Last Tuesday, Jacory Harris was talking about how he and his teammates kept playing down to opponents. For the first time all year, the Canes showed us they could play a complete game. Yes, there were gaffs. Virginia took advantage of two blocked punts and an interception to score 17 points. But UM dominated in the second half and rolled to a 52-17 victory because it was the superior team and played like it.
A few more quick thoughts before I head down for postgame interviews...
> Thearon Collier's 60-yard punt return in the second quarter was without question the play of the year thus far. Collier channeled his inner Ted Ginn, running backwards and across the field before turning on the afterburners. He got three huge blocks on the return to spring him -- including ones from Ramon Buchanon and Chavez Grant that made the crowd at Land Shark Stadium "Oooh" and "Ahhh" during the replay on the Jumbotron.
> While there is plenty of good to talk about from this game, there is still work to be done. Virginia's two punt blocks were break downs on blocking schemes and will be a point of contention in the Canes film room this week. Brandon McGee also took a real bad angle on Rashawn Jackson's 34-yard touchdown run that put Virginia up 10-3 in the first quarter. I also thought Mark Whipple took a chance early on with the flea-flicker and Jacory Harris made a terrible read throwing the ball into triple coverage toward Aldarius Johnson. But that was about it. This way by far UM's best overall game.
> It was nice to see Graig Cooper return from his ankle injury and shine. He finished with a career-high 152 yards rushing including a 70-yard burst and three-yard TD run in the fourth quarter. Miami pounded the Cavs for 268 yards on the ground as a team. That's making up for the 21 carries at Wake Forest.
> Safety Jared Campbell had a few nice pass breakups. That's good to see considering it doesn't look like Ray Ray Armstrong isn't coming back anytime soon. He was on the sideline with a knee brace. Linebacker Sean Spence had one too. Eric Moncur had his left leg in a soft cast. Lucky for UM, it didn't look like anybody else suffered injuries Saturday. Although Joel Figueroa did point down to his ankle in the third quarter. He stayed in the game.