Miami Hurricanes scrap together ugly win vs. Chippewas | September 21, 2019

Miami Hurricanes ugly win

Miami, FL – The weather wasn’t the only thing that was gloomy on Saturday as the Miami Hurricanes scrapped together an ugly 17-12 win against the Central Michigan Chippewas at Hardrock Stadium. A week removed from obliterating Bethune-Cookman 63-0, today’s game was punctuated by a struggling offense and numerous penalties, the worst overall performance so far this season.

After Central Michigan was forced to punt on the opening drive, the Hurricanes scored on their first possession. Jarren Williams got things started with a 38-yard connection to Will Mallory. Two plays later Williams gave Mallory another look, moving the ball up another 21 yards in the air. Miami forced its way down to the Chippewa one-yard line, setting up for DeeJay Dallas to mow through on 4th and goal for the score. 

In the second quarter, Williams was smacked in his own endzone. The call on the field was a fumble resulting in a safety. However, after further review, the QB was already moving his arm forward on the hit and it was ruled an incomplete. Not that it mattered, a couple plays later Williams was sacked in the endzone, again, unable to get rid of the ball in time. 

After a promising first drive, UM’s offense remained quiet for the rest of the half and much of the game. Williams at times looked indecisive, holding on to the ball way too long and sometimes failing to run forward when the way was clear. He seemed trapped in the pocket even when it was holding.

Same as last week, UM started off slow with just one score in the first quarter. But instead of lighting up the scoreboard, as they did against the Wildcats before the half, it was drive after unproductive drive.  With less than three minutes left until halftime, Miami had negative six yards. That’s right, negative yardage. After 128 total yards in the first quarter, the second quarter was 21 total yards after they strung together some last-minute positive plays.

The Canes did come out swinging in the third quarter, scoring on the opening drive. Williams made three big passes to Mike Harley, DeeJay Dallas, and Brevin Jordan striking deep into Chippewa territory, capping it off with a 6-yard throw to K.J. Osborn for the touchdown. They had won the coin toss prior to kickoff and elected to receive in the second half. However, it remained their lone score outside of a 22-yard field goal from Bubba Baxa for the rest of the game. 

Miami also committed a whopping 13 penalties during the game, totaling 93 yards. An obscene and unacceptable amount by Hurricane standards as the defense at times was unable to get off the field. Things went off the rails in the fourth quarter where there were four penalties on the same drive, three from UM alone, allowing the Chippewas to hog the clock for over eight minutes of possession and place the ball on Miami’s 1-yard-line. If it was possible to score on yellow flags, they would have. Michael Pinckney was called for holding, Scott Patchan for offsides and Trajan Bandy for the big no-no, pass interference.  By that second penalty (Third of the drive), they were already on the Cane’s one-yard-line. 

“Physically, we did not dominate this opponent, which is what our standard is,” Manny Diaz said. 

Coach Diaz emphasized that while the team achieved its goal of getting the W, the issue with the penalties will be addressed during the bye week. There were other glaring deficiencies, namely third-down conversions and the running game. DeeJay Dallas rushed 14 times for 34 yards and while he did get a rushing TD, Miami only accumulated 51 yards on the ground. Over on third-down, the team was a horrendous 1 of 10. 

Near universally accepted as a cupcake game, the team really took a step back. As ugly as it was, the team remains upbeat heading into the bye week.

“There’s a hundred things we need to fix, but I’d rather fix them after a win than after a loss.”

The Hurricanes continue on their five-game homestand October 5th when they host ACC opponent Virginia Tech.

Photo Credit | Edwin Garcia

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