Entering tonight’s Russell Athletic Bowl, Miami hadn’t won a postseason game since 2006.
Thankfully the drought is over.
Sparked by a quick striking offense that recovered from an atrociously slow start, and taken home by a suffocating D, UM defeated the West Virginia Mountaineers 31-14 in the Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando.
This is exactly what Hurricanes fans wanted to see to close out 2016.
With so much young talent on the roster, the ‘Canes could be scary in 2017.
The particulars below:
- Great way to close the season. The Hurricanes should easily be a preseason Top 25 team next year (although a lot depends on who returns).
- The improvement on D this year has been palpable. 5 of Miami’s front 7 players had 5 or more TFL.
Another great job by the defense - #Canes offense returns to the field on our own 13-yard line, down 7-0 with 14:11 left in the half— Canes Football (@CanesFootball) December 28, 2016
Back-to-back sacks by Miami defense. First Shaq Quarterman, now Courtel Jenkins. West Virginia now facing 3rd-and-32. That's okay, I s'pose.— Christy Chirinos (@ChristyChirinos) December 28, 2016
- This guy is a total beast, and he is only a true freshman.
Enjoy your two more seasons watching Joe Jackson at Miami, Canes fans pic.twitter.com/oZHjXvQlMc— Peter Ariz (@PeterAriz) December 29, 2016
- I second this... Ahmmon Richards is sensational. Great down field block by Stacy Coley as well.
Ahmmon Richards takes it 51 yards to the house. I read a WVU reporter say Shelton Gibson was the biggest weapon in this game. Nah.— Matt Porter (@mattyports) December 28, 2016
- This TD was set up by a great fake by Brad Kaaya:
- Talk about heating up......
Brad Kaaya has completed his last 10 passes for 157 yards and 3 TDs.#Canes leading 21-7, 27 seconds left in the first half— Canes Football (@CanesFootball) December 29, 2016
- Yeah, he made himself some money tonight.....
- RJ McIntosh’s 4th Q, 4th down sack pretty much sealed the deal on this one.
- This is just fun....
- After the D got them ridiculous field position, forcing a WVU turnover on their opening series:
For the 'Canes, not the best of offensive starts. -1 rush, -2 pass, penalty, and now an incompletion to Coley.— Christy Chirinos (@ChristyChirinos) December 28, 2016
- Only 2 of your first 9 plays go for positive yards? No first downs in the first quarter?
- UM’s decorated signal caller was not at his best early on (nice turn around though).
Kaaya is not looking good today, but I guess you knew that: 5 of 13 for 29 yards.— Susan Miller Degnan (@smillerdegnan) December 28, 2016
- One bad second half drive for the D.
- This rule is sometimes absurd. The intent is good, the execution of it leaves something to be desired.
LB Michael Pinckney Ejected for Targeting https://t.co/S5PmX5bfcJ— InsideTheU.com (@InsideTheU) December 29, 2016
- No real caption/description needed here? No offense to the Mountaineer fan base as a whole.
- This was an awful call. Travis Homer timed it perfectly. Swung field position by 40+ yards.
West Virginia starts this drive on the Miami 39-yard line after a 15-yard interference call on a punt return - 6:42 left first quarter— Canes Football (@CanesFootball) December 28, 2016
Offense - Five 3 and outs to start the game..... inexcusable. The offensive line was offensive. But the big guys and Kaaya got it together in the 2nd Q, and AR82 provided a much needed spark when things were looking quite frankly, terrible. The rest was history. The RPO game in particular was on point in the second half.
Defense - Freshman Joe Jackson really came on to close the season. He’s going to be sensational in the next few years. Courtel Jenkins made a huge play on West Virginia’s second series. The front 7 should be scary next season. Zach McCloud just missed a pick 6, but did have a big TFL. The future is bright for this unit.
Special Teams - Travis Homer was all over the place. Justin Vogel was way too busy tonight early on, but did a good job.
Coaching - The Hurricanes has a perfectly timed screen called in the first Q against a heavy blitz, but didn’t execute. But the overall play selection to start the game was awful. And still too many penalties, and mental errors by a team in their 13th contest. But they quickly adjusted. And everything worked from the second Q on.