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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: Boston College Eagles 2023 Edition

A win to close out the regular season! Hell yeah!

NCAA Football: Miami at Boston College Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Hurricanes won a game for the first time since before Halloween with a decisive 45-20 win over the Boston College Eagles on Friday afternoon.

Craig T. Smith had your game recap:

Mike Schiffman is driving home after the holiday and will have the 3 stars up later.

And now, for the final time this regular season, let’s dive into The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

The Good

  • A win! It had been since before Halloween that we could say that, so that’s great.
  • Another ACC win. Only 3 of them this year (should have been at least 4 but.....Georgia Tech.....) so that’s good as well.
  • A win in the “cold”, which will always be a talking point against Miami.
  • A solid to great offensive performance.
  • RB Henry Parrish Jr. 11 carries for 111 yards and 2 TDs. He was the hot hand today.
  • But, don’t overlook Mark Fletcher with his 44 yards and a TD...or Ajay Allen with his 68 yards and the game-closing TD (the game was already well in hand but that sealed the deal).
  • Overall, Miami ran for 242 yards at 6.1 yards per carry. Big boy football.
  • WR Xavier Restrepo. 6 catches for 117 yards. He needs 8 yards to go over 1,000 on the year.
  • QB Tyler Van Dyke. 23-36 pass (64% completions) for 290 yards, 2 TDs and (most importantly) 0 INTs. Van Dyke was agile in the pocket, decisive with the ball, and even having missed some throws, looked much more like the player we expected to see all season, and not the nation-leading turnover machine headcase that he morphed into for the better part of 2 months.
  • A nice, creative play to get Jacolby George into open space for 25. This is the kind of thing that we should see more of next year when this offense is in year 2 with Dawson (which is my personal desire for continuity).
  • RB Henry Parrish, with the good vision to make a nice cutback to the left and walk into the endzone from 15 yards out to give Miami their first lead of the day.
  • RB Ajay Allen, who had an earlier fumble, capped the day with this 30 yard touchdown run.
  • Remember that motion and return play on the goal line we ran against Texas A&M? WE FINALLY RAN IT AGAIN!!!! For another Jacolby George touchdown. About damn time.
  • LB Kiko Mauigoa. Your defensive MVP. 9 tackles, 2 TFLs, and a sack. Dude was everywhere today.
  • James Williams had a nice PBU on a contested catch attempt by BC’s tight end.
  • DT Ahmad Moten with an INTERCEPTION (yes, that’s correct).
  • DE Rueben Bain with 2 tackles and a sack and constant pressure.
  • LB Marcellius Pulliam (a freshman if you’re wondering where that name came from) with an interception — a great play where he tipped the ball to himself to then secure the catch.
  • PLENTY of freshman playing. Raul “Popo” Aguirre and Marcellius Pulliam at LB adding to the already impressive list of young players who saw meaningful snaps for Miami this year.
  • P Dylan Joyce. Only had to punt once all day! Efficient!
  • 532 yards of offense
  • 290 yards passing
  • 242 yards rushing
  • 27 first downs
  • 6-12 on 3rd down
  • 3-3 on 4th down
  • 17 chunk plays — 9 passes (15+), 8 runs (10+)
  • 7 yards per play
  • 6.1 yards per carry
  • 8.05 yards per passing attempt
  • 12.6 yards per completion
  • 6-7 redzone scoring
  • 35:25 time of possession (+13 minutes on BC)
  • Held Boston College to 294 yards of offense
  • Held BC to 14 first downs
  • Held BC to 4-12 on 3rd down
  • The advanced stats chart is HEAVY in Miami’s favor, which you would expect after a game like this.

The Bad

  • A MUCH shorter list this week. Love that for me.
  • Injuries. Several players got dinged up today. Don’t love seeing it, but nothing was major, so that’s good.
  • The turnover. Miscommunication between TVD and Ajay Allen led to a fumble.
  • Allowed BC to go 2-2 in the red zone.
  • Allowed Thomas Castellanos to have nearly 300 yards of total offense. I mean, he was the entirety of the offense, but still. Want to see this be a bit less.
  • Only 3 TFL (less than half their per game average)
  • Only 2 sacks (1 less than average but Castellanos is a scrambler so...)

The Ugly

  • Miami’s early defense. BC hit multiple wheels routes on the first drive, and, even with people spying on QB Castellanos, they weren’t able to contain or tackle him. V bad. Ugly, even.
  • Miami’s first FG attempt was blocked. That’s not great.
  • Brashard Smith, the nation’s leading kickoff return man, had a bad return that set Miami behind the stick on a drive. Miami ended up scoring a touchdown on that drive anyways, but still don’t love starting on the 7 yard line, yanno?
  • Tyler Van Dyke’s throwing choices on the first drive. Isaiah Horton and Colbie Young were wide open for touchdowns on separate plays. Van Dyke missed them both and threw to other options. Below is the flea flicked where Horton was gone for a touchdown.....if only Van Dyke had thrown it.
  • And here’s the other
  • ACC refs. OPI on BC’s first TD not called. DPI on BC for literally wrapping Riley Williams up in a hug tighter than your nana at Christmas flag was thrown, but picked up. And that’s just to the start of 2Q. There are more examples, I’m sure, but yeah. This is always ugly.
  • The BC pick play (WR at top of screen)

Team Grades

Offense: A-

Honestly, if Tyler throws it to either of the open receivers on the first drive for TDs, this becomes an A or an A+. And, he could have been slightly more accurate, but 64% ain’t bad! Run game was awesome. OLine was great. Also, the fumble is a major demerit, as it was the one big miscue on the day. But this offense was what we expected things to look like overall.

Defense: A

After the opening TD drive, Miami clamped down on Boston College for the rest of the game. Young players got in the rotation. Miami had 3 interceptions (although the stats just dismissed the hail mary pick before the half for some reason). And, they made life tough for pretty much everyone on BC’s offense — save Castellanos, who is known for his quickness and escapability. Would like to see more TFLs and sacks, but this was another performance that Miami can and should be proud of defensively.

Special Teams: C

Blocked FG. Short KR with a penalty. Just not a clean as it should be.

Coaching: A

Overall, a great gameplan and performance! Van Dyke looked like himself. The offense was clicking. The defense was swarming (after the first drive). This looked like the Miami team that Mario Cristobal dreams about. And that’s a credit to him and the entire staff. It wasn’t perfect, but it was a damn sight better than it’s been most of this season. Bravo.

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

Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Go Canes