(Photo credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports)
Undefeated through four games, No. 17 Miami aims to put another tally in the win column when it opens Atlantic Coast Conference play against visiting Georgia Tech on Saturday.
The Hurricanes (4-0) last played on Sept. 23, a 41-7 road win over Temple. It marked the first time in 21 years that Miami has scored 38 or more points in each of their first four games. Despite wind and rain from Tropical Storm Ophelia, the Canes piled up 543 yards of total offense.
Before facing Georgia Tech (2-3, 1-1), Miami used its bye week to get healthy ahead of ACC play. All-American safety Kamren Kinchens is expected to return to the field Saturday, four weeks after he was carted off with an apparent neck injury against Texas AM.
"I don't like missing games," Kinchens said. "It was kind of a rough patch missing those games, because I kind of pride myself on fighting through whatever, but there's a lot of excitement being back out there with my family."
A junior, Kinchens was key for Miami in the defensive backfield last season with 59 tackles, six interceptions, 12 pass breakups, a forced fumble and a recovery. He has five tackles and one pick in two games so far this season.
Miami coach Mario Cristobal said the team will "hopefully" have starting defensive linemen Akheem Mesidor and Branson Deen back in the lineup against Georgia Tech after both missed the previous two games.
Mesidor had seven sacks for the Canes last season, while Deen -- a transfer from Purdue -- had 2.5 for the Boilermakers in 2022.
Cristobal also added that fans "might be able to see" projected starting tight end Elijah Arroyo play this weekend. A redshirt sophomore with 10 career catches, Arroyo had major knee surgery that cut his 2022 season short.
Georgia Tech, meanwhile, just shook up its coaching staff a bit, as head coach Brent Key demoted defensive coordinator Andrew Thacker to safeties coach and promoted Kevin Sherrer to defensive coordinator.
Sherrer has previously been a defensive coordinator at South Alabama and Tennessee. Most recently, before joining the Yellow Jackets' staff, he was a linebackers coach in the NFL with the New York Giants. He also won a pair of national championships as a director of player development with Alabama in 2011 and 2012.
"I do feel that a new voice and perspective from the coordinator role is necessary for us to improve," Key said. "Coach Sherrer is a veteran coach that has had great success in all aspects of coaching defense and at the highest levels of football."
Georgia Tech is coming off a 38-27 home loss to Bowling Green last weekend. It's the sixth straight season that the Yellow Jackets have lost to a Group of 5 or FCS opponent -- a streak that now spans across three head coaches.
Offensively, the Yellow Jackets have been decent this year, averaging 32.4 points per game. Haynes King, a transfer from Texas AM, has thrown 15 touchdowns and four interceptions, completing 64.5 percent of his throws.
Miami is 14-13 all-time against Georgia Tech. The Canes have won five of the last seven meetings.
--Field Level Media