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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: Virginia Cavaliers edition

Well. That was....certainly......something....

Miami v Virginia Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images

The Miami Hurricanes survived a rock fight of a game, winning 14-12 in 4 overtimes against the Virginia Cavaliers.

Craig T. Smith chipped in with both your game recap and 3 stars for today.

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

The Good

  • A win. No, it was decidedly unsexy, but I’d rather win than lose any day.
  • RB Henry Parrish. 24 carries for 113 yards. He was pretty much the entire offense from a yardage standpoint, and his tough running was needed.
  • K Andres Borregales. 4/4 on FGs and consistently great on kickoffs. Redeemed himself after missing a FG off the upright on the final play of last year’s loss to Virginia.
  • P Louis Hedley. 8 punts for 308 yards and 5 downed inside the 20. A bit shorter average than normal for him, but when you’re punting damn near every time you have the ball in 1H (which we did), a solid punting performance becomes even more important.
  • DT Leonard Taylor. 6 tackles, 4 TFLs, and 1.5 sacks. He was a monster. Absolutely unblockable. That’s what you want your 5-star recruits to look like on the field. *DIFFERENT*
  • DE Mitchell Agude. Stepping into a starting role, which became an even bigger role with Akheem Mesidor out for the game after an early injury, Agude delivered. A team-high 7 tackles, with a TFL and 0.5 sacks (he split one with Taylor). And, his constant pressure affected Virginia’s QB in the pass and run games.
  • DE Jafari Harvey. 2 TFLs and a Sack. And he was another player who provided 1st level spy mirroring of Armstrong from time to time.
  • DE Nyjalik Kelly. The youngster had a sack on this, his 18th birthday. Which means he’d played the first 7 games of the year as a 17 year old. Which is crazy! And, like Agude and Harvey, also spied on Armstrong throughout the game. Happy birthday, Nyjalik!
  • The return of WR Xavier Restrepo. Was on a strict play count in his first game action since week 2 due to a foot injury. But getting someone back instead of losing them is good.
  • DBs Kam Kinchens and Tyrique Stevenson had key PBUs in overtime sessions to prevent scores that would have lost Miami the game.
  • Miami’s defense. Absent a couple breakdowns, Miami did the job today. It wasn’t perfect, but it was good enough to win. And, there were 3 possessions where Virginia was inside the 5 and the Cavs scored a total of 6 points in those chances, including one such possession that ended with an incomplete pass in the endzone on 4th down. Bent a lot, but didn’t break.
  • Nearly 33 minutes time of possession
  • Held Virginia to only 14 first downs
  • 8 receivers with a catch
  • 11 tackles for loss
  • 5 sacks
  • 6 PBUs
  • 17 first downs
  • 3-3 red zone scoring
  • Held Virginia to 5-16 on 3rd down
  • Held Virginia to 0-1 on 4th down
  • Again, I’m putting the advanced stats chart up top cuz that’s where I always put it. But yiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiikes.

The Bad

  • Pretty much the entire offense. It was bad today.
  • QB Jake Garcia. Making his first career start, the signal-caller struggled. 15-29 passing for 129 yards with 0 touchdowns or interceptions. Garcia showed a strong arm, but overthrew open receivers. Then he overcorrected and threw short of other receivers. He has talent, but the skill needs work. Garcia did, however, run for the game-winning 2pt conversion in the 4th overtime. And he played hard. So his heart was his best attribute today.
  • The UPS Express package with Jacurri Brown. Sure, he ran for some yards, but he didn’t complete a pass, and teams have now seen everything he’s currently able to do on the field. Maybe it works a few more times moving forward, but we’re at a point where the package of plays we can run with Brown rotating in has to expand, or his role has to diminish. One way or the other, something gotta change here.
  • Injuries. Tyler Van Dyke and James Williams were out today. Akheem Mesidor left the game early and didn’t return. Wesley Bissainthe also left the game with an injury.
  • 5 penalties for 22 yards.
  • 5-17 on 3rd down.
  • 0 touchdowns in 3 red zone trips.
  • 0 touchdowns total.
  • 272 yards of offense
  • 125 yards passing
  • 147 yards rushing—this is actually okay-ish
  • 3.9 yards per play
  • 5 TFL allowed
  • 3 sacks allowed

The Ugly

  • This entire game. It’s better that Miami won than lost, but this was an uuuuuuuuuuuuugly game. 6-6 after regulation.
  • Allowed 13.9 yards per completion.
  • That previous stat was because there were MULTIPLE super explosive plays for Virginia in the passing game in the 2nd half. Plays of 30, 47, and 64 yards skewed things in this direction.
  • That 64 yard completion was Virginia’s longest play of the year. So letting that happen, because Kam Kinchens whiffed on a tackle in the flats and then nobody could track down the running back who caught the ball until he was down to the 3 yardline.........that’s the very definition of ugly.
  • Why on God’s green earth is Ryan Ragone on the field? He was a feel good story as walk-on given a scholarship, but he has no business playing meaningful snaps here. There’s no room for participation trophy snaps. Stop this.
  • Allowing 9 chunk plays to this Virginia team.
  • Only having 4 chunk plays today on offense

Team Grades

Offense: F

OL was rough until we started spamming split zone. A couple drops didn’t help. Garcia holding the ball didn’t help. 0 touchdowns today. 0-3 in terms of touchdowns on our red zone possessions. Not enough Colbie Young. Not enough......anything. It’s a blessing Virginia is as terrible as they are, otherwise this was a loss. And it probably should have been anyways.

Defense: B+

There was a lot to like. The DL was completely dominant. And if there hadn’t been those 3 coverage breakdowns I listed above, there’s no chance Virginia would have scored even the 6 points they had in regulation.

Special Teams: A

Borregales had the first 12 of Miami’s 14 points on the day while not missing a kick. Hedley, while not as prolific as usual, was still very very good. Jacolby George was good on PR. And Brashard Smith was good on KR. Quite literally, this unit won Miami the game today. That’s an A, even in this disgusting game.

Coaching: C-

Look, it’s an improvement. Defense was good to great. Offense battled through injury and inefficiency. But there were guys open. Rotations seemed better. The team competed and found a way to win. This is nowhere near what peak optimization of the program will be under Cristobal and company, but it was enough to win. yes, I know it was a terrible, TERRIBLE team that Miami just beat, but we’ve seen Miami lose to bad teams already this year, so credit where it’s due. And, as I’ve been telling myself through some tough times, a small step is still a step. And it was like a millimeter, but it was still a step forward for this staff today.

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

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Go Canes