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The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: Cincinnati Edition

What went right, what went wrong, and everything in between Vs the Bearcats. Plus team grades.

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Well that is exactly what the doctor ordered.

Miami let Cincinnati hang around for a quarter, but this one was never really in doubt.  Big time plays on offense were expected against a sub par D, but the defense sprinkled in a nice effort and even put up some points of their own in a one-sided 55-34 contest.

This game may not have wiped away the pain of three bad losses, but fans UM has to hope it is the start of a strong finish to the season.   VT is next.

Let's break it all down.

The Good:

  • This!  X100

  • This is good to hear as well.....

  • Duke Johnson continues to work his way up the record books:

  • Brad Kaaya showed perfect touch (we say that every week, don't we?) on a 1st quarter TD pass to Clive Walford and 2nd quarter scoring toss to Phillip Dorsett, and a third Q bomb to PD again.

  • Jermaine Grace with a sack one one play, leading to an INT for Ladarius Gunter on the next.  Good things can happen when you blitz.
  • Herb Waters is one of the most underrated players on the team, and continues to make nice plays when given the chance.

  • Michael Badgley looked pretty good on a 42 yard FG in the 2nd quarter.
  • Great concentration and athleticism on Tyriq McCord's juggling act pick six on the opening play of the second half.  When #17 is making plays, this is a completely different D.  Rare to see him drop in coverage, but great play nonetheless.
  • I like how Corn Elder tackles.  Nice day for him, despite two penalties (one questionable).
  • Season high in points, 600 + yards total offense, 2 runners over 100 a piece in Johnson/Yearby

  • It may have been garbage time, but nice to see Ryan Williams get some snaps.

The Bad:

  • Old story, and especially not surprising considering the team struggles.

  • On Cincinnati's second drive, Denzel Perryman makes the spectacular stop on 4th and 1, but Ufomba Kamalu gets called for a very untimely face mask to keep the drive alive. A few plays later it leads to the equalizer after Gunner Kiel is given an hour in the pocket to find his man, ending a drive that also featured DE/OLB Trent Harris covering a WR 20 yards down field. 
  • And 6 penalties in a quarter and a half?  One of them as mentioned above led to a Bearcats score.  Another stalled a promising drive. One or two were bad calls by the refs (DPI on Corn Elder stands out) but you have to be more disciplined overall.
  • Bad fumble by Trayone Gray handing the Bearcats 6 in the fourth quarter.

The Ugly:

  • Flying the pregame banner calling for Al Golden's job. Does anyone really think that Blake James is going to be affected one way or another by these shenanigans?  There is constructive criticism, and then there is stomping you feet to make a scene, IMHO. By the way, NEXT TO NO ONE SAW IT! Best said below:

Team Grades:

Offense: The D of Cincinnati is bad, like historically bad.  But Miami still had to show up and make plays. The offensive line was opening some huge holes for Johnson and Joe Yearby.  Kaaya is the truth.  Dorsett is one of the most dangerous players in the country and should get minimum 2 deep targets a game. UM could have put up 70 today if they wanted.


Defense: There were signs of life today. UM even has some early success blitzing Kiel.  Artie Burns grew up today.  He is typically always in good position but has had some trouble making plays this year on the ball, much better today especially in the second half.  McCord is a difference maker when he shows up big.  The 'Canes dropped 3 or 4 potential INTs that could have made this game even easier. Let Cincy hang around too much in the second half too with some blown coverages. Big pick by Raphael Kirby to seal things.  Better effort overall.


Special Teams: Badgley was a concern when Matt Goudis went down with injury.  Now we wonder if he has won the PK job outright?  He has a huge leg, and looks like he has picked up some seasoning the last few weeks. Still not much in the return game (Stacy Coley did have a 41 yard return late).


Coaching:  Terrific play call by James Coley on 3rd and short leading to an easy TD pass from Kaaya to Dorsett in the second quarter. They had the better and healthier team and it showed.  Aggressive play calling on both sides of the ball should be a mandate for this staff from here on out.  If  you are gonna "go out," do it swinging. Too many penalties for an A.