Jacory Harris looked solid early but wasn’t helped by drops or play calling. He was plowed into the ground in the second quarter by UVa defensive tackle John-Kevin Dolce. Harris was on the ground for 10 minutes and was escorted off the field by team doctors. He did not return and there is no official diagnosis. Spencer Whipple finished the rest of the first half and looked like he was the backup at UMass which he was. He was just 2-for-6 throwing two interceptions. Stephen Morris salvaged the QB grade for this affair. Morris, burnt his redshirt and stepped him and played the entire second half. He had tremendous velocity on his ball. He did throw two interceptions. One was on a dropped pass by Leonard Hankerson and the other was a spectacular grab in the end zone by Chase Minnifield. Morris nearly led a miraculous fourth quarter comeback as the Canes scored 19 points in the fourth quarter. The good opened up some eyes to Hurricane nation even though he is a true freshman.
Running Back: D
UM quietly had 179 net rushing yards but not one player had more than 50 yards rushing. It was a balanced attack and any time Miami would obtain a long run, the play would be called back due to a penalty. Berry snapped his four game streak of at least totaling 100 yards. Cooper showed a strong burst but wasn’t used often.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends: D+
Richard Gordon was terrible catching the ball but I will give the veteran credit for blocking down field on the Travis Benjamin 60 yard touchdown. Receivers had some big drops early on and didn’t help out Jacory Harris’s numbers. Asante Cleveland should have been used more. Aldarius Johnson has disappeared.
Offensive Line: F
Didn’t open up any holes in the run game. There were numerous penalties that led to big plays being negated. Orlando Franklin has regressed big time. And there is now reason for Harris to get pummeled into the ground like that. Once Harris releases the ball he still needs to remain upright.
Defensive Line: F
There was no pass rush as Miami only had five tackles for a loss and zero sacks. Marcus Forston and Andrew Smith have disappeared after strong starts to the year. Allen Bailey was a non-factor. Poor job of tackling and staying on assignments. Just inconsistent week to week.
Where was the swagger that was evident and clear last week? Colin McCarthy had the only interception but otherwise looked horrible and slow in coverage. JoJo Nicholas had a pass interference penalty. The defense was soft as a whole and when it mattered most on UVa’s final drive, the Canes couldn’t get a stop and give the offense one more chance. Brandon McGee got burnt on the final 3rd and 7.
Special Teams: D
Missing the extra point was pitiful. Third time this year UM has failed on a measly extra point. Miami didn’t get anything positive out of punt or kickoff returns. That unit has been stagnant since the Ohio State game in week two. The only positive was the onside kick recovery. Travis Benjamin had a face mask penalty on a return.
Absolutely unexplainable. Miami lost to a team that’s best win was against Eastern Michigan. Don’t tell me that the starting quarterback was hurt and they made a resilient comeback to make the game close after being down 24-0. UM should never been in that situation in the first place. Eleven penalties is absurd and terrible adjustments and play calling. There was confusion defensively and UM refused to run the wildcat. With so many talented play makers the wildcat formation would have been effective. Mike London outcoached Shannon and had confidence in his team. Shannon was stoic on the sideline. And Miami should have kicked another onside kick after the 60 yard TD by Benjamin. UM defense always falls apart in crucial moments. This unit isn’t mentally tough.
Justin Antweil may be contacted at email@example.com.