Ex-Texas football HC Charlie Strong embarrassed in first half by MTSU

Charlie Strong (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
Charlie Strong (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images) /

One of the more surprising results from the first half of any college football game in Week 4 involved former Texas football head coach Charlie Strong (now the co-defensive coordinator in Coral Gables) and the No. 25 ranked Miami Hurricanes. Strong’s defensive unit, along with fellow co-defensive coordinator Kevin Steele, wasn’t supposed to be put to the test this weekend against the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders at home on Sep. 24.

But that’s exactly what came to fruition for Strong and the Canes in the first half against what was a pretty docile offense for the Blue Raiders early this season. Middle Tennessee put up an impressive 17 points in the first quarter alone against Miami.

Yet, it is worth noting that one of the touchdowns scored by the Blue Raiders in the first quarter came by way of a pick-six on Miami quarterback Tyler Van Dyke. Miami struggled with turnovers in the first half, including two picks from Van Dyke.

Former Texas football head coach Charlie Strong and No. 25 Miami embarrassed in first half by MTSU

The Blue Raiders were able to put up another touchdown early in the second quarter against what looked like a helpless Miami defense in this game.

All told, the Blue Raiders were able to put up nearly 240 yards of total offense in the first half against the Canes. This is a Middle Tennessee offense that was averaging around 311 total yards per game coming into this meeting with what appeared to be a stout Miami defense.

While I don’t think it’s necessarily fair to place all the blame on this Miami defense in this game, this surely wasn’t a good look for the likes of Steele and Strong. This defensive unit for the Canes definitely wasn’t ready to go to face what is a beatable Blue Raider squad for a top-25 ranked Miami team.

Mind you, this is the same Middle Tennessee team that lost to the James Madison Dukes to open up the 2022 season just a few weeks ago by a convincing final score of 44-7. The 17 points that Middle Tennessee scored in the first quarter were the most they have against any opponent so far this season.

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We’ll see if the Canes can pull it together in the second half. But they have an uphill battle ahead with a very stagnant offense and a defense that was inconsistent, to say the least, in the first half. Middle Tennessee held a 24-10 lead at halftime against the Canes.