Ittttttttttttttttttttt’s Monday....meaning it’s time to grab those orange and green pickaxes and go digging for Canes-related nuggets in the deep recesses of my noggin.
1) Tyler Van Dyke is the real deal. Man...that was a special performance. 32/42, 426 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT, 180.2 rating. He had every pass in the book working. Deep balls along the sideline. Timing patterns. Into tight windows in the end zone. All of them were on the money. The last throw to Key’Shawn Smith for the winning points was *chef’s kiss*. You don’t see throws like that often from a freshman, but TVD is not looking like an ordinary freshman.
2) I love that Miami was willing to get aggressive early and often on offense. Predictable runs up the middle? Nope, we’re gonna run a reverse flea flicker. And it paid off, helping the Canes erase an early deficit and jump to a 21-7 lead. Buddy, that’s the game script we’ve been waiting to see for awhile. Loved the mentality, both to not get down after the early score and then to fight back with three haymakers. THAT is a winning football mindset right there.
3) James Williams and Kamren Kinchens continue to make impactful plays. In today’s game, passing yards are going to be yielded, and boy, Miami yielded aplenty on Saturday. But you have to be able to make the third down stop or force a turnover when you have the chance, and the secondary did that. It takes special, instinctive players to do that. Methinks we might have a pair back there, with Avantae Williams also waiting in the wings. It looks more and more like the last line of defense could be special for years to come.
4) Elijah Arroyo needs to play more. Plain and simple. He’s a problem to handle over the middle.
5) Big kudos to Zach McCloud. He’s been dumped on by so much of the fanbase, but he was very good on Saturday. 1.5 sacks, and plenty more pressures. Against one of the best offenses they’ll face this year, he was at his best. Well done, Zach.
6) The natural comparisons between TVD and Jake Garcia are going to come. Before the season, I thought for sure that Garcia had a higher ceiling. And maybe he does. I don’t really know. But it’s hard to discount Van Dyke having that same type of ceiling based on what we’ve seen so far. Garcia is in a tough spot in that he’s been out with an injury and hasn’t had a chance to compete for the starting job. Fair or not, however, Van Dyke is putting together tape that - if he keeps it up - will make it tougher to yank the gig from him. A good problem for Miami to have, and one that will be very interesting to watch this offseason.