Duke Johnson opened Saturday night with a 95-yard kickoff return, so Hurricane fans knew what they were in for early on.
Miami defeated the Savannah State Tigers 77-7, breaking the university’s single-game points record.
Though the game marked coach Al Golden’s largest victory margin, he showed respectful sportsmanship in an agreement with Savannah State coach Earnest Wilson III.
The fourth quarter was shortened to 12 minutes, as the outcome was long since determined.
“We talked at halftime. He’s trying to teach his team how to fight, so I appreciate that and I understand that,” Golden said.
It was an opportunity for Miami to test its younger players, as the veteran Canes were afforded some rest.
“We’re going to learn a lot about a lot of individual performances, and we needed to. We needed to see what the second- and third-team guys could do,” Golden said.
Senior quarterback Stephen Morris left after just four snaps with an apparent leg injury. Fans and teammates alike were filled with anxiety, but Morris is expected to start next week.
“It’s so difficult because I always get the questions going into a game: ‘Are you going to sit so-and-so?’ The reality is these guys work so hard,” Golden explained. “Try and go tell Stephen he’s not playing after a bye week. It was an unfortunate circumstance, we’re blessed and grateful that he’s healthy and that he’s going to be okay.”
Sophomore running back Dallas Crawford got Miami’s first touchdown on a four-yard dash, and then added two more scores in the second quarter.
Freshman receiver Stacy Coley nabbed his first touchdown reception on a pass from Ryan Williams. The junior quarterback was 11-for-13 with 176 passing yards.
“It was a great performance. Ryan and I were playing on the sideline, telling each other we would be in at halftime. The next series Stephen got hurt and he went in and handled it like a first-string quarterback,” Crawford said. “He handled the offense and acted like a captain.”
Williams was pleased with his accuracy and control.
“Every day I’m taking mental reps,” he said. “I feel like I’m prepared regardless if I go in or not.”
Redshirt freshman Gray Crow also saw action late in the game and threw for a 13-yard touchdown to tight end Beau Sandland.
Allen Hurns and Gus Edwards also found the end zone for Miami.
In another solid defensive outing, the Canes defense allowed just one touchdown when Savannah State’s DeQuan Daniels broke free on a 75-yard run.
Miami travels to Tampa on Saturday to take on the South Florida Bulls at Raymond James Stadium. Kickoff is set for noon.