The Miami Hurricanes continued their struggles against the Tar Heels of UNC, losing at home today, 27-24. The offense looked considerably better, yet they couldn’t score enough points against an objectively bad UNC defense. This season stinks. Let’s get to the three stars of the game.
1. Tyler Van Dyke - QB
Welcome back TVD! It appears as though offensive coordinator Josh Gattis went into his predecessor’s playbook today. TVD looked much more comfortable and trusting in his reads; it was a delight to see. The first-half fourth down missed throw to Will Mallory at the goal line was tough, but he was pressured and Mallory didn’t separate enough with his defender. Still, TVD finished 42 of 57 for 496 yards and three touchdowns and an interception. Capping that final drive with a game-winning touchdown pass would’ve been nice, but this is a step in the right direction for TVD and Miami’s passing game.
2. Wide Receivers
To be clear, there is still no Charleston Rambo or KJ Osborn on this team. That said, the wide receivers were mostly good today. For this team and position group, mostly good is outstanding. The dropped balls that previously cursed them were largely eliminated, the routes were crisp, and they got good yards after catch. Brashard Smith was the go-to guy today, finishing with five catches for 59 yards. Frank Ladson had a respectable eight grabs for 67 yards, however he should’ve made a better effort on a deep ball late in the fourth quarter. Plus, every Miami fan’s favorite speed receiver, Key’Shawn Smith, had another touchdown reception. Getting better.
3. James Williams - S
I continue to love to watch Big James play defense. He jumps with a wide receiver on one play, then meets a running back in the hole on the next. It’s too bad Miami doesn’t have the linebacker talent around James, as it would free him up to be even more disruptive, and perhaps even cause a turnover. Remember when Miami used to cause turnovers on a regular basis? Me too. The guy is a true talent, and it’s a shame it’s being wasted on this defense.
Will Mallory - TE: Caught eight balls for 115 yards. Did have the big drop on third down at the start of the fourth quarter. Frustrating.
Leonard Taylor III - DT: He continues to be a constant disruption in the opponents’ backfield; making life easier for his defensive ends.
Gaining yards without scoring points: The Canes are far too good at this. My gosh.
Who were your three stars of the game? Let us know in the comments below.