Robert Marve was solid and didn’t turn the ball over. Wake Forest helped him out a little bit though. Marve was really effective in the running game. His key 43-yard run was the second longest in 25 years for a Miami quarterback. Jacory Harris got his series again but nothing enormous came from it. The Hurricanes could have put on more than 16 points, though.
Running Backs: C-
It’s tough to run on a veteran team like Wake Forest. These linebackers were able to close any gap the Hurricanes opened up. Graig Cooper and Javarris James combined for 42 yards on 18 carries and Marve had 56 yards. It was an average day for the Hurricanes.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends: B
On the first series, two key players dropped passes from Marve, but after that this group held its own. Travis Benjamin showed his skill by coming back to make a play on the ball after an under-thrown pass from Marve. The Canes have to take some deep shots with Benjamin, Aldarius Johnson and Thearon Collier. Collier made a huge 25-yard catch to seal the game. These young men won’t let you down.
Offensive Line: A
The big guys up front opened up holes for the running backs, but Wake Forest did a great job closing the gaps – that’s veteran play for you. The Canes O-line protected Marve and Harris pretty well and gave them time to look down the field.
Defensive Line: A-
The Hurricanes had a rough first quarter – Wake Forest quickly notched 118 yards rushing. The Demon Deacons played hard-nosed football to start the game, calling 22 straight running plays. But the Canes adjusted and shut down the run. The only thing Wake Forest’s linemen could do was push forward for run blocking, but they couldn’t move backwards for pass blocking. The Hurricanes were all over Riley Skinner, sacking him twice and putting him on his back every time he threw it. Adewale Ojomo led the way with 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble. Marcus Forston was a force in the middle as well.
Just like the D-line, Miami struggled with the run game in the first quarter. But the group responded and made adjustments. Sean Spence, Glenn Cook, Darryl Sharpton, Romeo Davis and Spencer Adkins all closed holes. The Canes only allowed 68 yards in the second half.
This group completely smothered Wake Forest’s passing game. Poor tackles allowed D.J. Boldin to get a 45-yard reception, but that was it. The ACC’s top passer, Skinner, only completed three of eight pass attempts for 57 yards. The wide receivers and tight ends were not getting any separation from the Canes. This marks the lowest number of completions and attempts against the Hurricanes since the Canes lost to Virginia Tech in 2003.
Special Teams: A-
Matt Bosher was the key for the Hurricanes, hitting a career-long 52-yard field goal and going 3-for-3 on the day. On punts, the front line must protect better for Bosher. Opponents still must respect Benjamin on punt and kickoff returns.
Wake Forest surprised Randy Shannon and the coaching staff in the first half, but halftime adjustments for the Canes were spectacular. A different team came out in the second half. They were not allowing anything from Wake Forest. The Canes have to carry this over for all four quarters.