Sorry about the delayed post, folks. Internet was down all afternoon during my free writing period, so I had to wrap it up late last night after the kiddos went to bed.
In any event, it’s time for another installment of the random happenings in my brain with Monday Musings. And hoo buddy, there’s not a lack of thoughts this week. It’s time to play that team from the state capital. This is what we live and blog for.
1) What. A. Performance. I had a feeling we’d see a huge performance from D’Eriq King against Louisville, but I figured we’d see more of the whirling dervish rushing machine that he’s shown throughout his career. Instead, he showed off his very capable arm, finding guys in stride all night. The throw to the opposite shoulder of Will Mallory on the touchdown was masterful, something you only see from the most experienced QBs.
2) And speaking of Mallory, that play call from Rhett Lashlee was absolutely, unequivocally genius. RPO play action, Mallory okie dokes the linebacker acting like he’s going to block, and King gives him a safe throw on the far side of the defender for the score. **Chef’s kiss .gif.**
3) Bubba Bolden - I should have mentioned him in my postgame recap, as his performance warranted immediate and prominent mention. Sorry, Bubba. Amazing performance. His instincts and closing skills were clearly on an NFL level on Saturday. He has really given the Canes a boost, especially when it comes to run support. My word.
3) Miami’s backfield trio could end up being one of the best in decades by the time this season is over. Jaylan Knighton might have been the widest of opens, but his track star finish at the goal line was apropos of his outstanding speed on display. And, my friend, HOLD ONTO THE BALL UNTIL YOU HIT THE BACK OF THE END ZONE!!! That was close. Don’t stop our hearts like that again, please.
4) Told y’all about Cam Harris in his season preview. I’ve seen several folks talk about him being too slow, not big enough to handle a full load, etc. Bollocks. His runs of 75 and 38 yards, not to mention his 66 yarder last week, show he’s RB1. It’s his show, and we’re all so lucky for him to be on this team. Carry on, sir.
5) Miami won this game in the trenches, on both sides of the ball. Yes, Louisville got too much on the ground and in the air in the second half, but boy, Miami’s DL pushed back their blockers for much of the game....to say nothing about the fact Louisville defenders had a hold of jerseys and were pulling all game with no calls. That was absolutely shameful. Had the game been called properly, Louisville might have reached 20 points. Shoutout to Jared Harrison-Hunte with a sack and two TFLs, Quincy Roche (2.5 TFLs) and Cameron Williams, Nesta Silvera, and the rest of the line. Jaelan Phillips looks like an absolute physical monster (that gym work paid off), and he’s spent plenty of time in the backfield so far this season. Overall, start to finish, I thought they had a fine group effort.
As for the OL, I was more critical of the start of the UAB game, but lordy, there was no denying the impact from the start in this one. The right side of the line is an absolute force, with DJ Scaife and Jarrid Williams forming a road-grading duo that sprung the 38-yard run by Harris, the Knighton touchdown, and the 75-yard Harris touchdown. All to the right, just like last week’s big plays. Williams has become the run blocking stalwart as advertised, while Scaife has settled into what appears to be his prime position.
6) WE HAVE A KICKER!!! Every time Jose Borregales trotted onto the field, I saw Bubba Baxa duck hooking one wide. No sirree. Boomstick. What can I say....the last two years Goldenized me to thinking something awful was going to happen. However, I forgot the first rule of kicking: anyone who kicks against Miami becomes an unstoppable machine. That’s what Borregales did last year for FIU against Miami. After sticking daggers in our hearts like every opposing kicker does every time....he switched jerseys for the green and orange. That’s how we need to get kickers in the future, apparently.
7) Speaking of Borregales, he, Bolden, and King earned ACC player of the week honors. That’s always nice.
8) Miami might have its best pair of specialists since......I can’t remember when. That certainly doesn’t hurt, especially when your defense, while talented, has given up some extended scoring drives this year. Hopefully the defense gets their run fits figured out before Travis Etienne is staring them in the face. Or, y’know, this week against FSU would be a great time for that.
9) On the topic of shanked kicks, YES, the Noles are coming to town. IT’S FSU WEEK! And it’s FSU week with Miami a roughly 10-point favorite. This is it. This HAS to be it. Miami has not blown out FSU since 1988, when the Canes put a 31-0 beatdown on the Noles at the Orange Bowl. The next biggest score was 34-20 in 1994 in the Orange Bowl. Since then, it’s been nothing but nailbiters, heartbreakers, or head scratchers. It’s time for that run to end. Miami broke the 14-year home losing streak to a bad FSU team in 2018 with a comeback for the ages. NOW is the time to absolutely get biblical on them. No head coach on the sideline. On anemic offense with players seemingly hitting the portal left and right. Put it on them this weekend fellas.
10) Prediction: I think this is the year Miami gets it done in a commanding fashion. James Blackman and a still subpar FSU offensive line will have their hands full with a UM defensive front that is seeing contributions from a deep and talented group. UM will continue to rotate fresh and disruptive players and take the fight to the FSU offense. Overall, I thought the cornerbacks covered well last week, and the challenge should be lesser with this FSU offense compared to an explosive Louisville unit. They won’t get much going on offense, and Brevin Jordan buries the Noles for the second straight home game, with another 100-yard performance and at least one touchdown. The threefold backfield inscribes the Noles’ tombstone late.
Good teams win. Great teams cover. Elite teams bury their opponent. Not saying Miami is elite by any means (yet), but they will cover the 10 points and stretch the streak to four.
Miami 33, FSU 17