In their second game of the 2022 season, the No. 15 University of Miami football team defeated the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles, 30-7, at Hard Rock Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The game featured several tense moments for Hurricanes fans as Miami started off slow. However, the ‘Canes found their footing in the second half, where they outscored Southern Miss 20-0.
“We are 1-0 for the week, that’s your goal, but we certainly want to play more polished, more precise football,” head coach Mario Cristobal said. “We need to practice better, and we’ve got to keep coaching better.”
Here are some takeaways from Miami’s victory over Southern Miss.
Miami needs to come out stronger.
If the Hurricanes want to survive against No. 6 Texas A&M in their next matchup, they need to give their all for the entire game.
Miami had a stagnant first half, only leading 10-7 at the break, and it showed no signs of life on offense until their last drive of the second quarter, when running back Henry Parrish muscled his way into the end zone.
The defense let Southern Miss freshman quarterback Zack Wilcke throw for 120 yards in the first half, including a 32-yard strike that put the Golden Eagles ahead in the second quarter. The game felt like a tale of two halves, and hopefully, the ‘Canes can play like they did in the final 30 minutes all next game.
The rushing tandem of Parrish and Franklin continues to flourish.
Third-year sophomore Henry Parrish Jr. and sophomore Thaddeus Franklin Jr. lifted the offense on Saturday, continuing where they left off from their impressive performances against Bethune-Cookman last weekend, where they combined for 186 rushing yards
“When the Canes run hard, we are hard to stop and it opens up everything for us,” Cristobal said.
Parrish was the featured back on Saturday, with 24 touches for 118 yards and the Hurricanes’ first touchdown of the day. He averaged 4.8 yards per carry.
“It felt very amazing,” Parrish said. “I’m playing in my backyard, so I just have to take it step by step and execute.”
Franklin had 42 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries, averaging 3.8 yards per carry.
Both running backs did a great job finding the correct holes in the offensive lines and fighting through contact for extra yards. With running back Jaylan Knighton taking limited touches from his soft tissue injury, the combo of Parrish and Franklin should continue to thrive.
Special Teams: Special players.
Redshirt senior Lou Hedley and sophomore kicker Andres Borregales were outstanding against the Golden Eagles.
Borregales made all three of his field goal attempts, including one from 48 yards. His precision when kicking the ball continues to be phenomenal, as he is now 20-for-24 in his collegiate career.
Hedley pinned Southern Miss inside their 20-yard line on two of his punts and created excellent field position for the Hurricanes all game. His longest punt of the day was 53 yards.
It is widely said that special teams either make or break a football game, and Saturday demonstrated that the Hurricanes have one of the best special teams’ cores in the nation.
The next game for the Hurricanes will take place next Saturday, Sept. 17, against Texas A&M.
“[We need to] firm up the things that we can be better at so we can operate at a high level in a very hostile environment against a really talented football team,” Cristobal said.
Kickoff is at 9:00 p.m. at Kyle Field in College Station, Texas.