Head Coach Mark Richt noticed this anxiousness from his team during practice, “They were anxious to come out and practice, which was nice. I don’t know if they still feel as anxious today, since we’ve gotten into a little bit of a grind [in practice].”
After the 20-day break, the Hurricanes will look at this game against the Toledo Rockets as another start to their season and use this game as a springboard as they enter ACC play next week.
The key will be getting Miami’s starters as many reps as possible, and that begins with starting quarterback Malik Rosier, who was impressive in the Hurricanes first game. Rosier threw for 217 yards and 3 touchdowns, as well as doing damage with his legs, before being replaced in the later stages of the contest. Miami will need Rosier to continue his good work this season if they hope to reach their goal of making to the ACC championship game.
Miami will also look to replicate their 550-yard performance from week 1, and they have the weapons to do so in both the rushing and passing game. Junior running back Mark Walton, a staple in this Miami offense, now has a partner in the backfield to do damage with, as he and sophomore Travis Homer both rushed for over 100-yards in the season opener (148 for Walton and 103 for Homer). Receivers Darrell Langham, Braxton Berrios, and Lawrence Cager, whom all scored touchdowns in week 1, may once again need to carry the load, as the Hurricanes’ could be without star sophomore Ahmmon Richards, who is questionable to play with a hamstring injury that has kept him out since week 1. In practice, Coach Richt noted that Richards has been a little cautious of his hamstring in practice, not wanting to rush back into things, as he will be a big piece of the offense this season.
Defensively, the Hurricanes will hope to show off the “Turnover Chain” that went viral in week 1. Malek Young, the current possessor of the chain, will hope for another turnover to keep possession of the new chain. The defense as a whole, who gave up some long plays in week 1, will look for a more consistent performance heading into ACC play next week.
Toledo will be looking for the upset in Miami, as the Rockets have gotten off to a fast start of their own, entering the game at 3-0 and the current favorites to win the MAC championship. The Rockets will need quarterback Logan Whiteside, who is already over 1,000 yards passing and 8 touchdowns on the season, to have a big game if they hope to get the upset this Saturday.
The Miami Hurricanes and the Toledo Rockets will take the field in Miami at Hard Rock Stadium this Saturday, September 23, at 3:30 pm EST.