UVa Game -- Offensive Analysis

The Hurricanes lost to Virginia today by the score of 41-40. Read on to see what CanesTime's Mike Bakas is saying about the game -- from a offensive standpoint.

* This game seemed to be typical of the way this season has gone -- especially in ACC games. The offense turned in a solid performance, while the defense couldn't do anything to slow down the opponent. At the end of the day, when you go on the road and you score 40 points (31 minus the kick return and safety), your offense is doing its job.

* Stephen Morris seemed to play one of his better games. I like the commitment to the running game today. I've been saying all year that a good running game (which this offense seems designed for based on its personnel) will help open things up with the passing game. He was high percentage today, spread it around nicely, threw three touchdowns, and took good care of the football (at least throwing it). If he plays like that all the time, especially on the road, UM will have a chance to win a lot of games.

* Duke Johnson was again the best player on the field for the Canes. I have two thoughts on that. One, can you imagine where this offense would be right now had he not been a prep senior last season, or chosen not to sign with UM? Take Duke Johnson away from Miami's roster this season and the Canes might have 1 or 2 wins against Division 1 opponents. On the otherhand, it just goes to show you how big an impact a true freshman can have in today's college game. There are only a few of those types every year. I thought Duke was one of them coming out last year. Amari Cooper was another one, and he's been the top-ranked team's best offensive weapon, by far, this season. If you manage to sign one of those types every year, you're going to have a chance to have a really special year. Miami has one on its roster right now. Some of the great UM teams in the past had 3-4 per year. UM needs to get back to that. Throw in another Duke (like Amari Cooper, for example) and this team might be 8-2 right now.

* What a disappointment it was for Rashawn Scott to get suspended before the game. It's a huge game for the team, and the program, and he's been the team's most productive receiver this season. Scott decides to do something to get him suspended. That's part of being young and a big reason why recruiting high character kids is so important.

* Phillip Dorsett turned in another strong performance. I think he's been the team's best receiver from start to now, not Scott, this year. I think if you take Scott away UM would have been fine (like they were today). Take Dorsett away and it's a different offense, a different game every week.

* The tight ends accounted for two catches for 13 yards today. Their lack of production, despite Clive Walford's touchdown, continues. The two committed for the 2013 class can't get here soon enough. Walford could end up being the third option at tight end in the passing game this time next season.

* Kudos to the offensive line. They helped the running game average 7.1 yards per carry. Morris wasn't sacked. They seemed to be really getting after it. They've shown improvement all season and it's likely that all five of the starters will return next season. And, they continue working a few backups into the game earlier and earlier every week.

* USF's defense has given Miami fits the last few seasons and I don't think next weekend will be any different. The difference, in my opinion, will be Duke Johnson. He's such a difference maker that he gives this offense a chance to make a big play at any time and his ability in the return game puts this offense in much better situations than most offensive teams get.


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