Good tidings this Monday, fellow Miami fans. Come on in, take a seat in that orange-and-green recliner, and let’s take a tour of the Cane-related tidbits bouncing around in my brain.
1) Well that’s the inspired effort I was hoping to see on November 5 in Prime Time. Miami’s offensive line against Georgia Tech was physical and productive, forging a 217-yard, 4.9/ypc rushing effort on the day. They also pass protected well, allowing only one sack. And welcome to the 2022 season, Jaylan Knighton. 118 yards on 16 carries with a score is what we had imagined many a Saturday afternoon would look like for him this fall. Better late than never, I guess.
2) Jacurri Brown delivered the type of performance that this Miami team needs to win games: no turnovers and modest, but productive plays. The chunk passing plays aren’t there right now with Brown at the helm, but you’re going to get more improvised plays that lead to less 2nd/3rd and 10+ situations that Miami has found itself in much of this year. And that matters a ton for an offense that’s struggling. His scrambles are a difference-maker for this offense and his overall playmaking ability gives this team the best chance to win right now. He’ll struggle some - he’s a freshman - but his ceiling gives Miami a puncher’s chance in its last two games.
3) Kam Kinchens had 3 interceptions Saturday, the most since Kenny Phillips in 2008. I saw someone on Twitter write that it’s the best safety Miami has had in a long, long while. I would say Jaquan Johnson should not be forgotten. He was pretty good and is in the league right now, so... (shrugs). But yeah, Kinchens has a special upside. Loving that he will be manning one half of the field going forward.
4) And Wessley Bissainthe played like he was shot out of a missile each time he attacked a ballcarrier. Man, he looked like the kind of player you want patrolling the middle of the field. Hopefully that becomes a weekly thing as the youngster develops as a player. Fun player to watch.
5) And what is up with Miami on the road this season? With just a shred of offensive competency in College Station, this team would be 4-0 on the road heading into Clemson. Still, 3-1 is an excellent road record, which baffles me because winning on the road takes another level of mental toughness and intestinal fortitude, but Miami has shown it away from home. Yes, the opponents weren’t particularly tough (V Tech, UVa, Ga Tech), but Miami has lost to those caliber of opponents at home this season, and lordy how the did. I’m going to need someone smarter and/or more plugged in than me to explain that road/home anomaly to me. It’s just insane.
6) Prediction: Clemson 23, Miami 19. I’m tempting fate here by calling for the Canes to be competitive and lose a heartbreaker. I did the same thing last year for the Alabama game, and it was an absolute beatdown from the start. Thing is, this Clemson offense has shown that it’s not very good, especially at the QB position. If Miami can generate some pressure and create some long down-and-distance situations, this thing could end up being surprisingly competitive. I think they do, and while they don’t win, they set a tone for what’s hopefully a happy regular season finale the next week against Pitt.