The Miami Hurricanes continued their momentum from last week’s miracle into this week’s Homecoming game, beating University of Virginia 27-21.
What went right:
Those uniforms were straight fire. Well done, Adidas.
Quarterback Brad Kaaya made a triumphant return to the field Saturday after suffering a concussion two games ago against Clemson. Kaaya missed a few throws and looked a little rusty at times, but overall he had a good game, finishing 20/26 for 286 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. It’s an encouraging sign to see a young quarterback bounce back quickly after suffering an injury.
Wide receiver Stacy Coley had a fantastic game, grabbing seven receptions for 132 yards and a touchdown. Coley is really putting together an elite season.
Tight end David Njoku is starting to grow up and establish himself as a real threat to opposing defenses. In each game he has made huge plays, and he continued that trend in this game by catching two passes for 63 yards and his first career touchdown. This may be one of the most athletic tight ends Miami has had in a while.
Freshman safety Jaquan Johnson got his first career interception for UM. Hopefully this will be one of many for his career.
The defense put forth a complete effort for most of the game and continued the theme of bending, but not breaking.
What went wrong:
There were times where the offense struggled to consistently drive down the field. A few costly penalties by the offensive line killed the momentum on a few Hurricane drives.
Miami hit a wall offensively this game, as they often do for at least one quarter per game. Yes, it was Kaaya’s first game back, but the team looked out of sync and predictable at times throughout the game. Coach James Coley must find ways to keep this offense consistently moving without getting the ‘Canes into minimal gained second down runs, leading to long third downs.
While the defense made plays when they had to, they still had a rather unimpressive game. Granted, Artie Burns did not play as he mourns his mother’s passing, but UM should still have enough talent to not surrender 407 total yards of offense. This Virginia offense isn’t overwhelmingly talented, and surrendering 127 total yards to the 106th ranked rushing team in the nation is another eye roll towards coach Mark D’Onofrio.
This Hurricane defense still struggles with screen passes, bubble screens passes, sweep runs, counter runs and option plays. They struggled against FSU, Clemson, Duke and now Virginia. It’s blasphemous how this team possesses so many top athletes, yet consistently gets beaten around the edge week in and week out. If Miami wants to continue winning games, they must fix these problems.
North Carolina just put up 66 points on Duke (yes, in football). Miami’s defense must clean up some things schematically before their matchup with UNC next Saturday at 3:30 p.m. in Chapel Hill. UNC is undefeated in conference play, and their performances have been extremely impressive thus far. Can Miami ride out the momentum they have and match UNC’s high level of quality play?
Brandon Carusillo is a senior majoring in public relations and minoring in psychology. He’s from Coral Springs and wants to work as an entertainment agent when he graduates. He loves music, sports, writing and photography.