Checking in at No. 22 the 2-0 Canes are riding high off a tremendous 48-33 victory over Texas A&M. Coach Raymond Woodie Jr., earned the first victory in his head coaching career with a 31-6 trouncing of Savannah State. At 1-1, his Wildcats visit the Hardrock in what will be Woodie Jr.’s first game against a Power 5 opponent. Named the Pac-12 Conference’s No. 1 recruiter in 2017, Coach Woodie was hired to lead the program on February 6, 2023, replacing Ed Reed.

One can see why he was chosen for the job. He’s recruited seven players selected in recent NFL Drafts. The hiring represents a new era for Bethune Cookman and with it a boost via recruitment, the Wildcats may see success in the near term improving their standing within the Southwestern Athletic Conference.

BCU

Luke Sprague/Walter Simmons (QBs)

Luke Sprague led his team to a decisive victory over Savannah State after replacing Walter Simmons III late in the second quarter completing 79% of his pass attempts (23 of 29) airing out 223 yards and two touchdowns. The redshirt junior’s lone mistake was a drive-ending fumble. Interestingly enough, the Wildcats haven’t settled on a starter.

Simmons started both games but Sprague has been the one moving the ball. Prior to his removal, Walter only completed two of six passes for 39 yards and an interception. In the opener against the Memphis Tigers, both QBs were irrelevant, Sprague made three of six throws for 21 yards and Simmons completed 10 of 18 for 18 yards. In fact, the only reason they scored in their 56-14 loss was entirely because of the defense via a pick-six and fumble recovery. Sprague is a pocket passer, and Simmons leans more as a dual threat.

Jouvensly Bazil (RB)

While Sprague powered the offense through the air, Jouvensly Bazil did so on the ground. Bazil rushed for 64 yards and two TDs. For the season he has 10 carries for 78 yards averaging 7.8 yards a carry. He should get some activity through the first quarter but once the deficit grows the run game will likely be ditched altogether.

Dearis Thomas (LB)

Two games into the season the sophomore has been doing the work leading the team in tackles with 17 (11 of them solo) including a sack. Athletic against the pass yet physical for the run, Thomas will be on the prowl for the coveted interception. The O-line will have him and others to contend with as they’ll try to pressure the quarterback in what is likely to be a very pass-heavy scheme Thursday night.

Miami

Tyler Van Dyke (QB)

Not even a week removed from his triumphant performance, Tyler Van Dyke has a cupcake game where he can absolutely feast. Back in 2022, the Hurricanes obliterated Bethune Cookman 70-13 to open what ultimately was a disappointing season. TVD completed 13 of 16 passes for 193 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions. Remembering what Van Dyke did versus the Aggies, UM’s star quarterback should surpass last year’s performance easily putting on a show while he’s at it.

Jacolby George (WR)

In the postgame presser, Jacolby George mentioned how his teammates picked him up after the muffed punt return. With his morale buoyed, George went on to catch five passes for 94 yards and three touchdowns including a 64-yard strike late in the game to bury the Aggies. Alongside Colbie Young and Xavier Restrepo, we’ll continue seeing the glorious Air Raid on display versus the Wildcats. Look for George to build on this hard-won momentum.

Henry Parrish Jr (RB)

The run game was a nonfactor for week 2. Now that it’s a new opponent, we might see the rush get some love. Last weekend, Henry Parrish Jr. led the running back committee with 10 carries for 50 yards. So far, Parrish has 19 carries for 140 yards and a touchdown. With an easy opponent, the RB Corps will be sharing the load. The junior is likely to get plenty of action padding his numbers further. Depending on the circumstances and play calling, we could see up to two rushers hitting the centennial mark and Parrish is likely to be one of them.

Prediction

We all know how this one will end. Overwhelming favorites the Miami Hurricanes will have no trouble dispatching Bethune Cookman. I’ll make things interesting. If the team does not put up at least 60 points it’ll be rendered a disappointment. Also, if the Wildcats manage more than 14 points on The U’s defense I’ll consider that also a disappointment.

Photo | Edwin Garcia

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