The Miami Hurricanes (6-5, 4-3 ACC) blew past South Florida (3-7, 1-4 Big East), 40-9, during their final home game of the season, sending the seniors out of Sun Life Stadium on a high note. The Bulls traveled to Miami depleted and it was evident that without starting QB B.J. Daniels, the ‘Canes were too much to handle.
Miami QB Stephen Morris threw for an impressive 413 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions. Three ‘Canes receivers totaled 100-yard games including TE Clive Walford (135), Phillip Dorsett (104) and freshman Herb Waters (130).
Due to an ankle injury, Bulls QB B.J. Daniels was declared ‘out for the season’ and South Florida was forced to play musical chairs this week when it came to naming a starting quarterback. Bobby Eveld got the nod but would suffer a shoulder injury in the first quarter when he collided Miami LB Denzel Perryman. With Eveld’s absence, Matt Floyd entered the game but failed to create a much needed spark. Floyd threw for 175 yards and two interceptions.
TE Clive Walford proved that Miami does in fact have tight ends on their roster. Although he only caught three passes, they went for 34, 36 and 65 yards, respectively. Freshman Herb Waters received a significant amount of playing time due to the suspension of fellow wide receiver Rashawn Scott, and the injuries of Malcolm Lewis, Davon Johnson, Robert Lockhart Jr. and Allen Hurns.
Freshman phenom Duke Johnson, who was coming off of his fourth ACC Rookie of the Week award, continued to impress rushing for 66 yards and one touchdown on 13 carries.
Bulls RB Demetris Murray rushed for a 108 yards on 16 carries.
While South Florida will not find themselves bowl eligible following this season, Miami now faces quite the dilemma. With their win against the Bulls, the ‘Canes officially become bowl eligible, however, it is likely that Miami will self-impose a second consecutive bowl ban due to the looming NCAA sanctions. It is Miami’s hope that self-imposing multiple bowl bans will ultimately dilute the seriousness of the impending sanctions.
I, myself am torn between the two. On the one hand, why should an entire team be punished for the actions of players who are no longer affiliated with the current Miami program? The 2012 ‘Canes team have battled obstacle after obstacle and it is only fitting that they are given the chance to prove themselves once more during the postseason.
On the other hand, why should Miami jeopardize future seasons for failing to self-impose a bowl ban? Like my Twitter buddy David Mayer (@itsallaboutheu) said, when comparing Miami to Ohio State, “…if Tressel would have self-imposed, they might be in the National Championship this year.” I can appreciate Mr. Mayer’s insight and I concur with what he was implying. Perhaps this young Miami team can barge their way through the ACC next year and find themselves in serious contention for a BCS bid. The only thing worse than not being a part of the postseason is running the table and not being eligible to play for a National Championship.
As much as I want to see Miami play for the ACC title in 2012, there are still plenty of bight years that lie ahead. Miami doesn’t have the undefeated record like Ohio State does and as fitting as it would be to see Miami in a rematch with Florida State, it is probably in Miami’s best interest – both present and future – to pass.
Next up for Miami: Duke
With a Miami win: ACCCG bound, pending a self-imposed bowl ban
Stats courtesy of ESPN