SUN LIFE STADIUM -- Just when they were starting to get some guys back, the Canes lost a few to injury on Saturday.
Starting strongside linebacker Ramon Buchanan, fifth on the team in tackles coming in, was injured in the first quarter and watched from the sideline with crutches nearby and an ice pack on his right knee. UM coach Al Golden said he was worried about Buchanan and would know more about his injury after an MRI is performed -- maybe as late as Sunday.
"I'm sad for him," said linebacker Sean Spence, who led UM with eight tackles, a sack and two tackles for loss. "I don't know what the injury is. I don't know if it's bad or good. But I told him I'm going to pray for him. Hopefully everything is okay. [He means] a lot. He's a senior. He's been four years. He brings a lot of energy to the defense. It's sad to see him go down like that."
Senior Jordan Futch and true freshman Denzel Perryman filled in for Buchanan, who has started 16 games in his career. Perryman finished with a career-high seven tackles.
"Here we have a next man in mentality," Spence said. "Denzel has been coming off the bench, making a lot of plays, bringing energy to the defense and the team."
Others who left Saturday with injuries: cornerbacks Brandon McGee and Lee Chambers and freshman receiver Phillip Dorsett. McGee, making his fourth straight start, left in the second half and tried loosening himself up on the sideline, but never returned. Chambers, injured in the second half, had x-rays performed on him after the game. Dorsett, who caught two passes for 16 yards, was in street clothes on the UM sideline in the second half.
On the positive side for UM: sophomore Seantrel Henderson, who had back surgery August 8th, saw his first action of the season on a pair of first half extra points before finally getting in at right tackle in the second half. Malcolm Bunche, who sat out against Kansas State for an undisclosed reason, came in for a series in the first half at left tackle and played some in the second half. Defensive end Shayon Green saw action for the first time this season.
Safety Ray-Ray Armstrong, suspended for the first four games of the season by the NCAA, will be back next Saturday at Virginia Tech.
"I know he's ready to play," Spence said. "He's been itching pretty bad. He's been waiting for this opportunity. Sitting and watching these games, I know it's been killing him. I've been talking to him and I know he's happy it's over."
"Touchdown" Tommy Streeter is beginning to live up to his old nickname -- the one he earned when he and Jacory Harris were stars at Miami Northwestern High.
Streeter only had two catches Saturday, but both went for touchdowns -- a 56-yarder and a 27-yarder. UM's second-leading receiver coming in, Streeter had six catches for 156 yards and 1 touchdown prior to this season. He now has 12 catches for 213 yards and a team-leading three touchdown catches. All three TD catches have come in the last six quarters.
"He's finally coming out of his shell and showing what type of player he is," Harris said of Streeter, who celebrated his second TD catch Saturday by chest bumping offensive tackle Joel Figueroa and nearly falling to the ground after it.
Said Streeter: "Sometimes when I think back to a play being called, I think back to my high school days and I go into that mentality. I'm having fun again."
As for the chest bump with Fig, Streeter said: "I was talking to him about that on the sideline. I said 'Bro, you're coming at me with a full head of steam.' I kind of gathered myself and then I fell. It was a funny moment."
GOLDEN SAID CANES DIDN'T COME OUT FLAT
Despite trailing after the first quarter 7-0 to a Football Championship Subdivision team, UM coach Al Golden didn't think his team came out flat.
"They came out on fire with nine days to prepare. We knew they would have new wrinkles, be more rested and they were," Golden said. "What I didn't expect was three penalties in the first drive to give them the points. That can't happen -- especially on defense."
After giving up 219 yards rushing to Bethune-Cookman, Golden said the Canes still have a long way to go when it comes to tackling.
"We're getting a lot of open field tackles right now," Golden said. "Too many times were isolated or lose leverage. That's apparent whether its the first team or the second or third team that was in there at the end of the game. That's our football intelligence. That's understanding where you help is and your leverage. Again, we're going to face it like we face anything right now -- head on. We're not going to sideswipe it."
Golden said Harris continues to play well at quarterback. Harris finished 12 of 17 for 175 yards and two touchdowns. That, following a strong second half against Kansas State.
"I'm pleased with what he's doing. A couple of times there he's trying to make something happen where he doesn't need to," Golden said. "He just needs to put the ball away and run. He'll learn from that. It's his third game now in a new system. I think he's playing winning football right now and excited about the direction he's going."
Golden said the reason Mike James only had one carry Saturday was because he was still banged up from the K-State win. He also tried to limit Lamar Miller's touches. Miller carried 14 times for 102 yards and 2 TDs.
"He's just going to need another week until he's ready to go," Golden said of James. "Those two guys are fighting through it a little bit. I was real pleased with Lamar's effort. I think he did a real good job just being patient. Again, he didn't get as many touches. That was probably by design. We didn't want to get him in that 25-30 range."
> Backup quarterback Stephen Morris saw his first action since the Maryland loss and finished 3 for 3 for 34 yards.