University of Miami

Safety Robert Knowles gets second career start — and turnover chain — in Miami blowout

Miami Hurricanes safety Robert Knowles runs drills during practice at the University of Miami Greentree Practice Field in Coral Gables on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 in preparation for their home opener against Bethune-Cookman Wildcats on Saturday at Hard Rock Stadium.
Miami Hurricanes safety Robert Knowles runs drills during practice at the University of Miami Greentree Practice Field in Coral Gables on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 in preparation for their home opener against Bethune-Cookman Wildcats on Saturday at Hard Rock Stadium. dsantiago@miamiherald.com

Robert Knowles heard the hate.

The fifth-year senior has been a source of ire for Miami Hurricanes fans for giving up big plays in the past, but was undaunted in his second career start against the FCS Bethune-Cookman Wildcats. Knowles was the first to don the turnover chain after he recovered a fumble just before halftime. He finished the day with two total tackles and an assisted tackle for loss.

Knowles started at safety in place of sophomore Gurvan Hall on Saturday. He has been a special teams contributor and reserve safety, appearing in 39 games over the past three seasons.

His only other start was in 2017 in a UM win against Georgia Tech. In UM’s loss to UNC last Saturday, Knowles played nearly the entire game in the place of starter Amari Carter, who was ejected for targeting in the first quarter. He tied a career-high with five tackles and earned praise from coaches throughout the week.

Knowles and the Hurricanes defense held the Wildcats under 100 yards of total offensive yards through three quarters in a 63-0 win.

DeeJay Dallas’ big day

Running back Deejay Dallas had himself a day. The junior finished with three touchdowns and 108 rushing yards. Dallas became the first Hurricane to score three times on the ground since former quarterback Malik Rosier’s trio of rushing touchdowns in a 2018 matchup against Toledo.

His fifth career 100-yard game helped the Hurricanes establish the lead early with all three of his touchdowns coming before halftime. He showed spectacular vision on his 51-yard score, bouncing the ball to the outside after the hole closed.

He finished the game with more rushing yards than the Wildcats’ entire offense.

Bubba Baxa booed

It only took one quarter for Miami fans to express their discontent at kicker Bubba Baxa. The sophomore missed a 30-yard field goal late in the first quarter — his fourth missed field goal this season — and he was met with a chorus of boosas he left the field.

Baxa missed an extra point and had a field goal blocked last week against UNC. He made a 50-yarder against the Tarheels, however, which was the longest of his career.

The Pasadena, Texas, native was perfect after the missed field goal on Saturday, making seven extra points.

This and that

Former Hurricanes defensive lineman Kendrick Norton was the game’s honorary captain. Norton, a former Miami Dolphin defensive tackle, lost his arm in a car accident on Independence Day.

Scouts for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants, Washington Redskins and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were in attendance.

Tennis wunderkind Coco Gauff was in the stands cheering on the Hurricanes. The crowd went crazy when the Delray Beach native threw up the “U.”

Linebacker Shaq Quarterman has started all 42 games since he arrived on campus in 2016, the second-longest active streak in FBS history behind Louisiana Tech offensive lineman Ethan Reed. Quaterman would likely be tied with Reed if it weren’t for losing a game against Arkansas State in 2017 due to weather.

Tight end Larry Hodges’ first career catch was a one-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter. It was the second-straight year that a UM tight end’s first career catch was a touchdown after Will Mallory did the same in 2018. Wide receiver Mike Harley also scored his first career touchdown, as did former walk-on running back Jimmy Murphy, who sparked a massive celebration in the fourth quarter after running for a 4-yard score.

Sports Pass for $30 per year

Get unlimited access to all Miami Herald sports stories and videos for $30

#READLOCAL
Related stories from Miami Herald

C. Isaiah Smalls II is a reporter covering breaking and trending news for the Miami Herald. Previously, he worked for ESPN’s The Undefeated as part of their inaugural class of Rhoden Fellows. He is a graduate of both Columbia University and Morehouse College.
  Comments