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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: Duke Blue Devils edition

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48-0. Revenge feels great.

NCAA Football: Miami at Duke
“don’t trip don’t trip don’t trip” - Mike Harley on his way to the endzone (maybe)
Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports

Miami got back on the field and performed amazingly, blasting an overmatched Duke team 48-0.

We’ll have the Game Recap up in a bit.

But for now, we get into The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The Good

  • Winning. Winning is always good, and I’m always going to put it at the top of this list. You know this by now.
  • Getting REVENGE on Duke for losing to these bums the last 2 years.
  • A shutout!!!!!!!! Been a while since we’ve seen one of those.

(I’m gonna let Josh cook with that last little thing there. I could go at it. But I’m chillin’. For now.)

  • QB D’Eriq King. Just another masterful performance by Miami’s starting QB. 16-24 for 248 yards and 3 TDs passing, and 11 carries for 52 yards and a TD rushing. No matter what Duke tried to do, King was able to exploit it, and direct Miami into the endzone repeatedly. He exited the game with Miami up 42-0 heading into the 4th quarter.
  • I’d be remiss if I didn’t include this play, an 89 yard TD pass from King to Mike Harley. Duke had 2 DBs covering one man, and they both ignored Harley, the fastest guy on Miami’s offense. Probably not a great idea, when you think about it.
  • DE Jaelan Phillips. 4 tackles, 3 TFL, 1.5 sacks, and that isn’t even CLOSE to telling the story of his dominance tonight. Phillips was quite literally unblockable, and was a constant disruption for Duke’s offense.
  • DE Quincy Roche. 6 tackles, 2 TFL, 1.5 sacks. While it felt like Phillips was more disruptive (he was), Roche was also disruptive and equally as productive. Duke had no answer for Miami’s bookend DEs, and it showed.
  • The return of TE Brevin Jordan! 4 catches for 75 yards and a TD in his return to game action. Welcome back, 9!!!
  • The tackling. My goodness, the tackling. It was INCREDIBLE tonight. In the box. On the edge. Against QBs. Against RBs. Against WRs. Against TEs. Against big dudes. Against small dudes. Early in a drive. On 3rd or 4th down. Senior starter. Freshman rotation player. No matter the situation, Miami invariably made the tackle tonight. It was a joy to behold.
  • The turnovers. Miami forced 5 Duke turnovers — 4 fumbles and 1 interception. Duke entered the game -13 in turnover ratio with 30 total turnovers (next to last in the country) and both numbers worsened. Bad for them. Great for us.
  • Congrats to CB Marcus Clarke on his first career interception, the final turnover of the night.
  • Experience. Great to see nearly every available scholarship player get reps tonight. Not all were meaningful, as Miami was beating the living daylights out of Duke, but getting live game action is invaluable for player development.
  • 24 first downs
  • 524 yards of offense
  • 220 yards rushing
  • 304 yards passing
  • 7.71 yards per play
  • 17.9 yards per reception
  • 5.2 yards per rush
  • Held Duke to 177 total yards
  • Held Duke to 2.1 yards per play
  • Held Duke to 1.7 yards per rush
  • Held Duke to 4.8 yards per catch (LOL WHAT?!?!?!?!?!)
  • Held Duke to 5-15 on 3rd down
  • 5 turnovers forced (4 fumbles, 1 Interception)
  • Only 3 penalties for 45 yards.
  • 13-ish TFLs (Duke uses the same messed up stats system that VT uses so I’m inferring here)
  • 3 sacks
  • REVENGE!!!!!!

The Bad

  • Allowed 14 first downs to Duke. I mean, I admit I’m openly nitpicking here, but hey, it’s my piece so you’ll deal with it.
  • 3 penalties for 45 yards. That means all major fouls. And one of them had 2 such fouls on the same play (a punt return with multiple blocks in the back). C’mon.
  • 4-10 on 3rd down. And that was against a putrid opposing defense. Gotta do better.

The Ugly

  • Jaylan Knighton fumbled on his first carry, the game’s second snap. It was recovered by Duke and put Miami’s offense in a negative field situation to start the day. Miami recovered, but still, that was pretty ugly.
  • Knighton’s injury. Whatever it was (we were never told) knocked him out of the game after the 2nd drive of the night. Injuries suck. I hope he’s okay.
  • Yet another long unavailability report. This week, 15 players were out.
  • Continuing this point: starters or top of the rotation players Al Blades Jr, Jon Ford, Jared Harrison-Hunte, Zach McCloud, and Jeremiah Payton were all among the players who were out. Then you add deeper rotation guys who still see snaps in Larry Hodges, Avery Huff, and Patrick Joyner Jr, and then you have a problem, especially at LB.
  • Miami almost didn’t play the Virginia Tech game due to low number of available scholarship players, and that was missing 13 guys. But after 2 weeks of isolation, Miami was missing MORE players, some of the same players, but still found a way to play. Good on the team for fighting through, but the continued COVID-19 related absences have to be concerning.
  • As noted on the ACC Network broadcast, QB D’Eriq King told the production team that he was one of the players who had tested positive for COVID-19. Seemed okay tonight, and I hope he continues to remain in good health.

Team Grades

Offense: B+

I wanted 50+. And, there were some throws from King and backup N’Kosi Perry that were just a bit off the mark. Also, the 3rd down efficiency wasn’t where I want it to be, especially when you’re playing the dregs of the Earth such as Duke. It’s for those reasons that I’m not giving an A here. Fight me.

Defense: A++

5 turnovers forces. 170 yards allowed. A shutout. A road shutout. An INCREDIBLE day of tackling, especially in space. Couple things to clean up, and maybe having more of the depth guys who were missing, or a starter like Harrison-Hunte, back would help. But this was still an incredible performance. Bravo, gentlemen.

Special Teams: B

Punting was fine, and we only had to do it twice. Returns were an adventure, and had a couple penalties on the same play. Jose Borregales actually missed a FG (no, I didn’t know he was allowed to do that), but made 2 more. Coverage units were very good, and even caused a turnover on a kickoff return after a TD. Overall, however, let’s call it solidly above average, but not more than that.

Coaching: A+

I’ve been HARD on the coaches, but that’s only because I wanted to see better.

Tonight, we saw better. And this grade reflects that performance. Incredible job. Bravo.


That’s it for this installment of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

Share your grades and let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

8-1 and on to Carolina.

Go Canes