Football is a game of inches. You win football games by a matter of inches and you lose them by a matter of inches. In the Miami Hurricanes 30-28 loss to the Virginia Cavaliers, the Hurricanes lost to a matter of inches.
As freshman kicker Andres Borregales stepped up to attempt a 33-yard field goal with the game on the line, his kick sailed wide, clanking off the crossbar. The missed kick capped off a disappointing night for the offense that only mustered nine first-half points.
The Hurricanes were outgained by Virginia 449 to 372 yards and averaged just 4.2 yards per carry. On third downs, the Hurricanes were just 5 of 15.
The loss pushes Miami to 3-2 on the season and 0-1 in conference play.
Here are the three players who played well today.
Third star: QB Tyler Van Dyke
The early play of Tyler Van Dyke, who started his second consecutive game at quarterback in place of injured D’Eriq King, was rough but the second-half play was promising.
Van Dyke finished the night connecting 15 of his 29 passes, throwing for 203 yards and a 16-yard touchdown pass to Mike Harley in the third quarter. Van Dyke also added a 24-yard touchdown on the ground in the fourth quarter which cut Virginia’s lead to 30-28.
"It's getting fun in South Beach!"— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) October 1, 2021
Miami's Tyler Van Dyke rumbles for 6️⃣ pic.twitter.com/BfI73v4c1p
Late in the game, Van Dyke played well enough to win the game but things, unfortunately, didn’t go his way. His play in the second half is encouraging should he be tasked with playing.
Second star: DL Leonard Taylor
Why was Leonard Taylor on the bench?
In another opportunity with extended playing time, Leonard Taylor was as dominant as they come for the Hurricanes on the defensive line. The true freshman finished the night with 1.5 tackles for loss, half a sack, and a pass breakup.
Even when he didn’t get credited with statistics though, Taylor was arguably the team’s best defensive player, constantly making his name in the backfield.
There’s no excuse for Taylor to remain on the bench. His ability to gain penetration is as good as they come and he’s a force to be reckoned with.
First Star: RB Cam’Ron Harris
After posting a strong performance against Coastal Connecticut State the week before, running back Cam’Ron Harris was electric for the Hurricanes in their backfield.
Harris once again broke the century mark, rushing for 111 yards on just 14 carries. Harris also added two touchdowns, including a 57-yard score in the third quarter to cut Virginia’s lead to 27-21.
KILLA CAM’RON HARRIS TO THE— PFF College (@PFF_College) October 1, 2021
57 yard TD puts Miami back in businesspic.twitter.com/Nbqs3ZMGxi
On Miami’s final drive, Harris scampered for 22 yards on 3rd and long to put Miami at the 14-yard line and in striking distance.