Young Hurricanes Grow Up In Atlanta

duke johnson mike james dallas crawford miami hurricanesWhat a finish. What a finish. What a finish. What. A. Special. Finish.

A full recap will come in the next day, but for now, some initial thoughts on Miami’s thrilling comeback win at Georgia Tech.

After jumping out to a 19-0 lead, the Canes gave up thirty-six unanswered and were down seventeen with ten remaining in the third. From there, both sides of the ball woke up – and grew up beautifully.

For all the (deserved) talk about a struggling Miami Hurricanes’ defense, it was a balls-out performance on that side of the ball the final quarter-and-a-half – and overtime.

Miami finished the day with 609 total yards to Georgia Tech’s 436. Stephen Morris, despite missing some throws, passed for 436 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.

Morris spread the ball to eight different receivers, with Phillip Dorsett and Davon Johnson providing the one-two punch. Dorsett finished the day with nine receptions for 184 yards and a touchdown, while Johnson picked up some huge first downs and hauled in seven receptions for 107 yards.

Duke Johnson was held somewhat in check, carrying thirteen times for 72 yards, but Mike James more than picked up the slack and re-asserted himself as the go-to back on this squad. The senior and team captain carried fifteen time for 89 yards and three scores – his final, a twenty-five yard scamper in overtime for the game-winner.

The final quarter, and overtime, were a true thing of beauty. Miami settled for three late in the third quarter, with Jake Wieclaw knocking through a 23-yarder to get on the board for the first time since the first quarter.

Trailing 36-22 entering the fourth, Miami went to work. Grinding. Fighting. Scrapping. This team followed the lead of head coach Al Golden. They trusted “the process” and applied their brick-by-brick mentality, one play at a time, working their way back into the game.

The Canes got the stops they needed to defensively, while picking up crucial first downs, moving the ball and overcoming adversity – the biggest blow, a missed Wieclaw field goal around the seven-minute mark, on the heels of a James touchdown getting called back as the Yellow Jackets called a timeout.

What could’ve been a backbreaker, was just another play. Miami forced another punt after Georgia Tech went thirty-two yards on eight plays, chewing almost five minutes off the clock. The Canes then drove ninety-one yards on eight plays to tie the game, James taking a dump off ten yards for the touchdown.

In overtime, a dream scenario. Miami won the toss, gave up a first down conversion after a fourteen-yard pick-up on first down, but from there the Canes clamped down — holding quarterback Tevin Washington to one-yard on 3rd-and-2 and stopping him cold on 4th-and-1, for the turnover.

Two plays later, James scampered into the end zone from twenty-five yards out.

The lone downside was losing wide receiver Malcolm Lewis late in the first quarter. After a twelve-yard reception, Lewis was rolled up and dislocated his ankle in a gruesome-looking play. Golden rushed the field to embrace his receiver and went back to rally his team, which fell apart for a bit, but fought back.

This was a game Miami needed – a young squad still smarting from the Kansas State shellacking two weeks back, and a program in need of some ‘signature wins’ as Golden and staff rebuild a program and sell their ‘process’.

Huge win, young Hurricanes. Continue to grow. Amazing day and better days lie ahead.



19 thoughts on “Young Hurricanes Grow Up In Atlanta

  1. Great come from behind win!! Although I knew they had it in em, I have to admit, I thought the D was gonna fold. But jut goes to show the Golden one knows whats going on. 2 yrs ago this would have been a diffrent story. Also, the D….. what a 1st, 4th, and 5th qtr!!!! Hey Mark D., feel free to prove me and the rest of fans wrong anytime. BTW, my mini schnauzer, Sebastian, is still under the bed scared to death from all the jumping around, high 5’s with my wife, and hollaring for the CANES!!!!!!

  2. Ok, so be honest – is the team moving in the right direction? I’m not implying they have to be perfect by this point. I am just looking for some incremental improvement from game to game and I’m not seeing it.

    1. You didn’t see “improvement” anywhere today? Stephen Morris played his best game in history and Miami’s offense put up over 600+ yards — it’s biggest showing since 1998 in the win over UCLA. Defense had been getting shredded this season and held Georgia Tech’s offense in check for big portion of game — and especially when it counted, keeping them scoreless from the 10:07 mark in the third quarter. UM also rebounded from a missed Wieclaw field goal late and drove 91 yards for the score in under two minutes.

      If you can’t see things getting better, you’re blind, brother. Doesn’t mean every week will be another step forward. There will be some wins, some losses, some great plays and some mistakes — but if you can’t see the attitude, vibe and culture changing and if you don’t see a team growing up before your eyes, I don’t know what to tell you.

    2. You aren’t seeing improvement? Try opening your eyes. The depth is better, the effort is better, the young kids are stepping up and making plays. Even the defense has improved dramatically since K-State. Chickallo was living in the Tech backfield on a dozen snaps. We lose Lewis and a Davon Johnson steps up. Morris wasn’t perfect and easily could have thrown for 500 yds but that is really nitpicking. He was so much better this week than the last two. Lots to work on, but clearly a better team than last year even with missing 6 guys who stupidly left early.

    3. Is that a serious post? UM puts up 42 points on the road against a potent GT team and that’s not improvement? Really?

  3. You know what stood out to me? Al Golden. Look how he came to the aid of Malcolm Lewis after he turned his ankle180 degrees backwards! The man was holding on to him like he was his own son, telling him it was going to be ok. And then when he knew he was in good hands with the medical staff, he ran to his team to comfort them, told them basically to forget about it, to get their heads back into the game! I believe those guys kept their resolve the entire game and fought for their coach and fought for their fallen teammate ’til the end simply because of that particular play. It might have shaken them up, they might have lost the lead at one point, but it definitely kept them alert and with a fightining spirit. Now that’s, coaching! This game just might be the one we look back years from now and say, THIS is when it started, right here.

    1. You nailed it Jamal. First one cradling Lewis and the minute he knew the kid was all right, he rushed back to the aid of his other kids because he knew they were rattled and he wanted to soothe them. This man gets it and that honestly might’ve been the finest coaching moment of his career.

  4. They will beat NC State. I sense the start of something big.

    I better buy the “send-the-kids-to-the-game” tickets for UM at UVA before the game gets sold out.

    Wow – a whopper comeback !!!

    The angle injury looks like a “redshirt” situation ???

  5. Bottom line, who would have thought that this team would play BC, KSU and GT on the road in the first 4 weeks of the season and come out 2-1? We can talk of individual players, etc., but two things stuck out to me. While there were specific coaching mistakes, (the challenge, the time out) the young men’s belief in themselves and one another did not waiver. That is the most important part of coaching. There was no quit in this team. The other was the conditioning. Remember when the 4th quarter was ours? Against a big, physical team, it once again was. GT was tired and pushed around by the Canes in the 4th quarter and OT. This team ran the 2 minute drill so well we didn’t even need any time outs. How many times did that fail us over the past years?

    There is still much to work out on this team, we are not there yet. We will lose some games yet. But if you do not see the improvement in this team, you are blind.

  6. 2 all the people asking 4 coach d getting fired, shuttup. its only year 2. it takes 4-5. but there is 1 thing u see in thses kids now. NO QUIT. shannons entitlement punks always folded. In 03 coker coached, but that team was still stacked on D. especially shaking off that missed FG towards the end. that could of been the swan song, but wasnt. dont ask shannon 4 D coord. either. he had stacked teams that made him look good. his inablity 2 adjust is the reason we lost that 02 fiesta bowl. wake up, get on the Golden train and watch.

  7. Let me just say this: That last, 91 yard drive will be a defining moment for this team. Just like that 4th and 1 on the 2 in OT will be defining for this defense. It’s one game, but the experience from this one game alone will be invaluable. Down by 7, with time running out, and the last offensive posession of regulation for sure. Everyone did their job and we marched down the field in chunks. The TO awarded to GTech when we had scored was BS as were many calls (running into the coach? Is that what I heard?). The following call of the dump off to James was brilliant. We had some players step up and it was great to see.

    1. John – Definitely defining if they can build on it. In 2008 Jacory led that killer drive against Virginia, going to overtime, but Miami truly didn’t build on it – because Randy sucked as a teacher. Golden will turn this into something defining and yes, in time we’ll look back and point as this game as an important moment in “the process”.

  8. Would have to say it was by far one of the best away games i have been to for sure! what a game seriously.. I honestly thought our defense was gonna be a disaster against the triple option but im glad they proved me wrong. This group is something special and you can sense the start of something happening. Gotta admit i was a bit worried and some calls the refs made werent all that either but even with all penalties,momentum and everything against us we still came back it was unbelievable! It was truly refreshing to see in person.

    1. Danny – The defense stepped up and hopefully they do the same again this weekend. Youth and inexperience will bring some lapses, but great on days like Saturday where things come together. Great effort across the board by this team – and the fans who represented.

  9. This was first game since I 2002. The way our fans backed our team was amazing. We were so loud that the stadium started playing music to drown us out becuz their fans couldnt. Those young guys played some great football and I am certain that they will build on it.

Comments are closed.