LAS VEGAS — When a team unveils a new-look offense, it usually means the old look failed to work. At the end of last season, Miami’s offense was miserable, yet the Hurricanes found immediate help with the arrival of hyped transfer quarterback D’Eriq King.
One of the most explosive playmakers in college football, King left Houston and took his talents to South Beach. One game in, King is a hit. The next game, Saturday at Louisville, is on a bigger stage and should reveal if King and the Hurricanes are worthy of more hype.
King passed for 144 yards and a touchdown and ran for 83 yards and another score when Miami opened with a 31-14 victory over UAB on Sept. 10. In the debut of the Hurricanes’ spread offense, running back Cam’Ron Harris starred alongside King and rushed for 134 yards and two touchdowns. Taking that show on the road to face a better defense will be a stiffer test.
The Cardinals counter with their own dual-threat quarterback. Micale Cunningham passed for 343 yards and accounted for four TDs as Lousville opened by beating Western Kentucky, 35-21.
When the ACC rivals met last November at Miami, the Hurricanes rolled 52-27. Cunningham and offensive tackle Mekhi Becton, a first-round pick by the Jets, were each knocked out during the blowout loss. Cunningham returned to lead the Cardinals to a shootout win over Mississippi State in the Music City Bowl. The Canes ended their season with a 14-0 loss to Louisiana Tech in the Independence Bowl.
While Cunningham and King will trade big shots, another difference-maker could be Cardinals coach Scott Satterfield. The coaching edge figures to go to Satterfield, who’s 17-8-1 against the spread at Louisville and Appalachian State since 2018.
The pick: Louisville -2½.
Navy (+7) over TULANE: The Midshipmen had a week off to regroup after getting embarrassed 55-3 by Brigham Young. Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo took the blame for a lack of preparation and returned the team to full-contact practices. Draw a line through the opening game and try to forget it, but it also creates some point-spread inflation in this spot.
BYU’s passing attack was too much for Navy, which will see a run-based Tulane offense. Keon Howard was 14-for-30 passing as the Green Wave rallied from a 24-6 deficit to beat South Alabama, 27-24, last week. Navy has won four of the past five in the series with a one-point loss at Tulane two years ago.
NOTRE DAME (-25½) over South Florida: The Irish disappointed public and sharp bettors by failing to cover as 21-point favorites in a slow-starting, 27-13 victory over Duke last week. While senior quarterback Ian Book put up pedestrian numbers, sophomore Kyren Williams rushed for 112 yards and two TDs. The Notre Dame defense should dominate. The Bulls used three quarterbacks who combined for only 102 passing yards on 25 attempts against The Citadel.
Last Week: 2-1.
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