The game started off beautifully. The Canes were up 14-0 and it appeared they were on track to an easy and blowout win. But a few speed bumps came into play when the Canes’ ball security became a real issue in the first half. The Canes had three first-half fumbles by Charleston Rambo, Elijah Arroyo, and Jaylan Knighton. Jeff Simms’ poor passes for most of the game (he only 73 yards passing in the first half), fumbles by the Canes, and poor tackling became the difference between a sizable lead and a tight ball game.
One of those fumbles was even returned for a touchdown by Georgia Tech. The game remained close deep into the 4th quarter and also included a disastrous 2-pt conversion interception by Georgia Tech which was returned to the house. In the end, the defense made the play with 3 minutes left in the 4th quarter. Zach McCLoud got there for a sack on 3rd down to give Miami the ball back. The Canes offense then went three-and-out but the Canes defense stood tall again (thanks to a Jeff Sims’ knee on the grass). After four lead changes in the game, the Canes finally pulled out the 33-30 win.
Here are the three stars from the wildly competitive win over Georgia Tech that helped lead to Miami’s first win over the Yellow Jackets since 2017.
Third Star: Jaylan Knighton and Avantae Williams
I could’ve easily picked Knighton solo here who had a day behind great blocks from Jarrid Williams and the rest of the offensive line. But Avantae Williams really had a remarkable interception on a 3rd and 15 play by the Yellow Jackets. He went right through the WR and high-pointed the ball to make an insane pick. He also had a 31-yard interception return on the play and made a key tackle on at punt return by GT with 50 seconds left in the game.
Avantae Williams first career interception pic.twitter.com/gHA4k9bBe2— Grantlong (@Grantlonggg) November 6, 2021
Now on to Knighton, who continued his successful stretch of games. He finished with 32 rushes for 162 yards and 1 touchdown. It was his 100-yard running game of the season. We just have to stop rushing him short-yardage and 4th down plays (please).
Second Star: Charleston Rambo
Charleston Rambo almost eclipsed 200 yards by the middle of the third quarter. That’s the kind of day he had. The guy is pure electric with the ball in his hands (as long as he doesn’t fumble) and a true playmaker. He got into the end zone in the first quarter on a busted coverage down the right sideline by Georgia Tech. And it was his 60-yard catch off a flea flicker play on the first play of the second half which sparked the Canes’ second half comeback.
First Star: Tyler Van Dyke
Tyler Van Dyke’s first drive of the game started within the 10 yard line and ended with a one-handed TD grab by Mike Harley. On the next possession, he hit Charleston Rambo on the right sideline for a 35-yard TD on third down. He came out dealing today. He now has 10 TD passes in his first 9 starts. He finished the first half with 13 of 23, for 238 yards, and 2 touchdowns. His final stats were 22 for 34, for 389 yards, and 3 touchdowns. He also showed some guts today and even scampered for a few key first downs with this legs.
Miami takes on that team from Tallahassee next weekend.