RECAP: Canes sluggish in close win over Chippewas

RECAP: Canes sluggish in close win over Chippewas

Stefan Adams
Following up a 63-0 blowout of FCS Bethune-Cookman last week, any good feelings the Miami Hurricanes built up came crashing back to earth on their return to FBS play.

It wasn’t as easy as expected, but the Canes eked out their second victory of the season in front of the home crowd against the Central Michigan Chippewas, 17-12. The Hurricanes ground out a win with a defense that kept UM above water to make up for a struggling offense that started hot, but quickly dissolved into a sputter.

Miami featured great scripted drives to start each half, finishing both in the endzone for six. Led by sophomore TE Will Mallory, Miami’s first drive was a thing of beauty. 2 big catches from Mallory for 59 yards had the Canes set up 1st-and-goal inside the 10, with DeeJay Dallas (13 carries, 34 yards) punching it in on 4th and inches for his 5th TD of the season.

The Canes also opened up the third quarter with an outstanding drive, spearheaded by QB Jarren Williams going 4-4 for 72 yards and a 6-yard TD toss to KJ Osborn to put Miami up 14-2. Williams ended his day going 17-24 (71%) for 250 yards and the one TD.

Aside from that?

UM showed off a stunted run game and an offensive line that made life difficult for Williams. The Canes gave up 3 sacks in the first half alone (4 sacks total) and saw their running game shut down for the first time this season, totaling just 51 yards on 34 carries (1.5 ypc). UM also went 1 for 9 on third downs, continuing a troubling trend; Miami now has a 23.8% conversion rate after coming into the game 121st in the country.

The saving grace for the Miami offense was the TE play, as Brevin Jordan and Will Mallory busted free for explosive gains throughout the game. Williams was able to find the pair multiple times across the middle or on a late release to the sidelines and Jordan and Mallory combined for 5 catches for 129 yards, a whopping 25.8 yards per catch average.

The real story of the game was the Miami defense, though. With Shaq Quarterman (14 tackles, 2 TFL) anchoring the middle of the field, the Canes held the Chippewas offense to 10 points (2 points came courtesy of a safety on offense) and under 250 total yards, improving their season ypg average (276.7 ypg coming in). UM especially suffocated CMU on the ground, holding the Chippewas to just 31 yards on 27 carries (1.1 ypc).

Quarterman had his best game off the season so far, chasing down plays on the backend and getting into the CMU backfield for key stops. The UM defense also broke out the turnover chain off two fumbles, thanks to a strip-sack-recovery by Gregory Rousseau and a big Jonathan Garvin hit that popped the ball loose for Pat Bethel to fall on. Typical of the UM defense under Manny Diaz, Miami’s havoc stats were plentiful, as they recorded 4 sacks and 9 TFL on the day.

Central Michigan’s first and only TD came late in the fourth quarter, on a comical sequence that unleashed the boo birds out in Hard Rock Stadium. On a 17-play CMU drive covering 55 yards and 8:25 of game clock, UM had 4 penalties inside their own 10-yard line, including one on a 4th down incompletion that kept the CMU drive alive. Chippewas QB David Moore ended the sloppy play with a 1- yard TD run, moving the count to 17-12.

It was indicative of the night in general, as the Canes racked up miscue after miscue, ending the game with 13 penalties for 93 yards. UM came into the night as one of the most penalized teams in the country at 119th in the nation in penalties per game with 8.7, and tonight’s game did nothing to build confidence that Miami has a disciplined team in Coral Gables.

“The most concerning thing of course was the penalties,” Manny Diaz said in the postgame presser. “Those are things that can deny a great effort... That is something we have to address in the bye week.

“There are 100 things we need to fix, I’d rather have to fix them after a win than after a loss.”

Despite all the mistakes, though, the Canes had just enough to pull out the win. After UM failed to run out the clock, Central Michigan had one last gasp, but Al Blades picked off a Moore heave to finish off the Chippewas.

Miami improves to 2-2 on the season, but the optics of this game are sure to keep the heat on Diaz. Next week, the Hurricanes have their 2nd bye week of the season to get things right ahead of the Virginia Tech Hokies coming to town.


Miami Offensive Starters

QB #15 Jarren Williams, LT #60 Zion Nelson, LG #55 Navaughn Donaldson, C #65 Corey Gaynor, RG #53 Jakai Clark, RT #51 DJ Scaife, RB #13 DeeJay Dallas, TE #9 Brevin Jordan, TE #85 Will Mallory, WR #2 K.J. Osborn, WR #4 Jeff Thomas

Miami Defensive Starters

DE #97 Jonathan Garvin, DT #93 Pat Bethel, DT #96 Jonathan Ford, DE #71 Scott Patchan, LB #56 Michael Pinckney, LB #55 Shaq Quarterman, STRK #3 Gilbert Frierson, CB #2 Trajan Bandy, S #20 Robert Knowles, S #5 Amari Carter, CB #8 DJ Ivey

**Senior LB Shaq Quarterman made the 43rd straight start of his career Saturday at Hard Rock Stadium - the second-longest streak in all of FBS and a stretch that spans his entire career.

**Redshirt freshman STRK Gilbert Frierson made the first start of his career Saturday.

**The Chippewas scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter, ending a streak for Miami of 12 quarters at home without allowing a touchdown dating to last season.

**Miami’s opening touchdown - which came on its first drive - was its second-longest by yards all season. It was an 8-play, 85-yard
drive that took 4:08, capped by Dallas’ run

**Sophomore P Lou Hedley had a career-long 57-yard punt in the second quarter - it was the longest punt by a Hurricane since Justin Vogel booted a 58-yarder in November 2016.

**Redshirt freshman DE Gregory Rousseau wore the turnover chain for the first time in his career when he recovered a fumble that he caused in the first quarter. Ditto for sophomore CB Al Blades on his interception.

**TE Will Mallory set a career mark in the first half alone, finishing with a career-high 59 receiving yards on two catches

Comments (45)

Our defense wasn’t good regardless of the stats. We forced some turnovers but we didn’t pressure them well and we were a few dropped passes from being in deep trouble. Any power 5 offense puts up big numbers today. Bad tackling. Bad angles. Can’t make plays on the ball. Guys running open. This isn’t scalable to better competition. We got lucky we were playing a JUCO team tonight
Well that was something. Feel worse about that than I did after the losses on the road.
Real story was the defense????? you on crack man?

Lets me hold some man. I GOT DEEZ CHEESEBURGERS.......
We were NOT sluggish. We were poorly coached, period. We looked sluggish, but that happens when your OC can't figure out how to attack a horrible team. Enos has no clue, period. Today was not growing pains. It was pure idiocy.
We were NOT sluggish. We were poorly coached, period. We looked sluggish, but that happens when your OC can't figure out how to attack a horrible team. Enos has no clue, period. Today was not growing pains. It was pure idiocy.

Yeah, that 2nd quarter was one of the worst things I've ever seen on a football field. And Trevon Hill was going to jump the entire OL before Deejay stepped in. Gotta imagine some of the portal signees are second guessing themselves right now. I saw Tommy Kennedy didn't even dress today.