Miami vs. South Florida Game Recap

By: Shasky Clarke

(14) Miami, FL (4-0) 49, South Florida (0-4) 21

The University of Miami football team continued their undefeated season, dispatching the South Florida Bulls quickly on the road, getting out to a 35-7 halftime lead. The deficit could have been worse. Miami lost two fumbles inside USF’s five yard line in the first half.

USF failed to truly test the Hurricane starting defense through the air, even fumbling in their own end zone for a Miami touchdown. Further, their own defense could not prevent Miami from converting a number of big plays.

Miami senior quarterback Stephen Morris got off to a hot start, showing off his excellent arm and accuracy downfield. But for the second consecutive game, Morris had to come out of a game early due to a bothersome ankle sprain that could nag him all year.

In any case, the Miami offense would be just as effective without Morris at the helm. The talented Ryan Williams again filled in and flashed his accuracy and poise. Williams may not have quite the arm strength of Morris, but he has picturesque height and is a more consistently accurate passer in the short and intermediate areas.

The Miami defense continues to seemingly go untested, showing off its speed, depth and versatility. On Saturday, the defense amassed five sacks and was very physical in the open field and on USF quarterback Steven Bench. But USF came into the game as arguably the worst offense in major college football. The undersized Bench and his offensive line were overwhelmed by Miami’s size and speed in the first half.

Next week, Miami has a home game against Georgia Tech to kick off their conference schedule. USF stays home against Cincinnati.

The Good

Miami Receivers

Miami’s wide receivers had a terrific day, led by senior Allen Hurns and freshman Stacy Coley. Hurns has great size and ball skills and is a dangerous player after the catch, breaking tackles and making guys miss.

Coley is an exciting athlete whose role is growing on the offense. But he is also a threat as a terrific punt returner. Phillip Dorsett, one of the fastest players in the country, continues to be a consistent deep threat, completing another vertical play of 50-plus yards.

Starting Offensive Line

Miami’s offensive line set the tone early on, utilizing its size advantage to open wide running lanes. Right guard Brandon Linder, a noted weight room warrior, was exceptional as a physical mauler at the point of attack. The line was also dominant in pass protection, giving Morris and Williams great time early in the first half.

The Bad

Duke Johnson

Duke Johnson’s day wasn’t without its struggles, getting shaken up early by some hard hits and having a kick-off return for touchdown taken back by penalty. He also happened to be the victim of two lost fumbles inside the USF five yard line. Thankfully, it was USF and not a tougher opponent.

Run Defense

Marcus Shaw is top ten in the nation in rushing yards. Saturday’s game against Miami didn’t hurt that as he ran for 131 yards on 20 carries, gashing the Hurricane defense for good gains on several occasions in the first half. He took advantage of some bad angles and run fits from Miami safeties and linebackers and demonstrated his speed and slippery running style. Though its performance against Florida was faith-inspiring, it will be important for Miami to clean things up in the front seven as it prepares to face Georgia Tech, one of the best running teams in the league.

Leaders

Miami

QB Stephen Morris 11-16 222 yards, 2 touchdowns

QB Ryan Williams 8-14 153 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception, 1 sack

RB Duke Johnson  14 rushes, 84 yards, 6.0 average, 1 touchdown

WR Allen Hurns 5 receptions, 81 yards

WR Stacy Coley 4 receptions, 96 yards, 2 touchdowns

OLB Raphael Kirby 4 tackles, 1 sack, 2.5 tackles for loss

DE/OLB Shayon Greene 3 tackles, 1 sack, 2 tackles for loss

USF

QB Steven Bench 13-27 189 yards, 1 touchdown, 5 sacks

RB Marcus Shaw 20 carries, 131 yards, 6.3 average, 1 touchdown

WR Andre Davis 5 receptions, 75 yards

MLB DeDe Lattimore 9 tackles