The Mark Richt era started off with a bang, when the Hurricanes beat Florida A&M 70-3 in front of a crowd of 60,703.
Although the opponent was FAMU, it is not absurd to think that this game was meaningful. Beating a team by the margin the 'Canes did, is not usual. In fact, since 2004 Miami has only scored 70 or more points once and that came against Savannah State (77-7) in 2013. More importantly, the last team to score 70 or more points against FAMU, was Ohio State in 2013. That Buckeyes team went undefeated in the regular season before losing the Big Ten Championship Game and in the Orange Bowl, finishing at 12-2.
I am not suggesting that Miami will go undefeated this season, but this small sample showed me that there is a good chance that the 'Canes will finally win the games they are supposed to win. Statistics are always fun to analyze, so I decided to compare this game to the last time Miami played FAMU.
FAMU vs. Miami 2014
|Offense||FAMU (7)||UM (41)|
|Net Rushing Yards||35||198|
|Net Passing Yards||89||218|
|Third-Down Conversions||3 of 15||2 of 10|
FAMU vs. Miami 2016
|Offense||FAMU (3)||UM (70)|
|Net Rushing Yards||22||373|
|Net Passing Yards||175||150|
|Third-Down Conversions||4 of 16||7 of 11|
Miami has struggled mightily on third-down conversions in the past, but this last game they performed well at this aspect. This could be either credited to quarterback Brad Kaaya having more experience or Miami having an experienced play caller, or both.
If the offense can continue to convert on third-downs, it could finally be reliable against better opponents. So next time they have a lead against Florida State at halftime, maybe they will not shut it down and play conservative the rest of the way.
It is way too early to say that Miami is back and the rest of college football should watch out, but it is comforting to see improvements being made.
What caught your eye while watching the game? Comment below!