Things were looking awfully murky with half a quarter to go yesterday.
All the momentum was on the side of the Virginia Tech Hokies, and another trip to OT or worse, was looking imminent for the 'Canes.
But Brad Kaaya stepped up in the face of pressure (literal and figurative) and led a 9 play 75 yard drive that may have saved the season.
In that drive, was a crucial third and three conversion on a busted play that led to a 23 yard completion to David Njoku.
With out this toss, Miami likely kicks a FG and hands the ball back to a suddenly hot VT offense only down 6 with 4 minutes to go.
It was a HUGE moment.
As we will show below, the play demonstrates the evolution of Kaaya.
We all know, he's going to make the majority of his throws within the pocket. But when his team needed him most, he stepped out of his comfort zone and made like John Elway with a spectacular throw on the run after avoiding pressure.
Next level stuff by the sophomore from California.
Here it is start to finish in illustrations and video:
At the start of the play Kaaya is in shotgun. UM is in a 3 WR look, with Njoku in the slot to the bottom of the screen.
The play is designed for Joe Yearby to get free on a wheel route, with Rashawn Scott running a well placed rub to free him. RT Danny Isidora gets beat badly almost instantaneously by Hokies DE Dadi Nicolas. This throws off the timing of the play.
Kaaya is under intense pressure, and his primary target Yearby has fallen down.
Kaaya double clutches, somehow manages to escape Nicolas, and keeps his eyes down field as Njoku breaks off his route. The UM TE remains closely covered though.
But Kaaya essentially throw his man open with a sensational throw off of one leg.
Look at where he delivers the ball. Perfect location, and a great job by Njoku using his hands to haul it in.
Here is it again from start to finish in video:
Three plays later Kaaya would deliver another strike (from the pocket) on the game clinching TD pass to Rashawn Scott (his third read).
But with out the improvisation above, none of that is possible.
Great QB's make clutch plays when their teams need them most. And truly next level QB's can also sometimes make something out of nothing.
In Brad Kaaya, the Hurricanes have a signal caller who is taking his game to the next level.
If the team as a whole finally gets over the hump and wins the ACC Coastal, he will be the single biggest reason why, with plays like this one making the difference.