Written by Darrell Wilkinson
The Miami Hurricanes last two games have been disheartening, to the fan base to say the least, and with Duke coming to town, the ‘Canes need to right the ship in a hurry.
The Hurricanes and the Blue Devils share 5-3 overall records and both have lost two straight to ACC opponents with the ‘Canes most recently faltering at Boston College and Duke losing a shootout with Pitt.
Miami Head Coach Mark Richt has had a tough time getting his offense together throughout the season but the last two games with senior quarterback Malik Rosier at the helm the ‘Canes have not been able to find any consistency through the air or on the ground. The ‘Canes sit 9th in the ACC in total offense with the 12th ranked passing attack and 8th ranked rushing attack and Rosier, in particular, has the lowest completion percentage of any ACC starting quarterback (52.3%). Coach Richt has taken criticism for his play calling but he believes his players just need to execute better to see an improvement.
“….there’s nothing wrong with the plays being called, quite frankly.” Said Coach Richt. “What’s wrong is we haven’t executed well enough. If anybody got in the room with us and saw what we were doing, how we’re doing it and why we’re doing it, if they knew football, they’d know we have to do a better job executing of what we call.”
The Miami defense, on the other hand, has been a different story. Aside from a bad first half against Boston College, they’ve been one of the better defenses in college football and once again will have their hands full against a creative Duke team that put up a season-high 45 points against Pitt last week. Blue Devils quarterback Daniel Jones had a monster game with 396 yards through the air and four touchdowns and will be tough to stop as he’s not afraid to run(he had 15 carries for 38 yards vs Pitt) and makes minimal mistakes in Head Coach David Cutcliffe’s offense.
Prediction: Miami 28 – Duke 21
Over the past two weeks I’ve been shown no evidence that this Miami offense has got it together and until we see something different I have no reason to believe they’re going to show up against Duke. That being said, I still think Miami wins this game. The ‘Canes defense has a bad taste in their mouths after that showing at Boston College and is going to want to make a point against Duke. I don’t expect to see the turnover chain much but I do think the ‘Canes are going to put Duke in unfavorable situations on third down and if they can play with the lead will get after Daniel Jones throughout the evening.
It’ll be close but Miami will find a way with simple plays on offense and getting just enough points to have the defense win the game for them.
Be sure to tune in Saturday as the Miami Hurricanes host the Duke Blue Devils at Hard Rock Stadium. The game can be seen LIVE at 7:00 PM/EST on ESPN2.
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- Darrell Wilkinson TheSkyBoat.com