Robert Marve was effective enough for the Hurricanes to win the ball game. He didn’t turn it over and he put the ball in the hands of his playmakers. However, when you’re in the red zone three straight times in the third quarter and only come way with nine points, you have a problem. Marve needs to put the ball in the endzone and not settle for a field goal. Miami cannot rely on field goals to win games.
Running Backs: B-
Even though Marve was the leading rusher for most of the game, Graig Cooper and Javarris James handled business on the field. They ran hard and whenever they needed that key run, they got it. Virginia Tech is one of the best run defenses in the nation. You can’t forget how great these two are at pass protection for the Miami quarterbacks.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends: B
Yes, there were a couple of drops, but, when the Hurricanes fumbled, the wide receivers were there to recover and keep the chains moving. Aldarius Johnson is one of those players that needs to see about 10 throws to him per game. He is that good, and he makes his teammates better. The tight ends have disappeared in the offense due to a good receiving core.
Offensive Line: B
Even though they surrendered four sacks, the big boys up front managed to keep the blitzing linebackers at a standstill. Off the ball, the O-line was able to push Virginia Tech’s front four numerous times. The backers saved the Hokies from huge gains.
Defensive Line: A+
By far the most impressive group against Virginia Tech. Miami racked up six sacks, three by freshman Marcus Robinson. If Sean Glennon was the quarterback the entire game, Miami would have had more than six. Tyrod Taylor was able to slide out of a couple of sacks. Big props to the defensive line, including the freshmen and sophomores.
The linebackers closed gaps continuously against the Hokies. The running game that tore apart Maryland last week was nonexistent against Miami. This unit always seemed to be in the right spot and the only tackles they missed were against Taylor. But King Cobra Sean Spence didn’t miss those tackles.
When they played man-to-man, Virginia Tech couldn’t find any openings. That’s what the Hurricanes should do more often, but there were negatives as well. Bruce Johnson and Chavez Grant were burnt twice on deep routes, but – fortunately for Miami – one of those passes was dropped.
Special Teams: A+
For Matt Bosher to hit three straight field goals in the third quarter was huge for the Canes. Bosher knows if he messes up, Randy Shannon will definitely give him that lethal stare. Thanks to the fear of that stare, Bosher has become a Lou Groza candidate. The return game is in a slump, but never count out Travis Benjamin or Thearon Collier.
Randy Shannon is finding the formula to winning games and enabling his team play a complete game. Defensive Coordinator Bill Young has earned ever penny so far this season. The adjustments he makes at halftime are spectacular. The past three games, opponents have only scored seven points after halftime. Offensive Coordinator Patrick Nix called a great game and used plays that he thought would exploit the Hokies, but he cannot settle for three field goals in the red zone. He has to punch the ball in.