Five Reasons to Like the Canes Win Over UAB

In a workman like effort, the Canes beat UAB 31-14 on Thursday Night. Here are 5 Reasons to like Miami’s performance in the season opener.

  1. The Canes Won. Look, normally a win over UAB is nothing to thump your chest over. But UAB is one of the better teams in Conference USA and Miami did lose to a Conference USA team last year. Also, looking around college football, both Iowa State and Kansas State stubbed their toes and teams overall did not look good (with some exceptions like Clemson), so the Canes winning by 17 is a good thing. Perhaps more than anything else, Miami was able to take a bit of a punch, and when threatened at 17-14, the Canes responded with consecutive TDs to put the game away. That wasn’t happening last year, even in wins (see Central Michigan).
  2. The 4-Headed Monster at RB. Miami ran the ball, and then ran the ball, and then ran the ball some more. THREE THIRTY SEVEN ON THE GROUND. While we all would have liked to have seen more out of the passing game, the Canes displayed depth and dynamism in multiple facets of the run game. Miami had 4 runners go over 50 yards and average over 6 yards per carry. Cam’Ron Harris lead the way, but D’Eriq King, Jaylan Knighton, and Donald Chaney, Jr. all contributed, all showed explosion, and you can easily see this being a challenge for future opponents to defend.
  3. The Defensive Line. Quincy Roche, Nesta Jade Silvera, Jonathan Ford, and Jaelan Phillips looked like they had been playing together for years. The stats don’t necessarily jump out with one sack. But they spent a majority of the game in the backfield while maintaining discipline. Any one can charge up the field against an inferior opponent and look good. What we saw was some really good, consistent defensive line play.
  4. The Kicking Game. It’s no secret that the Canes’ struggled on FGs and Extra Points last year. They addressed it in the offseason by bringing in transfer Jose Borregales. So far, so good. He kicked 5 times (4 extra points and a FG) and all were right down the middle. Granted, you’d expect any scholarship kicker to be able to make these kicks, but at least for a week, the kicks were never in doubt. And looking around the country, the Canes are one of the few teams that could at least be comfortable with “easy” FGs.
  5. D’Eriq King. While we wanted to see more out of the passing game, King did complete 2/3rds of his passes and threw a TD. There were also no “almost” interceptions. There was one bad miss when Jeremiah Payton was open for a TD, but overall, he was solid in the passing game. And the rest of game…unbelievable. 12 carries for 83 yards doesn’t really show how exciting he was escaping pressure, making plays, extending drives, and scoring one TD. He’s going to a problem for all opponents to defend and should allow the entire offense to open up. It’s one thing to have to account for the QB because he can make some plays with his feet. But what the Canes have is a QB that can win games with his feet, and that is a different level.

Vishnu Parasuraman is a contributor for @FiveReasonsSports and generally covers the Miami Hurricanes. You can follow him on twitter @vrp2003

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