Quarterbacks: B+. Both Jacory Harris and Robert Marve played well while in the game. Both threw stupid interceptions. The Duke defense was ripe for the picking, and Harris got hot right after Marve threw one up for grabs. If the roles were reversed, Marve would have had a big day and Harris would have been the one on the bench. Harris did what Miami players are supposed to do: he seized the opportunity he was given.
Running Back: C. Cooper showed his usual burst but did not get very many touches. Javarris James had a nice run but is slowly being worked back in. Shawnbrey McNeal got a late touchdown, but overall, the group did nothing to write home about.
Receivers: A. I have been harder on this group than just about anyone else, but on Saturday they brought it. Five different players caught touchdowns, and dropped balls were not an issue. It looked like Patrick Nix took the training wheels off, and the offense responded by going nuts. The competition at this spot is going to be unreal over the next couple of seasons.
Offensive Line: B. They did a pretty good job of keeping the quarterbacks upright, although there were lapses. This game was not the slugfest that I thought it would be, and the emphasis was on the pass. This puts more pressure on the big men, and they acquitted themselves very nicely.
Defensive Line: B-. Adewale Ojomo’s sack keeps this from being lower. Against an offensive line that was lacking for talent, this unit could not get pressure on Thaddeus Lewis and continued its Red Zone breakdowns. This unit will have to toughen up in the weeks to come if the Canes want to make noise in the ACC title hunt.
Linebackers: B+. The image that will stick out to me about this defensive effort was Daryl Sharpton jumping over the goal line pile and knocking Gerald Harris backwards. It was one hell of a hard nosed play, and that was the calling card for this unit. They were solid against the run and the pass, and in the second half, they stepped up big.
Secondary: A-. For a second straight week, the secondary took away the passing game (save for one big trick play that Duke hit and some mid-range stuff). Lewis to Eron Riley is one of the most underrated combinations in the country, and the Hurricanes kept them from making any game changing plays.
Special Teams: B. Travis Benjamin had a touchdown called back, which is unacceptable. Matt Bosher had a shank, but then followed it with a 77 yard punt. Overall, a solid effort but nothing spectacular.
Coaching: A. They adjusted at the half and opened up the playbook while rallying a young team on the road for a homecoming. This was a big win to get this team off the shnide.