Written by Darrell Wilkinson
Arlington, TX – The 8th ranked Miami Hurricanes were upset 33 to 17 by 25th ranked LSU in the Advocare Classic at AT&T Stadium with the Tigers dominating much of the game. Some of the reoccurring mistakes that plagued last years ‘Canes team came back to bite them against an LSU team that was very disciplined and efficient.
It was the mistake-prone Hurricanes that kept themselves out of much of the contest with numerous penalties and special teams mistakes that really cost them, it was only a matter of time before LSU capitalized. Tigers running back Nick Brossette carried the load with 22 carries for 136 yards with two touchdowns including a 50 yarder right up the gut that put LSU up 10 to 3 on the scoreboard and momentum on their side. Miami quarterback Malik Rosier touched on how that big touchdown affected his team moving forward.
“Coach Diaz(Manny Diaz Defensive Coordinator) said they had that one big run, and you could just feel the energy sucked out of your sideline.” Said Rosier. “I felt like we didn’t respond very well at first and by the third, fourth quarter it was too late to respond”.
Rosier, a redshirt senior struggled for the vast majority of the night only starting to look better on Miami’s two lone touchdown drives early into the fourth quarter when LSU looked like they just wanted to run the clock out. Rosier did throw a nice lofted 32-yard pass to freshman receiver Brian Hightower who hauled in his first career touchdown with Miami. Unfortunately, it was too little too late for the ‘Canes as the offense needed to show up well before they actually did to give themselves a chance. That combined with offensive line play that looked unorganized couldn’t get the ‘Canes going.
The Tigers had an efficient game, not doing anything too flashy but they grinded this game out with good defense and special teams and disguised their own offenses inability to really get things going outside of the 50-yard run. LSU finished with 296 total yards on offense while the ‘Canes finished with 342. Tigers quarterback Joe Burrow went 11 of 24 for 140 yards, no touchdowns but also no interceptions which is key. Give credit to LSU for what they did on defense and special teams, as they put together a great game plan as outlined by senior center for the Hurricanes Tyler Gauthier.
“Playing the first game of the season, you really don’t know what that defense is going to come out with.” Said the senior center. “We thought we planned for everything and they brought a very good one-minute package at the end. He(LSU defensive coordinator) did a great job at the end with sending new blitzes. I think that’s where they killed us at the end”.
Hurricanes Head Coach Mark Richt was disappointed after the game but he was optimistic about how his team responded late while they were down.
“I think the biggest thing though was to be down the way we were down and then began to come back and get to the point where, you know, within two scores and you know, starting to feel the energy, starting to feel the juice again.” Said Coach Richt. “I’ll say this though, we got a great room of young men and great coaches and we’re going to stay the course, I’m going to promise you that. Sometimes it feels like the end of the world but it’s really not.”
While there was a boatload of negatives, I can leave ‘Canes fans with a few positives. The defense did not do a bad job by any means. The defensive front looked strong and if Trajan Bandy doesn’t get ejected early in the game the secondary could have looked much better than they did. At wide receiver, Jeff Thomas made some amazing catches and has next level speed that if Rosier can get his timing right with him. Between some strong wide receivers, and a defense that can get it done the ‘Canes CAN turn this season around. The real question is, will they?
Miami is back in action next Saturday, September 9th at 6:00pm/EST against Savannah State at Hard Rock Stadium. LSU will take on Southeastern Louisiana at 7:00PM/EST.
– Darrell Wilkinson TheSkyBoat.com
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