Some quick thoughts on the Miami Hurricanes and their 41-13 victory over Bethune-Cookman after a short-night’s sleep (never sleep well after a game, no matter what time) and two cups of coffee:
▪ The Hurricanes will have all they can handle during next week’s road trip to Arkansas State. The Red Wolves, in the Sun Belt Conference, came close to upsetting Nebraska late Saturday night in Lincoln, scoring a late touchdown to make it 43-36 and just missing a receiver in the end zone on the final play of the game that could have tied it and forced overtime. Arkansas State’s quarterback Justice Hansen threw for 415 yards and three touchdowns — which brings me to my second thought:
▪ The UM secondary and defensive line need to tighten up this week, which I have little doubt they will after defensive coaches Manny Diaz, Mike Rumph, Ephraim Banda and Craig Kuligowski get after those guys. The Canes allowed 229 yards passing and had one sack (a crucial one at that by Demetrius Jackson in B-CU’s opening series, which resulted in a field goal). The Wildcats were a lot better than many expected, but the UM defense, expected to be the strength of this team, I guess was a little rusty at times Saturday.
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▪ Malik Rosier was impressive for his first start (second all-time) as “the guy.’’ He didn’t come close to throwing a pick, which was the first positive. Except for a little bit of a shaky start (understandable), he seemed calm and in control the entire game. And yes, he can run, as four carries for 41 yards illustrates. Love those bootlegs, though future competitors will be ready. And he has a really nice arm and is able to sling it very far, as with his first bomb of the season, a 46-yard touchdown to Darrell Langham, who made a gorgeous leap in the left corner of the end zone. And glad coach Mark Richt got Evan Shirreffs in the game. I though that was important.
▪ The crowd, announced as 50,454 (tickets distributed, I was told) appeared substantially smaller than that. We are not given the official number of people who actually attend the game or are in the stadium. Hey, I totally understand that it’s super hot at noon in early September in South Florida, but keep thinking how hard these young men worked this offseason to represent The U, and how it energizes them to feel the love. Hopefully, for their sake, a lot more folks show up for Toledo game. But not sure of the kickoff time of that one, and something makes me think it might not be much better, especially if UM isn’t undefeated at that point — which brings me to my next thought:
▪ Florida State’s deflating loss to Alabama — and the loss of talented quarterback Deondre Francois to what appeared to be a very painful left-knee injury late in the game, will certainly change UM’s preparation for the Seminoles, if he isn’t expected to play (and it didn’t look promising). Hate to see the main man injured, and would have been a lot of fun had the Noles defeated Alabama, setting up a potential showdown between two possibly undefeated rivals.
▪ Love the turnover chain! It’s a massive, totally Miami, gold (in color only) chain, with the equally massive green-and-orange U hanging from it, that is put around the neck of the player who creates a turnover while he is sitting on the sideline afterward, then comes off after he goes back into the game. That is too cool and even more funny. Sophomore cornerback Malek Young, who had an interception, wore it Saturday. So did freshman safety Amari Carter after forcing a fumble.
Will be back later with another story.