Steve Kim Cane’s Corner. After getting embarrassed last week by Florida State, the Hurricanes bounced back by defeating Georgia Tech, 35-14, at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta. Safety Kam Kinchens had three interceptions, including a 98 yard house call that punctuated his strong outing.
But the story of the game was true freshman, Jacurri Brown, who started in place of Tyler Van Dyke.
Brown staked his claim as Miami’s quarterback of the future. In fact, he might be the quarterback of the present.
No, that doesn’t mean he’s the best quarterback currently, but hear me out.
With two games left in the regular season (Clemson next week, and the Pitt), I’d actually like to see him be the starter the rest of the season. Yeah, a healthy Van Dyke certainly gives the Hurricanes the best chance to win, but as of now, his status is not clear.
But this is really about the big picture. At 5-5, Miami certainly has not had the season envisioned by the fan base in Mario Cristobal’s initial campaign as the head coach. Miami may not be bowl eligible by the end of the regular season. Really what this is about now is finding out who are the foundational pieces for the program.
It’s clear that linebacker, Wesley Bissainthe (who got his first start today), wide receiver, Colbie Young, tight end, Jaleel Skinner, defensive end, Nyjalik Kelly, and guard Anez Cooper, have shown that they will be key cogs moving forward.
Today, Brown was solid and steady (14/19. 136 yards) as the pass game was kept relatively safe and simple for him. There was an abundance of bubble screens called, but he hit on some key throws and had three touchdown tosses. He is still very raw, and this off-season will be all about cleaning up his throwing mechanics, and understanding of the passing game.
But already his legs and athletic ability open up running lanes for running backs. Unlike Van Dyke, defenses must key on the mesh point with Brown. This is an element that Miami has never really had at quarterback. Yes, they have had some mobile QB’s in the past like Ryan Collins, Kenny Kelly and Malik Rosier, but never one that could be a weapon in the run game to this degree.
Modern college football almost necessitates that you have a dual-threat athletic signal caller. Brown can do things you simply can not teach. The hope is that he’s coachable to a point that he can evolve the other parts of his skill set.
Make no doubt about it, with the right coordinator and system, Brown can be a difference making quarterback.
That process should begin now.
– It was good to see Jaylan Knighton have a strong game. There were reports of ‘Rooster’ hitting the transfer portal a couple of weeks ago, which turned out to be untrue. Knighton is one of the last remaining healthy backs on this current roster. Today he had 16 carries for 118 yards, and one touchdown.
With the threat of Brown, Knighton took advantage by running through spaces that haven’t been there for much of the season. I’d still like to see him get involved more consistently in the pass game.
– Speaking of Bissainthe, he got his first career start. He should be starting for the rest of his UM career, because it’s clear that he is our best linebacker, already. He brings a certain speed, quickness and physical presence that the other ‘backers simply don’t have. There was one particular drive in the third quarter when he was out of the game, where you saw missed tackles from that unit, and late reads. It’s noticeable when he’s not in the game.