The Miami Hurricanes had a very simple assignment on Saturday. Beat a very average Virginia Tech team. They came out and shut down a poor offense while dictating pace and cashing in on redzone chances, for the most part, against an average defense as they won 20-14. While they got the win, there were plenty of issues that will Canes fans concerned. Miami Hurricanes survive 20-14 vs. Virginia Tech.
The Hokies started on offense and opened with initial success. A 16-yard run by Malachi Thomas on the games opening play was not a reassuring sight for Hurricanes fans. The Hokies then followed that up with a 27-yard pass completion to Dae’Quan Wright. That play was a familiar site as safety Avantae Williams got burned while trying to cheat. However, this time, Tae was able to recover and strip the ball and recover it for the game’s first turnover.
Miami took over at their own 35 and quickly cashed in on the momentum swing. Tyler Van Dyke hit Breshard Smith for 30 yards before hitting Colbie Young on a 37-yard strike. That setup the Canes in the redzone, which has not been a good place for them to be this year. Instead of running it OC Josh Gattis put the ball in TVD’s hands and he connected with Frank Ladson on a 5-yard touchdown to make it 7-0.
The Hurricanes defense responded and got the offense the ball back quickly with a three and out. The offense responded with a 18 play drive that ended with a 28-yard Andy Borregales field goal for a 10-0 lead. The Canes did get a scary moment early in the second quarter when Will Mallory was on the receiving end of an illegal hit to the upper body/head by Nasir Peoples on a 20-yard catch. The call was confirmed and Peoples was ejected. Mallory would later be ruled out for the rest of the game. Wishing him well.
The second quarter saw much of the same and featured even more of everyone’s favorite new WR, Mr. Colbie Young. After his emergence late last game, the transfer picked right up where he left off. TVD connected with the big bodied #88 for a 17-yard touchdown strike mid-way through the second to make it 17-0. The Canes biggest hurdle to overcome through much of the game were their own penalties. For a team that seem few flags thus far, they saw 16 for 144 yards in Blacksburg. It cost them plenty of points with the drives they ended.
One of those penalties helped the Hokies on a drive early in the fourth that ended with Malachi Thomas scoring a 14-yard touchdown reception to cut the lead to 20-7. The Canes offense went limp in the second half which allowed the Hokies to get back in the game late. The defense allowed the Hokies to convert a 4th and 10 to make it 20-14 with 3 minutes left in the game.
While Miami got the win, many of the issues that had led to the 2-3 start were still evident. The running game is still not what this coaching staff said it would be. They are not able to impose their will and certainly weren’t again on Saturday. This team is completely dependent on TVD’s arm to move the ball effectively. At some point, a running game will be needed. The question is, if there isn’t one 6 games in, can you really expect one to show up for the final 6 games?