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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: Georgia Tech Edition

Recapping Miami’s 1-point win over Georgia Tech as only the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly can.

Georgia Tech v Miami
In his first game as starting Running Back, Travis Homer was unequivocally good.
Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Miami fought back against a very tough Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets team to pull out a thrilling 25-24 victory on a last second field goal. Here’s our game recap:

And here are your 3 stars from today’s 1 point win:

After yet another last second victory, it’s time that we look at The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly from today’s game.

The Good

  • .Travis Homer’s first start. He had 99 yards (81 rushing and 18 receiving) and a TD in the first half
  • Travis Homer’s full game. Miami’s new starting RB showed his talent, and was one of the few bright spots for the Hurricanes today. He haad 20 carries for 170 yards and a TD to go along with 2 catches for 18 yards and a TD receiving. 188 yards total offense and 2 TDs? Yeah, that’ll work every game.
  • Jeff Thomas. He wasn’t great, but he started to find his way with some kickoff returns of 20+, got a reverse, and had a 70 yard catch on a deep pass off of play action. It wasn’t a full breakout game, but Thomas started showing flashes of his talent.
  • A bit of offensive creativity. Reverse to Jeff Thomas. Rollout play-action to Jeff Thomas (but could be to another player, too). Those are only 2 plays, but it was new, fresh, different, and paid off in a big way. Those are the kinds of things I want to see to expand the offense.
  • Miami ‘s 2 minute drive to end the first half. It was balanced, it was efficient, it left little time on the clock for GT, and it ended in a touchdown. Can’t do much better than that.
  • Malik Rosier’s 2nd half. As has been the case all season long, Rosier stepped up his play in the 2nd half. He went 14/21 for 201 after halftime, including a key, KEY throw to Darrell Langham on 4th and 10 with 42 seconds left. If we can get “2nd half Malik” for a full game, no telling what the offense can do.
  • Miami held GT to only 226 yards rushing and 281 yards total offense. When you consider that GT came into this game averaging nearly 400 yards rushing, that’s a massive win.
  • Miami’s 3rd and 4th down defense (for the most part). Miami held GT to 5/15 on money downs (4/13 on 3rd, 1/2 on 4th) and by doing so were able to limit GT possessions, for the most part.
  • Miami held GT to only 32:45 time of possession. Again, GT averages nearly 36-37 minutes possession per game, so the 3rd/4th down defense I just detailed helped get their offense off the field.
  • Second half adjustments. Miami won the 2nd half 12-10, which was enough to get the win. Miami won the 4th quarter 9-0, and that really told the story of the game.
  • Charles Perry played a strong game off the bench. So did Darrion Owens in his snaps. And so did Mike Smith. So, basically, Miami’s #2 linebacking group did really well today.
  • Mark Richt’s hops. Coach got bunnies!
  • Darrell Langham’s juggling catch while falling to the ground on 4th and the ball game!!!
  • Dionte Mullins had a SICK catch at the 50 yard line, tip toeing to get his feet down and catch a pass on a broken play. It was truly remarkable and I’d love to see that kind of play from #84 more often.
  • Michael Badgley. The senior kicker went 4/4 on the day, including the game-winning 24 yard kick with 4 seconds left. Seems good to me.
  • 3 points allowed in the 2nd half
  • 6 receivers caught passes (7 if you include Tyler Gauthier’s catch on a deflected pass)
  • 6.5 yards per play on offense (on 74 plays, which was more than GT had on the day so that’s doubly good, IMO)
  • 7 TFLs
  • 2 sacks
  • 1 fumble recovery (final play of the game so no turnover chain)
  • Held GT to 61 plays (3rd/4th down defense played a big part of that), which is 14.5 plays below their per-game average.
  • Held GT to their 2nd lowest yards per carry of the season (4.3, just 0.01 more than vs Jacksonville St: 4.29)
  • Miami’s ranking. 11th entering today, and having seen several top-10 teams lose this weekend, the Canes figure to have a single digit number next to their name when the polls come out tomorrow.

The Bad

  • Malik Rosier’s 1st half. YET AGAIN, Miami’s QB got off to a slow start. 0 for first 4. 3 for his first 10. That’s simply not good enough. Period.
  • Zach McCloud’s play most of the day. He’s my favorite player on the team, but he played very poorly for most of the day. McCloud did have a big sack to force GT into a field goal attempt, so that was positive.
  • Michael Jackson’s ability to set the edge in run support. He routinely got buried in the first half on runs to the edge.
  • Kc McDermott not leaving his stance on a crucial 3rd down. Defender pressured Rosier, pass on scramble afterwards was incomplete. Bad bad bad play by the senior there.
  • The play-calling for large swaths of the game. Why, when Travis Homer is going crazy running the ball, did Miami go away from that? Why run an inside zone play on 3rd and 12 from the 43 with less than a minute left? Why throw jump balls/fades to Mike Harley and Dionte Mullins instead of Darrell Langham or Lawrence Cager (I know he hasn’t been great, but he’s 6’5” and can jump)?
  • 7 chunk plays (6 runs, 1 pass), which is a bit too many for my tastes. When you consider than there was both a 48 yard run AND a 48 yard pass, that’s bad.
  • Not finishing drives. 4 FGs is good because Badgley is awesome and a great kicker....but at least 2 if not 3 of those drives should have been TDs.
  • Play calling inside the 10. Yes, this goes with the previous point, but WHAT IN THE WORLD IS CMR THINKING??!?!??!? Not only are the play-call sequences bad in these spots, they’re predictable as can be. Just.....I don’t get it, I don’t like it, and it needs to change. Miami eeked out a win with FGs today, but against better competition (VT, ND, [Atlantic Division Champion in ACC Championship Game, maybe]) that’s not going to be good enough.
  • No turnovers on defense. Yes, I know turnovers are largely luck (WAY MORE LUCK THAN YOU THINK!!!), but with the havoc this defense creates, even against GT, I want to see the defense take the ball away.
  • No turnover chain sighting. No turnovers means no turnover chain and Miami’s turnover chain is one of the best things in CFB so I miss it and want it to come back to me.
  • 6 penalties for 45 yards (and a bunch of hidden yardage from plays that got negated from the penalties, too).
  • Berrios and Homer had drops on easy passes. That was bad. Each did well otherwise and I’m totally nitpicking, but WR1 and RB1 gotta catch those passes, regardless of the situation.
  • 3 sacks allowed
  • Good for us but bad for Georgia Tech: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution sold them out with this tweet/story about how everybody got hype at that Darrell Langham catch ahhahahaha

The Ugly

  • Whatever the fuck that was coming out of halftime. Miami attempted the worst surprise onside kick ever, and to add insult to injury, Georgia Tech recovered it and ran it back for a touchdown. It doesn’t get much uglier than that
  • The refs called a chop block on Miami, on a crucial 3rd down conversion, in the 4th quarter on the last drive, but nothing on GT the whole game. Absolute bullshit. There are few times in m y life that I’ve been more angry than I was at that call.
  • GT got called for 1 false start and 0 holds. GT false starts on nearly every play, and holds on LITERALLY every play, so that low number of penalty is laughable. GT got the edge on several plays due to holding Miami defenders that went uncalled. Absolutely atrocious.
  • No seriously, Georgia Tech was only called for 1 penalty all game long. They weren’t called for more and Miami declined. The refs only called one penalty TOTAL on GT today. That’s INSANE.
  • Robert Knowles’ play. Yet again, he was out of position repeatedly in pass coverage. It’s just bad, and next week going up against Syracuse, who actually throws the ball, that could be catastrophic. I’d MUCH rather see, damn near anybody else back at Safety at this point.
  • More injuries. Michael Pinckney left the game with a chest injury (no update has been given). Several other players (Trent Harris, Shaq Quarterman, others) missed a play or more. Miami’s already missing several starters. More injuries would really, REALLY stress this depth of this team.
  • People STILL doubting this team. Most pundits picked GT to not only cover the spread (6.5 points, which they did) but win outright. The ghost of Al Golden is haunting a lot of people, and that’s ugly. Miami might not be the 2001 team, but they’re the ONLY remaining undefeated team in the ACC. Maybe, sometime, eventually, people should start giving this team the credit they’ve earned. Or, be wrong when you keep picking against us.

Team Grades

Offense: B-

It was enough to get the win, but the offense stalled in the red zone and on several drives that ended in punts. CMR goes away from what’s working for....IDK what reason, but the offense needs to be a bit more consistent in my estimation.

Defense: B+

It wasn’t perfect, but Miami’s defense made plays when it mattered. Blown coverages and missed tackles were too prevalent to get an A grade, but Miami stopped GT on many “money” downs, and they locked GT all the way down in the 2nd half. Thankfully, this is the only time we’ll have to play this defense vs this offensive system so let’s take that grade, take that W and move forward.

Special Teams: B

Look, I KNOW the onside kick was terrible. It was the literal worst. But Michael Badgley went 4-4 on FGs, Zach Feagles, while still going for high, hangtime punts other than deep drives, did well. Braxton Berrios had a couple nice punt returns. And Jeff Thomas had a couple nice kick returns. AND, punt and kick coverage was the best I’ve seen from Miami all season. The negative was bad, but the positives were many and good.

Coaching: C+

Again, that stupid, stupid, STUPID on-side kick decision drags down the grade greatly. Apart from that, Miami’s coaches did a good job getting the team together. The offense found ways to get the job done in the 2nd half. The defense was largely stout, but especially so in the 2nd half, as well. And, they kept the team engaged throughout the game, even when the situation looked bleak.

That’s what I have for The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly this week. What about you? Hop in the comments and let me know.

Go Canes