Miami’s offense had been horrid throughout the last 2 contests, only scoring 13 points against Virginia, and 14 against Boston College. In the first half of Saturday’s game, Miami (almost) matched their point total from last week with 12 points. Led by DeeJay Dallas’ 83-yard touchdown run, Miami’s run game was their lone source of success as the rain continued to pound Hard Rock Stadium.
Travis Homer complemented Dallas well in the first half by running for 83 yards, also finding the end zone once. With the heavy rain ongoing, we expected a similar rush-oriented scheme from Mark Richt.
Starting the second half, Miami continued to attack the Blue Devils’ defensive front, but a rare fumble by Deejay Dallas set Duke up for a chip-shot field goal, cutting Miami’s lead to just 2 points.
After a blocked field goal and a miraculous tipped-ball catch by Duke, Miami found themselves trailing 17-12 late in the third quarter. Expressing the same sluggishness that they showed in the previous 2 games, Miami’s offense was desperately searching for a spark yet again.
Following a tipped-ball interception by Jaquan Johnson, Miami seemed to receive the momentum they needed. One the very next play though, DeeJay Dallas fumbled the ball away for the second time, eliminating the opportunity. Whether it was a bad play call or missed assignment, Miami’s offense could not get anything going in the second half.
An almost-disastrous play occurred deep in Miami’s territory as N’Kosi Perry seemingly fumbled the ball on an attempted pump-fake. The call was overturned but proved Perry’s immaturity to us, with neither of Miami’s quarterbacks playing effectively.
Late in the fourth quarter, it seemed that the ‘Canes had succeeded in coming back as Perry connected to Lawrence Cager in the back of the end zone. The touchdown was unfortunately called back due to Cager’s push-off. Miami’s last chance came on a hail mary with 4 seconds left, but the pass fell incomplete.
With another disappointing loss where the offense didn’t score more than twice, this season can be deemed a disaster. This was Miami’s, and Mark Richt’s chance to redeem themselves and right the ship, but seemed to regress even farther instead.