Yes, the Hurricanes beat Florida. Yes, they had 211 yards of offense. Yes, they only had one third down conversion in 21:40 of possession. How can this team expect to keep their top-25 ranking with this type of performance?
“We have such a long way to go. I can’t say that enough,” said coach Al Golden after the victory Saturday. He stressed that the win was big, but the team is no where near the elite program he thinks it can be.
“It was a war. I’m not going to make any excuses. We have to be better,” he reflected about the lowly offensive performance.
After a career-day against Florida Atlantic, Duke Johnson only had 59 yards rushing. He had 21 carries, which reached the team goal of 20 carries per game, but the battle in the trenches was intense. His supporting cast includes seniors Eduardo Clements and Maurice Hagens and freshman Gus Edwards who got some quality playing time against FAU. The running game is going to be key to the Hurricanes’ success this year.
Stephen Morris went 12-of-25 for two touchdowns and one interception. Herb Waters is the only receiver who scored in both games this season and he led the team against FAU with 49 yards. Allen Hurns led the team against the Gators with 60 yards. One improvement so far from last year is that Morris is not depending on the running backs. Johnson led the team in receiving yards against Bethune-Cookman. Mike James took the role against Florida State. This year, Johnson has three receptions between the two games played. Rashawn Scott is now out with an upper extremity injury and so young guys like Waters, Stacy Coley and Malcolm Lewis should be getting more touches. Phillip Dorsett is still finding his rhythm. There was a glimpse of hope when Morris hit him for a 52-yard score in the Florida victory.
Overall, the story of the season so far is Miami’s defense. There was talk before the season started that both Morris and Johnson were possible Heisman Trophy candidates. The story lines have clearly changed.
“We’ve gotta be humble and hungry,” concluded Golden.
Miami has a bye week, but will be Full Speed Ahead when it faces Savannah Sate at 7 p.m. on September 21 at SunLife Stadium.
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