Following N’Kosi Perry’s exceptional performance against FIU and Miami’s strong overall performance, despite some late game garbage scores by the Panthers, the Canes found themselves trending in the right direction in the AP Poll.
After little movement in the poll the last two weeks, the voters moved Miami five spots this week, up to no. 16 overall from no. 21. Several teams had precipitous falls, like Virginia Tech, Oklahoma State and TCU. These duds helped move Miami up as the Canes’ climb tied for first for the biggest move this week.
While Miami’s margin of victory over FIU wasn’t impressive, the first three quarters were immensely so. The Canes absolutely dominated FIU’s offense. The defensive line shut down any rushing lanes and Gerald Willis & co. made life miserable for the Panthers’ QBs. The offense flourished once Perry stepped in, and while he proved to be a significantly better passer than Rosier, the development of Miami’s once-dormant run game was maybe the most encouraging sign.
Miami is now the top-ranked Coastal team and, believe it or not, the second-highest ranked ACC team (behind Clemson of course). Yes, the team that looked like it had lost it’s season in week one is very much alive in the AC, and even playoff races. As long as Mark Richt sticks to Perry and the defense and running game keep improving, Miami should keep climbing up the AP rankings. And more importantly, up the ACC standings.