• Attention: Register today to view CanesInSight Ad-Free for 7 days.

After the Storm: FIU

After the Storm: FIU

Stefan Adams
The Hurricanes coasted by the FIU Panthers in their second home game of the season on Saturday, 31-17. Here were my impressions and takeaways from yesterday's game.


QB Carousel. After the game, Mark Richt said it was planned to get N’Kosi Perry into the game on the third series and to see what happened from there. After leading back-to-back touchdown drives on his first two series, Richt said he couldn’t take him out and Perry played the rest of the way that the game was in doubt. That was absolutely shocking to me and I’m sure to most others, not because Perry didn’t deserve to play, but because of the intense loyalty Richt has shown to Malik Rosier, plus with Rosier coming off his best game in awhile last week.


Perry made Richt look like a genius. The redshirt freshman hit on his first 10 passes and lit up the score board on FIU all game. His final numbers: 17-25 (68%) for 224 yards, 3 TD’s, and 1 INT, along with 32 yards on the ground. Keep in mind that this was all without UM’s top two receivers as well. Fun stat: Perry already leads the team in TD passes with 6. No, Perry was not asked to go downfield too much and carve up FIU’s secondary, but the thing is: Miami doesn’t need their QB to do that to be good. With the variety of weapons they have on offense and an above-average defense, UM needs the QB to consistently hit on the easy throws that are there and make a few plays with his legs. Perry executed that to a “T” and then some, and looked fully in command of the offense; it was nice to see a smoothly run offense for once. It was the most impressive game I’ve seen from a UM QB in quite some time. Richt played coy with the media after game, but it’s clear to everybody that it’s Perry’s time to lead this team.


Miami showed off it’s receiver depth. With Ahmmon Richards out, and Jeff Thomas leaving the game mid-way through the first quarter with dehydration, UM was down it’s top two passing game weapons. It didn’t seem to matter, because guys like Mike Harley, Lawrence Cager, and even Brevin Jordan stepped up and all made multiple big plays in this one. Harley stood out to me the most, as he made a few improbable catches going across the middle with defenders all over him. Harley had a career day with 7 catches for 76 yards and now actually leads the team in receptions with 13. Raise your hand if you saw that coming 1/3 of the way through the season.


Credit the coaches for finally playing the talent over the experience. It took them longer than it should have, and it’s a flaw they have as a staff, but they got it right in the end. In addition to Perry over Rosier, Venzell Boulware got the start over Jahair Jones, Brian Hightower started over Darrell Langham, and Amari Carter got the start over Robert Knowles and all the newcomers generally played well. One play that seemed minor but really stuck out to me was on an FIU play action rollout, Carter stayed home and made a textbook pass breakup on the deep ball pass attempt to a receiver streaking downfield. There’s no doubt in my mind that Knowles would have gotten sucked up by the play action and let the receiver get behind him for a big play/touchdown.


FIU couldn’t do anything. This game was the type where it almost became boring to watch the other team play offense, because Miami’s defense was playing so well. Miami held FIU to 10 plays and 0 yards in the first quarter, 12 total yards in the first half, and 48 total yards through three quarters. It doesn’t matter if you go to the bathroom or to get a snack, as long as you’re only gone for the time span of three plays and a punt. In between, you know there was a short pass snuffed out for no gain, a run that was swallowed up behind or at the line of scrimmage, and then an incomplete pass before the punt. FIU ended up with 187 total yards, almost all of which came against the third-stringers in the fourth quarter.


Let’s talk about that terrible finish. And it was that terrible. A blown coverage. A fumbled snap. A dropped onside kick. It wasn’t a good look giving up 17 points to end what had been an almost perfect game. However, it seemed as if Miami was more concerned with getting the backups and freshmen good reps and getting out of the game healthy and rested for a short week next week, rather than really blowing FIU out. There were third and fourth string guys seeing time early in the third quarter even. The coaches made it a point in the post-game to say how they played too many close games last season and weren’t able to develop their young depth for later in the year like they would have liked to, so they weren’t going to let an opportunity get away from them when they had the chance to play some young guys this week. You can debate whether or not that’s really the smart play, but the first stringers absolutely dominated FIU. That’s what happened and that’s the takeaway.


My favorite offensive line combo got a look. The offensive line played well again, paving the way for 248 yards rushing and giving up only 2 sacks, one of which was more on Perry for not getting rid of the ball sooner. Anyways, the real story from the offensive line was the amount of mixing and matching the staff was doing in this game. As early as mid-way through the first quarter, we were seeing changes almost every drive and some even within the same drive. Delone Scaife got a lot of burn at RT and Jahair Jones still saw plenty of time off the bench at guard, but the best part was seeing my preferred O-Line combo on one drive. St. Louis-Boulware-Gauthier-Donaldson-Scaife. Donaldson kicked inside to guard for the first time this season and I’m interested to see if we get more of that offensive line combo as the season rolls on.


Romeo Finley is exceeding expectations at the striker position. There were a few plays yesterday where FIU backs or receivers were running to the outside and looked like they may get the edge and burst upfield for a big play, but Romeo Finley was able to chase them down and prevent that from happening. Zach McCloud probably doesn’t make those plays and it’s clear that tick of extra speed on the field has benefitted this defense. Finley stayed disciplined and maintained his proper run-fit all game, something that was refreshing to see from a UM linebacker.


The punting game really bottomed out. Zach Feagles went from bad to worse against FIU, mixing in two short kicks with an outright shank out of bounds to the tune of a 29.7 yard average. That’s as ugly as it gets, folks. I’d say this game would be it for him, but it’s clear there’s just no other legitimate option on the roster. I don’t have much confidence in backup punter Jack Spicer if he can’t even get a real look through 4 games of awful kicks. Either way, Spicer needs to get a shot, or at least rotate between the two until someone hopefully gets hot. It can’t be worse than what we’ve already seen.
 

Comments (66)

Feagles is a liability. I got into my seat early for the 3rd quarter and he was still shanking the practice punts out of bounds for 15 and 20 yards from where he was kicking the ball. I was thinking this is terrible. Look i don't know who else we got, but just like the QB how much worse can they be than punting the ball 10 yards?
 
I love the comments on the oline I agree they looked better when they kicked Donald inside and scaife at RT

Punting is awful we need to look at transfers/grad transffwrs, jucos, hell I’d like to look on campus or even maybe the male or female UM soccer team
 
The team could honestly have open tryouts on campus for anyone who wants to try punting and get someone better than Smeagles. I'm not even exaggerating, punting isn't THAT hard.
 
What team had the qb do the roll out punt? We should honestly do that.
 
Lingard will get some before him
I know but that's not what I'm talking about..
I was surprised to see Cam'ron get 5 carries. Looked pretty good, but I was expecting Burns to get 3rd /4th string action.
Maybe the coaches wanted to see him get carries one last time before they redshirt him.
 
Feagles is a liability. I got into my seat early for the 3rd quarter and he was still shanking the practice punts out of bounds for 15 and 20 yards from where he was kicking the ball. I was thinking this is terrible. Look i don't know who else we got, but just like the QB how much worse can they be than punting the ball 10 yards?

We should just do what FAU does and keep the offense on the field for 4th down and anything under 10 yards. This forces the safeties to play somewhat close to the line of scrimmage and have nobody deep to receive the punt. Snap the ball to the qb in the shotgun formation and let him pooch punt it and hope we get a favorable bounce. No idea how well our QBs can punt, but I do know that our punter can't, so it's worth a shot imo
 
D
If he's shanking to the left why doesn't he just angle his body to the right to compensate? Hell, duffers on a golf course do that all the time.
 
I love the comments on the oline I agree they looked better when they kicked Donald inside and scaife at RT

Punting is awful we need to look at transfers/grad transffwrs, jucos, hell I’d like to look on campus or even maybe the male or female UM soccer team

Unfortunately, Miami doesn’t have a male soccer team so it would have to recruit from the intramural teams. Also, I believe the FIU punter graduates this year so....
 
The team could honestly have open tryouts on campus for anyone who wants to try punting and get someone better than Smeagles. I'm not even exaggerating, punting isn't THAT hard.
My exact notion's. Other team's have done it the past.
 
Need to go check out PFF, but I would wager Boulware has graded out among the top of our OL all year long. He's not been a bum.
 
Scaife and Neal as your tackles next year? Not bad.
 
I love the comments on the oline I agree they looked better when they kicked Donald inside and scaife at RT

Punting is awful we need to look at transfers/grad transffwrs, jucos, hell I’d like to look on campus or even maybe the male or female UM soccer team

I honestly can’t see how our backup girls GK would be worse.

Get her out there coach!
 
Let the back up punter punt one time just to find out.never know he might do good can't do no worse than beagles.
 
perry passes just look so catchable ... love scaife btw
 

Tickets

2022 Commits

WR
6'2"
185
Nashville, TN
CB
6'0"
160
Lexington, MS
QB
6'4"
205
Valdosta, GA
CB
6'1"
175
Fort Myers, FL
CB
6'2"
180
Alabaster, AL
S
6'1"
170
Orlando, FL
WR
6'1"
185
Mandeville, LA
MLB
6'1"
210
Manvel, TX
OT
6'7"
275
Sandersville, GA

Latest Predictions

by ajone228
High
by Canedog
Medium
by Canedog
Certain
by Umbra
Medium
by Canes2082
High
09/04 @
ALA
Loss 44 - 13
09/11 vs
APP
Win 25 - 23
09/18 vs
MSU
09/25 vs
CCSU
09/30 vs
UVA
10/16 @
UNC
10/23 vs
NCST
10/30 @
PITT
11/06 vs
GT
11/13 @
FSU
11/20 vs
VT
11/27 @
DUKE
Top