Be careful what you wish for. The Florida International University Panthers wanted to prove they were more than capable of taking on the big, bad Miami Hurricanes. On Saturday afternoon, a former Hurricanes’ coach turned Panthers’ HC led his team against a UM squad that looked to knock down their Conference USA cousins a couple pegs.
In the process of securing the title of being the best team in the 305 area code, the Hurricanes offense found their stride on the way to 31-17 victory over the Panthers. There were errors on the afternoon, yet the promise illustrated today will not be quashed on a day where Miami found its groove.
Jon Garvin has quietly put together a solid non-conference resume to start his sophomore year. Entering the game, the Lake Worth, Florida, native had a total of 18 tackles — and six of those were tackles-for-loss and one sack. No. 97 made sure to close out Miami’s final non-conference contest with yet another impressive showing. Add today’s profit of five tackles, five assisted tackles-for-loss, and we’re buying as much stock in Garvin-related business ventures as possible.
After DeeJay Dallas led all Miami rushers last week against Toledo, junior RB Travis Homer reminded everyone that he’s still a force to be reckoned with. Scoring his first touchdown of the 2018 season, the West Palm Beach, FL product appeared to have the hot hand this week. With an uncanny ability to burst through a sliver of a hole at the line of scrimmage, Homer was able to scamper free for a massive amount of yardage today. With a yards-per-carry average of 8.8, Homer concluded the afternoon rushing for 114 rushing yards with one trip into the endzone.
After living with the ebb and flow that is senior QB Malik Rosier, the keys to the offense were given to RS freshman QB N’Kosi Perry. Refusing to relinquish his hold on the driver’s seat, Perry led Miami down the field to scores on four of his five drives in the first half. Taking what FIU gave him on short routes, Perry sliced the Panthers with QB runs to force the defense’s hand. A composed and fiery Perry delivered the ball with with some pepper and most importantly, accuracy, to take advantage of a Panthers defense that had no answers for the freshman QB. Completing 17 of his 25 pass attempts for 224 passing yards, three passing TDs, adding 47 rushing yards on the day, the golden age of Miami’s offense may be upon after today.
Ain’t nothing but a ‘G’ thing, baby! You can scout him, you can scheme against him, you can double-team him if you have to, but Gerald Willis III is a man on a mission to disrupt and destroy. Safe to say that with five tackles and two tackles-for-loss, Willis continues to be the most consistent and dominant player on the Canes’ defense.
It appeared that we were going to be in for another show from WR Jeff Thomas early in the game. However, it was Miami’s other sophomore receiver, Mike Harley, that became the focus of the Hurricane passing game. From shorts passes in the flats, to making catches in double coverage, Harley owned the Panthers defense. In what should be considered a breakout game, Harley finished with seven catches and 76 receiving yards, both career-high stats for the star from St. Thomas Aquinas High School.
It was another stellar performance for the Canes’ freshman tight end. After not recording a catch against Toledo a week ago, Jordan made up for the lack of production in front of the home crowd. The brilliance of Brevin was most definitely felt by the Panthers’ defenders who were supposed to be responsible for Jordan in coverage. With five catches for 67 receiving yards and a touchdown, we’re not so sure if the Jordan who wears No. 9 is any different than the one who wore No. 23.
State of the U’s own Marshall Thomas wrote why the Hurricanes should look for WR Lawrence Cager this week. It appears that someone on Miami’s staff heard his argument, as the junior WR caught a pair of touchdown receptions on his way to another productive performance. With two receptions for 43 receiving yards, you can say that all Cager does is get into the endzone. At least that was the case today.
Another game, another dazzling spectacle from Miami’s impressive sophomore running back. With each game, the hunger to see No. 13 gain more of the lion’s share of carries out of Miami’s backfield grows a bit larger. After WR Jeff Thomas’ early exit, Dallas took over return duties. With seven carries for 32 rushing yards, two receptions and 30 receiving yards, the sophomore from Georgia continues to be the swiss army knife for UM.
Freshmen running backs Lorenzo Lingard and Cam’ron Davis saw some time in the backfield respectively. Lingard rushed for 50 yards on 10 carries with a 5.0 yard per carry average. Davis, who just barely missed a pass that would have taken him untouched to the endzone, concluded the day with five carries for 24 rushing yards and a reception for six receiving yards.
With a catch and toe drag on his way out of bounds, senior S Sheldrick Redwine hauled in his second interception of the season. The only thing better than Redwine getting the Turnover Chain, is the anticipation to see what he writes next on the whiteboard. Today, it was a special shoutout to his Mama.
IT’S ALWAYS ABOUT THE U!