Here are some of my thoughts and observations following Miami’s 35-10 win over Georgia Tech:
- If you want to argue that their performance against Pittsburgh or North Carolina was better, I won’t argue, but to me this was Miami’s best performance of the season so far. Miami physically asserted itself as the superior team on both sides of the ball, which is something that hadn’t happened in many wins this season.
- Miami is a much, much better team when it leans more towards the run, as was the case in this game. The offensive linemen, most notably Seantrel Henderson, are primarily better run blockers than pass protectors.
- Much will be made of Stephen Morris’ performance in his first two starts, but the reality of the situation is that he’s been put in better positions to succeed by offensive coordinator Marc Whipple than Jacory Harris was earlier in the season because of the fact UM has established the run game in each of his two starts.
- Miami’s backfield looks solid for t he next few years as Lamar Miller has proven in the last two games that he can handle the workload of being a featured back. He won’t have to do it all himself however as Mike James’ inside running is a great compliment to the home run threat Miller brings. Storm Johnson and Eduardo Clements are also likely to be factors in upcoming seasons as well in the Hurricanes’ backfield.
- Special teams have been in an area of the team I’ve been very critical of, but the kick coverage in the last few weeks has been much, much better. Georgia Tech didn’t really have any noteworthy returns to speak of and they obviously had a number of opportunities on returns.
- UM’s linebackers were fantastic yesterday. Sean Spence and Colin McCarthy both may have played their best games of the season yesterday as they both made a number of tackles in open space on Yellow Jacket running backs. Ramon Buchanan has helped solidify the third linebacking spot as well.
- The victory probably sealed Randy Shannon returning as head coach for another year. Even if UM were to lose its final two games and go 7-5, it probably won’t be enough to convince the administration that Shannon isn’t good enough for the position as they view him favorably due to the team’s impressive academic standing and the fact that the program has had its players stay out of trouble for the most part during his tenure.
- Unfortunately, UM did not get the help it needed from UNC, and barring a UM win next week and a rather miraculous Virginia win over Virginia Tech, Miami will miss out on being in the ACC Championship game yet again. At this point, UM is more likely playing for an invitation to either the Chick-Fil-A Bowl against an SEC opponent or to the Champs Sports Bowl against what could potentially be Notre Dame.
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