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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: Alabama Crimson Tide Chick-Fil-A kickoff edition


NCAA Football: Alabama at Miami Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Miami traveled to Atlanta to test themselves against the best team in the country: the defending National Champion Alabama Crimson Tide.

The Canes failed that test MISERABLY and dropped their season opener, falling 44-13 to Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide.

I (Cam) had your Game Recap

Kevin Fielder put down the mimosas for a minute to write about the 3 stars for Miami from today’s game.

Losing sucks, and this one sucks more because it’s the same old story: Miami came in with an opportunity to play against an elite team and show their mettle and did nothing but get their doors blown off.

Even with that being the case, we’re always here, week in and week out. So we’re not running, we’re here to figure out what happened.

So, let’s start by digging into The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The Good

  • K Andy Borregales. Great kickoffs and perfect place kicking in his collegiate debut. 2/2 on FGs and 1/1 on his only PAT. The Borregales kicking dynasty continues for the Canes.
  • WR Xavier Restrepo. The super freshman had 3 catches for 55 yards, including a 29-yard touchdown, the first of his career. Congrats, X!
  • DE Chantz Williams. In his first major playing action, Williams had 3 tackles, 1.5 TFLs and Miami’s only sack of the game. He has a way to go, but Williams looks the part of a big time edge rusher with plenty of athleticism and potential for the future.
  • DT Jared Harrison-Hunte. The best player at the point of attack for Miami, JHH had 5 tackles and 1.5 TFLs while providing pressure and penetration in the interior of the line.
  • S Kamren Kinchens. Stepping in for an ejected Bubba Bolden, Kinchens showed why he was a a blue chip prospect. 7 tackles and a forced fumble. Welcome to the show, kid!
  • CB Tyrique Stevenson had 9 tackles, but when you think about the fact that those came after completions, it dulls some of the luster.
  • P Louis Hedley. The big Australian began building the case for the Ray Guy Award as the Nation’s best punter with 5 punts for a 47.2 yard average, and a long of 54 yards.
  • 11 TFLs as a team. Didn’t feel like it was that many, but it was, I promise.
  • 1 sack
  • 7 chunk plays — 4 passes (15+), 3 runs (10+)
  • 17 first downs
  • 6-14 on 3rd down (nearly 50% is improvement!)
  • 1-2 on 4th down
  • Held Alabama to 3.8 yards per rush. REALLY strong bounce back after some early run defense struggles.

The Bad

  • Losing. It sucks. Period. I don’t care that we lost to the best team in the country. I HATE losing with every fiber of my being. Absolutely abhor it.
  • 9 chunk plays allowed - 4 passes (15+), 5 runs (10+).
  • The inability to get stops ever, but especially on 3rd down. Alabama was 10/16 on 3rd down. You simply do not have a chance to even be competitive allowing that many conversions.
  • Several conversions allowed after either a punt or turnover on downs had Alabama backed up in their own territory.
  • Uncalled penalties. Using this as a critical point of evaluation does not mean this cost Miami the game. HOWEVER, there was a facemask on D’Eriq King uncalled that would have extended the drive when Miami was only down 10-0. And Alabama held repeatedly that wasn’t called.
  • AND Bryce Young was not called for intentional grounding — he was nowhere near outside the pocket — which was a clear safety.
  • In short, the refs were quite bad today. Also, Alabama whipped our asses. Both things can be, and are, true.
  • Ran 15 fewer plays than Alabama. Seemed like a bigger disparity than that, but okay.
  • ONLY ran 61 plays. Gotta have more plays and do more with them.
  • Only 248 yards of offense
  • Only 179 yards passing
  • Only 69 yards rushing
  • 7 penalties for 71 yards
  • Only 4.1 yards per play on offense
  • A measly 2.3 yards per rush attempt
  • A paltry 7.8 yards per passing attempt
  • Allowed 494 yards of offense
  • Allowed 28 first downs
  • Allowed Alabama 4-4 in the Red Zone
  • Allowed Alabama 35+ minutes time of possession
  • Minus-2 turnover margin

The Ugly

  • Just not being anywhere NEAR the caliber of Alabama. I know we’re a ways away from their level, but I didn’t think it was the LIGHTYEARS distance that we saw it was today.
  • The piss poor tackling. My goodness. I don’t have synergy stats on this, but Miami had to miss upwards of 30 tackles today. Absolutely atrocious and wholly unacceptable.
  • Bubba Bolden ejected on the last play of the 1st quarter for targeting. Clear as day. And with that, Miami’s best defender was rendered a spectator for the rest of the proceedings today.
  • 7 penalties. Plus a couple others that were offsetting or declined. Just sloppy. And it’s not good enough.
  • Getting stuffed on 4th and goal. WHY did you go uptempo there? WHY did you go QB dive from shotgun on that play? WHY? WHYYYYYYYY?!?!!?!?!?!?
  • Coverage busts. Alabama had receivers running butt nekkid WWWIIIIIIDDDDDEEEE OOOOOPPPPEEEEENNNN all day long.
  • This was highlighted most devastatingly on the play after Alabama was not called for the intentional grounding in the endzone that they did. DJ Ivey lost Jameson Williams in the secondary and the receiver scored a back-breaking 94 yard touchdown. Again, it’s not that Miami would have won the game with the Safety appropriately called, but that 14 point swing of not scoring on the 1 yard line, then not getting the correct call on the intentional grounding, then giving up a 94 YARD TOUCHDOWN PASS was absolutely backbreaking.

Team Grades

Offense: D-

Gameplan in the 1st half was atrocious. The nickel and dime offense in the passing game was confusing. Under 6 yards per passing attempt is not going to get the job done. Miami’s offensive line struggled to do much with Alabama’s front. I still have a problem with not starting Don Chaney at running back. Long story short: this performance left MUCH to be desired.

Defense: D-

All of the missed tackles. All of the wide receivers running wide open unfettered through the secondary. Letting yet another 1st time starting QB have a record-setting game. Bubba Bolden’s targeting ejection. Just bad on bad on bad.

Special Teams: B+

Perfect kicking game from Andy Borregales. A great punting day by Louis Hedley. No returns on our side, and didn’t allow much of anything on their side either. That’ll work.

Coaching: F

Plain and simple, this wasn’t good enough. It was quite terrible, to be clear. Out schemed. Out motivated. Out adjusted. Out maneuvered. Out classed in every way possible. Much is needed in the way of improvement between now and next Saturday. MUCH.

That’s it for this installment of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

Agree? Disagree? Did I forget something? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Go Canes