Recap: Canes Merk Bulls 40-9
Miami moved to 6-5 and ended USF's bowl chances in one fell swoop as they mauled the Bulls 40-9. It was a rather fitting way for it to unfold as well. Big special teams plays, big offensive plays, big defensive plays, big hits, and unheralded Seniors stepping up on Senior Day. The game was basically just like the NC State game, only the defense was dominant.
Don't get it twisted. Beating USF, regardless of the score, is never something to beat your chest about. They suck, have always sucked, and will continue to suck in the future. Having said that, remember what happened the last time USF came to our place?
A pathetic showing in an overtime loss which resulted in the firing of Corch Shannon. That's not the way your Seniors should look on Senior Day.
What about two years later?
Feels good man.
Here's what I said were the keys to victory in the gameday post:
4 storylines for UM in this game:
1. Can Duke continue being Duke?
2. Will the passing game have success despite all the injuries?
3. Can the defense get off the field on 3rd down?
4. Can the return of Perryman and Eddie Johnson make a difference?
Duke had 66 yards on just 13 carries and 1 touchdown. He only had 24 kick return yards, but that was because USF didn't get to kick off that much. He did have a fumble that resulted in a touchback. It sucked at the time, but that was Duke's first of the year. As much as he's played this year, it's hard to get all jammed up about a freshman having his first fumble in week 11.
UM had 456 yards through the air. 413 of those yards were from Morris on 21/32 passing with 3 touchdowns and no interceptions. 3 different players had over 100 yards receiving (Dorsett, Waters, Walford). Morris had two touchdown passes of 65 yards or more on broken plays that inflated his stats a bit, and he probably should have been picked off twice. Despite that, it was good to see Stephen have a productive day. He hasn't produced like this since the NC State game. When you consider the fact that we had some injuries and a suspension at wide out this week it was pretty good day overall through the air.
The Defense showed up. It didn't hurt that USF was down to their 3rd string quarterback by the 2nd quarter. Still, they forced the Bulls into 3-14 conversions on 3rd down. It was the best they've looked all year.
It didn't take long for Perryman to get back into the swing of things as he knocked Bobby Eveld out of the game in the 1st quarter. This basically ended the game as the 3rd stringer Matt Floyd was pretty much awful. USF was trying to red-shirt Eveld all year, and made the decision to burn it after B.J. Daniels was injured in their last game.
USF receives and Bobby Eveld gets the start in place of Daniels. If you don't remember, Eveld was a walk-on true freshman when he lead them to their OT victory over us in 2010. Not this time. Canes force them to punt quickly.
UM comes out on their first play with a goofy formation where the tackles are split out wide. Morris hits Walford over the middle for a huge gain. UM only ran it once on this possession, and ended up settling for a field goal. 3-0 UM. When the TV went to break they went to a generic shot of the crowd celebrating.
Epic crotch chop by that fat chick there. She can barely fit her walrus-like arms over her gunt. The first thing I thought of when I saw her was this:
USF takes over and starts marching into UM territory. Once they get into the redzone, USF attempts a screen. Gunter makes a huge stop to blow it up before it can go for a big gain. Gunter was shaken up when his helmet was popped off his head. USF has to settle for a field goal and it's BLOCKED!!!! That's a blocked punt and field goal in a 3 week span. Is this real life?
UM takes over and is facing 3rd and long. So naturally Morris went to his go to receiver Kendal Thompkins for the 1st down. It wouldn't be the last big time catch KT would make on Senior Day.
UM punts and the Bulls take over at the 10. Eveld gets forced out of the pocket and couldn't get out of bounds before getting drilled near the sideline by Perryman. USF has to punt and UM takes over inside Bulls territory. A really dumb P.I. penalty on George Baker puts UM in the redzone. A big run by Duke Johnson gets nullified by a weak holding penalty on Dorsett. UM runs the statue of liberty with Duke on the next play to get down to the 7. UM still up 3-0.
UM can't punch it in and Wieclaw nails his second field goal to make it 6-0 UM.
Matt Floyd sucks, and goes 3 and out. Fisch calls a flea-flicker and Morris finds Walford all alone. The play puts UM in the redzone again. Morris almost turns it over twice and UM has to kick another field goal. 9-0 UM.
On the first play of the ensuing possession, Floyd throws it right to Jimmy Gaines. UM is inside the 20 again.
On the very next play Morris hits Thompkins wide open in the endzone for the touchdown. 16-0 UM.
Floyd seems like he's settled down a bit and leads their offense past midfield. Then he throws a duck that gets picked off by Rayshawn Jenkins. Jenkins was making his 1st start and looked pretty good throughout. Even though his momentum took him into the endzone, the refs rule the spot at UM's own 1 yardline. Miami goes 3 and out and punts, but USF muffs the punt and Miami takes over at midfield.
After a big run by Duke, Dorsett takes a screen for a touchdown. It gets reviewed and moved back to the 1. A penalty on Dye moves the offense back to the 5. Duke takes a pitch left and dives into the endzone. The ball gets knocked out and he fumbles out of the side of the endzone, resulting in a touchback for USF.
USF starts driving into UM territory again. You can feel the momentum starting to swing the other way. Duke's fumble brought me back to the INT Morris threw in the endzone against NC State. UM should be up 31-0, but if USF scores, it could be 16-7 at halftime. For whatever reason, neither Floyd nor Holtz calls a timeout once the get inside the 10. Holtz was interviewed at halftime, and he said it was because he wanted to go "up-tempo". Da fugg? Because of that, they only get 1 chance at the endzone and end up settling for a field goal without using any of their 3 timeouts. 16-3 UM.
UM gets the ball to start the 2nd half. Facing 3rd and long, Morris finds Waters for a big gain. Later Dorsett makes a big grab setting up 1st and goal. Duke scores on the next play, diving into the same corner as he did last time. This time he holds on.
For some reason UM goes for 2 and it fails. 22-3 UM.
USF makes a big gain on a 3rd down play fake to their tight end. Jenkins walks him down to save a touchdown. The drive stalls and they punt back to UM. On the first play of UM's drive, Morris draws a defensive lineman offsides giving him a free play. USF's secondary quits on the play allowing Morris to spot Herb Waters streaking down the sideline for an 87 yard touchdown.
It was a mirror image of the pass to Rashawn Scott against NC State. Same sideline and everything. UM goes for 2 again and convert making it 30-3 UM.
Waters had a huge day:
After trading punts USF starts driving again. A pretty lame roughing the passer penalty on Chick moves them into the redzone. On 4th down Holtz sends his kicker out for a field goal down 4 touchdowns. No good.Tim Reynolds @ByTimReynolds
Herb Waters' 130 receiving yards (and counting) is the most by a Miami freshman since Reggie Wayne had 137 on 9/18/97.
UM takes over and Morris drops back to pass. He has a man open in the flat and cocks his arm to throw it. At last second he sees a db anticipating the pass, so he tucks the ball and rolls to his right. He spots Walford all alone in the secondary and launches 65 touchdown pass on one foot. Pretty similar to the game-winner to Dorsett against NC State.
First time all year that Walford wasn't caught from behind. 37-3 UM.
After USF tacks on a field goal to make it 37-6, Ryan Williams comes in to relieve Stephen Morris. On the first play, Fisch calls a reverse to Phillip Dorsett up 31 points. Me likey. Later, USF jumps offsides giving Williams a free play. He's seen Morris go deep in these situations so many times he figures he'll give it a shot. He finds Kendall Thompkins and floats a pass over the DB. Thompkins makes a pretty sick diving catch with his finger-tips for a big gain.
Hell of a way to go out at home by Thompkins. The drive leads to a field goal to make it 40-6. USF kicks 1 more field goal of their own to make the final score 40-9.
The last 2 years, Seniors have lost their home finale in pretty uninspiring fashion. It's not how they should experience their last home game.
This is how they should always go out.