Found September 07, 2013 on
Fox Sports Florida:
MIAMI GARDENS, FLA. -- The Miami Hurricanes spent most of Saturday afternoon leading a football game they seemed destined to lose.
The Hurricanes were ahead of Florida 14-6 at halftime despite trailing in the time-of-possession battle 21:36 to 8:24.
For the game, the Gators had more first downs (22-10), more rushing yards (122-50) and more total yards (413-212).
But when it was over, the Hurricanes prevailed 21-16 in the last scheduled meeting between the intrastate rivals. Bragging rights never felt better.
Is Miami back? Well, yes and no.
The win easily was the biggest under third-year cache Al Golden. It's a victory that indicated the Hurricanes are headed in the right direction. They're certain to be ranked next week and, looking at the schedule, could move upward until a Nov. 2 date at Florida State.
Major improvements in various areas remain, however, to get where Golden, the UM program and all Hurricanes fans want to be -- back in the hunt for national titles.
Here are a few things we learned about the Hurricanes on Saturday afternoon.
1. They showed the ability to step up in the "Orange" zone.
OK, usually it's called the red zone. But Florida scored twice on six trips within the Miami 20 thanks in large part to four turnovers.
The Hurricanes defense was on the field for 38:20, which is one reason it surrendered so many yards. But make no mistake, Mark D'Onofrio's unit is why Miami won.
Three first-half "Orange" zone trips by the Gators ended with no points thanks to two turnovers (a fumble and interception) and a stop on fourth-and-1.
A bend-but-don't break defense over the course of a season gives its fans many cardiac moments. To come in the season's second game, though, offers signs that the unit has something on which to build.
2. That doesn't mean the defense is a finished product.
Too many times on Saturday the Gators faced third-and-short, which is why they were 6 of 15 in third-down situations.
Last week vs. FAU, the Hurricanes' pass rush seemed to be much better from 2012, and Saturday verified that. Miami had two sacks for 17 yards and pressured Gators quarterback Jeff Driskel at several key times.
Still, the defense needs to do a better job forcing third-and-long.
Miami's young cornerbacks Antonio Crawford and Tracy Howard showed inexperience at times, but they're sure to get better.
3. Surprisingly, the Hurricanes offense has a way to go.
An experienced unit let by quarterback Stephen Morris and running back Duke Johnson had been expected to pick up where it left off last season when it averaged 31.4 points per game.
A quality line and upgrades at tight end seemed to mean more fireworks under new coordinator James Coley.
Sure, Miami scored 34 points in its opener against a much weaker opponent in Florida Atlantic. That was despite the passing game not being in sync.
Morris (12 of 25, 162 yards, two touchdowns, one interception) and his receivers continued to struggle against Florida, though going against the Gators defense definitely offered a major challenge.
Running for 50 yards overall (1.8 yards per carry) won't get it done if Miami wants to capture the Atlantic Coast Conference Coastal Division title.
4. Punter Pat O'Donell's importance should not be underestimated.
O'Donnell is a fifth-year senior who transferred from Cincinnati after being second team All-Big East last year. A look at his performance Saturday, and it's hard to imagine anyone better.
He punted eight times for a 49.0 average, but that included a block in the first quarter. He also produced a 50-yarder, a 54-yarder, a 55-yarder, a 60-yarder. O'Donnell also pinned UF at its own 14 and had another punt that should have been downed at the 1 but went into the end zone.
Having a quality punter who can flip the field is something that can make the difference between a good team and a great team.
5. The Hurricanes might be bigger and stronger in 2013, but they'll need to be more physical and show more speed.
Miami had no first downs from late in the first quarter until late in the third quarter. Florida simply looked faster and more physical during much of that time.
The ACC is not the Southeastern Conference, which is a good thing for this year's Hurricanes.
Miami did show the maturity Golden had been raving about in taking less penalties (five for 58 yards) than Florida (10 for 70) and walking away from a couple of trash-talking moments that former teams might have escalated.
Charlie McCarthy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @mccarthy_chas.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
The Hurricanes got their signature win in the second week of the season.How do you determine the progress of two teams in a game like the one we saw between Florida and Miami?In the 21-16 loss to Miami, we learned more about the ill-fated success of the Gators more than the uprising of the Hurricanes.While I thought Miami was better than people credited them with and the Gators would...
This was the plan, the one that Miami coach Al Golden put together back in May and June when he actually mapped out how every day was supposed to go this season for the Hurricanes.
Sept. 7: Beat Florida.
Sept. 8: Move on from beating Florida.
Golden's visions became reality on both fronts this weekend, first when his team knocked off the formerly 12th-ranked Gators 21-16 on...
The most valuable commodity of the 21st century is undivided attention. In terms of recruiting, Coconut Creek Monarch High’s junior wide receiver Calvin Ridley has acquired quite a bit. Ridley’s sophomore sensation of a season from a year ago proved to be beneficial. Over the summer Ridley committed to his own personal and physical development and because of that the recruitment...
Miami Hurricanes fan showed up to Sun Life Stadium in droves on Saturday. In fact, the program saw a new record set for attendance against Florida.
The Orlando Sentinel’s Mike Bianchi is reporting that tomorrow’s Florida-Miami matchup will be the last regular season game between the two…forever. After 80 years of games, (although sporadic the last 25 years)Florida wants to completely cut ties with all things…Read more →
Canes Time writer Mike Bakas answers Fightin’ Gators’ subscribers questions about the Miami Hurricanes. The renewal of the rivalry starts Saturday at noon and with four years separated fro the last time the two teams met, there is a lot to learn about this Miami bunch. Bakas delivers some answers to hard hitting questions inside, come check it out.
When the final seconds ticked off the clock Saturday afternoon and the Miami Hurricanes upset the Florida Gators you had to know that a lot of folks would have a lot of things to say. Gator fans probably had a lot of excuses (turnover anyone?). Anti-Florida/SEC fans have taken to message boards to express their happiness at the outcome.
Than there is The Rock.
After hanging out in the “others receiving votes” category for the pre-season and the first two weeks of the college football season, the Miami Hurricanes went from being the first team not ranked to a No. 15 ranking after beating the Florida Gators who were previously ranked No. 12.
Head coach Al Golden said this afternoon on a conference call with the Hurricane beat writers...
Listen as Willis McGahee and Don Soldinger, two past Miami Hurricanes greats who describe what their time at Miami meant to them and what they think about the program and its future. We caught up with these two Hurricane legends at the half of the Booker T. Washington and Miami Central Game.
Watch and Listen:
Running back Willis McGahee talks to CaneINsider.
The post Past...
The 2012-13 basketball season was an incredible one for the Miami Hurricanes. Led by guard Shane Larkin, Miami won both the ACC regular season title (15-3 conference record) and the ACC Tournament by running through Boston College, NC State, and the North Carolina Tar Heels. They also made the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament.
Oh, and Jim Larranaga had an amazing locker room dance...
Tyriq McCord‘s dreams came true Saturday afternoon as the clock struck zero and the Miami Hurricanes beat the Florida Gators 21-16.
“This is why you come to the U, to play the Florida Gators,” he smiled.
McCord had one of five Hurricane turnovers when he sacked quarterback Jeff Driskel in the fourth quarter and picked up the resulting fumble.
“Sack cause fumble. I mean you...
Check out the video highlights below compiled by CaneInsider from last week’s game versus Florida Atlantic University. It’s great preparation for this week’s match up against the Florida Gators, Saturday September 7th at noon. Here are the highlights:
The post Video Rewind: Miami vs. FAU appeared first on CaneInsider | Miami Hurricanes Athletics and Recruiting.
Miami Gardens, Fla.–The Miami Hurricanes defended their home field against the No. 12 ranked Florida Gators from the SEC and their defense led the way to a 21-16 hard fought victory. The Hurricanes held off a late surge by the Gators as their defense forced five turnovers and put the Gators in difficult positions to make plays.
The Hurricane offense sputtered overall on the day...
Follow this post for live updates of the much-anticipated game between the Miami Hurricanes and Florida Gators. Kickoff is at 12 p.m. at SunLife Stadium.
The post Live Game Blog: Hurricanes vs. Gators appeared first on CaneInsider | Miami Hurricanes Athletics and Recruiting.
Florida dominated many stats, but the Gators' five turnovers were the most telling in a 21-16 loss to the Miami Hurricanes. Watch all five here.