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The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: Arkansas State Edition

What went right, what went wrong, and everything in between Vs the Red Wolves. Plus team grades.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

It's been a rough day for the ACC thus far.  Down goes Virginia Tech, Down went Louisville.  GT almost lost to Georgia Southern.  Maryland lost to West Virgina..... oh wait they are the B1G's problem now.

But the 'Canes did their best to salvage the day for the conference, handling a pesky Arkansas State squad 41-20.

Simply put, Miami looked like a good team for the first time this season.  And there is still plenty of room for improvement.

Next up Nebraska.

Let's break it all down.

The Good:

  • The Green Home Unis looked really good.

  • Brad Kaaya to Phillip Dorsett for 67 and the TD on UM's opening possession. Perfect pass.  And PD looked all of the 4.2 40 speed we heard about this off-season as.

  • Speaking of Mr. Kaaya, (15-23 341 yards, 4 TDs 1 INTs)  he really grew up today.  The deep balls were pretty, as were a few nice seam routes to Clive Walford. But reading the CB blitz in the third quarter and quickly finding PD so he could scamper down the field, was a play he made from the shoulders up, more so than with his arm.

  • And Dorsett was also a beast all day, with a pair of 63 yard TDs and this...

  • Another milestone for the great Duke Johnson

  • Gus Edwards first carry of the day was a 26 yard touchdown where he ran through two tackles like they were nothing.

  • And hey......(third straight game I might add that they have done it)

  • Duke breaks four tackles before stepping out of bounds, and Al Golden sprints to his star RB to congratulate him. Even the most staunch AG critic had to like that?
  • Kaaya to Berrios.... get used to it.

The Bad:

  • Way too many penalties.... Especially the unnecessary roughness on Ufomba Kamalu in the second half after registering a sack.  WHY? This officiating crew didn't exactly make it easy on the 'Canes though.
  • Michael Badgley with the missed PAT in the first half.  Matt Goudis, get well soon!
  • Surrendering the ball on an onside kick to start the second half.  All you can do on that is shake your head on that one.
  • The 'Canes still had trouble at times in coverage, a disturbing trend.  Howard and Burns would both get called for 1st half DPIs.

  • On third and two,the ball should be in Duke's hands, not Ronald Regula.
  • Not sure what category to put this in??   - At least it finally happened.

The Ugly:

  • Sparse crowd Vs Arkansas State in the rain?  Ya don't say!

  • Brandon Cox of State, breaking Deon Bush's ankles in the 1st quarter.
  • Our favorite official in the ACC....... The officiating crew as a whole seemed indecisive all day.

Team Grades:


Kaaya is going to be a lot of fun to watch these next few years. The right side of the offensive line however, is still very much a work in progress.  Dorsett is taking over as Miami's best and biggest threat at the WR position.



Some missed tackles early on, but only allowing 4 yards on 4 plays after Regula's fumble was an impressive feat.  Ditto the Red Wolves opening possession of the second half, after  they recovered an onside kick and UM allowed nothing. Deon Bush and Jamal Carter had some nice sticks, and DP was well, DP.  Tyriq McCord is once again, a force. Another sack for Thurston Armbrister. The front 7 does not appear to be this unit's problem....anymore.

I'm not sure why/how the DB's have forgotten how to find the football.  But this about sums it up...


Special Teams:

Still shaky (see "The Bad"). Beautiful 54 yard punt by Justin Vogel though, in the second quarter, and the INT by Raphael Kirby on a fake punt was alert.



James Coley really opened it up.  Deep passes, reverses, double reverses, double passes, flea flickers.  It took a few weeks but the offense was anything but predictable.  One could argue that some of it was unnecessary, considering the success the base offense was having.

Overall the team looked very well prepared and played hard.  Call it a practice quiz in preparation for next week's big one Vs the Cornhuskers.  Al Golden and his much maligned staff passed with flying colors in a game many thought would be much more difficult.