Poor play and penalties haunt Miami Hurricanes in heartbeaker to FSU

Miami Hurricanes heartbreaker FSU

Miami, Florida –The Miami Hurricanes were unable to hold the line, losing a thrilling 31-28 heartbreaker to FSU. Poor play and lots of penalties doomed them. They did surpass an ugly first half, clawing all the way to their first lead in the fourth quarter. However, it was in vain. Miami was down 20-7 at halftime amassing only 125 total yards. Tyler Van Dyke was an abysmal nine for 21 with his passing including two interceptions (and a fumble). TVD went into beast mode in the second half but the penalties kept happening to give Florida State plenty of yards. By the end of the game, the Canes committed a grand total of 14 penalties, five on FSU’s first drive alone. In sum, that’s 105 free yards to the Seminoles.

You do not beat a team that way.

There was a lot at stake for these two teams. Besides the bragging rights in their long-fabled rivalry, the Hurricanes were looking to remain in the hunt to win the Coastal Division. Florida State was fighting to be eligible for a bowl game. You can make the argument the Noles wanted it more, they certainly showed it. Personally, the University of Miami beat themselves. Don’t get me wrong, Jordan Travis played great and Jermaine Johnson was a thorn on Miami’s side all game. However, we can’t ignore that terrible half on both sides of the ball, the bad play-calling, and a defense that ultimately failed when it mattered most late-game.

The Positives

I’m going to give credit where it’s due. Van Dyke really stepped up in the second half, providing the necessary leadership that one expects from a team captain. After Miami got their first turnover midway in the third quarter, they successfully converted. Van Dyke connected with Thaddius Franklin Jr getting the ball to the FSU 10 yard-line. It was followed up via Mike Harley making the huge heads-up play catching the tipped ball in the endzone. Bravo Harley!

I will say I liked coach Manny Diaz’s aggressiveness. Late in the third quarter, Andres Borregales missed the 53-yard field goal attempt. The team caught a break, however, with a penalty flag on the Noles for running into the kicker. What did they do? The Canes took advantage of the do-over, sending out TVD instead. On 4th and 6, Van Dyke found Charleston Rambo for the first down. That’s gutsy in my book. And why not? It was rivalry week and the hate between these two programs is well known. The move led to a Will Mallory touchdown for UM’s first-ever lead in the game. What a difference a half makes. The Hurricanes were a perfect 4-for-4 on fourth down conversions.

We also can’t forget The Rooster Jaylan Knighton who took the hit and kept on going to put Miami up 28-20 with a 35-yard score. Alas, the U couldn’t nab the W.

Moving Forward

This one will sting for a long while. So with winning the Coastal Division out of the question, all that’s left is going out on a high note en route to a bowl game. Virginia Tech and Duke are all that remain on the schedule. With the last home game of the season on the horizon with the Hokies, UM will need to shake off the hard loss. The countdown to Manny Diaz’s tenure in Coral Gables continues.

Photo | Kathy Hitchcock

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