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2021 By the Numbers: Miami vs. Alabama

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Stefan Adams

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Ahead of their season-opening showdown, CIS took a deep-dive and compared both the Miami and Alabama programs. How do the teams match up in key areas of the game, which players were recruited by the other school, and how does the series history shake out? Let's find out.


Head-to-Head

Miami Rush Offense vs. Alabama Rush Defense


Due in large part to subpar guard play, the Canes were extremely inconsistent at generating a traditional ground game last season, as aside from the occasional big play, Miami RB’s were too frequently stymied for losses or no gain. After a fast start out of the gate last season in hitting the 200 rushing yard mark in two out of their first three games, the rushing attack would only reach the mark once more in UM’s final eight contests, which also included a three-game stretch where starting RB Cam’Ron Harris only ran for 35 total yards on 1.3 ypc. Despite the struggles in the backfield and up front, QB D’Eriq King was able to provide quite the boost with his legs in 2020, finishing as Miami’s second leading rusher (538 yards, 4 TD’s) and helping to even out the overall rushing numbers to put UM in the middle of the pack at 67th nationally (162.6 ypg). Going into 2021, the hope is replacing last season’s starting guard combo with rising talent Jalen Rivers and a healthy Navaughn Donaldson will be the cure to the running game’s woes and help open up more room for a stable of talented backs in Harris, Jaylan Knighton, and Don Chaney.

UM’s ground game will be tested by an Alabama front seven that returns six starters from a unit that was one of the best in the country at stopping the run in 2020 (17th at 113.1 ypg). Rush linebacker Will Anderson (10.5 TFL in 2020) returns as a player that can create tons of havoc in the backfield off the edge and put offenses behind the sticks, while second-leading tackler in WILL linebacker Christian Harris (79 tackles in 2020) has shown the chops to consistently shut down runs to the interior. The biggest area of intrigue comes at MIKE linebacker, where the Crimson Tide are replacing leading tackler Dylan Moses with Henry To’o To’o, a Tennessee transfer that has already produced at the SEC level (68 tackles, 7.5 TFL for the Vols in 2020). The Canes will be looking to catch Alabama napping to break some big plays, but consistently running on this Tide front that combines talent, experience, and production will be tough sledding.

Advantage: Alabama


Alabama Rush Offense vs. Miami Rush Defense

After years of being known as a ground and pound offense, Alabama has trended more pass heavy in recent times, but they were still an efficient outfit on the ground in 2020 (47th nationally at 183.5 ypg, 5.0 ypc). However, much of the core of last year’s rushing game is now in the NFL, including star RB Najee Harris and 3/5ths of the offensive line. At least to start the season, Alabama is expected to replace Harris with a committee of talented backs all hungry for their time to shine, including Brian Robinson Jr., Jase McClellan, Trey Sanders, and Roydell Williams.

Miami’s run defense was mostly a middling unit in 2020, before completely bottoming out in the regular season finale and allowing 554 yards on the ground to UNC. The Canes ultimately finished 76th nationally in allowing 174.5 rushing ypg, an uninspiring figure, but are now also without NFL draft picks Jaelan Phillips and Quincy Roche at DE. While the Hurricanes’ DT’s have proven to be the best unit among the front seven in fall camp, concern is still high regarding what Miami will get from DE and LB in 2021. The hope is Tennessee transfer Deandre Johnson (6.5 TFL, 4 sacks for the Vols in 2020) will head a committee approach in replacing Phillips and Roche, while Keontra Smith looks to lead a youth movement among the LB’s that was mainly made up of underwhelming veterans a year ago. There’s a ton of inexperience and uncertainty for both teams here, and this is sure to be an area both coaching staffs are looking to exploit, but the absolute struggles by UM against strong running teams last year and the track record Alabama has shown in the past to simply reload when it comes to RB and OL cannot be ignored.

Advantage: Alabama


Miami Pass Offense vs. Alabama Pass Defense

UM’s passing offense showed the ability to be both efficient and explosive at times in 2020, finishing an impressive 29th in the country with 277.3 ypg in OC Rhett Lashlee’s first year at the helm of the offense. King profiled as one of the best passers in the country with a 152.7 rating and 244.2 ypg, completing 64.1% of his throws with 23 TD’s and just 5 INT’s. While the WR’s struggled last season with consistently getting separation and had their fair share of drops, the corps has looked much improved this fall in their second year in Lashlee’s system, plus the addition of Oklahoma transfer Charleston Rambo and the emergence of second-year player Key’Shawn Smith. The only loss from the passing game last season was TE Brevin Jordan heading to the NFL, but the Canes are well-positioned to replace him with the experienced Will Mallory (16 career starts) and a young freshman TE on the rise in Elijah Arroyo.

The Tide return 3 of 4 starters in a secondary that struggled at times in 2020 and finished 70th nationally in allowing 239.2 passing ypg. Also, Alabama’s one loss here is a big one, as Patrick Surtain II was considered one of the best corners in all of college football last season. Along with a returning Josh Jobe (55 tackles, 11 PBU in 2020) across from him, Jayln Armour-Davis will get the first shot at replacing Surtain II, although he is being pushed by talented 5-star freshman Kool-Aid McKinstry. At safety, the Tide welcome back both Jordan Battle (66 tackles, 1 INT, 4 PBU) and Daniel Wright (60 tackles, 2 INT, 3 PBU), although Wright is expected to play more of a complementary role this year and yield a starting job to one of the younger potential stars in this group, DeMarco Hellams or Brian Branch. While Alabama has a good mix of returning experience and rising talent at this spot, this secondary was quite frankly burned a ton last season and has question marks, and King showed many times last season what he could do against average secondaries.

Advantage: Miami


Alabama Pass offense vs. Miami Pass Defense

The Crimson Tide boasted one of the country’s most prolific passing attacks in 2020, landing them at 3rd nationally with 358.2 ypg and resulting in WR De’Vonta Smith taking home the Heisman Trophy. However, the unit will be starting over almost from scratch in 2021 after losing OC Steve Sarkisian to Texas, three first round picks (Smith, QB Mac Jones, WR Jaylen Waddle) to the NFL, as well as starting TE Miller Forristall. The rebuilt Bama passing game will be led by the much-hyped Bryce Young, who was considered the #1 QB and #2 overall player in the 2020 class. As the most experienced returning receiver, John Metchie III (55 catches, 916 yards, 6 TD’s in 2020) saw an expanded role in the offense during the second half of last season following an injury to Waddle, and will look to provide Young with a steady presence on the outside while Alabama’s younger pass catchers grow into their roles.

UM finished a very average 65th in the country in passing defense at 233.9 ypg in 2020, something new DB coach Travaris Robinson was hired to improve upon. Miami’s secondary returns all four starters from last season and even added more firepower with the dynamic UGA transfer CB Tyrique Stevenson (34 tackles, 5 PBU in 2020), so this unit is arguably the deepest and most talented on the entire defense. In the past, the Miami secondary has been buoyed by a strong pass rush up front that gave QB’s little time to operate, so the UM DB’s are being counted on with more responsibility than ever with the pass rush expected to take a step back in 2021. It’s impossible to really know what to expect from this new look Alabama passing game in their very first contest, but Miami’s secondary struggled to stop strong passing games last season, and the Tide certainly have the talent to make the Hurricanes pay if they aren’t on their game.

Advantage: Even


Miami Special Teams vs. Alabama Special Teams

Alabama junior kicker Will Reichard did everything that was asked of him in 2020, going a perfect 14-14 on FG’s and 84-84 on XP’s. However, Alabama hasn’t had much success in the punting game in recent years, as they have not averaged more than 42 yards per punt in a season since 2017. Their hopes for a turnaround in 2021 rest on freshman Aussie punter James Burnip, who will be kicking in his first college game this weekend. The Tide also lost what the dynamic Smith brought to the return game, and hope to find a suitable replacement from a host of explosive options.

On the flip side, Miami had arguably the best specialists duo in college football last season with Ray Guy finalist P Louis Hedley and Lou Groza winner K Jose Borregales. While Hedley (47.3 ypp in 2020) and his booming leg return in 2021, the Canes are replacing Borregales with his younger brother in true freshman Andres, who was considered one of the best kicking recruits in the country last year. Despite their success in the kicking game, UM really struggled to find an impact returner last year, and they have rotated a ton of players throughout the spots thus far in fall camp.

Advantage: Even


Roster Notes

Alabama Players recruited by Miami (38):
OL Chris Owens, OL Kendall Randolph, DL Phidarian Mathis, LB Christopher Allen, S Daniel Wright, CB Josh Jobe, RB Trey Sanders, OL Evan Neal, OL Pierce Quick, LB King Mwikuta, S Jordan Battle, DL Justin Eboigbe, DL Braylen Ingraham, QB Bryce Young, RB Jase McClellan, WR Thaiu Jones-Bell, TE Caden Clark, OL Damieon George, OL Seth McLaughlin, LB Will Anderson, DL Tim Smith, CB Jahquez Robinson, QB Jalen Milroe, WR Ja’Corey Brooks, WR Agiye Hall, WR JoJo Earle, WR Christian Leary, OL JC Latham, OL Tommy Brockermeyer, OL James Brockermeyer, OL Terrence Ferguson, LB Dallas Turner, LB Ian Jackson, LB Keanu Koht, CB Kool-Aid McKinstry, DB Terrion Arnold, S Kaine Williams, WR Jameson Williams


Miami Players recruited by Alabama (26): DE Zach McCloud, OL Zalon’tae Hillery, WR Mark Pope, WR Dee Wiggins, TE Will Mallory, OL John Campbell, DT Nesta Silvera, CB Al Blades, STRK Gilbert Frierson, S Gurvan Hall, DT Jared Harrison-Hunte, LB Avery Huff, LB Keontra Smith, RB Jaylan Knighton, WR Michael Redding, WR Dazalin Worsham, OL Jalen Rivers, DE Chantz Williams, S Avantae Williams, QB Jake Garcia, WR Romello Brinson, WR Brashard Smith, TE Elijah Arroyo, DT Leonard Taylor, S James Williams, CB Tyrique Stevenson

Alabama Players from South Florida (7): WR Thaiu Jones-Bell (Carol City), S Jordan Battle (St. Thomas), DL Braylen Ingraham (St. Thomas), LB Dallas Turner (St. Thomas), WR Ja’Corey Brooks (Booker T. Washington/IMG Academy), S Daniel Wright (Boyd Anderson), CB Josh Jobe (Columbus/Cheshire Academy)


Series History

**
Alabama leads the overall series with Miami, 14-3.

**The longest-ever winning streak in this series was 10 games, something done by Alabama (1962-1979).

**The largest margin of victory in this rivalry is 36 points, something done by Alabama in 1969 when legendary Alabama HC Paul Bear Bryant defeated UM head coach Charlie Tate 42-6 in Tuscaloosa.


Last Time They Played

**
Back in 1993, #1 Miami took on #2 Alabama in the Sugar Bowl for the National Championship. Miami was heavily favored, and came into the game on a 29-game winning streak. However, Alabama never trailed while intercepting Miami’s Heisman-winning QB Gino Torretta three times en route to a 34-13 victory and the program’s 12th national title.

**The Crimson Tide really broke the game open early in the third quarter on one play when they lined up all eleven players on the line of scrimmage defensively. The confused Torretta was picked off by DB George Teague, who returned it for a touchdown and a commanding 27-6 Alabama lead.

**Alabama rushed for 267 yards in the game—67 more yards than the Hurricanes had allowed all season coming into the game.

 

CoachDannyMiaz

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Joined
Aug 19, 2016
Messages
1,536
Ahead of their season-opening showdown, CIS took a deep-dive and compared both the Miami and Alabama programs. How do the teams match up in key areas of the game, which players were recruited by the other school, and how does the series history shake out? Let's find out.


Head-to-Head

Miami Rush Offense vs. Alabama Rush Defense


Due in large part to subpar guard play, the Canes were extremely inconsistent at generating a traditional ground game last season, as aside from the occasional big play, Miami RB’s were too frequently stymied for losses or no gain. After a fast start out of the gate last season in hitting the 200 rushing yard mark in two out of their first three games, the rushing attack would only reach the mark once more in UM’s final eight contests, which also included a three-game stretch where starting RB Cam’Ron Harris only ran for 35 total yards on 1.3 ypc. Despite the struggles in the backfield and up front, QB D’Eriq King was able to provide quite the boost with his legs in 2020, finishing as Miami’s second leading rusher (538 yards, 4 TD’s) and helping to even out the overall rushing numbers to put UM in the middle of the pack at 67th nationally (162.6 ypg). Going into 2021, the hope is replacing last season’s starting guard combo with rising talent Jalen Rivers and a healthy Navaughn Donaldson will be the cure to the running game’s woes and help open up more room for a stable of talented backs in Harris, Jaylan Knighton, and Don Chaney.

UM’s ground game will be tested by an Alabama front seven that returns six starters from a unit that was one of the best in the country at stopping the run in 2020 (17th at 113.1 ypg). Rush linebacker Will Anderson (10.5 TFL in 2020) returns as a player that can create tons of havoc in the backfield off the edge and put offenses behind the sticks, while second-leading tackler in WILL linebacker Christian Harris (79 tackles in 2020) has shown the chops to consistently shut down runs to the interior. The biggest area of intrigue comes at MIKE linebacker, where the Crimson Tide are replacing leading tackler Dylan Moses with Henry To’o To’o, a Tennessee transfer that has already produced at the SEC level (68 tackles, 7.5 TFL for the Vols in 2020). The Canes will be looking to catch Alabama napping to break some big plays, but consistently running on this Tide front that combines talent, experience, and production will be tough sledding.

Advantage: Alabama


Alabama Rush Offense vs. Miami Rush Defense

After years of being known as a ground and pound offense, Alabama has trended more pass heavy in recent times, but they were still an efficient outfit on the ground in 2020 (47th nationally at 183.5 ypg, 5.0 ypc). However, much of the core of last year’s rushing game is now in the NFL, including star RB Najee Harris and 3/5ths of the offensive line. At least to start the season, Alabama is expected to replace Harris with a committee of talented backs all hungry for their time to shine, including Brian Robinson Jr., Jase McClellan, Trey Sanders, and Roydell Williams.

Miami’s run defense was mostly a middling unit in 2020, before completely bottoming out in the regular season finale and allowing 554 yards on the ground to UNC. The Canes ultimately finished 76th nationally in allowing 174.5 rushing ypg, an uninspiring figure, but are now also without NFL draft picks Jaelan Phillips and Quincy Roche at DE. While the Hurricanes’ DT’s have proven to be the best unit among the front seven in fall camp, concern is still high regarding what Miami will get from DE and LB in 2021. The hope is Tennessee transfer Deandre Johnson (6.5 TFL, 4 sacks for the Vols in 2020) will head a committee approach in replacing Phillips and Roche, while Keontra Smith looks to lead a youth movement among the LB’s that was mainly made up of underwhelming veterans a year ago. There’s a ton of inexperience and uncertainty for both teams here, and this is sure to be an area both coaching staffs are looking to exploit, but the absolute struggles by UM against strong running teams last year and the track record Alabama has shown in the past to simply reload when it comes to RB and OL cannot be ignored.

Advantage: Alabama


Miami Pass Offense vs. Alabama Pass Defense

UM’s passing offense showed the ability to be both efficient and explosive at times in 2020, finishing an impressive 29th in the country with 277.3 ypg in OC Rhett Lashlee’s first year at the helm of the offense. King profiled as one of the best passers in the country with a 152.7 rating and 244.2 ypg, completing 64.1% of his throws with 23 TD’s and just 5 INT’s. While the WR’s struggled last season with consistently getting separation and had their fair share of drops, the corps has looked much improved this fall in their second year in Lashlee’s system, plus the addition of Oklahoma transfer Charleston Rambo and the emergence of second-year player Key’Shawn Smith. The only loss from the passing game last season was TE Brevin Jordan heading to the NFL, but the Canes are well-positioned to replace him with the experienced Will Mallory (16 career starts) and a young freshman TE on the rise in Elijah Arroyo.

The Tide return 3 of 4 starters in a secondary that struggled at times in 2020 and finished 70th nationally in allowing 239.2 passing ypg. Also, Alabama’s one loss here is a big one, as Patrick Surtain II was considered one of the best corners in all of college football last season. Along with a returning Josh Jobe (55 tackles, 11 PBU in 2020) across from him, Jayln Armour-Davis will get the first shot at replacing Surtain II, although he is being pushed by talented 5-star freshman Kool-Aid McKinstry. At safety, the Tide welcome back both Jordan Battle (66 tackles, 1 INT, 4 PBU) and Daniel Wright (60 tackles, 2 INT, 3 PBU), although Wright is expected to play more of a complementary role this year and yield a starting job to one of the younger potential stars in this group, DeMarco Hellams or Brian Branch. While Alabama has a good mix of returning experience and rising talent at this spot, this secondary was quite frankly burned a ton last season and has question marks, and King showed many times last season what he could do against average secondaries.

Advantage: Miami


Alabama Pass offense vs. Miami Pass Defense

The Crimson Tide boasted one of the country’s most prolific passing attacks in 2020, landing them at 3rd nationally with 358.2 ypg and resulting in WR De’Vonta Smith taking home the Heisman Trophy. However, the unit will be starting over almost from scratch in 2021 after losing OC Steve Sarkisian to Texas, three first round picks (Smith, QB Mac Jones, WR Jaylen Waddle) to the NFL, as well as starting TE Miller Forristall. The rebuilt Bama passing game will be led by the much-hyped Bryce Young, who was considered the #1 QB and #2 overall player in the 2020 class. As the most experienced returning receiver, John Metchie III (55 catches, 916 yards, 6 TD’s in 2020) saw an expanded role in the offense during the second half of last season following an injury to Waddle, and will look to provide Young with a steady presence on the outside while Alabama’s younger pass catchers grow into their roles.

UM finished a very average 65th in the country in passing defense at 233.9 ypg in 2020, something new DB coach Travaris Robinson was hired to improve upon. Miami’s secondary returns all four starters from last season and even added more firepower with the dynamic UGA transfer CB Tyrique Stevenson (34 tackles, 5 PBU in 2020), so this unit is arguably the deepest and most talented on the entire defense. In the past, the Miami secondary has been buoyed by a strong pass rush up front that gave QB’s little time to operate, so the UM DB’s are being counted on with more responsibility than ever with the pass rush expected to take a step back in 2021. It’s impossible to really know what to expect from this new look Alabama passing game in their very first contest, but Miami’s secondary struggled to stop strong passing games last season, and the Tide certainly have the talent to make the Hurricanes pay if they aren’t on their game.

Advantage: Even


Miami Special Teams vs. Alabama Special Teams

Alabama junior kicker Will Reichard did everything that was asked of him in 2020, going a perfect 14-14 on FG’s and 84-84 on XP’s. However, Alabama hasn’t had much success in the punting game in recent years, as they have not averaged more than 42 yards per punt in a season since 2017. Their hopes for a turnaround in 2021 rest on freshman Aussie punter James Burnip, who will be kicking in his first college game this weekend. The Tide also lost what the dynamic Smith brought to the return game, and hope to find a suitable replacement from a host of explosive options.

On the flip side, Miami had arguably the best specialists duo in college football last season with Ray Guy finalist P Louis Hedley and Lou Groza winner K Jose Borregales. While Hedley (47.3 ypp in 2020) and his booming leg return in 2021, the Canes are replacing Borregales with his younger brother in true freshman Andres, who was considered one of the best kicking recruits in the country last year. Despite their success in the kicking game, UM really struggled to find an impact returner last year, and they have rotated a ton of players throughout the spots thus far in fall camp.

Advantage: Even


Roster Notes

Alabama Players recruited by Miami (38):
OL Chris Owens, OL Kendall Randolph, DL Phidarian Mathis, LB Christopher Allen, S Daniel Wright, CB Josh Jobe, RB Trey Sanders, OL Evan Neal, OL Pierce Quick, LB King Mwikuta, S Jordan Battle, DL Justin Eboigbe, DL Braylen Ingraham, QB Bryce Young, RB Jase McClellan, WR Thaiu Jones-Bell, TE Caden Clark, OL Damieon George, OL Seth McLaughlin, LB Will Anderson, DL Tim Smith, CB Jahquez Robinson, QB Jalen Milroe, WR Ja’Corey Brooks, WR Agiye Hall, WR JoJo Earle, WR Christian Leary, OL JC Latham, OL Tommy Brockermeyer, OL James Brockermeyer, OL Terrence Ferguson, LB Dallas Turner, LB Ian Jackson, LB Keanu Koht, CB Kool-Aid McKinstry, DB Terrion Arnold, S Kaine Williams, WR Jameson Williams


Miami Players recruited by Alabama (26): DE Zach McCloud, OL Zalon’tae Hillery, WR Mark Pope, WR Dee Wiggins, TE Will Mallory, OL John Campbell, DT Nesta Silvera, CB Al Blades, STRK Gilbert Frierson, S Gurvan Hall, DT Jared Harrison-Hunte, LB Avery Huff, LB Keontra Smith, RB Jaylan Knighton, WR Michael Redding, WR Dazalin Worsham, OL Jalen Rivers, DE Chantz Williams, S Avantae Williams, QB Jake Garcia, WR Romello Brinson, WR Brashard Smith, TE Elijah Arroyo, DT Leonard Taylor, S James Williams, CB Tyrique Stevenson

Alabama Players from South Florida (7): WR Thaiu Jones-Bell (Carol City), S Jordan Battle (St. Thomas), DL Braylen Ingraham (St. Thomas), LB Dallas Turner (St. Thomas), WR Ja’Corey Brooks (Booker T. Washington/IMG Academy), S Daniel Wright (Boyd Anderson), CB Josh Jobe (Columbus/Cheshire Academy)


Series History

**
Alabama leads the overall series with Miami, 14-3.

**The longest-ever winning streak in this series was 10 games, something done by Alabama (1962-1979).

**The largest margin of victory in this rivalry is 36 points, something done by Alabama in 1969 when legendary Alabama HC Paul Bear Bryant defeated UM head coach Charlie Tate 42-6 in Tuscaloosa.


Last Time They Played

**
Back in 1993, #1 Miami took on #2 Alabama in the Sugar Bowl for the National Championship. Miami was heavily favored, and came into the game on a 29-game winning streak. However, Alabama never trailed while intercepting Miami’s Heisman-winning QB Gino Torretta three times en route to a 34-13 victory and the program’s 12th national title.

**The Crimson Tide really broke the game open early in the third quarter on one play when they lined up all eleven players on the line of scrimmage defensively. The confused Torretta was picked off by DB George Teague, who returned it for a touchdown and a commanding 27-6 Alabama lead.

**Alabama rushed for 267 yards in the game—67 more yards than the Hurricanes had allowed all season coming into the game.

Episode 2 GIF by South Park
 

Canes Stan

Senior
Joined
Jun 7, 2018
Messages
2,582
I think our defense has a real chance to keep us in the game. I know they have talented players but all i’ve really seen is hype because they not returning much at all on offense. You never know how someone gone play when the bullets flying. We got grown men out here on defense that have played a top 3 team and know what it’s gone take. Until proven wrong, I’ll take this situation over any other time in recent memory against Bama. And it’s the first game. If our offense can show up against a pretty stacked front seven but average secondary, we can win this one.

I’m exactly: half a blunt, tryna smash (anniversary, so it might be hope), sleeping, waking up, drinking coffee while smoking the other half of the aforementioned blunt, getting ready, quick breakfast, morning hike with the wife, head home and shower, lunch, and one more blunt away from the game. The wait is finally almost over

Edit: I did not smash
 
Last edited:

skyman

Senior
Joined
Nov 6, 2011
Messages
6,692
I can understand some of the even or even to canes because of inexperience and those bama 5 stars havent proven it on the field so those prior numbers dont really transfer over but man they just seem to reload like no one else and have turnover their roster multiple times and still win in dominant fashion..
 

Arehel

Redshirt Freshman
Joined
Mar 12, 2012
Messages
860
I really thought they had more SFL players then that.
That was head scratching. Maybe our new coaching staff on defense (based on our current recruiting class) is seeing something longer term happening? Used SFL as the base and get after kids you believe are elite anywhere you can.
 

jmccomber5

Senior
Joined
Jun 13, 2012
Messages
6,965
Let me provide some numbers myself:

under Saban, Bammer has never lost a season opener and has gone 9-0 in neutral site openers with an average margin of victory of 20 points. The closest win was a 10 point win vs WVU. Further, Bama has not lost to an out of conference team in the regular season since Sabans first year in ‘07, 14 years ago. If we are going to win, we would need to put everything together for 60 minutes and do the unprecedented. Streaks have to end sometime, right?
 
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