Postscripts and reaction from UM’s scintillating 44-37 win over North Carolina State on Saturday afternoon at Sun Life Stadium:
### Not only did Stephen Morris set the UM record for yards passing (566, beating Gino Torretta's mark of 485), but he set the ACC record, too. Former Wake Forest QB Rusty LaRue held the old ACC mark with 545 yards through the air.
Morris finished 26 for 49 with five touchdowns and one interception, which came off a tipped ball.
UM closed with 651 yards of offense - its third-most in history behind 689 against UCLA in 1998 and 655 against Boston College in 1984.
Morris' improved accuracy on deep balls isn’t a coincidence. Davon Johnson said last week that Morris and his receivers have been practicing vertical routes for 20 minutes after practice, knowing it had to improve.
Besides his game-winning 62-yard TD pass to Phillip Dorsett with 19 seconds left, Morris threw TD passes of 14 yards (Allen Hurns), 24 (Dorsett), and 76 and 13 (to Rashawn Scott).
Dorsett finished with 191 yards on seven catches, Scott with 150 on six receptions.
The game-winning touchdown "was a broken play where Stephen used his feet," UM offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch said. "He launched a beautiful ball to Phillip. I'm so impressed how hard Phillip ran."
### Morris, on WQAM afterward: "Dorsett is working really hard in practice and that helps me so much. He's a big playmaker, so why not give him the ball?"
Morris, on the touchdown to win the game: "We were trying to attack the middle of the field. Hurns ran an over route, faked left and kept right. I saw Phillip running and didn't like how Hurns was running. I didn't want the game to go to overtime. I threw it up and he made a great play. After practice, we work hard on all our routes and it paid off today." Morris also credited Al Golden: "The offseason workouts completely developed our physical condition."
Said Fisch: "I'm so proud of Stephen. He's worked so hard. We try to get as many people the ball as we can."
### There's a lot of unjustified hype in spring practice - not just at UM, but everywhere - with performance not always translating to the fall. But the hype was warranted with Scott, who had his best game as a Cane.
### Al Golden, on WQAM: "We're not dominating in all phases. We're trying to be consistent in all three phases but with inconsistent effort. We're not a dominant team. This is a survive and advance team. People want us to slam the door and so do we. But we're not there yet. When [opponents] come back, we could pout. But we end up grinding out a win. I'm sure coach Parcells is laughing in Jupiter, but toughness is a skill. It's not just the coaches, but the strength staff getting these kids in condition."
### UM had six takeaways and "when the defense is opportunistic, we have to cash in," Golden said.
### What in the world has happened to kicker Jake Wieclaw? After missing from 22 yards last week, he missed field goals of 19, 41 and 43 yards. "That's uncharacteristic of Jake," Golden said. "I made a mistake keeping Dalton Botts as the holder, when he was out all week."
He pointed out only two starters on defense are seniors: Darius Smith and Brandon McGee. "That's absurd!" Golden said. (That doesn't include Vaughn Telemaque, who is now coming off the bench.)
### Duke Johnson, who entered averaging 212 all-purpose yards per game, was held to 82 on 16 touches. He had 24 yards on three catches, 39 yards on 12 rushing attempts (just 3.3 per carry) and 19 yards on one kickoff return.
### Mike James produced just 31 yards on 13 carries (2.4 average). UM averaged only 2.7 yards per rushing attempt (37 for 85).
"We're going to still be able to run the football well," Fisch said. "Today happened to be a bit of an anomaly with the way we threw it."
Said Morris: "I want to see Mike and Randy [Duke] get their yards and see the o-line demolish" the defense.
### As good as the receivers were, the tight ends continued to underwhelm, combining for just one catch for four yards (by Clive Walford). Neither Walford nor Asante Cleveland could handle high throws in the end zone, with Walford's resulting in an interception late in the first quarter.
### Ben Jones beat out Ereck Flowers and started at right tackle but left late in the first quarter with a leg injury.
### ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit tweeted about the small crowd: "Can someone tell stadium operations at Sun Life to please look into changing the seat color from bright orange to dull gray? It's getting embarrassing."
### The defense continued giving up video-game type numbers. North Carolina State closed with 664 yards - 440 through the air. And N.C. State averaged 4.9 yards per rush. That's the second-most yards UM has ever allowed (UCLA gained 670 against UM in 1998).
UM's defensive tackles (Darius Smith, Corey King, Olsen Pierre, Earl Moore, Luther Robinson) often were pushed around, especially on running plays.
"I think we know we're not dominant in there yet," Golden said. "Until two guys grow up and become dominant, we'll keep tag-teaming it." UM continues to give a lot of playing time to freshman Moore, and he shows potential at times.
The linebacker group is horribly depleted without Ramon Buchanon, Denzel Perryman and freshman Raphael Kirby. Jimmy Gaines played some but was limited.
Eddie Johnson, UM's best healthy linebacker, left briefly with a leg injury but returned. He made an impact with two forced fumbles and one of two Miami sacks (the other was by King). The two sacks were UM's only tackles for loss the entire day.
Linebacker Gionni Paul, making his first career start, had 11 tackles but was beaten in pass coverage and missed a couple of tackles, including one that resulted in a long run early. But Paul and Tyrone Cornelius played more than they typically would because of injuries to others. Walk-on Nantambu Fentress gave UM some good snaps at linebacker.
### The secondary also had some breakdowns, including Brandon McGee being beaten on a 62-yard catch that set up N.C. State's tying field goal. Telemaque and KC Rodgers were beaten on another deep ball. But credit Thomas Finnie for the late interception that set up UM's winning TD.
### UM's last 3-0 start in the ACC, before this one, was in 2004.
### So now Notre Dame awaits, next Saturday, in UM's highest profile game in a couple years (7:30 p.m., NBC).
"This is why you come to Miami to play games like this," Anthony Chickillo told WQAM. "A lot of guys on our team don't know about the rivalry, but by Monday, they will know. And they will know about it from me."