MIAMI GARDENS, FL - SEPTEMBER 10: David Njoku #86 of the Miami Hurricanes has the ball go off his fingertip in the end zone against the Florida Atlantic Owls on September 10, 2016 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.Miami defeated Florida Atlantic 38-10. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

Its hard to believe that this Saturday will be the Miami Hurricanes’ first real test of the season. With a 2-0 record and ranked 25th in the polls, the program appears to be on its way back up. However, the first game was a 70-3 blowout to FCS Florida A&M and despite last week’s 38-10 win over Florida Atlantic, there are still questions on how much better this Miami team is. Is Miami on upset alert vs Appalachian State for this weekend? That is a possibility giving the team they are facing and Miami’s recent history.

Is Miami on Upset Alert vs App State?

This Saturday’s match-up brings to mind last season’s match-up against Cincinnati. Miami lost 34-23 coming off a bye week in a winnable game. Miami was out-coached offensively, scoring only two touchdowns the entire game.

Brad Kaaya had possibly the worst game of his career last week. Kaaya finished 17/31 for 191 yards and two interceptions, with zero touchdowns. Appalachian State has only given up one touchdown through the air all season and only two total touchdowns all season. Mark Walton was able to carry the load against FAU, finishing with 155 yards and four touchdowns. Appalachian State allows 142 yards on the ground per game and while Miami’s running game has been stellar, Kaaya and the receiving corp must find some consistency to keep the Mountaineers defense honest.

Manny Diaz has the Hurricanes’ defense playing at a historic level. The fourth overall defense in the country has allowed a total of 69 rushing yards. Containing the Mountaineers ground game should not be a problem. The young but hardened secondary matches up well with Appalachian State’s receivers. After years of under-performing, the Miami defense is finally solid. This alone gives them the edge Saturday in Boone.

Miami Looking Ahead

Appalachian State is looked on as a slayer of giants since their upset over Michigan. In their week one match-up against Tennessee, the Volunteers needed overtime and a few breaks in order to hold them off. It could have possibly been due to looking past an opponent on the part of Tennessee. This only emphasizes that App State is not a team to overlook. Miami faces Coastal division rival Georgia Tech next Saturday followed by Florida State. If there was ever a recipe for a trap game, Saturday is the main course.

The Mountaineers won 31-7 to an equally matched team in Old Dominion last Saturday. The former FCS power has transitioned well to the FBS. History has shown App State thrives on being overlooked by bigger programs. Miami cannot play down to their opponent. Last week showed that the offense needs to improve quickly as the season continues. Miami will do best to take their blinders off looking ahead to conference play to avoid an upset come Saturday.

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