Three games, three wins. Entering tonight’s ACC contest, there were many projecting a spirited battle between Duke and Miami. There were moments, or quarters, that weren’t pretty. Ultimately, Miami pulled out the win, remaining unbeaten on the season. So here are your top 3 ’Canes from Friday night.
#3: Michael Pinckney
Michael *expletive* Pinckney came through the middle of the Canes defense to end a Blue Devil drive early in the first half with a huge sack on QB Daniel Jones. It came at an opportune movement given Miami’s struggles getting off the field in late downs. Later in the first half, Pinckney proved that the Turnover Chain does travel with the team, picking off CB Michael Jackson deflection to get the defense off the field and the cuban links around his neck. The linebacker led the team in tackles with 10, adding 1.5 tackles for loss, a sack and an interception to cap off a solid night.
You earned it, Pinck. pic.twitter.com/tryLvsgi68— Canes Football (@CanesFootball) September 30, 2017
#2: Malik Rosier
QB Malik Rosier returned to Wallace Wade Stadium, looking to continue his undefeated streak. Rosier showed his poise in the pocket on a first quarter touchdown pass to WR Braxton Berrios. Rosier later showed on his athleticism gashing the Duke defense on designed runs, eventually punching it in on the goal line. After two drives Rosier’s was 5 for 5 with 110 passing yards. When you add his 20 yards on the ground, it looked to be his day. Rosier finished the first quarter in flawless fashion. He was 8 for 8 for 155 passing yards. Rosier finished the game completing 15 of his 26 pass attempts for 270 passing yards, two touchdowns and one interception. The quarterback added 45 yards on the ground and a rushing touchdown.
#1: Ahmmon Richards
In his first game of the 2017 season, Richards flashed the playmaking ability that he showcased in his freshman year. Richards provided the boost that the ’Canes needed on a night where the rushing game struggled. He finished the game with 3 receptions for 106 yards, capped off by the 48-yard TD reception to help seal the win for Miami. It’s great to have Richards back on the field.
Ahmmon Richards over 100 yards tonight. Fifth time in his young UM career he's done that.— Christy Chirinos (@ChristyChirinos) September 30, 2017
While Duke kept the ball on the ground for a majority of the night, the odd time they did look for yards through the air, Malek Young was there to make a play on the ball. Young shadowed top Duke’s top receiving targets all night. While many wished that Young would turn his head around to make a play on the ball, his coverage was good enough to allow just two catches for 27 yards on the night. North Carolina native Braxton Berrios, once again excelled for Miami’s passing game. Berrios took the top off the defense for a 27-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter. It was a grind on the ground for RB Mark Walton. He finished the day with 51 yards on 17 carries, adding 4 receptions for 79 receiving yards. From the first series of the game DE Joe Jackson put pressure on Duke QB Daniel Jones, forcing an incompletion and making a living in the backfield. Jackson finished with a sack and two tackles for loss. The defensive front-seven got after Duke tonight. The team piled up 11 tackles for loss and 5 sacks according to Fox Sports reporter Bruce Feldman.
IT’S ALWAYS ABOUT THE U!