Recap: Miami Beats Virginia 45-26

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Dan E. Dangerously

This's my note
Nov 3, 2011
Miami got back to it's winning ways by ending it's 3 game losing streak, and it's 3 game skid to Virginia. It's always good to send your Seniors out the right way.


Man...this team needed a win in the worst way and it finally got one. This Senior class has had to put up with a ton of bull **** so them getting a win in their final home game was nice. The fact that it was against UVA, a team that had beaten us 3 straight years, made it just that much better for me. To say that this team was inconsistent would be an understatement. However, the opportunistic defense we saw so often throughout the year finally showed up again. It was the 3rd consecutive week that Stacy Coley scored a touchdown of at least 60 yards or more. A 10 win season is still a possibility and Miami still has the remotest of remote chances at the Coastal Division.



Here was my official message for this game from the game day post.

Don't let Linder, Hurns, Hagens and the rest of the Seniors finish their Miami careers winless against Virginia!


All back-handed compliments aside, I'm really happy about this win. For the last 3 years the losses to UVA have all come down to the final minute and were really hard to swallow. Mainly because UVA sucks and we should've never lost to them to begin with. But also because they unfolded in the most frustrating ways possible. I'm not going to bother rehashing each one of them, you remember what happened. It would've been horrible if guys like Linder and Hurns had to be forever associated with a class that couldn't even beat UVA once. So glad that ridiculous monkey is finally off their back.

Let's recap.

We used up the remaining money from the last banner so that we could fly another one, a special one, that thanked the Seniors for their time here:


Thanks again to those who donated their money to this, and props to DMoney, LuCane, and whoever else it was that set it up. Maybe, just maybe, if we fly a few more of these the school will finally see to it to give us press credentials. You know, just like every other UM related website has.

1st Quarter:

Miami won the toss and deferred to the second half. O'Donnell boomed the kickoff into the endzone and UVA took over at their own 25. Miami got killed with screens last week. On the 1st play from scrimmage Tracy Howard decided he had about enough of it, stepped in front of a screen pass, and took it to the house for an easy pick 6 just six seconds into the game. One of the funniest things I've ever seen on the 1st play of a football game at any level.


7-0 Miami

UVA starts putting a drive together and crosses midfield rather quickly. A false start penalty backs them up and derails the drive and they punt 3 plays later. Miami goes 3 & out giving UVA the ball back. Tim Smith returns the punt 45 yards down to the Miami 30 yard line. Miami's defense holds and forces Virginia to settle for a field goal.

7-3 Miami

When Miami gets the ball back, Morris starts looking pretty erratic. In his defense the entire 1st half was played in a monsoon. Pretty soon it's 3rd and long, so Morris hits Hurns over the middle to move the chains on a 13 yard gain. On the very next play Morris thew a screen pass to Coley. Coley darts passed the 50 and makes a nice cut across the field. Dallas makes a key block to secure Coley's 62 yard stroll into the endzone.



14-3 Miami

On UVA's next possession, Kevin Parks catches a swing pass on 3rd down. McCord has Parks lined up to force a 3 & out. However, McCord doesn't wrap up and Parks picks up the 1st down. On the next play Watford completes a 16 yard pass to Keeon Johnson to get them into UM territory. The play after that Watford keeps it and gains 18 yards with his legs. 3 plays later UVA is facing 3rd and long. Watford throws a screen pass to Parks who easily goes into the endzone for a 24 yard touchdown. He could've walked in.


14-10 Miami

The quarter ends with Gus picking 11 yards on 3rd down to move the chains. Miami still leads 14-10.

2nd Quarter:

Miami's drive stalls a few plays later and Antonio Crawford drills some guy as soon as he caught O'Donnell's punt. The rain is really coming down hard so UVA starts running it down UM's throat. Khalek Shepherd picks up 29 yards to get to the Miami 31 yard line. Shepherd picks up another 1st down 2 plays later, and an illegal hands to the face penalty on Luther Robinson moves UVA inside the 10. 3 plays later it's 3rd & 8, and Watford's passed is disrupted because Chickillo hurried him. It was UVA's only pass attempt on the whole drive. UVA settles for another field goal.

14-13 Miami

After each team traded 3 & outs, UM takes over at their own 35. On 2nd down Dallas gets hit in the backfield to set up 3rd and 8. Morris lofts a floater deep down field that gets snatched by Anthony Harris and returned to the Virginia 43.


On the 1st play Perryman tattoos Kevin Parks for a short gain. UVA keeps it on the ground for 6 straight runs to get down to the 20 yard line with about 1:30 left on the clock. If UVA scores a touchdown here right before the half, who knows how the game turns out. On the next play it was 3rd and 4 and Watford drops back to pass for the 1st time of the drive. The ball bounces off Zach Swanson's fingers and Gunter is there for the pick.




Gunter cuts back across the field and returns it 81 yards down to the 3 yard line before getting tackled by Jake McGee.


Dallas Crawford punches it in 3 plays later for the touchdown with just 17 seconds left in the 2nd quarter.


21-13 Miami

Huge play by Gunter. His pick and the return he made was basically a 10 point swing in our favor since UVA was in field goal range. UVA kneels on it to end the 1st half. UVA out gained Miami 235-112 in the 1st half. If not for Coley's run after the catch on his screen, and the 2 big interceptions to bookend the half, Miami would be down big. But those plays did happen, so Miami went into the break with a 21-13 lead.

3rd Quarter:

Miami takes over to start the 2nd half and Morris almost gets picked on the 1st play. UM lucked out though because the ball went through the defender's hands, and Hurns made the grab for a 9 yard gain. 3 plays later Morris under throws a pass to Hurns. If he hit him in stride it would've been a touchdown. Instead it's a 24 yard gain. Dallas runs 16 yards on the next play to put Miami in the redzone. The drive stalls and UM settles for a 33 yard Matt Goudis field goal.

24-13 Miami

UM and Virginia trade 3 and outs. UVA can't do anything on their next drive so they punt it again. During those 3 possessions the only interesting thing going on was the annoying chick in the stands who was screaming her head off. She did it before, during, and after every play of the 2nd half. It was unbearable. On the 2nd play of Miami's next possession, Morris keeps it and slides after a 4 yard gain. As Morris is going down, Anthony Harris launches himself and drills Morris in the head with his shoulder pad.


Harris gets flagged for targeting and is kicked out of the game. They review it and uphold the ejection. Peace out Harris. Miami can't do anything on the drive and punts it back to Virginia. Miami's defense forces a 3 and out to get the ball right back. On Miami's next possession Morris drops back on 3rd and long. He throws a bomb to Hurns, who makes the grab for a 47 yard gain down to the Virginia 11 yard line. On the next play Brandon Linder gets flagged for holding, and then false start on back to back plays. Instead of 1st and 10 from the 11, it's 1st and 25 from the 26. Allen Hurns and Stephen Morris give zero *****, and connect with each other on the very next play for a 26 yard touchdown.


31-13 Miami

Palindrome City. On the 1st play of UVA's next possession Rayshawn Jenkins gets flagged and ejected for targeting too. Apparently the ref thought tackling was now illegal. Whatever. It got reviewed and Jenkins was allowed to stay in the game. Zach Swanson dropped another pass to end the 3rd quarter with Miami still leading 31-13.

4th Quarter:

The storms have moved out of the area and the sun is now shining bright. That annoying chick is still screaming too which is rather unfortunate. On the 1st play of the 4th quarter Watford connects with Johnson over the middle for a gain of 35 yards down to the Miami 13. 3 plays later freshman running back Taquan Mizzell slips out of the backfield, and Watford lofts a pass to him over Perryman's head for the touchdown.


31-20 Miami

More screaming from the chick. On Miami's 1st play, Dallas runs 7 yards up the middle. Once he gets to the second level Rijo Walker puts his hat on the ball and it pops straight up into the air. Virginia's Jake Snyder is there to recover it at the 40 yard line. Virginia goes 3 and out and Miami does as well. When Miami goes back to punt, Jake O'Donnell makes his best punt of the year. He booms a 71 yarder that bounces out of bounds at the 3 yard line.


Probably the best coffin corner kick I've ever seen. What a way to flip the field. On Virginia's 2nd play Watford forces a pass to McGee that Highsmith jumps in front of. The ball caroms off of A.J.'s chest, and into the hands of Kacey Rodgers who returns it to the 16 yard line.


It was the 1st interception of Rodgers' career, and it happened on Senior day. That's awesome. When the offense comes out, Dallas runs over a couple of people to get down to the 5. On the next play Dallas tiptoes down the sideline for the touchdown.



38-20 Miami

The score was Dallas' 12th touchdown of the season, making him the 1st Miami running back to have that many in a season since Tyrone Moss in 2005. Since UVA was now down 18 with only 8:01 remaining, Mike London benches Watford and gives freshman Greyson Lambert some reps. Lambert comes off the bench and starts carving up Miami's defense. He gets them all the way down to the 10 yard line on 7 straight passing plays to set up 1st and goal. On the next play McCord beats his man and separates Lambert from the ball.


David Gilbert is there to pick it up at the 28, and has a caravan of Crawford, Highsmith, and Chickillo. Chickillo almost tackles Gilbert at midfield for some reason, but Gilbert avoided being tripped up and sprinted all the way down the field for a 72 yard scoop and score.


45-20 Miami

Lambert comes back out and starts driving UVA into Miami territory again. Pretty soon it's 3rd and 8 from the Miami 16 yard line. Lambert connects with Kyle Dockins to move the chains and set up 1st and goal from the 7 yard line. On the next play Mizzell bounces off a couple of UM defenders to pinball into the endzone. Olsen Pierre blocked the extra point.


45-26 Miami

One of the defenders that Mizzell bounced off of was Gunter. After the play Gunter took a couple of steps and then went down suddenly. The trainers came out and started treating him for an apparent neck injury. They strapped him to a board and carted him off the field.



He was eventually airlifted to Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital. The athletic department issued this statement following the game:


He checked out of the hospital early Sunday evening. Al Golden said today is was a strained neck, and that he doesn't expect Gunter to play next week. Scary stuff. Both teams have their backups in now. Neither team can really do anything on offense for the final 2:02 of time that's left on the clock, so it comes to a rather uneventful end.


Final Score:

Virginia 26
Miami 45

As good as it feels to win again, the game was far from perfect. There were problems on both sides of the ball. The offense was erratic for much of the game, and the defense gave up tons of yards again. The defense gave up 483 yards (243 on the ground and 240 through the air) and allowed UVA to run 91 plays. The 243 yards on the ground was the most UVA had all year against an FBS school. It won't get any easier next week, as Gunter, Elder, and Dortch all suffered serious injuries. That leaves UM with just Howard, Crawford, and Hope at corner back. That's it. Yikes.