There was a lightning delay that lasted over an hour with Miami leading Bethune Cookman 10-0 with 9:18 to play in the second quarter Saturday night.
The Canes must have harnessed that power as they went on to score 21 unanswered points to finish the first half and cruise their way to a 45-0 victory over the Wildcats before 43,467 at Sun Life Stadium. Due to the delay and the disparity in scoring, the third and fourth quarters were both reduced to ten minutes.
Brad Kaaya led the Canes with 173 yards passing on a 16-for-27 night and Mark Walton made his Hurricanes debut a successful one. He finished the night with 85 yards on only 10 carries. Walton also scored on a five-yard run in the third quarter for his first touchdown as a collegian.
Kaaya only played through the middle of the third quarter before yielding to Malik Rozier. Rozier directed the Walton touchdown drive on his first series as a UM signal caller. He was two-for-two on drives as the Canes scored on both of his series;.The first drive was a seven-play drive that lasted 2:54 and went for 53 yards. Rozier completed a big 11-yard pass to Trayone Gray to keep the drive alive.
Corn Elder also had a big night with a 72-yard punt return for a score and also made big plays on defense. Rashawn Scott also had six catches for 100 yards and a touchdown. Gray also showed flashes of brilliance in the second half and finished the game with 77 yards on eight carries. He scored a touchdown as well in the fourth quarter.
In the first quarter, the Canes made a host of mental errors on offense, dropped a lot of passes and did not look like the team that they are supposed to be. However, they were good enough to win their first game of the season, something that they did not do in 2014 when they lost at Louisville.
The Canes defense held the Wildcats on their opening drive and Miami proceeded to take the ball after B-C punt and marched down the field and scored to take an early lead. The defensive stand was highlighted by a corner blitz by Elder where he and Chad Thomas met at the quarterback and sacked Quentin Williams for a huge loss.
After a running into the kicker penalty on a 36-yard field goal attempt by Michael Badgley, the Canes converted a fourth and one from the five yard line and took a 7-0 lead as Kaaya hit Standish Dobard with a bullet in the middle of the end zone. Miami went 16 plays in 7:01 and the drive covered 70 yards. For Dobard it was his first career touchdown at the University of Miami.
The two teams ended the first quarter with Miami clinging to that 7-0 lead. Miami had the ball twice and scored once and punted once. On their second drive, Miami went three and out on a miserable drive that produced little yardage.
Miami went up 10-0 in the second quarter at the 12:21 mark as Badgley hit a field goal of 25 yards. Miami drove 58 yards in nine plays to take a little more control of the game. Walton highlighted the drive with a 17-yard run.
The game was then suspended due to weather at the 9:18 mark of the second quarter after an apparent touchdown by Elder on a punt return was waived off. It was ruled that a Miami receiver gave a fair catch signal before Elder picked up the ball. Therefore the play was whistled dead at that point. Elder assumed the punt return duties after Braxton Berrios left with a lower extremity injury in the first half after making a catch on a seven-yard pass play.
The game was then suspended for over an hour before play resumed.
When play resumed Miami punted on their first drive, but the defense kept looking good with a sack and a tackle for loss.
Kaaya then tossed his second touchdown of the night, a 17-yard effort to Scott to give Miami a 17-0 lead after Badgley's extra point. The drive was punctuated by a 17-yard run by Walton. Walton also had a big reception on a flea flicker to keep the drive alive. The drive was quick, it was five plays and took only 2:18. The drive was good for 76 yards.
Miami then picked off B-C quarterback Williams as Rayshawn Jenkins jumped an out route to give Miami the ball at the Wildcats 35 yard line. Two plays later Joe Yearby scored his first touchdown of the season on a 25-yard run up the middle of the field. Alex Gall made a key block to spring Yearby for the score. The two play drive gave Miami a 24-0 lead with 2:18 left to play in the half.
Elder would end up getting his touchdown as he returned a second quarter punt 72 yards for a score and it was his first score at the University of Miami. He grabbed the ball on his own 28 and then cut to the middle of the field and out raced the punt team en route to the score. He was off to the races once he hit midfield and never looked back. Miami led 31-0 at that point and carried that lead into the locker room at half time.
The rest was academic.