Late game breakdowns cost Miami football again versus Louisville

Nov 18, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 18, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports /

Late game breakdowns have cost the Miami football team multiple times this season. A collision between Miami defensive backs Te’Cory Couch and Jaden Davis allowed Louisville wide receiver Kevin Coleman to break away for a wide-open game-winning 58-yard touchdown reception in the Cardinals’ 38-31 win.

Late game breakdowns cost Miami wins in almost every loss this season. Offense, defense and special teams have all had late-game breakdowns that led to Miami losses this season. Miami had more breakdowns on Saturday after allowing the go-ahead touchdown to the Cardinals to send them to the ACC Championship game.

Following the go-ahead TD Tyler Van Dyke and Xavier Restrepo connected on a 48-yard completion to the Louisville 30-yard line. Miami eventually moved to the Louisville three yardline. Mario Cristobal called a time-out after seeing the Louisville defense. The burned timeout was the latest example of poor clock management.

Van Dyke threw incomplete on fourth down to Jacolby George. After the play, George was called for a personal foul that moved the Louisville possession from their three-yard yardline to the 18. That took Louisville out of the shadow of their end zone. The Miami football team forced a three-and-out and Louisville had to punt.

Louisville gained five yards on its three plays. Instead of punting from their eight-yard line with 1:16 remaining in the game, Louisville punted from the 23 with 30 seconds left. Miami used its final two timeouts following first and second down. The Louisville punt was downed at the Miami 40-yard line.

Following the punt, Brashard Smith was called for a personal foul penalty putting the ball back to the Miami 25. That is 30 yards in penalties and 46 seconds off the clock because of the burned timeout and two inexcusable personal fouls. Miami finished the game with five penalties for 50 yards.

With the penalties pushing Miami back, they drove as far as the 50 yardline before the final play. Xavier Restrepo caught the hail mary off the tip from Colbie Young but was tackled at the five-yard line as the clock ran out. The unforced errors put Miami in a difficult position to tie the game and force overtime.

The late game breakdowns initiated in the now infamous loss to Georgia Tech. It all began with Kneel Gate versus the Yellow Jackets. Mario Cristobal called a running play when Miami could have taken a knee and run out the clock. Don Chaney Jr. fumbled on the next play giving Georgia Tech possession with 26 seconds left.

Georgia Tech drove 75 yards on two completions in the final 26 seconds to earn the improbable win. Cristobal had a similar blunder as the head coach at Oregon when he could have brought the clock to nearly zero. Oregon fumbled, Stanford recovered to force OT and won in the extra session.

Late-game interceptions cost the Miami football team a chance to stay in the game at North Carolina and potentially tie and force OT at Florida State. A punt return set FSU up at the Miami 10-yard line for the game-winning TD. Miami has not won an ACC game in regulation this season.

Miami final drive falls shorting in loss to Louisville. dark. Next

Miami has hindered itself too often during the 2023 season. Cristobal was very upset with the personal foul calls at the end of the game. He made his own mistake for the second time this season. The timeout call was more subjective than the mistake versus Georgia Tech. The extra 46 seconds would have been helpful versus Louisville.