For the fourth consecutive year, the Miami Hurricanes went to (or were at least were scheduled for) a mid-major.
The annual blog pieces asking the question “why is Miami taking this road trip?” combined with the personalities putting the Canes on “upset alert” were all over our social media timelines and phone notifications.
if (like me) you were wondering why the hell Miami is playing at Toledo today... https://t.co/k00GJmN8zY— James Santelli, noted fan of NFL ties (@JamesSantelli) September 15, 2018
All Miami needed to do however was just take care of business.
And while at times things were tense, Miami simply got the job done today.
Malik Rosier had one of his best days as a Cane today, going 13-23 with 205 yards, 2 passing TD, 3 run TD and no interceptions.
Malik Rosier (@MalikRosier12) becomes the first player in @CanesFootball history to rush for three touchdowns and throw for two more in a single game since Miami joined the ACC. pic.twitter.com/ROSHfMPiKS— Josh White (@_JoshRWhite) September 15, 2018
The run game took a leap forward behind the offensive line’s push. DeeJay Dallas led all running backs with 17 carries, 110 yards and a score to put Miami up two positions during the back-and-forth 3rd quarter. Travis Homer complimented the ground attack with 16 carries for 62 yards. Surprisingly, however, it was none other than Rosier who arguably had the best game on the ground.
It was number twelve’s first touchdown scramble today that opened the scoring up in Northern Ohio, while his second rush score kept the pressure on, and his third all but closed the door on the Rocket’s supersonic hopes.
The Mobile native was also efficient on 3rd down, leading the Hurricanes to a 7-15 day on money down.
Rosier didn’t do it all alone today either. Jeff Thomas had another outstanding afternoon, catching five balls for 105 yards and a 38-yard TD to go up 14-0.
Lawrence Cager also had a productive outing. While he only produced 67 yards on 3 touches, two of his receptions were on 3rd-and-long situations, with the other catch being a fade in the end zone from Rosier to give the Canes a 35-21 3rd quarter lead and some breathing room.
Another positive devolopment today was chos on defense. Miami had 13 tackles for loss today, including four sacks. Leading in both categories was Gerald Willis, with three TFL and a solo sack.
Gerald Willis III [@gw3_9] had 5.5 tackles for loss in his first season at Miami in 2016.— Camron Ghorbi (@CamronGhorbi) September 15, 2018
He's got 5.0 tackles for loss already, and we're not through 10 quarters of football yet.
This man is special. pic.twitter.com/RNqLb96u8d
It wasn’t all good news defensively though. After giving up a touchdown drive right before halftime, the Rockets scored on two additional consecutive drives after the break and added a field goal as well.
Twice the Rockets got within a single possession of the Hurricanes after the intermission.
Toledo averaged just over ten yards per play on their four scoring drives, which all came in succession.
Rockets are coming alive in the second half! Toledo has put up 14 points this quarter, with 146 total yards while averaging 14.6 yards/play.— Toledo Football (@ToledoFB) September 15, 2018
To add insult to injury— no pun intended— JaQuan Johnson, Willis, Trajan Bandy and Romeo Findly all went down.
Bandy was able to walk off on his own power following a Rocket score to make it 28-21, but returned to the game on the next drive and was later responsible for the turnover chain’s only appearance.
TURNOVER. CHAIN. TRAJAN. BANDY. pic.twitter.com/Vlx01X12fh— Josh White (@_JoshRWhite) September 15, 2018
Johnson, Willis and Findly did not return.
The game was out of doubt by the middle of the 4th quarter and N’Kosi Perry was able to get on the field, but was absent from the final box score. Trayone Grey was another bench contributor late in the game, and recorded a 1 yard TD run late in the game to seal the final score of 49-24.
Overall, a solid win for the Hurricanes. Another mid-major is on tap next week when the FIU Panthers roll into Hard Rock.