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Miami vs Middle Tennessee State: Three Stars

The honeymoon is officially over for Coach Cristobal.

Middle Tennessee v Miami
At least Jake Garcia looked good, right? Right?!
Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images

The Miami Hurricanes returned to familiar territory on Saturday afternoon as they played in front of a half-empty Hard Rock Stadium against Middle Tennessee State, losing 45-31 to a team from Conference USA. I wasn’t positive Conference USA existed anymore. (Sigh). The lackluster crowd was expected; the result of the game was not. TVD looked liked he forgot how to throw a football, Corey Flagg Jr. looked like he forgot how to change directions while running, and the offensive line got dominated by a team from (I’ll say it again) Conference USA after a good showing against an SEC defense. Wow. Just wow. Let’s get to the three stars.

1. Key’Shawn Smith - WR

Key looked great on that kickoff return touchdown and the 39-yard reception from QB Jake Garcia that was just short of the goal line. Smith led Miami with 81 receiving yards on four receptions. He is Miami’s most explosive receiver; Miami fans should expect him to make one to two impact plays per game. Key’s hands are much better than Michael Redding’s and he’s not afraid to go over the middle of the field. More Key’Shawn Smith moving forward please.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 24 Middle Tennessee at Miami
Key’Shawn Smith was one of the few bright spots for the Canes today.
Photo by Peter Joneleit/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

2. Jake Garcia - QB

The redshirt freshman quarterback came in for TVD to start the second half and immediately breathed life into the lifeless Miami Hurricanes offense. His numbers were nothing crazy: 10-19 for 169 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions, but he looked much more comfortable in the pocket and throwing downfield than TVD did. I honestly don’t know what happened to Tyler. He had a vacant look on his face that didn’t scream confidence to his teammates or us fans. At least we know Garcia can be effective in this offense moving forward.

3. Frank Ladson - WR

Sure, I guess. There’s no one else. Today was by far Frank’s best game of the season, providing a reliable pass-catcher for TVD before the benching. Ladson led the Canes in receptions with six, and was second in yards, with 65. He showed nice hands. Um, that’s about it. I don’t have anything else to say about the Canes after today’s embarrassment.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 24 Middle Tennessee at Miami
Frank Ladson had his best game as a Hurricane. Too bad it didn’t matter.
Photo by Samuel Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Honorable mention:

None. This game was one of the worst things I’ve seen on television in a long, long time, and I’ve seen multiple Sharknado movies. I need a drink.

Who were your three stars of the game? Let us know in the comments below.