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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: Duke Blue Devils edition

Horrible. Terrible. No good. Very bad. Disgusting.

NCAA Football: Duke at Miami Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

So yeah. That sucked. Real bad.

Miami got their doors blown off and lost 45-21 to Duke on Saturday afternoon.

Mike Schiffman pulled double duty this week so he’s here with both the Game Recap and 3 stars.

And now, let’s get into The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

The Good

  • The weather was nice. A perfect day for football in South Florida!
  • S James Williams being the superstar he is and making plays. He forced and recovered a fumble on Duke’s 2nd offensive play. THAT is what you need your superstars to do!
  • Miami immediately cashed that turnover in for 7 when QB Tyler Van Dyke connected with WR Colbie Young on a GORGEOUS play, with Young crossing in the back of the endzone wide, and I mean WIDE, open. Take the money, spend that cash. That’s how you do it.
  • Speaking of Colbie Young, Jake Garcia (we’ll get to that) hit him over the top for a 71yd touchdown 2 plays after halftime. That’ll work.
  • Young finished with 6 catches for 127 yards and those 2 TDs. WR1 and it’s not close.
  • TE Will Mallory with a nice 35 yard catch-and-run for a touchdown.
  • 10 receivers with a catch today.
  • Early aggression. Miami went for it on 4th down on their first 2 possessions. Regardless of result (we’ll get to that, I promise), the MINDSET to go out and take the game to the opponent on offense was refreshing to see.
  • DE Akheem Mesidor continued his strong run of play. 6 tackles and 2 TFLs.
  • P Louis Hedley. 2 punts for 92 yards — 46ypp average. And 1 of them was downed inside the 20. Low usage, but high quality to his performance.
  • K Andres Borregales. 3/3 on XPs and touchbacks on kickoffs. Solid work.
  • The continued youth movement. Laurence Seymore started at RG. Williams. Kinchens. Young. Bissainthe. And more. Those guys are going to be the foundation of this program moving forward. Good to see them getting work, and doing spots.
  • The UPS Express package with Jacurri Brown at QB. Yanno....what can Brown do for U? I like it as a wrinkle, even if it wasn’t as wildly explosive and effective as last week.
  • 4.8 yards per play
  • 11.6 yards per completion
  • 6 TFL
  • 3 sacks
  • 2 turnovers forced — both were fumbles that were forced and recovered by the same player; one each by James Williams and D.J. Ivey
  • 279 yards passing. Slightly over what Duke has allowed on average this year, but under what Miami had done recently. So, this is the aiiight, really.
  • 1-1 in the redzone, and it was a touchdown! 100% efficiency! YOU LOVE TO SEE IT!!!!
  • Only 3 penalties. After a season-high 18 penalties last week, this was a very good course correction.
  • And then, the advanced stats chart, which has good, bad, and ugly in it, but I’ve traditionally placed it here, to it goes here:

The Bad

  • Losing. It fucking sucks. I HATE LOSING!!!!!
  • Playing the way Miami did for most of the game. Again, bad.
  • Only 18 first downs. Gotta move the ball more and better. This was Miami’s fewest 1st downs in any game this season. That bad IYAM.
  • Only 6 chunk plays — 3 passing (15+), 3 rushing (10+)
  • QB Jake Garcia. There were nice moments, like the bomb to Colbie Young, but overall......not great, Bob. 13-21 passing for 198 yards and 2 TDs. That was fine. But Garcia was responsible for 5 of Miami’s record 8 turnovers; 3 interceptions (including a pick-6) and 2 fumbles. Yikes.
  • While we’re here, let’s just run down the other turnovers, shall we?
  • Tyler Van Dyke had a fumble on his final play of the game (more on that later)
  • Key’Shawn Smith had a fumble on a kickoff return.
  • And, of course, no rundown of the fumbles in a game is complete without mentioning Jaylan Knighton, Miami’s fumble king!
  • Allowed 7 TFLs
  • Allowed 6 sacks. You can debate in the comments if those were on the line for not blocking or the QB for holding the ball too long. Either way....
  • Allowed 9 chunk plays — 3 passing (15+), 6 rushing (10+)
  • The 3 chunk passing plays accounted for nearly 1/4th of Duke’s completions (13), and just under 20% of their total yardage for the game. But, when you’re starting with short fields every damn time you get the ball....
  • Allowed Duke to convert 7-16 on 3rd down
  • Allowed Duke to convert both their 4th down attempts
  • Allowed 5 yards per play

The Ugly

  • Losing. Losing to DUKE. Losing the way Miami lost. Just.....all of it. Fucking ugly, man.
  • The process. Take that as you want.
  • QB Tyler Van Dyke’s injury. While Miami has not announced anything, Van Dyke was sacked and tackled hard on his throwing shoulder. He stayed on the field immobile for a while before heading directly into the locker room. Van Dyke’s parents were seen in the tunnels near the locker room after the game. That’s not good.
  • And look, I’m not a doctor. But the way Van Dyke was being supported while walking off the field isn’t great, and whether the injury to his “upper extremity” is season-ending or not, I highly, highly doubt we see him next week, if not the next few weeks.
  • Miami not getting a 4th and 1 on the 2nd possession. I’m fine with the decision to go for it, up 7 and deep in opponent territory. But the decision to run inside zone — a play which had had zero efficacy this season — is laughable.
  • The decision to CHALLENGE THE SPOT on that play. Why on God’s green earth, with no video evidence anywhere, would you challenge that? Whether it’s because you’re a horrible game manager or because you’re panicking and trying to go all-in to make something — ANYTHING — shake doesn’t matter to me. But it was farcical at best, and trust me, it wasn’t “at best”.
  • This was compounded later with other plays that Miami could, and should, have reviewed. But, since they burned their only challenge on a losing proposition, that option wasn’t available. Fucking great.
  • RB Jaylan Knighton fumbling on an early reception on a screen pass. That fumble, recovered by Duke, was Knighton’s 3rd in 4 games. That’s atrocious. I’m fully done with him. I don’t want to see him on the field anymore this season.
  • WR Key’Shawn Smith who, returning the ensuing kick after Duke scored a TD on the possession gained off of Knighton’s fumble, fumbled the ball himself, giving Duke yet-another short field. Which they cashed in for a 14-7 lead early in the 2nd quarter.
  • Allowing Duke to run for 200 yards. I don’t care what their averages were. You cannot let that happen. But, did.
  • The run game. What was supposed to be a foundational building block for this offense has turned into a major, major struggle. 31 carries for 48 yards. That’s 1.5 yards per carry.
  • And even if you remove sack yardage from the total, that’s 26 carries for 98 yards. That’s 3.4 yards per carry. Not great, but a damn sight better than the final numbers, for sure.
  • I’ve buried the lede long enough: 8 turnovers. 5 fumbles. 3 interceptions. And that’s not even counting 2 turnovers on downs for failed 4th down attempts.
  • Those 8 turnovers are among the most Miami has EVER had. It’s the most since 2000 when multiple stats sites started. But, it’s POSSIBLE there were more turnovers back in 1944 when Miami threw 7 interceptions in both the penultimate and final games of the year against Tulsa and Texas A&M, respectively.
  • The 5 lost fumbles were just short of the record, which is 6 and has happened on a trio of occasions.
  • The last team to turn the ball over 8 times in a game was Central Michigan in 2018. And you know what they say, when your team is being compared to a directional school, IT AIN’T GOOD!!!! (and I’m a native Michigander. Trust me. You NEVER want to be compared to a directional school).
  • 4-12 on 3rd down
  • 1-3 on 4th down
  • The effort in the 4th quarter. This team flat out quit. I don’t care what the coach says. I have eyes in my head and a brain that works. That team quit. And that’s fucking atrocious.

Team Grades

Offense: F- - - - - - - - -

Look, there were some decent stats. Colbie Young is a STUD and continues to step into a major, major role with this team. But no other receiver had more than 45 yards. And the absolute inability to run the ball, especially in short yardage situations, continues to plague this team. Oh. Yeah. And the 8 TURNOVERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And the thing is...Miami had guys open! There were crossers everywhere with nobody on them! But........nah. Terrible terrible terrible. Yes, that’s 8 minuses, one for each of the (likely) school record amount of turnovers the Canes coughed up today.

Defense: D

200 yards rushing, and over 50% conversions on money downs (3rd and 4t) is bad. The two turnovers forced is good! The 45 points allowed is bad....but not as bad as it is on first glance when you consider Duke had many, many short scoring possessions, and the fact that Duke also scored on defense on the pick-6. Still, there were myriad missed tackles, and a general malaise in the 4th quarter when the team quit. Short story long: not even close to good enough.

Special Teams: C-

Punting was great, duh. Kicking was solid, sure. But, an average grade gets dropped because of a turnover with the Smith fumble on KR. Pretty cut and try to my eye.

Coaching: Fireable

Again, I’m not calling for anyone to be fired at this point, but it’s definitely time for lots of things to change.

Look, you can’t have 18 penalties one week, then a program-record (I think) 8 turnovers the next week.

You can’t have your team quit on you in the 4th quarter.

You can’t have Duke — DUKE — score the last 28 points in a 24 point loss.

You can’t have your coaching staff, being compensated VERY well, allow performances that are an outright regression from the previous staff; performances that very frankly got the previous staff — multiple staffs, actually — fired from their jobs.

This was deplorable, and not really from an X’s and O’s standpoint. There was pressure and havoc on defense. And there were receivers running wide open on offense. But, regardless of those schemes and play calls, the production and performance was fucking putrid. 8 turnovers. 10 if you could the 2 failed 4th down attempts.

Un. Ac. Ceptable.

And, in a word, Fireable.

I know sometimes you have to go back before you go forward, but this ain’t it. At all.

Now it’s on Cristobal to fix it.

Good luck.

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

Hop in the comments and keep the discussion going.

Go Canes