One week ago, the Hurricanes found themselves down 14-0 in a hostile environment at Boston College. Miami was able to stage an impressive comeback to win, 41-32.
In a similar environment, in a similar 14-0 hole on Saturday afternoon, there would be no such recovery.
The offense fell silent and the defense fell victim to Wildcats quarterback Collin Klein, as Miami lost to Kansas State 52-13.
The loss marked just the sixth time in school history that the Canes surrendered more than 50 points against an opponent.
“There are a lot of plays. We had a bunch of opportunities to score in the red zone,” coach Al Golden said after the game. “We only had one takeaway. There were a bunch of turning points … One play was not the difference in this game. They out coached us and out played us.”
For the second week in a row, the Hurricanes gave up an opening drive touchdown, this time coming off a one-yard run by Klein. After starting its first drive at their own 18, Miami progressed to the opposing 41-yard line and looked able to move the ball effectively, but an Eduardo Clements fumble was recovered by the Wildcats.
The fumble led to another Klein touchdown run, and the Wildcats never looked back.
A week after running back Duke Johnson made his presence felt in a breakout performance against Boston College, the freshman struggled to find his rhythm, rushing six times for 19 yards. He also dropped a slant pass by quarterback Stephen Morris that could have potentially ended with a score in the second quarter.
“I should not have let that happen,” Johnson said of the drop. “I just got too excited.”
The Hurricanes were dominated by the Wildcats in the trenches on both sides of the ball. On defense, Miami allowed 288 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns while allowing Kansas State to stay on the field for more than 37 minutes.
On offense, the running game was never established and the line allowed five sacks on Morris.
“We knew coming into the game that K-State was a tough team and we knew that they were going to be a good pass-rush team,” sophomore lineman Shane McDermott said. “At the end of the day we just left too many plays on the field.”
A day after giving up 498 total yards of offense to the Wildcats, the Hurricanes defense was hit with some more bad news. Golden confirmed on Sunday that redshirt senior linebacker Ramon Buchanan would undergo season-ending knee surgery after injuring it on Saturday.
Although the exact time the injury took place is unknown, it’s a major blow for Buchanan, who also missed the final eight games of the 2011 season with a similar injury.
Senior safety Vaughn Telemaque was also ruled out for Saturday’s game against Bethune-Cookman.
Receiver Allen Hurns is still being evaluated after suffering a head injury, but Golden said offensive lineman Ereck Flowers, who also exited the game with an apparent ankle injury, should be ready to play.
Regardless of the result, Golden is adamant that his team will move on from the loss and focus on Bethune-Cookman.
“We just have to move forward. We have to execute, keep our poise, and create some value from that loss,” he said. “I know it’s hard to do but we have to learn. We got beat by a better team that played better. They executed better than we did, their playmakers beat ours, they coached better. They beat us in all three phases.”