UPDATED, Sept. 12, 2015: Quotes from coach Al Golden and the players have been added.
For the second week in a row, inclement weather caused a delay in the first half of the Hurricanes game, and for the second straight week it didn’t matter as the Canes rolled over Florida Atlantic 44-20 in Boca Raton on Friday night.
While Miami blitzed Bethune-Cookman following the weather delay in the season opener, the Canes looked sluggish and disorganized coming back from the 67-minute long delay against FAU. The 15-minute break at halftime straightened out the Canes as they proceeded to outscore the Owls 24-3 in the second half in front of 30,321 fans, the largest crowd ever at FAU Stadium.
“We knew what we were getting into coming up here,” Head Coach Al Golden said. “We faced a lot of adversity early on. I thought we made some corrections at halftime. We tackled better, we stopped the run better in the second half and we converted better in the red zone.”
FAU shredded Miami’s defense in the first half, outgaining the Canes in total yards 292 to 231. Junior running back Jay Warren lit up the Canes for 132 yards and one touchdown on 11 carries. Two FAU fumbles, including one by Warren on a monster hit by junior defensive back Jamal Carter, kept Miami in the lead at the half.
Sophomore running back Joseph Yearby led Miami with the best performance of his career as a Hurricane. The five-foot-nine, 202-pound Miami native finished the game with 243 total yards – 146 on the ground – and two touchdowns.
“I worked hard all week. It didn’t really surprise me because I knew how hard I worked throughout the week,” Yearby said. “My mindset is that one man can’t tackle me. Last year everyone was saying I was too small, too little, so I’m trying to prove everyone wrong this year.”
FAU (0-2) tied the game at 20 with a field goal on the opening drive of the third quarter, but Miami went on to score 24 points unanswered thanks to three turnovers by the Owls.
Running back Mark Walton rushed for three touchdowns in his second collegiate game. The freshman out of Booker T. Washington High School finished the drives with scores from inside the five-yard line after Yearby got the Canes near the end zone.
After a quiet first half, sophomore quarterback Brad Kaaya ended the night with 287 yards and one touchdown on 21-of-32 passing. Redshirt freshman Malik Rosier came in for Kaaya in the middle of the fourth quarter with the win safely in the bag.
The Canes outgained the Owls 526 to 389 in total yards and scored 13 points off the FAU turnovers.
“There’re a lot of things we’re fixing right now,” Golden said. “FAU is exactly what I told our guys were going to be. The atmosphere, the energy, all of it. I think it was good our guys weathered the storm and stayed together and they climbed out of it.”
The Hurricanes take on Nebraska at 3:30 p.m. next Saturday at Sun Life Stadium.
Feature photo courtesy of Caneshooter.com
Correction, Sept. 12 2015: The article originally stated that “Junior defensive back Corn Elder intercepted Driskel,” which is incorrect. The correction is “Redshirt junior defensive back Rayshawn Jenkins intercepted Driskel.”