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The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: Georgia Tech Edition

What went right, what went wrong, and everything in between against the Yellow Jackets. Plus team grades.

Scott Cunningham

In what started out as a very entertaining game, the 'Canes made too many mistakes and didn't do a thing to take away GT's bread and butter triple option in a humbling loss.

Frankly, Miami's run defense regressed horribly after a nice showing last week.

Two statistics really stand out.

3rd down conversions:  GT 9 -14 Miami 1-5

& Time of Possession - GT 41:45  Miami 19:15

The Yellow Jackets played a great game, but the questions after this performance are going to be loud and prolific, and rightfully so.

Let's break it all down:

The Good:

  • This!

  • 'Canes fans who traveled to ATL for the game.  PLENTY of orange and green in the stands. The overall atmosphere at Bobby Dodd was excellent.

As for the game itself....

  • Miami's offensive line minus Taylor Gadbois and Kc McDermott did not miss a beat. Among UM's very deep freshman class a name few mention, has suddenly become a key performer.

  • The touch on Brad Kaaya's opening series, 21 yard TD pass to Braxton Berrios was impressive. 
  • Not sure what category this play should fall into, considering it result in a Tech 1st down, but WOW Marcus Gayot!

  • Duke Johnson consistently makes the first man miss, or breaks his tackle.

The Bad:

  • In addition to providing very little resistance on GT's opening possession, Miami also committed two off sides infractions (one declined).
  • Also, there were several plays (all night) on defense where the pitch man was completely unaccounted for.  How does that happen given you know it's coming?
  • On UM's second drive of the game, drops by Duke Johnson and Clive Walford led to a three and out.
  • Kaaya's second quarter INT was no where near his man.  He was well protected and just missed, a rarity thus far for the calm and cool freshman QB.
  • 3rd and 7 bubble screen from the 12 yard line in the third quarter?? Not a good call. Needed 6 there.
  • The D as a whole.   Scheme, Performance, Adjustments..... all lacking.
  • Ball security.  Johnson had two fumbles that Miami was fortunate to have overturned by replay. D'Mauri Jones had one as well.

The Ugly:

  • Not a big fan of the green, orange, green uni combos the 'Canes wore.  And GT in all white made me feel like UM was squaring off with Penn State.

  • I know they are legal, but watching the Yellow Jackets throw cut block after cut block all game long, makes my knees sore.

Team Grades:


Early on, the offensive line looked dominant.  The GT front 7 is not exactly ferocious, nonetheless, Miami's big guys controlled the line of scrimmage and pass protected very well (with two exceptions, both obvious passing situations).  So you would think that 3rd down conversions would be something the 'Canes had success with.....And you would think they lit up the scoreboard......



When Denzel Perryman tackles you, you stay tackled.  UM's defense as a whole did not miss that many tackles, it was more an issue of finding the ball carrier than anything else.  Thurston Armbrister did have a huge 2nd quarter sack.

Strategically I am not sure what the aim was by playing mostly a base defense with 2 safeties deep  against a run heavy offense (gross understatement). So many of the things that appeared to work so well against Duke, were forgotten.  But I will get that again, shortly.

3rd and 15 to open the 4th quarter and you give up a 30 yard completion to Tony Zenon?  Crushing.


Special Teams:

Stacy Coley just missed taking one back to the house on a nice 1st quarter kick off return. He was a step away on a punt return as well, that would have been nullified by penalty in any case.  But the talented sophomore is getting very close to being the weapon we all expected on ST. The coverage units were so so, and giving up a 1st down on a fake punt is a disappointment.



I really like getting Chad Thomas in the game early.   2nd quarter 4th and 1 from your own 33, you better make that! Gutsy call.  I will say this too, Al Golden seems to be more fired up than ever and engaged in every aspect of the game.

However, defensively, I was shocked to see the safeties so far off the ball so often. Not nearly enough 8 man fronts. Too much Zach Laskey. Too much negligence on the pitch man. Whether it the tackling, players freelancing, or other, it is very apparent that this D was a combination of under prepped and/or needed to play something closer to an aggressive, all-out style to be successful tonight.

James Coley has had some nice moments this season, but his offense is allergic to 3rd downs.