Duke Johnson set the tone for the game with a 38-yard reception on the Hurricanes’ first play from scrimmage. In the first quarter, he became the 39th 1,000 yard rusher in Miami Hurricanes’ history. Then he set a new career-high of 187 rushing yards in a game. He broke his previous record of 176 yards with a run in the third quarter and the Hurricanes beat the Florida Atlantic Owls 34-6 Friday night at SunLife Stadium.
Johnson was injured when he dove to block for Herb Waters’ 63-yard touchdown. He walked off the field under his own power, but had the trainer and coach Al Golden close beside him. Johnson was tested for a concussion, the standard procedure for anyone shaken up, and the results were negative.
“He’s a very unselfish player,” commented Coach Golden.
The defense looked solid. The team had five sacks and kept the Owls offense out of the end zone. Denzel Perryman broke up two passes. The first one should have been an easy interception and he was visibly frustrated. Kacy Rodgers forced a fumble recovered by David Gilbert that turned into Dallas Crawford’s first career touchdown.
“All of us as a group, we played really well. We played together. We played really good team defense,” beamed Jimmy Gaines, who had five tackles.
Senior Stephen Morris went 15-17 through three quarters. He had one touchdown to tight end Clive Walford and one interception. He almost threw a second pick and overthrew his receivers a couple times.
“First game jitters I guess,” admitted Morris. “We know what to expect we just gotta, you know, really be precise on all of our decision-making.”
True freshman Stacy Coley had his first career reception, but later dropped a bullet from Morris. After the play, Morris and fellow senior Allen Hurns pulled him aside to tell him not to worry.
“He’s just gotta forget about it and move on. He’s very talented. He just needs to relax and let it come to him,” reflected Golden.
This was an expected win for Miami. Now, all eyes are on the Florida Gators. The Hurricanes will play the in-state rival at noon on September 7 at SunLife.
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