Mike's Take: Florida Game

Miami knocked off 9th-ranked Florida on Saturday by the score of 21-16. It was a big win for a team that still has a long way to go. Read on for an analysis from CanesTime's Mike Bakas.

* Great win, no matter how you slice it. This Gator team was put together by a coaching staff that was recruiting on the heels of a dynasty. Meanwhile, the Hurricanes and Al Golden have been recruiting the last few years while facing potential NCAA sanctions. Having said that, Golden has assembled a better team. Or at least one that can beat the Gators. That's a very encouraging sign looking ahead.

* Speaking of recruiting, this will continue to help the Hurricanes. It shows how close they are. A lot of high profile players had to be impressed -- especially players considering both schools.

* As good a win as this was, this team still has a long way to go. The offense needs to develop rhythm. The defense needs to continue trending in the right direction. The season is young, though, and the Canes (assuming there are no major injuries) should be favored to win the rest of their games with the exception of Florida State.

* For all the heat this defense and especially the defensive coaches have taken the last few seasons, lets give credit where it's due. This unit was rock solid again today. They applied pressure, they created turnovers, they did a good job against the run, and they played well enough to beat a top ten opponent.

* Stephen Morris was solid today. He made some good decisions, and some that you wouldn't expect him to make. He did a nice job of managing the game. He made a perfect pass to Phillip Dorsett on the team's long touchdown. Florida's defense, especially in the secondary, will be as good as Miami sees in the regular season this year -- and Morris got it done.

* Duke Johnson didn't have much running room but he ran hard and made the most of his opportunities. I'd be surprised if he finds this little success anymore throughout the season.

* It's a bit surprising that only three wide receivers caught passes today for the Hurricanes. Allen Hurns was again solid. Dorsett was again a legit deep threat. Waters was again a playmaker. Stacy Coley was a non-factor, which is a bit surprising. Malcolm Lewis is still not involved. Wide receiver depth is an issue. This will be a different group when it has Lewis and Rashawn Scott back in the rotation.

* Clive Walford was solid again. He makes plays. He's turned into one of the top tight ends in the conference. Beau Sandland has now gone two straight games without a single target, which has been a bit surprising. I'd expect Morris to start looking his way, or for the coaches to start getting him more involved in the passing game in the coming weeks.

* The offensive line didn't play well enough. There were a handful of penalties. Morris faced a decent amount of pressure. They weren't able to open big enough holes for Johnson and the running game. Florida has a stout front seven, so things will likely get better.

* The defensive line came to play. They did a solid job slowing down Florida's running game, and they did a good job of applying pressure. Tyriq McCord's big sack/caused fumble was huge. That is making a difference. This unit needs difference makers. He has that type of ability, and really flashed it today. He and Quan Muhammad are going to make a very talented duo on pass rushing situations in coming years.

* Denzel Perryman was all over the field. He was everywhere. He had 13 tackles, caused a fumble, and was just very active. That's the type of player he needs to be on a week-to-week basis.

* Not having Deon Bush available is something I thought really hurt the secondary. Kacy Rodgers and A.J. Highsmith played a lot. While they're smart, steady players, they're not difference makers like Bush. He won't be needed to beat Savannah State so he should have three more weeks to recover before the Canes travel to USF at the end of the month.

* Bring on Savannah State!

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