Football

Report Card: Miami vs. Texas A&M

Quarterback – A

Robert Marve was more than efficient. On the first play of the game, Marve completed a 29-yard pass. He moved the ball with ease against Texas A&M. He trusted his receivers to make the plays for him, and they did. Marve will learn from the one interception he threw in the red zone. Jacory Harris was effective, but he wished he had scored a touchdown in the red zone instead of settling for a field goal.

Running Backs – A

With Javarris James out with an injury, Graig Cooper came in and gashed the Texas A&M defense. On two of his first three carries, Cooper had touchdowns, and he finished with a career high in yards with 128. On backup Derron Thomas’ first carry, he rushed for 34 yards. Miami ran all over the Aggies, finishing with 159 yards and 5.2 yards per carry.

Wide Receivers – A

First and most importantly, the Hurricanes had no dropped passes against Texas A&M. Kayne Farquharson lead all receivers with 67 yards and recorded his first touchdown of the season. Freshman Thearon Collier really shredded the Aggies defense and hauled in his first collegiate touchdown. Short screen passes are perfect for Collier. Collier could have had a 66-yard touchdown, but it was called back due to a Miami penalty. Dedrick Epps showed why teams cannot sleep on the tight end position, as he rumbled for a 36-yarder in the second half. This Hurricane group knows how to get YAC (yards after catch).

Offensive Line – B

The big men up front came out strong, opening Moses-type holes for Cooper and guaranteeing plenty of protection for Marve. On screen passes, they got out to the open field and delivered their blocks. But this group started to tail off toward the end of the game. Head coach Randy Shannon will fix that.

Defensive Line – B

Just like two weeks ago against Florida, this group was getting after the quarterback. Jerrod Johnson looked comfortable at the beginning of the game, but it quickly wore off. Johnson was getting hit from multiple directions, and it resulted back-to-back turnovers for the Hurricanes at one point.

Linebackers – C

The Canes know they missed way too may tackles. Some of those runs shouldn’t have happened – especially the touchdown pass on the first play. The linebacker group left holes open, and when they closed the hole they missed the tackle. The safeties shouldn’t have to make those tackles. But give them credit: When they needed a stop, they got it.

Secondary – C

They gave up a lot of yards in the air – 275 to be exact. Granted, they did play off, but the Aggies shouldn’t have got that much yardage. Miami was too quick for them. It was good to see JoJo Nicolas and Anthony Reddick punish receivers.

Special Teams – B

The special teams unit is way better than last year. Matt Bosher was two-for-two on field goals and he averaged 43 yards a punt. Travis Benjamin’s 44-yard punt return set up the touchdown right before halftime. Colin McCarthy continues coming with the helmet every time on punt returns, delivering killer blows. The only thing that’s hurting the Canes is the kickoff unit. Bosher has to put the ball further back and not have so many short kicks.

Coaching – B+

There is no doubt that Shannon will have his team prepared when they play in a hostile environment. The best thing for the coaching staff was Patrick Nix’s play calling. He opened it up for Marve. Plenty of short, medium and deep calls. Nix’s call on the fake screen over the top pass to a wide-open Collier was brilliant. The only thing that’s saving teams from being ripped apart by Bill Young’s defense is the athletic quarterback. Tim Tebow two weeks ago and Johnson this past weekend made things happen when things broke down. As the season progresses, Young will adjust.

September 21, 2008

Reporters

Lelan LeDoux

Senior Sports Writer


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