Hard Rock Stadium was rocking, and the Miami Hurricanes football team throttled Florida A&M University 70-3 in Mark Richt’s first game as head coach of the team. This boosted the team to being ranked No. 25 and in the polls for the first time since 2013. Although the outcome of the game was expected, there was a ton to take away from this victory.
First off, it was Brad Kaaya’s 21st birthday and he finished with an impressive four touchdown passes and no interceptions by throwing for 135 yards. He only played midway through the third quarter as well.
The defense, that was troubled a week before with the departures of linebackers Jermaine Grace and Al-Quadin Muhammad, was impressive by only allowing three points. Senior cornerback Corn Elder had an interception on FAMU’s third snap of the game, setting up the first Miami touchdown.
What stuck out the most from the game was Miami’s trio rushing attack of Mark Walton, Joseph Yearby and Gus Edwards.
They all reached the end zone, and it was the first time since 1987 that Miami had three 100-yard rushers in a game. Yearby had a long touchdown run of 64 yards down the sidelines, while Edwards burst up the middle on one play and went 74 yards to the house. Walton got the majority of carries with 15 as Yearby and Edwards were held to seven carries a piece.
Don’t expect to have three 100-yard rushers again this season as Walton and Yearby will see the bulk of the carries, but it was incredible to see the team rush for 373 yards, the most out of any team in week one of the college football season.
What can we expect from the Canes for the upcoming games?
It appears we will rely more on the running game based upon the growth and experience of Walton and Yearby. They are arguably one of the best running back duos in college football right now.
With the graduation of wide receivers Rashawn Scott, Herb Waters and an ACL injury to starter Lawrence Cager, everyone expects Stacy Coley to receive the majority of throws from Kaaya. However, the Canes have a trio of tight ends in David Njoku, Christopher Herndon IV and Standish Dobard who can all make an impact on the offense.
A variety of guys will get involved in the passing game this year, as nine players caught passes on Saturday and no player had more than two receptions. I do expect Coley to be the deep threat and lead the team in receptions and yards, but the touchdowns can come from anybody.
One guy that could have a breakout season is junior wideout Braxton Berrios, who saw limited playing time last year due to injuries. He had a punt return of 41 yards for a touchdown in the game.
I expect the team to be 4-0 going into the Florida State game, but I have no clue what is going to happen in that game. Whatever happens, I see the Canes going at least 9-3 and possibly 10-2 on the season. I do not believe they will beat Notre Dame on the road, and the team needs to be careful playing Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia on a Thursday night.
Mark Richt has a plan, and it may not be a national championship in his first year, but bowl wins are coming and Miami should experience much success for the rest of the season.