Most all the other SOTUers were at the game, so no recap or 3 stars this week.
That clears the room for me to hop in there now with The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.
Let’s get it
- A win. Winning is good. I like winning. We should do more of it.
- With Miami’s 6th win of the year, the Canes are now bowl eligible!
- That eligibility is key for 1. revenue, and 2. player development. The extra money (split between conference teams) and practice time will be key.
- Miami’s offense started hot! 4 TDs in the first 4 drives. You love to see it!!!
- On the 4th offensive possession, QB Tyler Van Dyke continued to exploit a bad VT defense with this DIME he dropped to Brashard Smith, who outran double coverage for the score.
- QB Tyler Van Dyke. The freshman signal caller had his 5th consecutive game with more than 300 yards and 3 TDs. He ended the game 19/33 passing for 357 yards with 3 TDs and 0 INTs.
- In his last 5 games, Van Dyke’s stat line is insanity: 123/189 passing (70.8% completions) for 1813 yards with 17 TDs and 3 INTs. That’s a passer rating of 172.17. And, most importantly, TVD has used those performances to lead Miami to a 4-1 record in the last 5 games. Bravo!
- WR Charleston Rambo. He became the 5th Miami WR to eclipse 1,000 receiving yards in a season. Another big game for him: 7 catches for 116 yards. His choice to come to Miami to elevate his profile and performance has worked out incredibly well.
- DT Nesta Silvera. 6 tackles and 1.5 TFL in his last game at HRS. Thank you!
- DE DeAndre Johnson. 5 tackles, 1.5 TFL, and a sack on his senior night. Bravo!
- DE Zach McCloud. 1 tackle, 1 TFL, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble. His impact on the game was greater than the stats, but still the impact on the stat sheet was something to be proud of.
- P Louis Hedley. Another strong day for him as well: 4 punts for a 41.3 yard average and 2 downed inside the 20.
- Brashard Smith. A 75 yard TD catch and a nice kick return. Nice to see Miami finally using him in non-Jet sweep action ways.
- Xavier Restrepo. A couple real nice kick returns.
- Jacolby George. A couple real nice punt returns.
- LB Ryan Ragone. A sack and a couple few really nice plays. He might be physically limited, but he does his job.
- 22 first downs
- 6-12 on 3rd down
- 1-1 on 4th down
- 6.5 yards per play.
- 18.8 yards per completion
- 10.8 yards per attempt
- 10 TFLs
- 4 sacks
- 1 forced fumble
- 1 fumble recovery
- 4-5 Red Zone scoring
- Still some interceptable passes from TVD. Luckily, VT didn’t catch them. But, we want to get the frequency of these throws down a bit.
- Some missed throws by TVD too. I know it was raining, but if you’re gonna throw the ball, make the throws.
- Allowed 33:42 time of possession
- Allowed 5.3 yards per rush
- Allowed 2 QBs who can’t throw the ball to run at will (when that was the only thing they were going to do)
- Allowed 18 first downs
- Allowed 5-5 red zone scoring
- 5 penalties for 45 yards. One of which — a holding call on Zion Nelson — negated a 72 yard TD pass to Will Mallory that had arguably the best run-after-catch of any player for the Canes this season.
- Miami’s run game. 30 carries for 54 yards. 1.8 yards per carry. That’s TERRIBLE.
- Not being ready to defend QB run when neither VT QB is really adept at throwing the ball.
- Speaking of which, allowing Braxton Burmeister — a 54% passer on the year — complete 82% of his throws. IDK if they’re checkdowns and screens. A +28% rate compared to his performance through this season is quite poor.
- VT QBs combined for 30 carries for 184 yards on the day. That’s WAY too much.
- Not being prepared for an onside kick from VT. And then when the play started, not being able to secure the ball. The very definition of ugly.
- That onside kick gave VT a bonus possession, which they cashed into a touchdown to make the game closer than it should have been. So that’s fun.
- Penalties. Again, too many, and one took points off the board. Can’t have that.
- The Rain. Whew buddy am I ever glad I stayed home today. It was a monsoon out there today after the middle of the 1st quarter. That affected some of the game, with footing and ball security/grip.
- Playcalling. Still....just some questionable decisions to my eye. Especially from OC Rhett Lashlee in some key situations.
4 TDs on the first 4 drives. Closing the game with a TD then running the clock out on offense. But.....there was plenty of futility in the middle of the game, and that let VT hang around more than I’d like. TVD was money. The skill players stepped up to support him. And the OL was pretty good in pass pro. But the run game was atrocious. So that with the dry spells leads me to this grade.
Letting VT possess the ball so much was not great. Also, not accounting for their QBs in the run game, especially when neither one of them can throw the ball worth a damn, was also frustrating.
Special Teams: C
Placekicking was perfect. Punting was great. Kick returns were REALLY GOOD. Punt returns were REALLY GOOD! There was a penalty on PR and on punt coverage, so those are demerits. And, that damn onside kick is a BIG demerit. So even when things are better than they have been, other things were worse. So here we are with another middling grade.
Miami started fast, and that’s on coaching so that’s good. The game management wasn’t the greatest, especially taking knees with 3 timeouts and 71 seconds left before the half. But, TVD said he was a little dinged up at that particular moment, so that lessens my anger on that point a bit. Defense did enough, and the offense got it back together to score late then run out the clock on the last drive. And there were some plays with defenders running free for sacks. And other plays with guys running wide open for scores.
I’m still firmly of the mind that Miami would be best served moving on from Manny Diaz. But, in terms of his and his staff’s coaching job before and during today’s game, B- is the grade.
That’s it for this edition of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.
Bowl eligibility is here!
(random 3rd tier bowl game) here we come!