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The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly: Nebraska Edition

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We look at what went right, what went wrong, and everything in between Vs the Cornhuskers. Plus team grades.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

How did the Miami Hurricanes play today?

For the most part they looked very good.  But they just couldn't enjoy the prosperity, and what looked like an easy win, ended up a near disaster.

In arguably what was by far the best start to a game in the Al Golden era, the 'Canes cruised for most of the game, but they failed to it away.

If not for the stupidity of Nebraska in OT,  well this might have been the worst collapse in program history.

Brad Kaaya (career best 379 yards) was the best player on the field.

And there was no doubt today who the better team was.

Yet they somehow almost blew it.

Is Miami good enough to contend in the ACC Coastal?

They are 3-0 but it's still hard to say.

All the particulars below:

The Good:

  • Good atmosphere against a team that obviously travels well.

  • Love this!!

  • Fantastic start to the game for the Hurricanes with Corn Elder and Deon Bush sparking a three and out on D and Kaaya lighting it up early, including a sweet 10 yard TD to Chris Herndon.  Elder and Bush would help short circuit the 2nd Cornhuskers drive as well.  That's how you start a game!

  • Total yards 1st Q - 'Canes 179, Huskers 49.

  • What an effort by burgeoning superstar Joe Yearby on a sensation 3Q TD run to open the second half. Or as described below......

  • Rashawn Scott (9 catches -151 yards) is looking like a pro.  Shades of Dez Bryant over the middle (and as a blocker).
  • Speaking of emerging WRs.....

  • This wasn't luck folks. This was great coverage and better concentration.

The Bad:

  • Perhaps nitpicking,  but seems like only an Alex Gall false start prevented a 21-0 start to this ball game.
  • Too cute, up 17-3 in the 2Q bringing in Malik Rosier with Brad Kaaya so hot (Joaquin said continue to dominate) perhaps preventing a 24-3 lead.

  • LT Trevor Darling is still not making me forget Joaquin, Bryant McKinnie, or Ereck Flowers.
  • Penalty for a sideline warning to keep a drive alive?  Did they really call that?  Led to a Huskers TD when Tyriq McCord missed a gimme sack on Tommy Armstrong, and Artie Burns and Jamal Carter couldn't beat Jordan Westerkamp to the ball.

  • This game could/should have been a even easier.  Clock management and play calling in the 2nd half of games they lead needs drastic improvement.  Miami blew a 23 point lead and needed overtime to win a game they were dominating.


The Ugly:

  • Yes it's funny but why?!  I've said it before, I'll say it again. Let the damn season play out!

  • Deon Bush's 4Q hit was unnecessary, but he looked like he tried to pull up.  Targeting was an excessive call.  Could be costly.  Jamal Carter also picked one up later in the half.

  • Speaking of the refs, they were ridiculous in the 4th quarter.  They blew the call on a sweet catch by Scott (somehow upheld) and were generally uneven in the final stanza. 

Team Grades:

Offense -  

grades

Great job by James Coley and the play callers (not to mention Kaaya) eating up maligned Nebraska CB Daniel Davie early on like he was Otis Smith.  Also everyone involved in the passing game from Tyre Brady to Lawrence Cager to  David Njoku to Herndon.  Yearby is turning into a beast before our eyes.

The O line was pretty good but there were a few exceptions (Darling's sack allowed, and a holding by Sunny Odogwu that wiped out a Mark Walton TD).

Kaaya's 4th Q INT was his worst throw of the season, and some of the second half series were sloppy/questionable (no running the ball up 30-10), and too many FGs too,  They left a lot of points on the board.

Defense

grades

Raphael Kirby was very active from his MLB spot early, ditto OLB Jermaine Grace.  Elder has shown up every game and been terrific in coverage and as a tackler. And Artie Burns end of the 1st Half INT was HUGE.

The pass rush was better today at generating heat, but a bunch of times they couldn't bring down Armstrong when they got close, until Trent Harris finally got him late in the 3rd quarter.

If they just get him to the ground a few times, this game would have been long over.

Most of the day, the coverage was air tight. But in the 4th quarter it all fell apart.  Why/How?!!

Tracy Howard is expected to be one of the senior stars and he is still face guarding on coverage?!

Atrocious job by the entire unit in the final quarter.

Thank goodness for Elder in OT.

Special Teams

grades

Jon Semerene had no issues kicking the ball deep today.  Michael Badgley (5/5) was solid as ever.

Mediocre tackling in kick coverage though.  They made Westerkamp look like Santana Moss a few times.

Coaching -  

grades

UM was clearly ready to play at the onset.  The tackling/hitting was very crisp.  And there were very few blown assignments on either side of the ball.  These are the only reasons this is not an F.

If the game ended in the 3rd quarter, they get an "A."

But there is a lot left to be desired from the staff and the team.

Way too many penalties for starters.

And the Hurricanes had the better team today, so the fact this game ended the way it did was a HUGE disappointment.

Again, awful play calling, awful clock management, and awful 4th quarter coverage.

Taking a knee with 33 seconds left with the QB and K Miami has?  Wow,  where's the confidence?

This was almost an epic failure.

Cincinnati, FSU, Va Tech, and Clemson await. For a half the Hurricanes looked ready for those challenges, but now the same old questions remain.