Miami came into this game needing to make a statement and they did just that with a 63-0 victory.
Not that anybody figured Bethune-Cookman would stand much of a chance, but the Hurricanes, coming off of two straight losses, needed to remember what it felt like to win. And what better place to do it than in front of the 52,036 (no way it was that many) fans that came to watch them in their home opener.
The defense seemed much more up to the task than the offense did giving up just 69 total yards of offense in the first half and forcing a fumble that led to a touchdown for a Hurricanes offense that was extremely slow to start the game.
They held the Wildcats to 3-15 on third downs, had eight tackles for loss and gave up just four first downs on the day.
There was serious concern with the offense early on. Through a half of football against a team that isn't in the same stratosphere as the Hurricanes from a talent standpoint, Dan Enos’ offense failed to convert a third down on five attempts.
The red zone wasn’t being friendly for the Hurricanes offense either — they scored just twice in four attempts in the first half. One being a 3rd and 3 that finished with Tate Martell being unable to gain the necessary yards and running back Cam’Ron Harris being tackled for a two-yard loss, turning the ball over on downs.
Miami put up 28-points in the first half, but that’s what they're supposed to do in a game like this.
It’s concerning that Jarren Williams had a slow start against this team. He easily should have had two interceptions thrown in the first half. Against a better team, an ACC team, he certainly had two interceptions on the day.
He did, however, finish strong and wound up throwing for 254 yards and three touchdowns in the Hurricanes 63-0 victory.
And the kicking game. Bubba Baxa missed a 30-yard chip shot that were followed by a sea of “boo’s” from the Hurricanes crowd. One could argue that an efficient kicking game would have put this team in a completely different position that they’re in right now.
It is a problem. It will be a problem. The only thing to hope for is that is doesn’t cost Miami another game moving forward.
A bright spot for the Hurricanes early on has been running back Deejay Dallas, who had three touchdowns on the day, including a 51-yard house call that got the Miami offense out of a funk early in the second quarter. He finished his day with 12 rushes for 109 yards.
Sophomore wide receiver Mark Pope has had one of his best games as a Hurricane. He finished the game with three catches for 92 yards and was on the receiving end of a 54-yard Williams pass in the first quarter. Pope also rushed the ball once for 21 yards, which resulted in a foot injury that forced him to limp off the field and ended his day.
And senior pass catcher KJ Osborn displayed dominance in the first half with four catches for 58 yards and a touchdown and was just a yard short of having two touchdowns.
The Hurricanes accomplished their goal of being able to play a plethora of young and inexperienced guys, with some having extremely good days. Freshman TE Larry Hodges caught two touchdowns today, one from Williams and another from N’Kosi Perry who came in for Williams in the third quarter.
The offense put up 590 yards, 10 guys caught a pass, and six guys scored a touchdown. As a team, you can't ask for much more than that in a game like this.
There’s A First Time For Everything
Junior wide receiver Mike Harley caught his first career touchdown on a 32-yard reception that displayed the shiftiness and pure speed that Miami fell in love with while recruiting him
Freshman tight end Larry Hodges recorded his first two career catches and touchdowns today. The Tampa Jesuit product caught one from each of the two Miami quarterbacks.
Former Miami Northwestern star defensive end, Sam Brooks, made his debut at linebacker for the Miami Hurricanes in the third quarter of today’s game and finished with a team-high five tackles.
N’Kosi Perry came into the game late in the third quarter and received his first snaps at quarterback for the 2019 season. He finished the game 7-10 for 79 yards and a touchdown.
Running back Cam’Ron Harris ran for his first touchdown of the 2019 season on the first play of the fourth quarter to give Miami a 49-0 lead.
Freshman defensive tackle Jason Blissett had his first career tackle and tackle for loss during the fourth quarter of the Hurricanes game.
Robert Burns got his first carries of the year in the fourth quarter of the game.
True freshman Jeremiah Payton caught his first career pass from N’Kosi Perry for a 23-yard gain.
Redshirt senior and special teams star Jimmy Murphy scored his first career touchdown late in the fourth quarter. He also got flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct after doing a front handspring after scoring. It was objectively the coolest moment of the game.
Christian Williams had his first pass deflection as time expired.