After a last-minute, down-to-the-wire win over the LSU Tigers, Miami gets to face-off with NCAA 14’s equivalent of Savannah State. The vaguely named “FCS Southeast” comes to Coral Gables to be sacrificed at the altar of Miami Football.
Miami won’t be at full strength in this matchup, with Travis Homer dealing with an ankle injury, but with DeeJay Dallas ready to step in and fill his shoes, it shouldn’t be an issue against a team that is rated in the 60’s.
Both teams take the field, Miami getting the ball and not needing much time to get the scoring party started. With a good mix of run and pass, Miami marches downfield, culminating in a 23-yard touchdown pass from Malik Rosier to Ahmmon Richards. The Canes get the ball back after an FCS three and out and continue to flex their strength offensively. A 38-yard completion to Mike Harley, who burned a DB to get open downfield, sets up a 24-yard Bubba Baxa field goal and a 10-0 lead.
Rosier continues to look good against this FCS squad, throwing with consistent accuracy and spreading the ball around to all his receivers. The Canes score on their first three drives and leave the first quarter with a 13-0 lead. The second quarter shows no slowing down for Miami, Rosier’s on-fire play continues, only needing three passing plays to get into the endzone, this time its Jeff Thomas scoring. 20-0 Hurricanes.
Miami does not let up from there. Michael Jackson brings out the turnover chain for the first time in 2018, picking off the Southeast QB and setting his offense up just outside the redzone. Two plays, one passing and one rushing, finds DeeJay Dallas trotting into the endzone to expand the score to 27-0.
The Canes get the ball on their fifth offensive possession and drive it right down to a first and goal. But Realus George drops a Rosier pass that would’ve seen him walk into the endzone, leading to a painful miss from Bubba Baxa at pointblank range. With over one minute left, the FCS squad finally mounts a scoring drive, nailing a 40-yard field goal to cut the tremendous deficit to 27-3 at halftime.
The second half looks a little closer to start, especially in a leaky third quarter by the Canes’ D. An early Rosier interception leads to another field goal for the Southeast team but Miami answers that with a 50-yard kick of their own. However, the Southeast squad gets a few passing plays to work, advancing 32 yards in three plays and scoring a touchdown. They fail to convert their two point conversion attempt but cut Miami’s lead to 30-12.
The angry Miami defense doesn’t let Southeast get another first down through the fourth quarter, forcing and recovering two fumbles while the offense pours it on with 24 more points. Miami is able to close out FCS Southeast in explosive fashion, for a final score of 54-12.
Rosier finished with 364 passing yards, two TDs and one INT. He also completed an impressive 69% of his passes. Dallas was truly a man among boys, rushing for 173 yards and four TDs on 30 carries. On the defensive side of the ball, Pat Bethel led the U with six tackles, including three for loss.
Miami gets its biggest test of the regular season, facing off with Clemson in Death Valley in what could be a preview of the 2018 ACC Championship.