Miami vs. Georgia Tech Wrap-up

By: Shasky Clarke

Georgia Tech (3-2) 30, #13 Miami (FL) (5-0) 45

While the game was tied at halftime and the Hurricanes were only up 24-23 at one point in the fourth quarter, the game should not have been that close. The Miami offense dominated the game, averaging almost 15 yards per pass attempt and over seven yards per rush, finishing with 551 total offensive yards on only 53 plays. The Hurricanes only faced six third downs all day.  Only one Miami drive did not end in a touchdown or a turnover.

But it was those turnovers and Georgia Tech’s command of time of possession that kept Georgia Tech alive. Miami wide receiver Phillip Dorsett and running back Duke Johnson each lost a fumble. Quarterback Stephen Morris made a couple poor decisions leading to interceptions, including one in the red zone in the middle of the third quarter.

The undefeated Miami Hurricanes continue to slowly rise up the rankings, now ranked 13th and 14th in the AP and USA Today polls, respectively. Off this upcoming weekend, next up they face a Thursday night road test on October 17th. Georgia Tech goes on the road to BYU on Saturday.

Big Play Miami Offense Clicking

Beginning with a two play, 73 yard, 32 second drive on their first possession of the game, Miami’s offense was spectacular. It featured a huge number of big plays and largely carving up a leaner, zone-heavy Georgia Tech defense that included two backup safeties.

What was especially impressive was the offense’s ability to have that success despite Stephen Morris’s clearly troublesome ankle sprain as well as right tackle Seantrel Henderson’s suspension and absence.

Two Morris interceptions were a little bit more a result of bad decisions than physical limitations. Otherwise, Morris was sharp, showing precision on several downfield throws and even making these plays on the run.

The Miami offensive line shifted pieces around, eventually sticking with moving right guard Brandon Linder over to right tackle and rotating senior Jared Wheeler and junior Malcolm Bunche at right guard. The team was able to take advantage of its depth as junior center Shane McDermott was able to return from an injury that held him out a few weeks.

Tech star defensive end Jeremiah Attaochu flashed his NFL pass rushing talent, beating Linder multiple times on the outside, and getting hits on Morris. But he was only able to get one sack as Miami controlled the game upfront.

With a deep and explosive running game, pass protection, and plethora of pass catching talent that feature great speed, ball skills and run-after-catch ability, Miami’s offense is currently one of the top ten best offenses in the nation.

Miami Defense Adjusts

The Hurricane defense was on the field for over 13 minutes in the first quarter of the game. Georgia Tech enjoyed rampant success running their offense, especially getting to the edge. But in the second half, Miami was able to consistently contain the outside run with their aggressive pursuit and speed.

Miami also dominated Georgia Tech’s limited passing game, holding them to 3.5 yards per attempt, no big plays and two interceptions.

Overall, though three Tech turnovers had a huge impact as their offense moved the ball fairly well otherwise, Miami’s defense, much deeper and stouter than last year’s,  is playing with a ton of confidence. They continue to make plays and it will be interesting to see how they match-up against ACC pass offenses like that of their next opponents, North Carolina and its senior quarterback Bryn Renner.