Miami looking for playmakers at receiver after loss to Texas A&M

Which Miami Hurricanes wide receiver will step up in the absence of Xavier Restrepo?

It was the big question at Saturday night’s Texas A&M game when it was reported that Restrepo was out for the game with a foot injury (he’s now out for six weeks).

Restrepo was UM’s most reliable wide receiver and the most consistent playmaker in the receiving group and against a talented Texas A&M secondary, the Hurricanes missed his ability.

Miami is desperate for a wide receiver to step in and make plays (especially against top competition) and it showed on Saturday night.

Key’Shawn Smith and Michael Redding III started as outside receivers in the game and they combined six receptions on 15 targets for 61 yards. They also combined for just seven yards after catching

Redding had a drop in the game, according to Pro Football Focus, and went 0 for 3 on disputed catch opportunities.

Smith caught 1 of the 2 contested capture targets. He was targeted twice on deep passes and didn’t catch a shot. The average depth of Smith’s target was 17.7 meters. He finished the game with 42 yards.

UM’s pass catchers have drops to clean up play with Jacques-George, Michael Redding III, Brashard Smithand Henry Parrish each representing a drop, according to Pro Football Focus. The untimely drops killed readers and sometimes killed a potential explosive game.

Now is the time for Miami to build confidence in the receiving corps and find answers about who is ready to make plays when opportunities present themselves.

George showed some playing ability in his first game after a suspension, but he was also credited with a fall. On the purely positive side, George is in the conversation of being UM’s most talented receiver, but he needs to show he can run his business on and off the pitch like a pro. He played 25 offensive snaps on Saturday night.

Clemson transfer Frank Ladson played sparingly, earning 20 snaps on offense and did not earn a target in the game. Ladson is tall and has intriguing downhill speed, but he has to clean up other phases of his game like blocking.

Miami won’t see defensive personnel like TAMU until they face Clemson in late November, but the Hurricanes should expect teams to try to force UM’s outside receivers to beat them by making plays on the field or yards after catching threats.

When Xavier Restrepo’s downfield production is eliminated from the equation, Tyler Van Dyke completed just 2 of 5 deep shots to UM pass catchers for 65 yards and a touchdown (the touchdown play coming on a 35-yard flea flicker to Key’Shawn Smith).

Who will switch to wide receiver? This is an important question with the ACC schedule on the horizon.

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