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Miami Hurricanes Football: 3 Stars From the Virginia Tech Game

Miami moves one step closer to winning the Coastal Division after a statement win.

Virginia Tech v Miami Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

With the Canes debuting their “Miami Nights” all-black uniforms, the game airing on ABC to a national audience, an electric atmosphere at Hard Rock Stadium that was palpable through whatever screen you consumed the game, there was only one result befitting a night such as this. The Hurricanes were victorious, 28–10 over the Hokies, continuing the longest win streak in the FBS. With no further delay, here are you three stars from Miami’s prime time, winning squad.

#3: Malik Rosier

Tonight, Miami got the best (and worst) version of Malik Rosier. Early in the game, Rosier’s passes were on-target, his decision-making in running the ball were well advised, and most of all, he played within himself. Of course, Rosier throwing three interceptions in three consecutive drives does not scream third-star performance. Yet, there was enough of ‘Good Malik’ than the alternative. Rosier finished the game completing 10 of his 21 pass attempts for 193 passing yards, 84 rushing yards, for three total touchdowns (two passing, one rushing).

#2: Braxton Berrios

After tonight, the only question is what Braxton Berrios can not do. On Miami’s opening offensive series, the senior WR rushed for nine yards, passed to QB Malik Rosier for 17 yards and leaped above Virginia Tech S Terrell Edmunds to snag down a 24-yard reception. Just for good measure, check out Berrios selling out to block for QB Malik Rosier on his 36-yard run to the goalline. It was only fitting that Berrios would score the first touchdown of the game on a eight-yard slant pass from Rosier. Berrios’ final stat line was three receptions for 50 receiving yards, one pass completion for 17 yards, and one carry for nine yards.

#1: Jaquan Johnson

Oh Captain, my captain. In high school, Johnson was nicknamed ‘The Franchise’. Tonight, Johnson played like a franchise player, making plays all over the field, resulting in him wearing the ‘Turnover Chain’ based on his effort. Johnson forced a VT fumble that was recovered by DT RJ McIntosh. That would be the highlight for any other team in the country, however, Johsnon was not done. On fourth and three, Johnson did his best Odell Beckham impression, snatching a interception with one hand and returning the ball in Virginia Tech territory. Johnson finished the day with seven total tackles, one interception, one forced fumble, and ‘Turnover Chain’ spotlight.

Honorable Mentions

Before we get into the notable players from the game, I feel that there should be acknowledgement for how well the coaching staff both called this game and had the team prepared for such a big moment. Mark Richt’s play-calling was aggressive from the start of the game all the way until its conclusion. Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz dialed up one of the best games since taking the job. Miami’s defense forced four turnovers on the day due in part to scheme and execution.

How about them Canes!

Travis Homer was used sparingly to start the game, as WR/RB DeeJay Dallas spent time in the backfield alongside Malik Rosier. However, Homer was not to be denied on this night. Homer slashed through defenders to gain modest yardage, caught a screen pass for a big gain to help Miami to get on the scoreboard. Of course, Homer made his own highlight of the night, breaking off a 64-yard touchdown run up the middle past the entire Virginia Tech defense. Oh, and he still plays punt coverage. Homer’s final stat line reads as 14 carries, 95 rushing yard, 20 receiving yards, and one touchdown.

We would be lying if we projected WR/RB DeeJay Dallas to be featured heavily tonight, yet there he was, gliding through defenders with hop and slip of the shoulder for first downs. Those concerns that you had about who would get the ball after Travis Homer at the running back position has become 4K HD clear after tonight. Dallas finished the game with 32 rushing yards on six carries, adding five receiving yards.

TE Chris Herndon IV continues to just make the home run play for the Canes. With his former teammate David Njoku on the sideline, Herndon illustrated why it was his time to shine as Miami’s top TE. The senior took a short pass to the house for a 43-yard touchdown reception.

It’s no secret that WR Ahmmon Richards is playing hurt. Determined to give the Canes whatever he can. Richards remains clutch for Miami, with his seven-yard third down conversion in the first quarter. Richards helped his team in other ways aside from making catches, as he provided a key block on a couple big gains for the Hurricanes on Saturday night. Richards finished the day with three receptions for 57 racing yards.

RJ McIntosh continues to demolish opposing offensive lines this season. Normally we’re used to seeing McIntosh make plays at the line of scrimmage or in the backfield, yet tonight we were witness to the athleticism of the six-foot-four, 293 pound defensive tackle returning a fumble return up the sidelines into Virginia Tech territory.

Earlier in the week, Pro Football Focus showed off just how good Michael Jackson is in coverage. Jackson continued to illustrate why he is regarded as one of the best cover corners in the country by deflecting passes, providing support in run defense, and separating receivers from the ball when possible. Jackson finished with six total tackles before the final whistle.

Jonathan Garvin was pointed out by special teams coach Todd Hartley for his contribution as a freshman. Apparently, Garvin is not content to be known as a special teams maven. In the fourth quarter Garvin clubbed the ball of of Virginia Tech QB Josh Jackson’s hand to force a fumble, having the presence of mind to locate the ball and pounce on it to get the ball back to the offense. Garvin finished the game with sack, fumble and fumble recovery.

We haven’t appreciated Kendrick Norton aka ‘Big Thick’ for a quite a while. However, the big defensive tackle had himself a game. Norton got credit on a sack in the second quarter and brought pressure on Virginia Tech’s offense regardless of pass or run. Norton had three tackles on the evening.

Of course, S Sheldrick Redwine put the nail in the coffin of the Hokies with his second interception of the season. Redwine finished tied for the team lead with seven tackles.

NCAA Football: Virginia Tech at Miami Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports