A showcase game they would have, as the Canes would have complete control of the game following Bethane-Cookman’s opening drive that put the Wildcats up 3-0. The Canes would answer back immediately with a field goal of their own, evening the score at 3. That would be all of the scoring in the first quarter, but quickly in the second Miami would seize control and never look back.
The impressive first half was lead offensively by redshirt junior quarterback Malik Rosier, who impressed in both the running and passing game. A nice run-pass-option to begin the Hurricane’s first drive made his impact felt immediately, and he was able to finish the half with 21 yards rushing in the first half. In the passing game, Rosier completed 11 of his 17 passes, including 2 touchdowns, one to wide receiver Lawrence Cager and the other to wide receiver Darrell Langham on a nice fade pass in the end zone.
The other star offensively for the Hurricanes was Junior running back Mark Walton. His 124 first half rushing yards was his 7th 100-yard game of his career, tying him with former Miami running back Tyrone Moss for 9th place for most 100 yard games at the U. He also scored on a nice diving run for Miami’s first touchdown of the game.
The defense for the U looked dominant at times, and then would give up several big plays to Bethune-Cookman. They never completely broke in the first half, not allowing any touchdowns, but were helped several times by penalty miscues by the Wildcats. The defense did force 3 straight three and outs, and not giving up any touchdowns will look good no matter who you play. Leading the way in tackles for the half was redshirt senior defensive back Dee Delaney with five total tackles.
The second half featured more big play offense, and more inconsistency on defense, but the Hurricanes never gave up control. Mark Walton added to his day, with another touchdown in the 3rd quarter. Malik Rosier also added another touchdown pass on a 22-yard pass to wide receiver Braxton Berrios. His three touchdown passes for the game matched his career high, and he may have surpassed this if he had not been pulled early in the 4th quarter for backup quarterback Evan Sherriffs. Sherriffs was able to put together a drive that ended in a 50-yard field goal by Senior Michael Badgley, who capped off the 41-13 victory.
The defense in the second half only gave up 1 touchdown, but several big plays and long drives will be points that need to be improved going forward. The leading tackler for the day was Linebacker Shaq Quarterman, who when asked about the mindset the defense had when these long drive took place said, “We take it play by play, stop them first down, second down, third down, and then you are out.” He continued, “If they do convert, start the whole process over again.”
This was an impressive showing for this Hurricanes team that has high goals set for this season. Only 2 offensive drives did not end in points, and new starting quarterback Malik Rosier showed both poise and big play ability throughout the game. The two 100-yard running performances by Walton and running back Travis Homer will be a welcomed addition to this offense that is filled with weapons. They have some things to sure up on the defensive side of the ball, but overall the high goal set by this team to not only reach the ACC championship, but win it, looks achievable if they can find consistency when they head into ACC play.
Miami will next travel to Jonesboro, Arkansas to take on Arkansas State on September 9th, at 3:30pm.