It’s officially hurricane season. And we’re not talking about tropical storms or weather forecasts.
In the first conference matchup of the season, the No. 13/14 University of Miami Hurricanes (5-0, 1-0) defeated the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (3-2, 2-2) 45-30. Though Georgia Tech leads the all-time series record 10-9, the Hurricanes have won the last five meetings between the schools.
Answering Georgia Tech’s first-quarter touchdown to open the game, senior quarterback Stephen Morris opened up the Miami offense with a two-play touchdown drive with a 40-yard scoring pass to junior receiver Philip Dorsett.
Saturday marked Morris’ fifth career 300-yard passing game.
Coach Al Golden commented with insight on Morris’ week six performance.
“Gutsy. You can tell he’s not 100 percent, but these nine days coming up are huge. He’s running around back there, the pass he threw to Stacy [Coley] was phenomenal – he bought himself some time, you can tell his arm strength – he threw it off one leg. He threw an interception, saw it wrong, and again he’s not an excuse guy. He came right over and said, ‘I thought it was too high, I made a mistake,’ and we just moved on. I thought both coordinators really called the game with poise,” Golden said.
Morris tossed up two interceptions, to seemingly wide open Georgia Tech defenders.
The Hurricanes gave up four turnovers, a fumble by sophomore running back Duke Johnson and a dropped punt return by Dorsett.
“We have to get those things fixed. We had some untimely penalties – one before the half cost us four points. We had a couple of fumbles and dropped punt, which we have to get cleaned up. We absolutely have to get it cleaned up. We have nine days, and we’re going to go to work hard here on that,” Golden said.
Johnson more than made up for it with 184 rushing yards, recording over 300 all-purpose yards for the second time of his career. He now has 460 all-purpose yards in his two games against Georgia Tech.
Senior receiver Allen Hurns recorded his first career 100-yard game, the highest receiving game to date. In addition to a 69-yard touchdown reception from Morris, Hurns recorded his career-first rush for 13 yards.
“That’s exactly what he is, that is a smart football player,” Golden said. “Whatever you ask him to do, he is smart, he studies the game, he spends a lot of time on it. He timed it up and he had a little tempo there, and used the block and made a touch. Great effort by Phillip [Dorsett] too.”
Still on a hot scoring streak, sophomore running back Dallas Crawford posted two rushing touchdowns.
In the true test of the hot Miami defense, the Hurricanes adjusted to the triple-option and forced 3 turnovers. Junior linebacker Denzel Perryman recorded 11 tackles, 10 in the first half alone.
“We’re obviously more explosive. We’re getting more guys around the ball. They’re all the same guys as last year, they’re just playing with a quiet mind. They’re playing so much faster,” Golden said. “They’re playing with a real quiet mind, they’re playing fast, they know what they’re capable of, and we’re playing a lot of guys. It’s tag-team defense right now. That team we just played, they give you all you can handle. All you ever want to do against that team is win. There’s no qualitative analysis here. It’s just straight win or lose, and it was a good win for our guys.”
Looking ahead, the Hurricanes travel to Chapel Hill to try to stay undefeated in the ACC against the Tar Heels on Thursday October 17.
words_kristen spillane. photos_raquel zaldivar.