Miami got back into the win column on Saturday, with a 69-0 dominating victory over Central Connecticut State.
Let’s take a look at some players whose stock improved on Saturday, and whose went down.
Stock Up: Tyler Van Dyke and Jake Garcia
With D’Eriq King sidelined due to an injury, Miami’s duo of talented freshman quarterbacks engineered the Canes offense on Saturday.
Van Dyke got his first career start, and immediately had the the offense moving the ball. The Connecticut native was extremely efficient throwing the football, going 10-11, for 270 yards and 3 touchdowns. The only incompletion for the day came off a drop by Dee Wiggins, a beautiful pass that would’ve resulted in another touchdown.
Tyler Van Dyke: 6 for 6, 236 yards, 3 TDs, rating now 595.4. Miami leads 49-0.— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) September 25, 2021
Garcia rotated in every other series, and the results were the same. Garcia finished the day completing 11-of-14 passes, for 147 yards and two touchdowns. He also flashed his running ability with a 45-yard carry.
We saw Garcia deliver some dimes in the spring game and this looked very similar. He finds George deep and hits him in stride for the score. This QB battle is going to be tight. pic.twitter.com/4fGM45LCkB— Canes Legacy (@CanesLegacy) September 26, 2021
Now obviously, Central Connecticut State wasn’t a powerhouse of a team, but from what we saw from these two quarterbacks, the future of Miami’s QB room is very bright.
Stock Up: James Williams
Williams got the start on Saturday with Gurvan Hall suspended, and the 5-star 2021 commit didn’t disappoint. According to PFF, Williams graded out as the best defensive player for Miami, finishing the day with 3 tackles and also an interception.
James Williams on being able to rock the Turnover Chain for the first time:— Khobi Price (@khobi_price) September 25, 2021
"That chain hurt." pic.twitter.com/UNwVgZlFsm
“I’ve been dying to get out there, dying to start. I’m gonna let my tape speak for itself,” Williams said following the game.
It’ll be interesting to see whether or not Manny Diaz has Williams starting this Thursday against Virginia, or if Hall will be back with the first team defense. One thing is for sure though, Miami has found its future star on defense in Williams.
Stock Down: Gurvan Hall
As stated above, Hall was suspended for the game against Central Connecticut State, though his stock had already been dropping before that happened. In Miami’s first three games in 2021, Hall’s play had been extremely disappointing, highlighted by his infamous blunder against Michigan State.
For those who missed “C’Mon Mannn” pic.twitter.com/pRf0DvIN1O— Grantlong (@Grantlonggg) September 21, 2021
He led Miami in missed tackles in the loss against the Spartans, and has overall looked very timid so far this season. It also doesn’t help his stock, when you got freshmen like Williams and Kamren Kinchens, who continue to improve their play each week.
Stock Up: Freshmen Wide Receivers
In their very talented 2021 recruiting class, Miami landed three top-notch playmakers at wide receiver, Romello Brinson, Brashard Smith and Jacolby George. While we saw Brinson make a couple receptions in the Michigan State game, we had not seen Smith or George yet.
On Saturday, the freshmen showed why fans had been so excited to see them play. Brinson had 2 receptions for 25 yards and 1 touchdown, a catch that landed him on SportsCenter’s top-10 play countdown. Smith had 5 catches, for 91 yards and a touchdown, his first career reception going 75 yards for a score. George finished with just one reception, a 44-yard touchdown.
Brinson looks like he could be the next alpha-receiver at Miami, with WR1 traits. Smith showed off his explosiveness and versatility, lining up out wide at receiver, or even in the backfield. George’s speed for an outside receiver will certainly make him a weapon for Miami’s offense in the future.
Stock Up: Cody Brown and Thad Franklin
Miami’s running game had been abysmal coming into Saturday, with Cam’ron Harris struggling mightily. It also didn’t help when Don Chaney Jr. suffered a season-ending injury, with Jaylan Knighton already suspended for the first 4 games.
While Harris started and played well on Saturday, it was Miami’s two freshman running backs who were the biggest takeaways, as far as the Hurricanes run-game is concerned.
Thad Franklin showed that he has more speed and quickness than people had thought, racking up 88 yards on 7 carries, including a 31-yard touchdown run.
Nearly all of the freshmen skill position players found the end zone which was fun to watch. The big fella Thad Franklin had a few chunk plays including this 30+ yarder. pic.twitter.com/7U6wclRQZb— Canes Legacy (@CanesLegacy) September 26, 2021
Cody Brown was Harris’ backup on Saturday, getting plenty of touches in the first half, and ultimately finishing with 79 rushing yards on 14 carries, and 2 touchdowns.
See hole, hit hole. Cody Brown brings a North-South style to the RB position. I think he’ll factor in more as the season goes even with Knighton coming back. pic.twitter.com/nGVPgFXf7T— Canes Legacy (@CanesLegacy) September 26, 2021
While Knighton is expected to return from suspension and play against Virginia this Thursday, Brown and Franklin have absolutely earned the right to seeing more playing time.
Stock Down: Will Mallory
You’d think that Saturday would've been a great time to get Mallory a few receptions and build his confidence, as the senior has struggled so far this season with drops. However, Mallory didn’t record a catch Saturday, as Miami’s production at tight end continues to be nonexistent so far in 2021.
Check out Arroyo's blocking. Awesome https://t.co/WJn0n5JjQf— Marsh (@hurricanesmarsh) September 27, 2021
Freshmen tight ends Elijah Arroyo and Kahlil Brantley should be seeing more snaps as Miami prepares for ACC play. Arroyo has 2 catches for 18 yards so far this year, and his key block on Saturday helped Brashard Smith go 75 yards for a touchdown. Mallory’s blocking skills, however, have been criticized recently. Brantley recorded his first career catch on Saturday, for 7 yards.
Manny Diaz on TE Elijah Arroyo: "Elijah does things most freshman don’t do… the way he runs routes and creates separation. The play he made this last week where we threw it to him in the flat was a very mature play. He has a tendency to make plays like that."— Cal Friedman (@friedman_cal) September 15, 2021