After starter Tyler Van Dyke was benched in an ugly loss to Middle Tennessee two weeks ago, Miami head coach Mario Cristobal said Monday there is no quarterback controversy in Coral Gables.
"We are honest about the fact that Tyler has played great football here for a long time and you don't turn on your quarterback because we had a bad day." Cristobal said on WQAM's Joe Rose Show in his first public comments on the QB job since Miami's 45-31 loss to MTSU on Sept. 24. "You make sure you do things and install things and work on things that the quarterback and supporting cast feels comfortable with."
Miami's offense stagnated in the Week 3 loss at Texas A&M, and Van Dyke struggled again early against MTSU. Over the two-game stretch, he completed just 51% of his throws with one touchdown and two interceptions.
Van Dyke, who threw for at least 300 yards and three touchdowns in each of his final six games of 2021, was pulled midway through the loss to MTSU in favor of former blue-chip recruit Jake Garcia. Garcia didn't fare much better, completing just 10 of 19 passes for 169 yards. Cristobal said he thought Garcia did "a great job" and "has a super-bright future" at Miami, but acknowledged Van Dyke deserved to play through struggles.
Miami hosts North Carolina on Saturday in what could be a critical game in the ACC Coastal. Despite the back-to-back losses, the Hurricanes remain the favorite to win the division, according to ESPN's FPI metric, which gives Miami a 40.3% chance to take the division. North Carolina is second at 29.3%. This will be Miami's first conference game of the season.
For the season, Van Dyke is completing 59% of his throws with four touchdown passes and three interceptions, along with a 41.3 Total QBR.
"After a rough day like that, competitors are resilient. [Van Dyke] has shown he is going to attack every opportunity that he has and that we have as a football team," Cristobal said. "We have an unbelievable opportunity on Saturday, and it is just like life: Either you come together and you work at it and you improve and move forward, or you unravel and fall apart. That is something we won't allow within the program. Tyler has done a really good job of doing everything possible to make sure we improve, and we have done a better job of communicating and making sure we do things that fit our personnel at the current time."