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

Florida Atlantic v Miami

Well...a lot of big name teams have struggled in the the early part of this season with “lesser” opponents.

And the Miami Hurricanes apparently aren’t immune to said phenomena.

But they got their stuff together when they needed to, and got their second win of the young season, 38-10 over the FAU Owls.

The game was closer than the score would indicate, especially in the first half.

Mark Walton (4 TD’s) and the stifling D were the headliners.

There were certainly some not so good moments, but plenty of positives as well.

All of the particulars below.

The Good:

  • The aforementioned UM defense is playing at a level we haven’t seen from this program in a long, long time. Certainly never in the Golden Era. We know it’s only been FAMU and FAU, but the improvement is palpable.
  • Nice to see another big home crowd for the second week in a row....
  • Two weeks in a row!
  • Sheldrick Redwine with a monster hit to stall out the second Owls Drive. He had a great game in coverage/ST as well.
  • WR Ahmmon Richards is just going to get better and better. I loved his first half catch in traffic on a 3rd and long.
  • Mark Walton has that extra gear, and it was on display this evening. He showed power and elusiveness as well. Player of the game for Miami.
  • Michael Pinckney was everywhere tonight. And he’s only going to get better......(defensive player of the game).
  • CB Michael Jackson made a nice play to set up Rayshawn Jenkins’ 1st INT of the season. Good to see Jackson contribute.
  • Gerald Willis got his first career sack today.

The Bad:

  • An early couple of picks against Brad Kaaya were as unexpected as his 1/7 start. The offense was very sloppy and lethargic overall most of the game, especially up front. Kaaya missed some throws he normally makes.
  • Despite the above point....that this is even a question. Yes he was off, but he faced steady pressure. It always amazes me that fans always go the “pull the QB” route when an offense struggles.
  • The tackling on Buddy Howell’s 3rd Q 38 yard TD run was uncharacteristically abysmal (for this year’s team).

The Ugly:

  • The O line was a concern before the season began. Today we saw signs of why this unit was such a question heading into 2016. Mongo knows...

Team Grades:

Offense - Kaaya missed Stacy Coley for a would be TD on a throw he makes 99 out of 100 times in the 3rd Q. David Njoku dropped what could have been a huge run and catch on UM’s 2nd possession. The running game was pretty good though. Walton was a stud. And the bubble screen (the one we all hated so much the last few years) opened some things up as well. Clearly though, the O as a whole has a lot of room for improvement. Walton saves them from a much lower grade.

Grade: C+

Defense - McIntosh looks unblockable at times. Ditto Kendrick Norton. Pinckney is a beast of a play maker. Chad Thomas is going to get a lot of sacks this season. Redwine, wow! There were a few mistakes here and there, but the D was mostly dominant. Best unit on the team right now by a lot.

Grade: A-

Special Teams - Miami gets another early blocked kick, but gave up one of their own minutes later on a FG attempt. They also had a costly roughing the kicker penalty in the 1st Q, and the coverage units were no where near what they were a week ago.

Grade: C+

Coaching - The D was smothering from the onset, but the offense just couldn’t find a rhythm. Penalties started to rear their ugly head some after a clean week 1. Mark Richt and his staff will have plenty of teaching moments this week, in preparation for Appalachian State. The team as a whole certainly could have played much better. Some of that falls on the staff, but it wasn’t such a porous performance that we’ll declare the honeymoon over just yet.

Grade: B