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RECAP: Cristobal tames Wildcats in debut, 70-13

RECAP: Cristobal tames Wildcats in debut, 70-13

Stefan Adams
The grass is green, the grills are out, and the band is playing. No doubt about it, football is back at 'The U'.

Mario Cristobal's debut as head coach of the #16 Miami Hurricanes was a breeze, as UM used a powerful rushing attack to boat race an overwhelmed Bethune-Cookman Wildcats on their way to a 70-13 victory in their season opener to kick off the 2022 campaign.

Although Saturday's contest with the FCS Wildcats essentially functioned as a warm-up game for Miami's upcoming FBS slate, the 49 and a half point favorite 'Canes more than took care of business, racking up 582 total yards behind a high-flying offense that scored TD's on 9 of their 11 possessions, and a defense that limited BCU to just 13 points on the day.

With last season's leading rusher Jaylan Knighton watching on in street clothes, the dynamic legs of RB's Henry Parrish (108 rushing yards, 3 TD's) and Thad Franklin (78 rushing yards, 2 TD's) had no problem picking up the slack, pacing a ground game that amassed 305 yards and accounted for 7.3 ypc. As for Parrish, he became the first Hurricane since DeeJay Dallas in 2019 to have 3 rushing TD's in a single game.

Even though most of the game went just how Cristobal and his staff drew it up, the Hurricanes' defense did have some hiccups in giving up 342 total yards, something the new 'Canes HC will be sure to harp on this week in meetings and practice. Miami's stop-unit especially spent the first drive of the game knocking off some rust, giving up a 3rd and 23 with BCU pinned inside their own 20 yard line, leading the Hard Rock Stadium faithful to let out a groan; the Wildcats' 10 play, 63 yard drive ended on Miami's 12 yard line with a field goal to open the scoring.

From there, though, Parrish and Franklin would take over, with the duo punching in three straight TD runs before DB Gilbert Frierson's 32-yard pick six early in the second quarter made it 28 unanswered points for the 'Canes.

Entering the year with high expectations, reigning ACC Rookie of the Year QB Tyler Van Dyke picked up right where he left off last season, as he began 2022 with an efficient and effective performance in two and a half quarters of play against the Wildcats. Van Dyke posted a 13-16 (81.2%) mark to go with 193 yards passing and 2 TD's in the game, with his only miscue coming early in the third quarter when he fumbled a snap away to the Wildcats inside the BCU 5 yard line following a big Keyshawn Smith kick return.

Van Dyke's main target, WR Xavier Restrepo, only needed a half to establish a new career-high in receiving yards, finishing the day with 100 yards on 5 receptions. Restrepo also accounted for UM's biggest offensive play of the day, catching a crossing route over the middle, cutting all the way across the BCU defense, and making his way down the sidelines for 52 yards before being tripped up just inside the Wildcats' 20 yard line early in the second quarter.

Following a Van Dyke 16-yard TD pass to Michael Redding that put UM up 49-13 midway through the third quarter, Cristobal started emptying the bench in an effort to provide Miami's backups and young talent with some valuable game reps. Backup QB Jake Garcia entered the game and led three straight TD drives, finishing the game a perfect 8-8 (100%) passing for 84 yards. From there, freshman QB Jacurri Brown saw the first game action of his career on UM's final drive of the day, mostly handing the ball off while also recording a 2-yard carry.

All in all, Cristobal's inaugural game as head coach was a success, and with the Hurricanes now officially 1-0, the team now turns their attention to Southern Miss next Saturday, with kickoff set for noon ET at Hard Rock Stadium.
 

Comments (26)

Even though it was just a tune up, the biggest positive was the OL, they dominated and were extremely physical. I can't recall them doing that against inferior defenses in recent years. Individually Parrish looked great, Franklin ran like a big physical back, Van Dyke was in total control and we have a great back up in Garcia. Nice to see Smith returning kickoffs, he's a real threat back there. Defensively I was underwhelmed, we need to be better, nice to see the interceptions though. All in all, I think it was a solid win.
 
All in all I think it was a good win. The pass defense kinda scared me. Hopefully they can clean that up. Southern Miss is a nice step up in competition compared to bethune then we get thrown into the real world.
 
Glad we got a W....great to see Canes football again!.....

My biggest takeaway....

Missed tackles are going to hurt us in ACC play etc if it continues.

Idk if the kids just didn't respect their opponent or what (although unacceptable, there's a human element that I totally understand).....

Which leads me to this....Anything outside of a lack of focus due to it being vs BCU......a potential upset vs A&M or Clemson is going to be almost impossible, especially considering that the talent level is at best even, and possibly slanted slightly towards the other side.
 
Glad we got a W....great to see Canes football again!.....

My biggest takeaway....

Missed tackles are going to hurt us in ACC play etc if it continues.

Idk if the kids just didn't respect their opponent or what (although unacceptable, there's a human element that I totally understand).....

Which leads me to this....Anything outside of a lack of focus due to it being vs BCU......a potential upset vs A&M or Clemson is going to be almost impossible, especially considering that the talent level is at best even, and possibly slanted slightly towards the other side.
This is a lot of conclusion to draw after game 1, in which UM scored 70 points and won by 57. You can say that the win doesn’t mean anything which maybe true, but then if we can’t draw any positive conclusions frmo beating BC, then it’s unfair tio use the same game to draw a negative conclusion.
Either its a game from which all conclusions can be drawn, or its a game from whihc no conclusion can be drawn. No game exists from which you can only draw a negotiate or positive conclusion.
 
This is a lot of conclusion to draw after game 1, in which UM scored 70 points and won by 57. You can say that the win doesn’t mean anything which maybe true, but then if we can’t draw any positive conclusions frmo beating BC, then it’s unfair tio use the same game to draw a negative conclusion.
Either its a game from which all conclusions can be drawn, or its a game from whihc no conclusion can be drawn. No game exists from which you can only draw a negotiate or positive conclusion.
I think it's the fact that tackling was the one thing I was keyed in on due to our performance last year and the emphasis that the staff placed on it for this year.

We did a ton of things well today....DEF takeaways were really impressive....had nothing to do with the competition, Kam incredible pick, ditto for JW0 making the read, jumping the route and making the semi one handed pick, and Gil with his 1st pick 6.

We clean up that tackling and we're seriously able to make a serious run at winning 10, 11, or even all 12 games this season.
 
I think it's the fact that tackling was the one thing I was keyed in on due to our performance last year and the emphasis that the staff placed on it for this year.

We did a ton of things well today....DEF takeaways were really impressive....had nothing to do with the competition, Kam incredible pick, ditto for JW0 making the read, jumping the route and making the semi one handed pick, and Gil with his 1st pick 6.

We clean up that tackling and we're seriously able to make a serious run at winning 10, 11, or even all 12 games this season.
I Agree. I saw 2 areas of concern.
DJ Ivey can’t tackle. Or cover but his inability to take good angles and/or wrap up was glaring on 2 big plays.
The D-ends gave up contain over and over again.
 
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