Recap: Canes Beat Duke 52-45
In a game that featured unlimited big plays, Miami held on to take a 52-45 victory. Big plays were all over the field as each team set school records. Both Defense's looked like trash, but UM's talent on offense was too much for Duke to keep up with. It's the first time that Miami won the last game of their season since they were victorious over Nevada in the 2006 Blue Turf Bowl. That was Larry Coker's last game.
Some ****** Band said:Closing time. Every new beginning is some other beginning's end.
We only lose 2 starters from this team next year to graduation (Brandon McGee & Mike James). There's no telling what the sanctions will do to this team over the off season, but it will be better and have tons of experience on both sides of the ball. Last summer in my Season Preview, I said to expect a similar record to that of the 2008 team based on the amount of Freshman that were going to play. Well, both teams ended the regular season at 7-5. The following year UM went 9-3 in the regular season, and it's universally agreed that they underachieved. I'm not saying...I'm just saying.
Here's what I said were the keys to victory in the gameday post:
4 storylines for UM in this game:
1. Can Miami's secondary lockdown Vernon & Crowder?
2. Can the defense get after Sean Renfree?
3. Can Duke beat Duke?
4. Will Miami compete, or sleepwalk like they did against B.C. last year?
Jamison Crowder had his best day in his short career at Duke. He had 8 receptions for a career best 203 yards and 2 touchdowns. 1 of those touchdowns was a school record 99 yards. Conner Vernon padded is ACC record reception and yardage stats with 11 catches for 109 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Sean Renfree did his best Tom Brady impression, going 36/59 for 432 yards and 4 touchdowns. I suppose I shouldn't pretend to shocked by that considering that's been the M.O. for our defense for the majority of the year. It's just that you'd think that if their was an offensive line that we could generate a pass rush against, it would be Duke. Guess not.
What a human being. And he's only going to bigger, stronger, faster, and better. His 176 yards rushing on 16 carries broke Clinton Portis' freshman rushing record with 947 on the year. He also finished with 2,070 all-purpose yards, just 38 yards shy of Willis McGahee's record that was set in 2002. Whenever things looked bad, Duke made some huge play. Just a freshman.
Last year against Boston College, Miami came out with big plays on offense. Then, when B.C. got some stops and took the lead, Miami appeared to just roll over and not give a ****. This year Miami got out to big leads, and then Duke would respond. And whenever the Blue Devils got close, someone on offense would make big time play to extend the lead. We weren't going to freak out just because the other team wouldn't roll over for us. When the defense couldn't get off the field, someone on offense would take over. That's the difference between this year and last year.
Miami won the toss and deferred to the 2nd half. Duke and Miami traded punts with each other until Miami's 2nd possession. UM took over at their own 41 and Morris found James in the flat for a big gain down to Duke's 40. Miami goes into the Wildcat with Crawford and Morris split out wide. Morris comes in motion and takes the jet sweep handoff, then passes it back to Crawford, who then passes it downfield to Dorsett down to the 11 yard line. Fisch calls a play action QB waggle and Morris finds Walford for an easy touchdown. 7-0 UM.
This is when Manny Navarro had nuggets of wisdom:
Remember those days when #UM tight ends couldn't score. Clive Walford with a TD catch in 3 straight games now
With that 1st quarter completion by Dallas Crawford, #Canes have now had 5 different players complete a pass in 2012
The Devils went 3 & out again and on the first play, Morris hit Walford over the middle for a 35 yard gain. Duke takes the next 2 carries and on the 2nd one he makes a sick juke on the defender and scampers into the endzone for an 18 yard touchdown. 14-0 UM.
Up to this point, Duke's only 1st down was on a personal foul on Pierre during the opening possession. Then all of a suddenly Duke starts moving the ball. They stall once they reach the redzone, and McGee makes a big time tackle to force them to kick a field goal. 14-3 UM. Duke tried an onside kick, but Tyrone Cornelius pounced on it and UM was in Duke territory.
UM can't do anything with the great field position, and the 1st quarter ends with UM still up 14-3.
Duke gets to mid field and UM forces them to go for it on 4th down. Renfree finds Vernon to move the chains, then again for another 1st down at the UM 4 yard line. Cutcliffe sends in Connette under center and he drops the snap, picks it up, and runs virtually untouched into the endzone. 14-10 UM.
UM goes back to the Wildcat with Crawford. He picks up 2 first downs and gets the Canes to mid field. Morris comes back into the game and finds Walford on the far side and he tight ropes the sideline for a big gain down to the 9.
Duke runs it in 2 plays later for the touchdown. 21-10 UM.
The Blue Devils get to mid field, then on 3rd down McGee rag dolls some joke to force 4th down. Duke tries some trick play that fails, and UM is at the 47 after the turnover on downs.
Morris hits Waters on a 1st down catch but he fumbles out of bounds. It gets reviewed and they say it was an incomplete catch...OK. On the next play Morris throws it to Dorsett for a 1st down, then again down to the 10. Duke runs it down to the 1 and on 3rd down, Walford draws a P.I. flag. Mike James leaps over the top after that to make it 28-10 UM at the half.
Coming out of the half, some guy on TV was interviewing Duke's head coach. He said something along the lines of "We suck and need to play better". Whatever.
UM receives to start the half and after a holding penalty on Linder, Duke runs 35 yards up the middle to break Clinton Portis' freshman rushing record that was set in 1999. CP was all class afterward:
Congrats to @BrickByBrick_8 for breaking my record today.. You are a great talent & I wouldn't have rather lost it to another player.. THE U
Next, Morris hit Dorsett on a big 3rd down conversion to go deeper into Duke territory. Mike James runs tough up the middle on back to back plays to get inside the 10. The drive sputters here, and Wieclaw boots the field goal up and in to make the score 31-10.
On the ensuing possession, the Blue Devils fumble, but Chickillo can't squeeze the loose ball. A substitution infraction on the next play moves Duke into Miami territory. On 3rd & 6, Crowder catches a pass and takes it down to the 11 yard line.
2 plays later Renfree finds Vernon in the endzone to make the score 31-17 UM.
The Canes go 3 & out, and you could tell from the vibe at the stadium that momentum was shifting. Duke takes over at their own 40, and Duncan runs 23 yards on the first play to get them across mid field. Renfree hits Crowder open in the endzone on the next play. The deep middle was completely vacant. 31-24 UM. It was at this point I first started thinking about this game becoming one of those, "where were you when..." kind of games. It was a sick feeling. It's never OK for us to be in a dog fight with Duke.
After Mike James runs hard up the middle on 2 straight plays, Duke goes 65 yards off left tackle for the score. 38-24 UM.
What a play. Just a freshman.
Dallas Crawford forced a fumble on the ensuing kickoff, but Fentress was flagged for being offsides on the kickoff...
Fentress forces a fumble on the re-kick, but Duke recovers. They go 3 & out anyways.
On the very 1st play of the drive, Mike James takes a screen pass 72 yards down the sideline for a touchdown. It's the longest play of his career. 45-24 UM. That's the 3rd straight week and 6th time this season we scored 40 points.
On Duke's next possession, Tracy Howard drills Vernon to force a fumble that is recovered by Finnie. It was a carbon copy of the "incomplete pass" earlier to Waters. It's reviewed and said to be incomplete as well...
Later McGee gets flagged for holding on 3rd down to get Duke into Miami territory. On 3rd down, Tracy Howard breaks up a sure 1st down catch. On 4th down Olsen Pierre collapses the pocket and forces a sack of Renfree at midfield. Turnover on downs. Morris hits Dorsett rolling to his right for another 1st down to end the quarter with UM still up 45-24.
Morris hits Dye on a crossing route and he rumbles down to the 5 yard line. After 3 Mike James runs it's 4th and goal from the 1. They go for it, and Fisch calls for Duke to throw a Tebow jump-pass to Walford for the TD. It gets reviewed...and is overturned.
That was a ******* catch!
On the next play, Renfree rolls right and finds Crowder all alone in the secondary. Rayshawn Jenkins bit hard on something...no clue what. Crowder takes it 99 yards for the score making it the longest play in school history. 45-31 UM. That's a 14 point swing folks.
Miami goes 3 & out and Duke is moving again. Renfree hits Crowder on a fade down the sideline over McGee's head. Snead pounds his way up the middle to set up 1st & goal. On 4th & goal, Renfree scrambles back and forth and lobs a pass to Vernon. Vernon blatantly pushes off of Howard and grabs the catch for the score. 45-38 UM.
Jorge Milian @caneswatch
Ugly stat: Duke registered 583 yards of total offense, the fifth most ever accumulated against Miami, but only the third most this season.
I'm starting to get nervous again about Duke and I hate myself for it. But those worries are suspended when on the 1st play of UM's next possession, Herb Waters turns a 5 yard pass into a 65 yard touchdown. 52-38 UM. The corner was sent on a blitz and Waters cut back on the safety before he could get into position. Can't wait to read another thread about Waters not being fast.
Duke goes for it on 4th down at their own 32 and fail to convert. UM can't take advantage and settle for a Wieclaw field goal attempt but it sails wide left.
Vernon catches a pass over the middle and Duke is already in UM territory. On 4th down, Renfree finds Desmond Scott over the middle to move the chains. A P.I. flag on Kacy Rodgers sets up 1st & goal at the 10 for Duke. On 4th down, Renfree's pass falls incomplete, but Perryman is flagged for roughing the passer...
2 plays later another flag flies in, this time for some phantom face mask penalty...
On the next play, Connette runs into the endzone for his 2nd touchdown of the day. 52-45 UM. The Blue Devils fail to recover the onside kick, and UM runs out the clock with Duke and James for the victory.
No Canes football until next August. I'm excited for next year already.