After a slow start on offense in the first quarter, Jacory Harris found Leonard Hankerson who leaped into the end zone for a five-yard score. Later in the second, after a short drive starting in Duke territory, Harris scrambled for a 13-yard TD to put the ‘Canes up 14-3.
In the third quarter, Duke received the kickoff and was quickly put in a 3rd and long situation. Miami zone blitzed, and DT Micanor Regis recorded his third interception of his career, returning it for a 22-yard TD. The Hurricanes took a 21-3 lead.
Duke followed that up with 75-yard drive, cutting into the Miami lead. The touchdown scored on the ensuing drive was Duke’s first on the season in the third quarter.
Miami drove the field and Damien Berry scored from 1-yard out, giving UM a 28-10 edge. They would eventually outlast Duke, beating them by a final score of 28-13.
Harris finished the game 17-of-34 for 224 yards, throwing and running for a score. Harris moved into a tie with Gino Torretta for fourth place for career TD passes. He needs just two more to move past Vinny Testaverde and Steve Walsh for sole possession of second place all-time in school history in TD passes.
Berry compiled 111 yards on 25 carries and a touchdown. This was Berry’s third consecutive 100-yard rushing game and joins Edgerrin James, Clinton Portis, Willis McGahee, and Frank Gore to accomplish the feat. Mike James added 8 rushes for 84 yards. Hankerson had six catches for 80 yards and touchdown and Travis Benjamin had three catches for 67 yards.
The story of this game was the seven turnovers the ‘Canes caused on defense: five INTs and two fumbles. Vaughn Telemaque had a pair of picks, with Ryan Hill, Micanor Regis, and DeMarcus Van Dyke joining the party.
Sean Spence had 12 tackles and a fumble recovery, with Hill collecting 10 stops and Regis with 9. Freshman MLB Kelvin Cain played an outstanding game, amassing nine tackles and a forced fumble in his first career start.
The defense, which leads the nation in tackles for loss with 9.5 per game, tallied nine more yesterday. The offense racked up 448 total yards, evenly split with 224 yards passing and running, accompanied by 22 first downs.
Duke was able muster 292 total yards. Duke’s QB Sean Renfree was 18-of-38 for 157 yards.
There was a lot more positive to take away from this game, even though all of us expected a bigger margin of victory. The main thing is Miami won a conference game, on the road, that gets that big, fat, ugly FSU monkey off our backs. Now that UM has put that result firmly behind them and got into the win column yesterday, hopefully this team will circle the wagons and rally around itself.
There are still plenty of things to clean and firm up, but when is a win really a win?
Kelvin Cain looked great. The defense as a whole played much better. Damien Berry continues to run hard. Mike James looked tough. Asante Cleveland looked good catching the ball. Ryan Hill and his secondary teammates looked impressive. Jacory Harris settled down in the second half.
There’s plenty to build on. But the Hurricanes better do it in a hurry, because a talented, well-coached North Carolina Tar Heels come calling next Saturday night.
So let’s ask ourselves a few questions in the wake of this victory.
2) Does this victory instill any more confidence in Randy Shannon and the direction of the program, or are you still taking a wait and see attitude?
3) Is Kelvin Cain the future at MLB? Did he play well enough to start versus North Carolina?
4) How much confidence do you have in the defense to keep the team in games while the offense might struggle?
5) How confident are you that Miami will beat North Carolina?
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