Written by Darrell Wilkinson
Miami Gardens, FL – The Miami Hurricanes have now lost their third game in a row and third ACC loss in a row as they fall 20-12 to the Duke Blue Devils. The conditions we’re sloppy on a rain soaked evening which favored Miami but the Blue Devils found a way to take the game back from the ‘Canes and hold onto win.
Duke running back Deon Jackson took the first play from scrimmage 75 yards to the house and waved the ‘U’ in the air and proceeded to point it down, 7-0 Duke. That play set the tone for the entire evening as Miami just couldn’t execute to put the game away despite out gaining Duke on the ground with 300 yards to just 149, and 411 total yards for Miami to Duke’s 290.
The rain came down heavy in the middle of the first quarter with Duke up 7-0. This was advantage Miami as they started to run the ball with effectively against a Duke rush defense that had given up 484 to Pittsburgh just one week prior. ‘Canes running back DeeJay Dallas with the help of the rain took the ball 83 yards to the house early in the fourth quarter and from there the momentum looked to be all for Miami.
Duke did enough to keep themselves in the game and were rewarded for not making mistakes to hurt themselves while the ‘Canes did have those painful errors. With the score 12 – 7 in favor of Miami, the ‘Canes lined up for field goal that would go all wrong for them. Bubba Baxa’s low kick went right into the line and Duke wound up with the ball after the turnover on downs. From there the Blue Devils would go on a nine play 65 yard drive that was full of Miami mistakes including an unnecessary roughness call and a tipped ball from the ‘Canes defense that ended up back into the hands of a Duke receiver before finally being punched in on a jump pass of all plays.
Miami’s lack of execution once again came back to haunt them and safety Jaquan Johnson highlighted that after the game.
“I think we just need to execute better.” Said Johnson. “Because [if] we start executing better, I think things will start going our way. When we execute, we put points on the board. When we execute, we get three-and-outs. We won’t have, on the first play, a busted assignment and someone scoring. So, execution, that’s the main thing.”
Ironically a team known for turnovers were bitten by the turnover bug themselves as Dallas, despite having a good game on the ground fumbled the ball twice that gave Duke prime positions to do damage. Mistakes plagued Miami throughout the night as they seemed to have Duke in a vulnerable position and somehow it would become an advantage for the Blue Devils.
Both senior Malik Rosier and redshirt freshman N’Kosi Perry saw action at quarterback for the Hurricanes but neither seemed to be too effective. Rosier ended the night 8 of 12 for 76 yards mostly playing in the rain and looked like a smart, experienced quarterback who has limitations but still wasn’t making the big mistake. Perry struggled to say the least ending 5 of 16 for just 35 yards and was partially responsible for the second fumble that Duke ended up recovering. Perry looked like a young, erratic player but with all the arm talent and playmaking ability in the world but through this game you can see why Mark Richt favors the senior.
Miami drops to 5-4 on the season as they prepare to travel to Atlanta to take on Georgia Tech while Duke improves to 6-3 and returns home to face North Carolina.
- Darrell Wilkinson TheSkyBoat.com