Following Miami’s 31-19 over Pitt in October, one of the biggest storylines surrounding UM, was the lack of production coming from the Canes wide receivers. Through the first 5 weeks of the 2020 season, veterans like Mike Harley, Dee Wiggins and Mark Pope, had done very little, though that has changed as of late for Miami.
Let’s start with the senior Harley, who I predicted all offseason to have a big 2020, especially in the up-tempo Rhett Lashlee offense. However, it took Harley a few games to get going, and through Miami’s first 5 weeks, he had only 15 receptions, for 174 yards and 1 touchdown.
This is the Mike Harley I’ve been waiting to see all season pic.twitter.com/tS9S8Cgbji— Marsh (@hurricanesmarsh) October 29, 2020
After the Pitt game, Harley has simply gone off on the best stretch of his UM career. In the last 3 games, Harley has 24 receptions, for 374 yards and 3 touchdowns. Against UVA, Harley had perhaps the best game of his career, hauling in 10 catches, for 170 yards and a touchdown. The next week against NC State, Harley delivered another great performance, with 8 catches, 153 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Mike Harley the last 3 games:— Marsh (@hurricanesmarsh) November 22, 2020
24 receptions, 374 receiving yards, 3 touchdowns.
He had 38 catches, 485 yards and 3 touchdowns all of last season.
#3 was a WEAPON for the Canes pic.twitter.com/OgymeHALuE
Next we have Wiggins, who I was also very high on coming into his junior season, after he finished 2019 on a solid note. Though, as you guessed, he didn’t have the greatest start to this year. In the first 5 games, Wiggins had just 9 receptions, for 188 receiving yards and 1 touchdown.
In the last 3 games, Wiggins has 18 catches, for 219 yards and a touchdown. Against Virginia Tech, Wiggins registered his first 100-yard receiving game, with 8 receptions for 106 yards.
Dee had himself a day.— Canes Football (@CanesFootball) November 14, 2020
- 8️⃣ Rec
- 1️⃣0️⃣6️⃣ Rec Yds
- First career game w/ 100+ Rec Yds pic.twitter.com/lCNIDeTPU3
Finally, we have Pope, who has been expected to be Miami’s go-to guy for a while now, and it looks like he’s starting to put it all together. In the Canes first 5 games of 2020, Pope had 16 receptions, for 188 yards and no touchdowns.
While mark pope didn’t have a career day he might of made the most crucial play of his career here. pic.twitter.com/lVaneTCUaR— 365CANESFOOTBALL (@365canesinfo) November 14, 2020
Starting with the UVA content, Pope has been one of the more consistent receivers for Miami, with 13 catches, for 195 yards and 2 touchdowns the last 3 games . His score against Virginia Tech gave the Hurricanes the lead in the 4th quarter, and would eventually be the game-winning touchdown.
One of the feel good stories from yesterday’s matchup is Mark Pope getting his first touchdown of the season. Each game he’s continued to improve and the catch shows that pic.twitter.com/TNCSha1HIV— CanesCutUps (@canescutups) November 7, 2020
Much of the credit has to be given to these three players for stepping their game up, as well as new WR coach Rob Likens, and how he’s worked with them, and kept their confidence up. You also have to chalk some of the credit up to quarterback D’Eriq King, who has greatly benefited from his veteran receivers and their production.