For being a three touchdown underdog, the young Miami Hurricanes (4-4, 3-2) held their own against No. 12 Florida State (7-1, 4-1), that is, until the fourth quarter when the ‘Noles inched away with the win.
FSU’s defense proved too much for Miami’s stagnant offense and the ‘Noles rattled off 17 unanswered points in their 33-20 win at Sun Life Stadium.
So what did we learn about the Hurricanes following their tough battle against Florida State:
- There actually are Hurricanes fans in Miami. Sun Life Stadium boasted 73,000+ fans, by far the biggest crowd of the season. Granted, the sea of garnet and gold was evident, but nevertheless, the stadium was a rockin’ in southern Florida. This holds well for Miami, since there were upwards of 34 top recruits in attendance. The play of the game: a moronic fan deciding to run onto the field (during play I might add), eventually shedding his shirt, followed by a security guard trouncing. You made your parents proud, young man.
- Where has this Miami defense been all season? The ‘Canes defense came out explosive, playing physical and creating turnovers. For once, the Miami defense carried their offense. LB Denzel Perryman throttled Florida State TE Nick O’Leary in mid-air, forcing a fumble in which LB Jimmy Gaines recovered. The ‘Canes scored on a Mike James scamper giving them an early 7-0 lead. Following the first quarter, the Miami offense fizzled. Miami’s defense began to wear down due to the offense failing to produce. The ‘Canes lost the time of possession battle which had an adverse effect on their young defense.
- QB Stephen Morris wasn’t 100%. Morris, who was listed as doubtful going in to the FSU game, was given the go ahead by head coach Al Golden. The rattled quarterback made some questionable decisions. He frequently tried to make something out of nothing. In all, Morris accounted for a fumble, an interception and was sacked multiple times. For whatever reason, Morris refrained from throwing the deep ball, and often overshot or under threw his receivers. WR Phillip Dorestt played a minimal role in Miami’s offense, as did WR Rashawn Scott.
- Why are the ‘Canes trying to turn their running backs into receivers? For some odd reason, RB Mike James and freshman Duke Johnson led the ‘Canes in receiving yards. When you have burners like Rashawn Scott, Phillip Dorsett and Davon Johnson, why does Miami fail to utilize them? You cannot beat a team like Florida State when you are throwing short dump-offs to your running backs – especially against their stout defense. The Miami offense was out of balance and offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch continued to make one scratch their head. Fisch continued to dismiss the running game in favor of the short passes, and what was the deal with Miami starting the third quarter with an onside kick?
- Miami desperately needed a bye week. The ‘Canes had played eight straight weeks and faced three top 15 teams. This team is worn out mentally and physically. Miami has now lost three consecutive games and if they fail to prevail against Virginia Tech, they may see any hopes of a Coastal champ fade away. Freshman RB Duke Johnson has been plagued by a turf-toe injury and QB Stephen Morris is nursing a sprained ankle. This offense is struggling and is in dyer need of rest.