With Florida State On The Horizon, Miami Takes Care Of Business Against Duke
DURHAM, N.C.– The No. 14 Miami Hurricanes made their bi-annual trip to Durham, North Carolina Friday night, where four years ago they lost by 18 points. Two years ago, Miami needed a kickoff return for a touchdown to win and without former Hurricane Devin Hester, the Hurricanes required eight laterals on that kickoff return to secure the victory. However, Friday night Miami flexed their muscle against the 4-0 Duke Blue Devils with a 31-6 drubbing.
Welcome Back Ahmmon Richards
Miami’s top receiver from 2016, Ahmmon Richards had his season debut Friday night. Richards was sidelined for the first two games due to a hamstring injury that he suffered in the preseason. As a Freshman All-American last year he notched 19.1 yards a catch. Last night he recorded three receptions totaling 106 yards and a 47-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. The score lifted Miami’s stagnant offense, after a fast start in the first quarter. The addition of Richards makes this offense more dynamic, going into the heart of ACC play.
Walton Banged Up
The ACC’s top running back Mark Walton, showed his versatility at Wallace Wade Stadium Friday night. The ground game wasn’t as successful against Duke as it was against Toledo and Bethune Cookman. Last week, Walton averaged three yards a carry, nursing a rolled ankle against Toledo. But the junior running back had four receptions for 79 yards and a dazzling 39-yard reception as he hurdled a defender. Walton left Friday’s game with a lower leg injury in the fourth quarter as the Hurricanes tried to close the game out. The backup, Travis Homer is capable and has shined in Walton’s absence.
Rosier The Runner
In the college game today, it is key to have a running quarterback. Miami has never really had a true running quarterback. Miami head coach Mark Richt, recruited mostly drop back passers at his time at Georgia. Is Malik Rosier a running quarterback? He is extremely efficient as a runner, with rushing touchdowns in back to back games. The Hurricane’s offense has struggled from time to time but when the passing game underwhelms, Rosier resorts to his legs to move the chains. Unfortunately, running quarterbacks tend to get hurt more often so Rosier needs to be mindful when his body is exposed.
The Miami Hurricanes defense gave up 349 yards against Duke. It did not matter; they only gave up two field goals in their 31-6 victory Friday night. They sacked Duke quarterback Daniel Jones five times, held him to 166 yards passing, forcing one interception and recovering one fumble via Jones. Miami’s Defensive Coordinator, Manny Diaz, trusts his front seven. Diaz rarely deviates from his base defense, leaving three linebackers in against three and four wide receiver sets. The Blue Devils were 5-19 on third downs, as the defense stepped up on the money down all game long. The success of the defense will be crucial for the Hurricanes if they want to make some noise in the ACC.
Miami Travels to Tallahassee to face 1-3 Florida State, in a rescheduled game from Sept, 16th due to Hurricane Irma.