Not the “ride the momentum” game we were hoping for, but a win nonetheless. Hard to really break this one down based on GameCast updates, the box score and message board chatter but it’s somewhat obvious what happened today. While sloppy at times against a lesser opponent, the Canes had a few more good moments than bad.
I’ve read some posts bashing Kyle Wright, who went 19 of 23 for 230 yards and 2 touchdowns – but had two red zone interceptions, one the fault of a receiver who ran a wrong route.
Does #3 need to cut down on the red zone blunders? Absolutely. There’s no excuse. Get it together, Kyle. That said, Wright was hardly the one to blame today. Last I checked, he doesn’t play defense and wasn’t responsible for letting Thad Lewis throw for 241 yards and 2 touchdowns today – one for 41 yards and the other, a 31-yard strike.
Miami’s secondary was exposed by Oklahoma a few weeks back and has since faced lowly FIU and a Texas A&M team known more for their ground game. The Canes have proven they can stuff the run, but Miami can’t shut down an aerial attack and is in for a long season if that trend isn’t reversed immediately.
Amazingly enough, it is the offense who truly bailed out these Canes today. It was an Eric Moncur sack which lost 10 yards and gave Miami the ball back at the 40-yard line, but the difference proved to be the late offensive play calling and approach to closing out the game.
If this was 2006, the Canes get the ball on the forty and attempt to run the clock out. Good chance the Blue Devils get the ball back for one last hurrah, down three. Instead, a 27-yard Graig Cooper rush and a player later, Wright finds DajLeon Farr for a 33-yard touchdown strike – his second of the day.
Miami goes up 24-14 and actually finished a sloppy game. 10 points in the first quarter, scoreless in periods two and three and then a 14-point fourth quarter as the difference maker.
Again, we all hoped for and expected more out of today after seeing a blow out against Texas A&M ten days ago. This fan base is hungry for break out games and building on the week before.
Today wasn’t, yet sort of was one of those days. The scoreboard might tell differently, but there are a few things to take from today – most notably the fourth quarter scoring, as well as Wright having a good enough game and bouncing back from a split and stitched up chin.
4-1 and North Carolina on the docket next week. It’s Miami first trek back to Chapel Hill since the 31-28 upset in 2004 and this time around Butch Davis will be on the opposing sideline. The Heels hung tough at Virginia Tech today in a 17-10 loss and will be ready for the Canes.
Randy Shannon has his work cut out for him this week. Time to whip this team into shape, continue righting the wrongs and have Miami ready for North Carolina next week.
Today was a win… as ugly as it looked at times. Appreciate it as it’s a whole lot better than being 3-2 today and making excuses for being the squad that ended Duke’s losing streak.