Jacory Harris didn’t throw an interception for the first time in a game since the season opener against lowly FAMU. That was a positive but Harris and the UM offense continues to be stagnant. The goal of this game should have been to have such a big lead at the half that Spencer Whipple would play the entire second half. Instead Whipple held a clipboard the entire time and Harris continued to force balls into double coverage. Harris completed just 50 percent of his passes and threw for 224 yards. He did nothing spectacular and the UM offense has no identity.
Running Backs: B+
Mike James was efficient running the ball eight times totaling 84 yards. Most of them though did come in mop up duty when the game was out of hand. Damien Berry fumbled for the second time in as many games which was costly. But Berry did rack up his third straight 100 yard rushing game as he finished with 111 yards. Berry runs hard and is fearless.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends: C
Leonard Hankerson had an impressive diving leap to scamper in the end zone. But there was poor down field blocking for the unit and more drops. Tight end Chase Ford looks overmatched at the division one level. He was benched in favor of true freshman Asante Cleveland who Shannon praised after the game. There were no big plays made as UM was just 3-for-16 on third and fourth down combined.
Offensive Line: B-
The unit kept Harris upright the entire game since they didn’t allow a sack but there were still dumb penalties. Pass blocking continues to be an issue but run blocking was solid. Miami should have won the battle of the trenches convincingly against Duke but the matchup was actually competitive.
Defensive Line: B+
Micanor Regis had a great pick six when he dropped back into coverage on Duke’s first possession of the second half. Regis also had a sack. Allen Bailey had some nice reads and played assignment football. My only critique of this unit was too many offside penalties. Players were trying to jump the snap count too early.
Outstanding job all the way around. Miami forced seven turnovers. Sean Spence led the way with 12 tackles and Kelvin Cain did a fantastic job in place of the sick Colin McCarthy. He finished with nine tackles, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and a sack. See, true freshman CAN have an impact even though they are young. Vaughn Telemaque had a pair of interceptions. DeMarcus Van Dyke had an acrobatic grab to chime in as well.
Special Teams: D
Graig Cooper fumbled the opening kickoff to give Duke and easy field goal from the get go. Matt Bosher barely made an extra point. Travis Benjamin didn’t provide a spark at all. Miami’s fake punt attempt with Ray-Ray Armstrong went array. Coach Joe Pannuzio has a lot of work to do. Miami wasn’t ready for the fake onside kick attempt either.
A win is a win but seriously, the game should never have been that close. Name a school that forces seven turnovers against Duke and the outcome is still undecided in the final four minutes…the University of Miami. Duke is an atrocious football team who has not won a bowl game since 1960. UM came out flat and played to the level of its competition. The offense looks lifeless and has no identity. Randy Shannon remains stoic. An elite Miami team has the backups playing in the second half because the contest is a route. Not this mediocre squad.
Justin Antweil may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.