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Postscripts from UM's season-opening win against FAU

Postscripts from UM’s 34-6 season-opening win against FAU:

### Joy-to-watch Duke Johnson needed less than three quarters to set a career high in rushing yardage (186, on 19 carries), topping his previous career mark (16 for 176 in last season’s finale against Duke). He finished with a 9.8 per carry average, including gallops of 42 and 53 yards, the latter going for a touchdown. It was the most yards on the ground by a Hurricane since Tyrone Moss ran for 195 yards in October 2005.

### Got to love James Coley’s aggressive play-calling, including a flea-flicker that produced a 38-yard gain on a short pass to Johnson, and a reverse to Herb Waters for a 63-yard touchdown.

UM played up tempo much of the night, one reason FAU won the time of possession, 33:08 to 26:51. UM finished second-worst in the country in time of possession last year, at 26 minutes per game.

But the possession number was irrelevant Friday; UM outgained FAU, 504-250. The Hurricanes ran for 303 yards (8.0 per carry) -- its most rushing yards since a November 2007 game against North Carolina State.

### Stephen Morris closed 15 for 27 for 160 yards, one touchdown and an interception that ended a streak of 156 consecutive passes without a pick. He had thrown 12 TDs since his last interception. Of course, Morris would have thrown for 3 TDs if Stacy Coley hadn’t dropped two.

Left tackle Ereck Flowers whiffed on a block on Morris’ interception, forcing Morris to throw prematurely.

### Morris’ best throw of the night was a dart to Clive Walford for a 16-yard touchdown. Asante Cleveland and Beau Sandland also got work with Walford in two-tight end sets, though neither of the two backups caught a pass. Sandland made a terrific block on a Duke Johnson run --- an encouraging sign for a tight end known largely for his pass catching skills. Walford finished with three catches for 34 yards.

### Stacy Coley opened as the third receiver (in a package with Allen Hurns and Phillip Dorsett) and caught a short pass for seven yards early in the game but dropped two potential touchdowns (one that was dislodged by an FAU defender in the end zone and another across the middle, deep in FAU territory, that likely would have been a score). He wasn’t thrown a pass again until he caught one from Ryan Williams in the fourth quarter for a 12-yard gain.

Waters ended up getting the bulk of the work as the third receiver and caught two passes for 49 yards, in addition to his long TD run. Rashawn Scott and Malcolm Lewis appeared to enter the night fifth and sixth on the depth chart.

Scott made a terrific lunging catch from Williams in the fourth quarter -– a 26-yard reception to FAU’s two-yard line – but injured his shoulder on the play and did not return… Hurns had 5 catches for 34 yards, Dorsett 2 for 14.

### Al Golden's take, afterward, on WQAM: "We learned a lot about our team tonight... Stacy will get over that. He's done such an amazing job in camp... We missed some opportunities, had some penalties... We upped Duke's load. He handled it well."

### Seantrel Henderson and Jon Feliciano split time at right tackle, and both had good moments and missteps. Henderson committed an illegal motion penalty and was beaten badly on a play when Morris’ pass was deflected, then caught by Morris for a 16-yard loss. Feliciano started, but Henderson played the next two series.

### UM still needs a short yardage back to emerge –- a notion reinforced when Johnson (betrayed on the play by poor blocking) couldn’t pick up a first down on a fourth and two early in the game. Fullback Maurice Hagens might be best suited for the job, but he’s also valuable as a lead blocker.

UM hopes Gus Edwards (six carries, 19 yards) could eventually seize that role, but he was too upright on a fourth-down goal-line run from the FAU two late in the game, and was stopped inches from a touchdown.

Eduardo Clements, back from a neck injury, finished with 23 yards on 6 carries. Dallas Crawford had a six-yard touchdown run after David Gilbert recovered a fumble; Crawford’s only other carry went for no gain.

### UM, which had a school record-low 13 sacks all of last season, closed with five --- by Thurston Armbrister, Anthony Chickillo, Olsen Pierre, Kacy Rodgers and a combined sack by Gilbert and Ufomba Kamalu. It’s difficult to make any sweeping conclusions about the defense because of the quality of the competition. We’ll know a lot more next Saturday, when the Gators visit.

But UM’s defensive line depth appears much stronger, so much so that Chickillo – UM’s best pass rusher last season --- didn’t even play on most third down passing situations. In those situations, UM used a package often featuring freshman Al Quadin Mohammad --- who generated quarterback pressure on several plays --- and sophomore Tyriq McCord and freshman tackle Kamalu. Gilbert also got work in that package.

Luther Robinson, as improved as any UM player over the past year, again gave UM good snaps behind starting tackles Pierre and Curtis Porter. And Virginia transfer Justin Renfro was inserted early in the game (on Miami’s second series) and also was stout against the run.

FAU averaged just 3.1 yards on 43 rushing attempts.

“We got some pressure,” defensive coordinator Mark D’Onofrio said on WQAM. “I thought the execution was good. We ended up playing 11 [linemen], 8 at linebacker and 11 in the secondary.”      

### Tracy Howard opened at cornerback opposite Ladarius Gunter, but Antonio Crawford played a lot as the No. 3 corner. Gunter made a couple of very good plays in coverage.

### D’Onofrio made good use of safety blitzes a couple of times, and Kacy Rodgers’ sack forced the third-quarter fumble that Gilbert recovered.

### Much improved Armbrister, who beat out Alex Figueroa for a starting linebacker job, was active and generally productive, but Figueroa also made three dynamic plays.

### Disappointment of the night, besides Coley’s drops: Denzel Perryman dropped an interception, which likely would have been returned for a touchdown, and committed two foolish penalties, including a late hit.

### A bunch of freshmen played late in the game, including Edwards, Corn Elder, Jermaine Grace and Artie Burns, who had two impressive pass breakups late, including one that prevented a potential touchdown in the final minute…. Matt Goudis kicked 35- and 45-yard field goals… Dallas Crawford showed his speed on a 21-yard punt return.

### Safety Deon Bush, returning from June hernia surgery, was in uniform but did not play, with Rodgers logging most of the work alongside Rayshawn Jenkins…. UM said that the announced crowd of  50,051 included 7752 UM students.

Regular buzz columns will resume in several days.


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THE U............Nice game guys.........Coley will b a beast at WR...keep the head up kid -sheet happens......Next week is UF

Said Nobody

Good win verses a good FAU team ...


Clements will be the short yardage back as soon as they feel ready to cut him loose. They are wisely taking it slow with him.

Too Funny

"a good FAU team"


Miami easily could have scored 52 pts with Edwards run (should have been reviewed) and Coley's 2 dropped TD's (1 resulting in FG). 52-6 looks better and keep in mind Ga and Bama beat FAU by 36 and 33 pts in 3rd/4th game last year, not the first. FAU is improving under Pelini in year 2, so it was a solid win. Next week the Gators will be the measuring stick and the Canes need to execute better to pull off upset. Go Canes!!!!


Way to go Canes....make sure you are ready for the gators, focus and NO MENTAL ERRORS. This IS the game of the year.

You can do it.

Great to have you back Barry.

Keepin it real always

Canes will surprise the Gators with their improved talent and overall speed.I expect Miami to improve upon their many mistakes and points left on the field last night.Canes will tighten up and play with tremendous INTENSITY next week.Can t wait for the battle.Gators will be shocked at how well Miami will play.GO CANES.


I know it's only the first game, but Coach Coley has a lot of work to do to get this offense executing like Jedd Fisch's offense. The passing game was totally out of synch. George Mc Donald, last year's receivers coach, is greatly missed. Carroll, the new receivers coach, is not in McDonald's class. Coley and Carroll have a lot to prove. UM lost 2 great coaches from last year's staff and they will be hard to emulate. I hate to say it, but the passing offense looked a lot like FSU's passing offense, which has been very inconsistent for several years. It's hard to understand why the timing was so bad last night on pass pays.

Putney Swope

Another Barry Jackson overview that is enlightening even after watching every play of the game...great work by the best in the business!


I tell u what I saw last night is this is a much improved football team defensively.. Forget the opponent I'm watching teams all day today who are struggling overall against "lesser" opponents including the gators.. I wanted to see pressure and I saw it. I wanted to see good secondary play and I saw it.. I wanted to see "The Duke" and the ol run the ball and I saw it. I even predicted the score of 55-10, well if u consider Coley's 2 drops(14pts) and the missed touchdown that Edwards scored(7pts) would have made the score 55 and if not for a good defensive stand and a missed touchdown that would have made the score 55-10.. I'm only concern with Morris's being so reluctant to take the underneath passes that the defenses give the canes. Morris played well and should have had 3 tds but don't try to out perform duke because it will be days that the running game will not click so well and if defenses know that Morris will not take what they give him than they will simply take away the deep balls and the tightend and ultimately slow down the offense. There is no way u can stop both and when Duke is running well the play action pass will be there.. Good first game and I cannot wait til next week.. You wanted us Gators U got us and it looks like U are getting a much improved defense.. Go canes!! The talk is over time to show them !!

Georgia Cane

Short yardage is a problem, dropped 2 touchdown passes is the other problem. Don't understand why a freshman was out there so soon. An experienced receiver would of caught that. Defense looks better, saw gang tackling, wow! Overall they will have to play better next week. Dorsett is scared and Morris could do better. Next week we'll know a lot about this team


Welcome back Barry, thank God. You are still the King of Miami Sports.

Lone Wolf

39 carries for 299 yards Edgerrin James UM vs #3 UCLA
Orange Bowl 1998


Correct about Edgerrin having most yards in a game. That was one of the best games ever and announced that the U was back.
I think the next two years we ran the table until the robbery at the Fiesta Bowl.

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