The 2013 is still in its gotten off to a flying start.
The ACC suddenly looks like a viable competitor to the mighty SEC. FBS schools have lost to FCS schools. Johnny Manziel has offended a bunch of folks, and Jameis Winston has taken College Football by storm.
But enough of that.
As Miami basks in the glow of defeating UF and prepares for Savannah State, we look back at the three best and three worst developments in the young season.
1) The defense has gone from a weakness to a major strength, almost overnight. Denzel Perryman is flying around the field like a cross between Rohan Marley and Jessie Armstead. The same team that produced just 13 sacks over 12 games last year, currently has 7 over 2. Curtis Porter has played a solid enough two gap technique from the inside, that he has resembled a poor man's Vince Wilfork. Thurston Ambrister, Anthony Chickillo, and Shayon Green have been rocks on the front 7. Antonio Crawford and Tracy Howard continue to improve the young secondary.
One of the better defensive players on the team, S Deon Bush, has yet to even play. Coach D'Onofrio and staff have coached their butts off, and the defense has become a gutsy unit, that blitzes effectively, covers well, and displays terrific gap discipline. No one saw this coming! Can it continue?
2) The kicking game has been terrific. Matt Goudis is 2-2 on FGs including a 45 yarder, and 7-7 on PATs, Pat O'Donnell has been a major weapon as a punter, averaging 47.6 yards per punt. And on top of that he has buried his punts in the corners, making setting up returns near impossible. Having a great punter is not the sexiest of things, but it sure payed dividends in the win over Florida. Miami's return game has yet to get going, but when it does the 'Canes could have one of the best all-around special teams units in the NCAA.
3) Duke Johnson. The Gators did a terrific job of slowing him down. But the drives early in the game where the offense moved, the pass was set up by effective runs by Duke. For the season he still has 245 yards, a 6.1 ypc average and 2 TDs along with 3 catches for 50 yards. Johnson and the 'Canes will not likely face a defense as good as UF for the remainder of the season, so look for more terrific play from "Duuuuuuuuuke," whose dynamic abilities give Miami a shot in any game they play.
1) The passing offense. Yes the 'Canes scaled down the playbook and played conservatively against UF, Yes a win is a win, even an ugly win. But let's be honest, the passing game has been out of sync. Phillip Dorsett has missed some hot reads and ran a wrong pattern or two. Freshman Stacy Coley dropped 2 TD passes in the opener. Stephen Morris has over shot the target more then a few times. And the vaunted offensive line got beat bad too many times in pass protection against UF. Miami will work hard to get these things corrected in the bye week, and they should. There is too much talent for Miami to only average 161 yards a game through the air.
2) Penalties. Through 2 games: 13 penalties for 127 yards. This is too much. Ok, so this is not the Dennis Erickson coached, Cotton Bowl, record setting, swaggalicious flag ridden team your older brother cheered for. But they can certainly clean things up a bit if they want to become elite.
3) Get the guys their own numbers. Was that Allen Hurns or Artie Burns on punt coverage (both wear #1)? Did Stephen Morris just sack the QB? No that was #17 Tyriq McCord. Stacy Coley #3 or Tracy Howard #3 back deep? Ok, so this is a bit nit picky, and numbers shouldn't matter. The good news is, when I am complaining about something so trivial, a lot more has gone right then wrong so far this season.