Mike's Take: Louisville Game

Louisville defeated Miami by the score of 36-9 Saturday night. Read on for a game analysis by CanesTime's Mike Bakas.

* Tough performance for the Canes. It's hard to argue those that say UM wasn't prepared to play this game. They got beat, soundly, in all three phases. Louisville was a much, much better football team on this night.

* Offensively, this was as bad as the Canes have been in awhile. Sure, Louisville had a top-ranked defense. But there's a reason why their players were calling Miami's offense the best they'll face this season. Unfortunately, it didn't work out that way. The third down percentage was a major reason why they couldn't generate any points, and why the defense was constantly put in bad situations. It's tough to compete against anyone when you third down rate is as poor as it was in this game.

* Stephen Morris did not play well. I'm really surprised that the coaches didn't put Ryan Williams into the game at some point in the second half. It seemed to make sense but it never happened. Morris' NFL status has probably declined some in recent games, especially this one.

* The breakdown of carries (Gus Edwards 12, Dallas Crawford 11) seems like the direction UM is headed in. I'd be surprised if either player has a major role in 2014. Duke Johnson will be the main guy, and I expect Joseph Yearby to emerge as the No. 2 guy there.

* Louisville did a tremendous job throwing the ball to their running backs. They ate Miami's defense up making those plays. UM, meanwhile, completed just three passes to its backs. That's been an issue all year, and it was no different in tonight's game.

* Clive Walford played well. He was a big factor in Miami's passing game. Unfortunately for the Canes, that may have been his last game as a Cane. I think he's ready to play in the NFL. He has a choice -- catch passes from Ryan Williams in 2014 or catch passes from someone like Tom Brady or Peyton Manning or Andrew Luck. Time will tell.

* The offensive line play was poor. They seemed out of synch, and Louisville's creative blitz packages caused a lot of problems. Morris was under lots of pressure and they never got the running game going. That's worrisome coming from a group that probably has three players who could be NFL guys next year (even though Ereck Flowers isn't eligible yet).

* Defensively, UM got shredded but that was expected by most UM fans going into the game. I will say this -- Teddy Bridgewater is better than I expected. He has it all, and showed every bit of it in this game.

* It was nice seeing a lot of younger players logging serious minutes on defense. Players like Ufomba Kamalu, Jermaine Grace, and Jamal Carter played bigger roles in this game than they had all season.

* Overall, I fear the culture of this team is getting away from its roots. This is Miami. These are Dade County kids. It seems like they're so scared to make mistakes. There's no emotion. It should be the opposite. Louisville had a lot more of it. A great example of this is when Deon Bush makes a big hit on Louisville's final drive of the first half. Every defensive player (including Bush) immediately looks to the sideline to get the play instead of showing any type of positive emotion.

* This poor performance should not negatively impact UM's current recruiting class. It may, however, hurt UM's chances to close on some top recruits. They're competing with FSU for some kids. While the Noles are preparing for a title game, UM is getting blown out in a December bowl game. That could hurt their chances with a few remaining targets.


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