MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Facing its second Football Bowl Subdivision opponent of the 2023 season, Bethune-Cookman fell away to No. 22 Miami, 48-7, on Thursday night at Hard Rock Stadium.
Miami (3-0) scored a touchdown on each of its first four possessions to begin the game en route to a 34-0 halftime advantage.
The Hurricanes opened the scoring with a 10-play drive capped off by a Tyler Van Dyke quarterback keeper up the middle for the touchdown on the Hurricanes first possession of the ballgame. Andres Borregales added the extra point for the 7-0 Miami lead.
It would take the Canes 11 plays on their next possession to make it 14-0, driving 93 yards in and taking just over five minutes off the clock. Ajay Allen scampered in from eight yards out for the score, set up three plays earlier from a Van Dyke 26-yard pass to Xavier Restrepo that put Miami in scoring position at the Bethune-Cookman 15-yard line.
A seven-play drive that spanned 71 yards used 2:47 off the clock – the first of three scoring drives for the Canes that was under three minutes in length, culminating with a Van Dyke 15-yard scoring strike to Jacolby George to move the lead at 20-0 after Borregales missed the ensuing extra point.
The lead jumped to 27-0 midway through the second stanza after Donald Chaney Jr. burst up the middle for a three-yard score. Chaney was the sole focus on that drive for the Hurricanes, rushing the ball all four times on the four-play drive, registering 55 yards in total.
The Canes added another score 27 seconds before the half when Van Dyke recorded his second passing touchdown of the night, this time connecting with Brashard Smith for a 27-yard score in getting behind the B-CU secondary.
A promising Bethune-Cookman (1-2) drive stalled at the beginning of the third quarter when quarterback Tylik Beathea, seeing his first action of the season for the Wildcats after transferring in from Delaware State, fumbled on the Miami 29-yard line. Bethea entered the game for the Wildcats as the first quarterback when starting signal-caller Luke Sprague exited the game with an apparent injury.
Miami would capitalize off the fumble using the running back combination of Allen and Chaney Jr., with the aforementioned Allen pushing his way through the line for the four-yard touchdown run with 3:03 remaining in the third period, extending the Hurricanes lead to 41-0.
After Miami added a score in the fourth quarter off a 21-yard run by Chris Johnson Jr., Bethune-Cookman answered on its ensuing drive to nullify a potential shutout.
The Wildcats put together a 10-play, 75-yard drive under the direction of Walter Simmons III at quarterback, entering the game in the second half as a reserve after starting the first two games of the season for the Maroon and Gold. A drive that took 5:17 off the clock saw Simmons connect with running back Jouvensly Bazil – a transfer from Washington State, for a 40-yard pass and catch that put B-CU down to the Miami one-yard line. Two plays later, Simmons called his own number in a quarterback keeper around the right side, stretching for the pile-on and score to produce the final 48-7 result.
Miami finished the game with 589 yards of total offense, while the Cats managed just 165 – with 75 of those coming on the last drive of the game for the Maroon and Gold. B-CU was limited to just 33 yards rushing, while Miami ran for 240 yards of its own.
Van Dyke finished the night 19 of 23, passing for 247 yards and two touchdowns for the Hurricanes. Restrepo tallied six receptions for 120 yards, finishing as one of 10 receivers to record a catch in the game for the Canes. Chaney led the ground game with 73 yards on seven carries and a touchdown. Jayden Wayne, Jadais Richard, and Francisco Mauigoa had four tackles each to lead the defense.
For Bethune-Cookman, Simmons finished with 62 yards passing on 3-of-5 through the air. Sprague was a perfect 3-for-3 passing for 23 yards before exiting the game early on. And it was Bethea finishing 5 of 9 passing for 47 yards. Bazil finished the game with 22 yards rushing on seven carries but added the 40-yard reception in the fourth quarter. Tink Boyd had three catches for 16 yards, while Terry Lindsey hauled in two passes for 20 yards.
The B-CU defense was highlighted by sophomore Stephen Sparrow with a game-high nine tackles (seven solo). Dearis Thomas contributed seven tackles, including a tackle for loss, from his linebacker position, while Kiwon Harris registered six stops for the Wildcats.
Courtesy: Bethune-Cookman Athletics