This was a day to appreciate Duke Johnson’s greatness, Joseph Yearby’s immense potential, Brad Kaaya’s deft touch, Philip Dorsett’s blazing speed.
UM carved up a porous Cincinnati defense that entered ranked 126th in yards allowed per game (562), 121st against the pass and 123rd against the run.
The Hurricanes closed with 621 total yards, its sixth-most all-time and 68 short of the school record: 689 vs. UCLA in 1998 (Edgerrin James was remarkable in that one).
According to AP, Miami’s 55 points were its most against an FBS team since scoring 56 against Virginia Tech in 2002. UM averaged 9.6 yards per carry and had two 100-yard rushers in a game for the first time since Tyrone Moss and Jarrett Payton did it in 2002.
Johnson finished with a ridiculous 16.2 per carry average, a figure boosted by his 80-yard TD scamper on UM’s second possession. His 162 yards (on 10 carries) moved him into fourth place on UM’s all-time rushing list, behind only Ottis Anderson, James and James Jackson.
Johnson also moved into first place all time in all-purpose yards at UM, surpassing Santana Moss and Anderson. They are the only three players in school history to reach 4000 all-purpose yards.
Kaaya continued his splendid freshman season, closing 17 for 24 for 286 yards, three touchdowns passing and one rushing before being relieved by Jake Heaps and later, Ryan Williams.
Dorsett entered leading the nation in yards per catch (31.3), and that number rose to 34.4 on Saturday, with the speedy senior receiver snagging three catches for 143 yards, including TD receptions of 28 and 79 yards.
Yearby unleashed a 61-yard run (to Cincinnati’s five) to close with 113 yards on eight carries (14.1 per attempt). Throw in 85 yards on 11 carries from Gus Edwards, and UM finished with 335 yards rushing on 35 attempts.
Even if Johnson turns pro after this season, as many expect, the future of UM’s offense looks promising, with Kaaya, Yearby and a collection of very good receivers (only Dorsett graduates after this season, presuming Rashawn Scott redshirts).
### Al Golden's take on WQAM: "It got a little sloppy at the end. That's on me, though. The offense did a really good job... We were explosive, had a lot of guys touch the ball... Brad is using his feet well, going through his progressions, which is why so many guys are touching the ball... Guys made some catches. I'm very proud of Herb Waters.... The defense played really well in the first half.... We built a 21-point lead in the third quarter and didn't want to give them a quick one.... The [running backs] are trusting their tracks. Joe Yearby has really matured as the season has gone on. We came out of here healthy."
### UM’s receiving numbers: Dorsett 3 for 143; Clive Walford 4 for 40; Herb Waters 2 for 44; Stacy Coley 2 for 19; Braxton Berrios 1 for 18; Malcolm Lewis 1 for 6; and Duke Johnson 4 for 12.
### From the always amusing "something-has-got-to-give" department: Cincinnati entered worst in the country in third down defense, allowing conversions 55.2 percent of the time. UM entered worst in third-down conversions offensively, converting 23.8 percent of them.
The Hurricanes converted only 3 of 10 on third down on Saturday. But in the first half, Kaaya completed five of five passes for 79 yards and a touchdown on third down. (Not all of them went for first downs, obviously.)
### Expectations have been reduced to the point where simply gaining bowl eligibility becomes a factor.
By moving to 4-3, UM needs to win only two of its final five to qualify for a bowl (which, on its own, wouldn’t placate a single fan --- nor should it).
UM will be favored at home against North Carolina and Pittsburgh and also might be favored at Virginia, which looms as a dangerous game considering the Hurricanes’ difficulties in that matchup in recent years. UM will be an underdog at Virginia Tech (its next game, on Oct. 23) and home against FSU Nov. 15.
### Cincinnati closed with 422 yards but needed 89 plays to do it. But UM had three sacks, three interceptions (by Ladarius Gunter, Tyriq McCord and Raphael Kirby) and limited the Bearcats to 2.3 yards per rush. McCord's 46-yard interception return, off a carom, should end up on SportsCenter.
UM was at its best when Mark D’Onofrio played an attacking style. Conversely, Cincinnati’s first touchdown pass (an 11-yarder to Shaq Washington) happened when UM rushed only three and Gunner Kiel had enough time to cook salmon.
### Negatives? Way too many penalties (13 for 155), though some were questionable. FYI: UM’s record for penalties is 18. "You can't have that and think you're doing to win," Golden said… UM’s safeties continue to disappoint in pass coverage. Dallas Crawford and Jamal Carter had a communication breakdown on a 45-yard TD pass to Max Morrison.
Trayone Gray had a fumble returned for a touchdown…. Why was defensive end Trent Harris in coverage in the end zone on a ball that was caught out of bounds?
### Good to see several of UM's defensive additions get work, including Chad Thomas, three defensive tackles (yes, Michael Wyche among them), Trent Harris, Darrion Owens and Anthony Moten.
### Dorsett, asked afterward about the "fire-Al Golden" banner that flew overhead before the game: "I knew it wasn't going to be a distraction for us. We didn't really care. We just came out, tried our hardest. This team doesn't care what anybody says. We care about our team. We're going to come out and play our game.These losses have brought us together as a team, more than it has in the past. We're going to be
### Golden said afterward that even if he had not played senior Ryan Williams, he would not have been able to redshirt and return next season.
QUICK HEAT NOTE
Remember, today’s UM-Cleveland game at 5 p.m. in Brazil will be on ESPNews. And as it does occasionally with international events, ESPN says it will have its announcers (Mark Kestecher, Jon Barry) call the game from its Bristol, Conn. studios. Brian Windhorst will provide on-site reports.
### Twitter: @flasportsbuzz