For the Miami Hurricanes football program, 2017 was a great time. On November 21, 2017, the ‘Canes were 10-0 and ranked No. 2 in the College Football Playoff rankings. Can it get any better than that?
Primarily known for the Turnover Chain defense, the Miami offense was led by junior quarterback Malik Rosier. Rosier, one of the most forgotten and under-appreciated ‘Canes ever, was at the forefront of the Hurricanes’ most successful season in recent history. Rosier’s 2017 season was record-breaking and his records still stand to this day.
The Start of Dreams: Games 1-10
Having attempted just 61 passes in his first two seasons in Miami, Rosier was named the starter as a junior after the departure of quarterback Brad Kaaya. Despite the inexperience, Rosier led the team to a 10-0 start despite Miami having their hardest schedule since 2004, and their first 10-win season since 2003. His signature win was leading the ‘Canes to a 41-8 demolishing of No. 3 Notre Dame. After the ‘Canes 10th win, they were ranked No. 2 by the College Football Playoff Committee, Miami’s highest ranking since 2005.
In the 10-game win streak, Rosier had 2,997 total yards (299.7 yards per game), 28 total touchdowns (2.8 TD per game) and just 9 interceptions (1.1 INT per game). During that time frame, he led the team to 33.7 points per game.
Additionally, he had some of the most clutch throws that Miami has seen in the last decade. His clutch connections with Darrell Langham against Georgia Tech and Florida State showed shades of a team that could compete and win through adversity.
TOUCHDOWN! Malik Rosier finds Darrell Langham for what should be the game-winning score with 6 seconds left! Play was reviewed and upheld pic.twitter.com/lxZM812tFc— Chat Sports (@ChatSports) October 7, 2017
An Unfortunate Ending: Games 11-13
While he did have a strong start, he and the ‘Canes fell into a slump in the last three games of the season. In the losses to Pitt, No. 1 Clemson and No. 6 Wisconsin, he had just 197 total yards per game paired with 3 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. The team scored just 13.6 points per game in the skid. These are severe drop-offs from the first 10 games of the season. The once No. 2 team in the nation and Rosier had collapsed at the worst possible time. Granted, they played two top 6 teams in the country, including No. 1 Clemson. Still, the ending to a once-promising season wasn’t great. The ‘Canes lost in the Orange Bowl, but it was still great to see the team back in the big game for the first time since 2003.
Quelle entrée en matière des Hurricanes en 2ème mi-temps ! 2 jeux, 46 yards en :26 et boom ! Passe de 38 yards de QB Malik Rosier pour WR Lawrence Cager. TD Miami ! #OrangeBowl— TBP College Football (@thebluepennant) December 31, 2017
Miami 21, Wisconsin 24 pic.twitter.com/wy1oyhHNHm
The Record-Breaking Season
Rosier ended the season with 10 wins and the most total yards (3,588) and total touchdowns (31) in a single season at Miami. His records still stand in 2022. He won games for the ‘Canes. When was the last time Miami had 10 wins? 2003. Rosier led Miami to their only ACC Championship appearance in their now-18 year history as members of the conference. While his playing days were really only one season, Rosier deserves to be remembered as the leader of one of the best teams in the program’s recent history.