We’re into our next installment of the “Top 10 over the Last 10 Years.” This edition we will look at the 10 best wins from the last 10 years. This list I chose based on games that I remember when looking back at the old schedule that stuck out for either being a “big” victory at the time (maybe over a rival or other Power 5 team) or just an entertaining game altogether.
Here are the honorable mentions:
2016, @ APP State 45-10
The APP State game makes the list mainly due to the incessant trolling the APP State fans were spouting during the lead up to the game during the week. Come noon Saturday though, the Canes came to play and blew the doors off the Mountaineers and it wasn’t even close.
2014, @ VT 30-6
Over the last 10 years there have been very few glimpses of Miami playing a “complete game” where they play swarming defense and run an efficient and effective offense. On this Thursday night prime time game against VT they simply ran over the Hokies with both Duke Johnson and Gus Edwards rushing for over 100 yards apiece.
2011, OSU 24-6
This was potentially the early signature win Al Golden needed to get his program off the ground. However, looking back at the game now, it was simply a mirage. Ohio State was starting a young Braxton Miller and was suffering through the consequences of the Tattoo scandal which gave the program it’s own “cloud” it had to fight through during the season.
2010, CLEM 30-21
The Canes were able to ride the running back by committee triumvirate of Damien Berry, Lamar Miller and Mike James to a cool 183 yards on the ground and a dominant performance by Leonard Hankerson through the air for a solid-yet-sloppy win over Clemson. The Tigers couldn’t really get anything going on offense and it was punctuated by Cody Parker tossing three interceptions and being sacked three times as well.
Now it’s time to get to the Top 10, here we go!
#10 2012, NCST 44-37
I added this game on here not necessarily because it was a big rivalry win but because it was crazy to watch. Stephen Morris threw for an ACC record 566 yards and 5 touchdowns to boot. This performance and the rest of the 2012 season for that matter put Morris on the NFL scout’s radar due to his cannon for an arm and solid mobility from the quarterback position.
#9 2006, NEV 21-20
Hey, it was a bowl win and in retrospect, before last season, it was the last bowl victory for 10 years. This was Larry Coker’s last game as the Head Coach at Miami so after the game ended the players carried him off the field.
#8 2007, @ FSU 37-29
When rivalries occur sometimes you can throw overall team talent out the window. Miami was in rebuilding mode at this time as it was Randy Shannon’s first season as Head Coach and as they were heading into Doak Campbell Stadium to play a solidified Noles team the main goal was to be feisty and give FSU a run for their money. Miami stuck around all game and the “two headed monster” of Kyle Wright and Kirby Freeman (wut?... no really… wut?) pulled out the last minute victory for the Canes on a hot afternoon in Tallahassee.
#7 2009, OK 21-20
This was yet another thought-to-be signature win for
Al Golden Randy Shannon (remember him?!) and his tenure but again, looking back at this game, you could see the false promise(s). Even though this contest was early in the season, the Sooners were already down several key players on offense and defense. Most notably soon-to-be top NFL draft pick Sam Bradford to a dislocated shoulder and freak tight end Jermaine Gresham to a knee injury. Due to the injuries it was a sloppy, scrappy contest back and forth and Miami held on to the victory in-front of the home crowd.
#6 2016, WVU 31-14
Who knows how we’ll view this game over the years to come but right now the bowl win last season has to be ranked in the top 10. Miami hadn’t won a bowl game in 10 years and to do so convincingly was huge. Heading into 2017 they now have momentum to potentially build on the hot finish to 2016.
#5 2013, UF 21-16
Man, I feel like I’m taking lots of swings at Al Golden by the way I’m describing his “wins” but I guess hindsight affords that perspective. This was yet another win by Coach Golden where after a few years pass you realize that the end result wasn’t as impactful when it actually took place. Miami played a Florida Gators team that’s offense was wilting under then Head Coach Will Muschamp. This game mainly hinged on each team’s offense and in the end the Gators made too many costly mistakes both in the red-zone and in their own zone to wrap the victory for the Canes in a nice bow. A rivalry win is a rivalry win though so we’ll take it.
#4 2015, Nebraska 36-33 (OT)
Can you fire a Coach after a win over a premiere power 5 team? Many Canes fans were voicing their displeasure with Coach Golden and his staff due to their game management in yet another contest where the Canes were up multiple scores late (20+) and played extremely conservative on both defense and offense to allow the Cornhuskers to come back in the contest. After giving up 23 points in the 4th quarter the game went to overtime and Miami luckily pulled off the victory in-front of a exacerbated home crowd.
#3 2012, @ GT 42-36 (OT)
This game wasn’t to the level of offense that the NC State game was but darn, it was close. Miami jumped out to an early 19-0 lead but the gruesome injury to Malcolm Lewis in the first half may have slowed the winds in the sails of the Canes offense. Even though Miami had the big lead coming out of half they quickly relinquished the lead and then some by giving up 36(!!) straight points. After the huge momentum swing in about a quarter and a half the Canes had two final drives to end the game and scored touchdowns on both to send the game into overtime. GT had the first possession in extra time and on 4th down from inside the five yard line they went for it and came up jussst short. Miami took over from the 25 yard line and scored the game winning touchdown on a Mike James scamper.
#2 2015, @ Duke 30-27
This game could easily be the number one option for game of the decade. It had almost everything you’d need for the top spot: Coach Golden was just fired after being blown out by Clemson the previous week, The starting quarterback (Kaaya) was out for the road contest due to suffering a concussion against the Tigers as well and Coach Larry Scott took over for a reeling program and brought everyone together. Lastly, “the laterals.” Just watch the replay below and enjoy.
#1 2009, @ FSU 38-34
I remember this game like it was yesterday.. Jacory Harris throwing up lollipop deep balls that Travis Benjamin and Graig Cooper were able to run under and catch.. I remember the goal line touchdown by Javarris James.. Most importantly, I remember the last play of the game, with the game on the line and Christian Ponder rolling out to his right inside the Miami ten yard line. He threw the ball into a tight window to his receiver who was kneeling on the ground and it went through his arms, hit his legs and trickled onto the ground. Game over. Miami won at Doak Campbell Stadium. Similar to the wide rights and wide lefts, Coach Bowden had to be told multiple times what had happened because of all the last play commotions by both side lines. That’s the best finish of the last ten years.
What games do you remember back on that could be 10+ years old? Have any gripes with the overall list and that there should be another included? Post below!