Coach Al Golden kicked off his second season at UM by playing a boatload of freshmen and pulling off a 41-32 come-from-behind win against Boston College.
And by the sound of it, he didn't much care that the Eagles put up 541 yards of offense against his defense. He's happy he got out of Chestnut Hill against a team that beat the snot out of his last year with a victory. And you know what, Miami fans should probably be satisfied with that for right now, too.
Here is what Golden told WQAM shortly after the win.
"We knew it was going to be hard fought," Golden said. "We had a lot of guys playing for the first time -- not just the freshmen. [Phillip] Dorsett, [Rashawn] Scott, Shane McDermott. I can go on down the line, guys playing, shouldering the burden for the first time. [Tight end] Dyron Dye. [Defensive end] Kelvin Cain. [Linebackers] Eddie Johnson [and] Thurston Armbrister. Think about that in addition to the freshmen. Herculean effort to come in here and do that on the road."
The Hurricanes went to an up tempo offense themselves to and produced 414 yards of offense against a team they could only muster 17 against last year. Golden was obviously pleased with how offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch was able to prepare a lot of new young players in a short amount of time. True freshmen Duke Johnson and Malcolm Lewis each scored for Miami, which saw new starting quarterback Stephen Morris shine as well (28-45, 207 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT).
"We're getting there," Golden said. "There's a lot of things we got to clean up from this one. We know that. Just coming out of the media. They focus on the no sacks or the passing yards we're giving up and all that. Just to come him with a win with the way the odds were stacked against us -- it's just huge. So many guys were baptized today and came through for us.
"Stephen Morris. He runs the show. First thing I came in and gave a lot of credit to the coaches for doing all the things they did in 29 practices with all these guys who have not played. And we basically played an opponent that had everybody coming back, that held us to 14 [points] a year ago. We lost everybody and put 41 up. That's big. Again, we thought we would have an advantage in conditioning against BC because it was 75 [degrees] and not 98 like we've been seeing [in South Florida], 50 percent humidity and not 80 percent humidity. So we just kept with the tempo and I'm glad that we did. I'm glad we had the ability to do that."
Golden said he liked the fact the team didn't fold down 14-0.
"We're in better condition. It's going to be tested now Saturday against this Kansas State team in the tempo and the heat and that turf. But we played a lot of guys today and we'll regroup and fix some of the things we didn't do so well," he said. "We opened with a really good opponent on the road in a meaningful game and we're down 14 and the guys didn't flinch.
"It's one thing to be down 14-0. It's another thing to be down 14-0 when you have an offsides, drop a pass, you have a blown coverage. It looks like the wheels were coming off. They just settled in there. I give a lot of credit to the leadership on the team to hang in there. Was it perfect? No. But man we know where we are right now. It's not like we played somebody and could have won 50-0 and played everybody. We played a lot of guys anyway against a big, strong physical team. This is a big win to go on the road and win with the youngsters we did it with."
Golden said there were a lot of true freshmen who shined for the Canes Saturday -- not just Johnson.
"As well as Duke played, I can go on down the line. How many times did you call [right tackle] Ereck Flowers getting beat today? Didn't happen. He was steady," Golden said. "Duke is the same way. He finishes every rep. He's ready for that opportunity today because he's in such great condition, he finishes every rep in practice. You ask him to block, he blocks. You ask him to line up somewhere else, he studies it and prepares. He catches the ball in the backfield and obviously has breakaway speed and great lateral movement.
"And then how about Malcolm Lewis I got news for the fans out there listening. Malcolm Lewis didn't really practice this week. He had a hamstring. We got a little bit on Wednesday and a little bit more on Thursday. He goes out and does that. Big time.
UM's defense took the ball away three times despite giving up 30 points. Golden said the interception return for a touchdown by Denzel Perryman was "exactly what he was coached to do on that play."
"He was in position and he executed," Golden said. "Again, there is going to be a lot that we'll fix and we have time to do that. I just want to enjoy. I want these guys to enjoy it. They worked hard. Since the day after this game a year ago, they went to work. Got stronger and better condition and went out and did that.
UM performed very well on special teams, returning several kickoffs back for good field position. They also did a good job in coverage. The only hiccup was a bad snap on a punt, that Dalton Botts was still able to get away.
"All the young guys on their coverage units right now. We don't really have any upperclassmen on those. So, the young guys did a great job there. I can't tell you what happened with the snap [that almost led to trouble on the punt]. That's never happened. That's something we work on every day and it never happens. It wasn't even remotely close to that. I thought it hit the middle guy, but it hit the left guy which I don't understand."