Top Five UM Plays In Loss At KSU

Clive WalfordSimilar to an ESPN’s Bottom Ten or Worst Of The Week-type segment, we break down the five biggest plays in the Miami’s loss at Kansas State this past weekend. The Hurricanes fell 52-13 against the Wildcats and after breaking down the film, these were the five plays that really changed the course of the game in UM’s first loss of the season.

There might have been some bigger plays over the course of the game, but the focus of here was on early plays that allowed this one to get out of reach. The type of plays that had the Canes take care of business, might’ve kept this thing for spiraling out of control:

No. 5 – Brandon McGee hauls in textbook interception – Sure this play came in the too-little-too-late category, down 31-6 midway through the third quarter, but it truly was the defensive play of McGee’s career, thus far, and deserves some credit.

Facing a 2nd-and-8 from the KSU thirty-two, Collin Klein aired one out and McGee, playing it perfectly, timed his jump and came down with a brilliant interception.

In a closer game, it would’ve had fans coming out of their seats, but completely demoralized at this point, hard for the U Family to get overly-excited with a play like this.

Still, for McGee and the other corners, this was a big and necessary play that they hopefully build on.

No. 4 – Clive Walford hauls in 56-yard pass, gets run down – Facing a 3rd-and-1 from the UM thirty-four, Stephen Morris hit Walford for a fifty-six yard pick-up. Walford rumbled down-field, but was eventually caught on the KSU ten.

Facing a 1st-and-Goal, Duke Johnson rushed ror one, on second Morris was sacked and a 3rd-and-Goal from the KSU fifteen, Morris’ pass was deflected, forcing the Canes to settle for a Jake Wieclaw field goal.

Miami was down 14-0 at this point and a Walford score would’ve narrowed the gap to 14-7. A field goal was points on the board, but a touchdown could’ve given the Canes defense a spark.

In a game that was primed to be a shootout on Miami’s lack of defense, leaving points on the field early was a crushing blow. Walford did all he could, but you wish he had an extra gear – or at least a better angle.

No. 3Duke Johnson looks very un-Duke in a few missed opportunities – After such a brilliant opening at Boston College, Duke Johnson looked all the part of a newbie in game two, with more misses than makes.

Down 17-3 early in the second quarter, Miami faced a 1st-and-10 from their own twenty. Stephen Morris dropped back and as soon as Johnson broke the line of scrimmage and past the front seven, Morris’ pass went off Johnson’s fingertips.

Had Johnson caught the pass, in full stride, hard to believe that he wouldn’t have booked eighty yards, with the Wildcats playing catch up, but on the stats sheet nothing more than an ‘incomplete pass’.

Johnson lost two on a second down run and facing a 3rd-and-12, Brandon Linder was hit with a personal foul. On 3rd-and-21 Morris was sacked for a loss and on 4th-and-25, Miami was forced to punt. Kansas State took over on the UM thirty-eight and went thirty-eight yards in five plays, pushing ahead 24-3 instead of potentially trailing, 17-10.

No. 2 – Allen Hurns goes down with a concussion on Miami’s first possession – With more depth and experience, the Canes wouldn’t over-stress the loss of a junior receiver, but after eight receptions for 81 yards in game one at Boston College, Hurns was asserting himself as Stephen Morris’ go-to guy.

Hurns caught two passes on the opening drive, amassed thirty-two yards, went down hard and never came back into the game. Tight end Clive Walford had three receptions for sixty-one yards and Rashawn Scott led all wideouts with thirty-nine yards on four grabs. Still, no one had that Hurns-like effect and his loss changed the course of the passing game, as did Miami playing from behind all game.

No. 1 – Eduardo Clements fumbles after picking up first down on 3rd-and-1 – The game was far from out of reach at this point. Miami trailed 7-0 and was moving the ball on it’s opening possession. Stephen Morris found Phillip Dorsett for a quick loss, but two strikes to Allen Hurns netted thirty-two yards and the Canes were moving the ball.

Facing a 3rd-and-1 from the KSU forty-one, Clements took the handoff, barreled a few yards for the first down, was popped and coughed up the ball. Near midfield, Kansas State recovered and five plays later extended the lead to 14-0.

Miami had gone forty-two yards in eight plays and tying the ball game 7-7, or at least pulling to 7-3, could’ve given the Canes some momentum. Furthermore, the position battle wouldn’t have been lost early, with the Wildcats starting the second possession just shy of midfield.



7 thoughts on “Top Five UM Plays In Loss At KSU

    1. Totally agree with you. Every third down I sit in front of the tv and shake my head at our defensive alignment.
      Futhermore Golden always preached the “Miami Brand” but Coach D’s schemes are out of touch. Kids from S Florida (our major recruiting base) are not raised to play that way, Former Canes never played that way. For example Tracey Howard/ Deon Bush played alot of press coverage in high school, now you depend on them in a unfamiliar scheme and they are still wet behind the ears. Also Chick and McCord were dominant edge rushers in High school now you are asking them to attack o linemen and build a wall at the line of scrimmage. If you seen a guy with a towing hitch on his sports car you would think he is crazy….same here in this scheme…we have speed players not playing in a speed scheme.
      Furthermore to bring the point home….Bill Calahan tried to bring a pro style offense to Nebraska and he was fired (Bo Peleni went back to a system that fitted the “Nebraska Brand”)….That school and their recruiting base werent breed to run a pro style system….neither is Miami with this defensive system.

  1. I checked out your link and really learned alot, & understand more of what’s going on. Wish you could send that to every Canes fan. Thanks for the information.

  2. ABSOLUTELY insightf-U-l link about Miami’s defensive woes!! Because this Hurricane fan lays out what I’ve been BLOVIATING bout’ on Miami college pigskin sites. THANK U Danton!!!!

    In my lame arse opinion, D’ Onofrio is too DAMN STUBBORN to adjust his defensive schemes to his CURRENT players!!

    Heck, I’m no major college football genUis, yet even the major college football NEOPHYTE I be, can see ALL those glaring weaknesses in D’ Onofrio’s defense.

    And the LINK above just happen to SUBSTANTIATE my general takes. Eh.

    For instance, watching the roller coaster game against B.C. at a local sports bar, a few of the bUbba’s made mention of the FACT, that Miami’s defense was Green n’ Orange SWISS CHESSE. dUh. And these bUbba’s was NUETRAL and didn’t have the HATE for Hurricane football!

    Bottom line is the AWAKE, loyal Miami fandom KNOW by now, that it’s going to be a very, very terrible long season for Miami.

    Perhaps the major college football deites will shine favorable light on Golden’s squad and the Canes will finish 6-6.

  3. The sad thing about it is…

    You don’t have to be an expert to see that we’re doomed before the snap. All you have to do is be able to count. LOL

    If a novice can see that Miami is screwed pre-snap then what do you think a college OC is gonna see? CITYBOICANE

    Me believes that’s what a couple of those bubba’s, at the local sports bar I was hanging at, was refering too. dUh

    Bottom line is with D’ Onofrio’s CURRENT defensive schemes, Miami is in DEEP, DEEP, DEEP stanky chit! If U know what I mean.

    Bon jour

  4. That analysis was insightful. Thanks for posting it. I mean, I could see our deficiencies when watching the game but breaking it down that well confirmed my thoughts. Essentially, we are playing a 70’s defense in 2012, and even our 80’s defense was outdated compared to what they play in the NFL these days. Watch what the Redskins did to the Saints as an example. You constantly pressure the passer and the hands on the DL are up on every pass. Redskins probably batted down 5 passes that way. Macjones, you are very astute, appreciate your posts here and elsewhere. And I agree that Saturdays game will be closer than alot of people think.

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