In my four years at the University of Miami, there have been many football games that will remain etched in my memory for years to come. After each one, I always tell myself that nothing could top that game, but somehow, the Hurricanes always find a way.
Saturday’s 36-30 triple-overtime win over Clemson definitely falls under that category. During the first half, we all had that same feeling of “here we go again” when the Hurricanes couldn’t get the ball in the end zone. Miami then came out in the second-half and dominated the No. 20 team in the nation.
Once up 20-10, Miami was on cruise control.We fans could finally take a seat on our comfy sofas and stop pacing around our living rooms. This is the Miami defense we were talking about here. All they had to do was stop Charlie Whitehurst (through the first three quarters he couldn’t find the ocean downfield if he was standing on the beach).
All of a sudden, the defense that had played so well vanished into the Death Valley air. Maybe it was indeed the Clemson mystique, where only one team had won in the last 28 years in its first visit. Either way, suddenly our positions on that sofa didn’t feel so comfy.
Credit must be given to many guys on this Miami team. Even though it blew a 10-point lead with seven minutes to play, the Hurricanes were resilient enough to come back and win.
Tyrone Moss demonstrated why he is the next great running back to come out of Coral Gables. Moss powered his way into the end zone three times, including twice in overtime. Not bad for a guy with a badly bruised shin, who was held out of practice much of the week.
Kyle Wright grew up even more on Saturday evening. Some of the passes he completed in the overtimes showed why he’s going to be one of the elite quarterbacks in the nation. One pass that I recall off the top of my head was on third-and-11, when Miami was out of field-goal range, thanks to one of its 14 penalties on the evening. Wright stayed in the pocket and fired a laser between two Clemson defensive backs, right into the hands of Ryan Moore for a first down.
Speaking of Moore, he is definitely back. Moore stepped up on Saturday and distinguished himself as the receiver many of us thought he would be a year ago. Staying on the offensive side, how about the play of Quadtrine Hill? If I had one game ball to give to the offense, it might go to him. Not only for what showed up on the stat sheet, his touchdown catch, but for his unbelievable blocking on running plays that allowed Moss to gain 139 yards. It seemed like on every replay, it was Hill busting a hole open for Moss to run through.
It was a heck of a win, and it keeps Miami’s championship hopes alive. There were moments when it looked as if the old Miami is back. We will find out more in the weeks to come. Douglas Kroll can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.