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The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly: Bethune Cookman 2023 edition

Let’s keep it short and sweet, shall we?

Photo By: @KappaCane, State Of The U

It was a quick and decisive victory for Miami over Bethune Cookman on Thursday night, with the Canes taking the victory 48-7.

Craig T. Smith hopped in with the game recap:

Mike Schiffman with his always great 3 stars:

And now, let’s get into The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly:

The Good

  • Winning. It’s always fun to win. I think we should keep doing it.
  • QB Tyler Van Dyke kept the ball on a pair of zone-reads on the first drive, scoring from 10 yards out on the second one.
  • Miami didn’t have a single negative play on their first offensive drive.
  • Tyler Van Dyke’s 1st half: 19/23 passing (with 2 drops), 247 yards, 2 TDs, and a 10 yard rushing TD. edit: This was actually his entire game line because he didn’t play after rhalftime.
  • Miami scored TDs on 5 of 6 possessions in the first half.
  • Brashard Smith didn’t have a KR-TD today, but he did have a TD catch just before the half.
  • QB Emory Williams looked good and sharp in his work in the second half.
  • Also just wanted to say this: If I’m handicapping the 2024 QB battle in September 2023, I have Emory in front of Jacurri Brown for sure.
  • WR Xavier Restrepo. 6 catches for 120 yards. That’ll work.
  • CB Damari Brown wanted to be physical. He was PHYSICAL.
  • 10 TFL
  • 4 sacks
  • Plenty of playing time for second and third string players.
  • 589 yards of total offense
  • 349 yards passing
  • 240 yards rushing
  • 32 first downs
  • 7-9 on 3rd down
  • 1-1 on 4th down
  • Only allowed 8 first downs for Bethune
  • Another strong game when you look at the analytics. But, one area will be talked about:

The Bad

  • Random but true: Miami is 0/3 on coin tosses this year. Miami (OH), Texas A&M, and Bethune Cookman all correctly called the toss.
  • An early drop by Colbie Young. Had one against Texas A&M, too. Gotta tighten that up.
  • Dropped an interception on Bethune’s 2nd drive.
  • Bethune had something working with a power run to the offense’s left/defense’s right for a minute.
  • Allowed Bethune to convert 6-13 on 3rd down. That’s WAY too high a conversion rate for this competition.
  • Lack of explosive plays. After last week’s deluge of big plays — Miami was in the 96th percentile for this against Texas A&M — falling back to just the 47th percentile in this area against Bethune is a bit disappointing.
  • Also, allowing Bethune to have such a high 3rd down success rate — 58%. Way too high for this competition.
  • Lost a fumble.
  • Missed a wide open touchdown throw to Riley Williams on an out-and-up.
  • 5 penalties for 34 yards. Better but not great.
  • Didn’t shut Bethune out. It was a late score (after a blown coverage by the 3rd team defense) that kept Miami from throwing up a goose egg on defense today. Shucks.
  • Missing several players due to injury. Elijah Arroyo (who hasn’t played this season), Tre’Vonte Citizen (same), Mark Fletcher, Branson Deen, Nyjalik Kelly, Akheem Mesidor, Kamren Kinchens. Hopefully all are able to recover and return to action soon.

The Ugly

  • Xavier Restrepo fielded the first punt of the game on the 3 yard line. Why? What are we doing? I don’t care that it’s Bethune, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do things, and that is unequivocally the wrong way.
  • Bad snap on Miami’s 3rd PAT led to it being missed. Can’t have that.
  • No call for targeting on a Colbie Young fumble inside the 5. Clear helmet to helmet contact, but in the end, no foul. Truly atrocious.
  • Second week in row with 13 on defense on a goal-line situation. This needs to be clarified.
  • OH! I almost forgot one of the biggest things from today: Bethune Cookman didn’t bring their band! That’s LITERALLY the only thing that they have that’s worth watching. And they didn’t even travel for this game. Fucking terrible. We were all robbed. That sucked.

Team Grades

Offense: B

Efficient but not as explosive as I’d like. The run game was fine...but against the likes of Bethune Cookman, it needs to be better than fine. Those 15 yard runs should be 25. Those 25 yard runs should be 40. Thank kind of thing. A couple too many drops. And a couple penalties. And a turnover. I’ll take another week with 48, but honestly, I’m greedy and wanted more.

Defense: B+

Letting Bethune score takes this down from “A” range, IMO. Lance Guidry’s defense was aggressive and physical. Another forced fumble with a textbook hit was great to see. 10 TFLs and 4 sacks were better to see. And, this was all done without several starters on defense (Mesidor, Kelly, Deen, Kinchens). Would have loved to see the defense get off the field more on 3rd down than they did today (and, again, especially against this competition). But still, a solid effort and a solid grade.

Special Teams: B

Missed PAT bc of a bad snap. Fielded another punt inside the 5. Ray Ray Joseph and Brashard Smith make some waves on kick return (told you those are the guys who should be back there), but no touchdowns this week. 1 punt for 47 yards was great to see.

Coaching: A-

This wasn’t “I excelled at everything”, but you can get a 91% and still earn an A-. Overall, I think the plan was clear: run basic stuff and do it well. There were a couple wrinkles that had previously been unveiled that were brought back again this week. And nothing Bethune did was shocking (which we’d heard from previous regimes in similar situations). This was a workmanlike performance, and a step forward.

That’s what I’ve got. Hop in the comments and let me know your thoughts. And yeah, this is a truncated version of G/B/U, but there’s no need to dig too deeply in a game like this.

Go Canes