Tyler Van Dyke Ready To Lead Hurricanes Against UNC – South Florida Sun-Sentinel – South Florida Sun Sentinel

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It didn’t take Andrew Gamere long to notice Tyler Van Dyke wasn’t going to be an ordinary quarterback. And, ironically, Gamere’s realization came after a mistake from the Miami Hurricanes’ second-year signal-caller.

Gamere, Van Dyke’s high school coach during his four years at Suffield Academy in Glastonbury, Conn., recalled a then-freshman Van Dyke throwing a pick-six on his first drive not too long after making his debut during the second quarter that put Suffield into an early deficit.

Instead of subbing him out for the more veteran quarterback on the team, Gamere decided to stick with Van Dyke, who shook off the interception and rewarded Gamere’s trust by leading the Tigers on a touchdown drive before halftime en route to an eventual Suffield win.

“That, in a small way, even in his first game where he faced some adversity, was a really telling moment about Tyler,” Gamere told the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

Van Dyke didn’t immediately get to showcase his skills at UM, with the former four-star prospect in the Hurricanes’ 2020 recruiting class being listed as the third-string quarterback for most of last season behind D’Eriq King and N’Kosi Perry, who has since transferred to FAU.

And even after starting the last two games for Miami, in which he threw for 473 yards and four touchdowns while completing 61 percent of his passes, it wasn’t guaranteed that he’d remain the starter.

But with King (shoulder) out for the season and fellow backup Jake Garcia (ankle) being ruled out through at least November, “it’s Tyler Van Dyke’s team,” as UM coach Manny Diaz put it. He will lead the Hurricanes in their first true road game of the season against North Carolina at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday (ACC Network) in Chapel Hill, N.C.

“Honestly, it feels the same as every week,” Van Dyke said about officially being named the starting quarterback. “I’ve been preparing like I’m a starter every week this year and nothing’s going to change with that.”

And he isn’t phased by the challenge of starting on the road for the first time after his previous two starts came at Hard Rock Stadium.

“Honestly, it’s like playing on Greentree every day,” Van Dyke said, referring to UM’s practice field. “Obviously, it’s going to be a different atmosphere than Hard Rock, but it’s just football.”

Added Diaz: “The good news is he’s already been through two games, has sort of already had to fight through adversity in the Virginia game. You got a little different experience going out on the road for the first time.”

In addition to being the biggest test Van Dyke has faced during his young college career, Saturday’s matchup will be an example of the unpredictability the ACC has experienced this season.

Both Miami (2-3, 0-1 ACC) and North Carolina (3-3, 2-3 ACC) entered the season ranked in the top 15 of the AP poll — Hurricanes at No. 14 and Tar Heels at No. 10 — and were expected to compete for the top spot in the Coastal Division.

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But both teams have struggled, with Miami falling to all three FBS teams it’s faced and UNC playing inconsistently on a weekly basis, leading to both teams entering Saturday unranked and near the bottom of the division.

“College football appears to be more wide open in general,” Diaz said. “There are still really good teams that aren’t ranked that were ranked high early on. It’s still a long season. Teams are finding their way and looking to improve.”

And with plenty of games left to compete for the conference and division, the Hurricanes aren’t putting all of the pressure on Van Dyke to turn the season around.

“The key to quarterback play is everyone has got to play well around the quarterback,” Diaz said. “Whether that’s helping him out with the run game and making contested catches — those types of things. He just has to do his job and, I think, that’s what everybody respects about Tyler.

“Tyler is a no-nonsense type of a guy, a businessman approach. I’ve watched the guy run an offseason program, offseason workouts. He’s a guy that everybody can depend on because I know what he says he’s going to do, he’s going to do.”