Miami Hurricanes fall short on Senior Day

Miami Hurricanes Senior Day

Photo by Edwin Garcia


Miami, Florida – The Miami Hurricanes lost to the tenth-ranked Louisville Cardinals 38-31 on Senior Day concluding their 2023 home schedule. The opposing squads experienced a high-scoring contest where each side found ways to score. Starting quarterback Tyler Van Dyke completed 24 of 39 passes amassing 327 yards including a touchdown committing zero interceptions. Unsurprisingly, the top wide receiver was none other than Xavier Restrepo recording eight catches on 10 targets for 193 yards and a TD. Mark Fletcher Jr., meanwhile, was the frontrunner of the ground game generating 126 rushing yards and two touchdowns averaging 7.4 yards a carry.

After a string of solid performances by UM’s defense, the unit met its match. Louisville QB Jack Plummer threw for over 300 yards scoring thrice with a lone pick. The Cardinals found plenty of success in the red zone putting up points four of five times. Miami’s offense got off to a good start finding the endzone twice matching the red birds. They led at the half and carried the advantage through the third quarter. However, the visitors regained the edge scoring 15 points in the fourth while the Hurricanes could only commit a field goal. With the victory, the Louisville Cardinals clinched a spot in the ACC Championship. Falling to 6-5 (2-5 ACC) the Miami Hurricanes wrapped up both its home schedule and Senior Day going 5-2. They will now travel to Boston College to complete the ’23 season.

Recap

On their first possession, Louisville converted on fourth and two deep in UM territory as Plummer hit Nate Kurisky for the 23-yard pass. The two connected again to open up the scoring. Afterward, Van Dyke found Restrepo for the 11-yard completion. He then went deep hitting Jacolby George for an explosive 43 yards before Fletcher broke loose for the 21-yard touchdown.

Feeding off the offensive burst, a lurking Kamren Kinchens picked off Plummer. TVD converted via two passes to Restrepo giving Miami the advantage.

Maurice Turner managed a 50-yard kickoff return and Louisville ultimately tied the game courtesy of a 12-yard rushing TD by Isaac Guerendo.

Miami countered on the next drive. Brashard Smith showed off some speed cruising with a 34-yard trip to the endzone complemented by nice blocking from Francis Mauigoa. Taking advantage of a dubious roughing the passer called on Rueben Bain Jr., Plummer air-balled it to Trevonte Sylvester for six.

In the third quarter, Fletcher narrowly scored on a 55-yard run stepping out of bounds. He did anyway two plays later. Louisville pulled away as Plummer made consequential throws culminating in Evan Conley leaping into the endzone followed by a successful two-point conversion. Andy Borregales later nailed a 51-yarder equalizing.

With less than five minutes left, the defense suffered a costly miscommunication when Te’Cory Couch and Jaden Davis collided providing an opportunity for Plummer to complete a 58-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Coleman Jr. during the incident. With time rapidly running out, Van Dyke went deep to Restrepo completing a 48-yard play. A short pass to Smith and a pass interference on a toss intended for George drew them to the four-yard line. The drive ended with a turnover on downs. UM got the ball back with 19 seconds remaining but the hail mary came up short.

Impressions

Van Dyke played decent

After the first quarter, I expected him to throw a pick or two. None came which was a pleasant surprise. Although he produced 327 yards going deep a few times, this felt like a conservative effort. Regardless, it was a solid performance. TVD fought on despite taking a couple of hard hits including a sack that absolutely blindsided him due to Mauigoa misreading the defense. The signal-caller kept Miami competitive from start to finish in spite of the pressure. Considering his struggles, this was frankly a better-than-expected outcome.

Defense

Pulling off one takeaway was not enough. Recording one pass breakup and two QB hurries, the group was just unable to sack Plummer who remained rather elusive. Late in the third, Kiko threw his hands up nearly making an INT. He was credited with a pass deflection instead. The defense allowed 470 total yards, 308 from the opposing quarterback. Louisville was great in the red zone illustrating how successful they were today. The unit’s high point proved to be Kinchen’s interception that Miami managed to convert into a TD.

Game MVP: Fletcher

It may have been the Miami Hurricanes’ Senior Day but the game ball goes to freshman Mark Fletcher. Compiling 126 yards on the ground along with two TDs and a 25-yard catch, Fletcher had a day. I really wonder what his stat line could’ve been if he stayed healthy. Currently, the rookie running back sits at 468 yards and four touchdowns. Moving forward, I’m excited for his growth and development during his college career at Coral Gables.

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