A week after being shredded by Nebraska and their strong running game, Miami's defense showed up in a big way Saturday night in a win over Duke. The Hurricanes held the Blue Devils to 264 yards, 10 points, and just 2-of-19 on third and fourth down conversions.
Miami's defense was smothering in the opening quarter and the offense took advantage of it. Michael Badgley kicked a 24-yard field goal to start the scoring and then Duke Johnson scored from seven yards out to make it 9-0 (Badgley missed the extra point). Johnson finished the game with 155 yards rushing and one touchdown and he also caught two passes for 10 yards.
Duke answered Miami's first two scores early in the second quarter with a touchdown of their own when Shaquille Powell scored from seven yards out to cut Miami's lead to 9-7. Powell led all Duke runners with 58 yards on the night but the Blue Devils finished with just 85 on the ground on the night -- that's after going for more than 350 against Miami last season.
The rain started coming down hard early in the second half and that's when Brad Kaaya really stepped up. He threw a beautiful 27-yard touchdown pass to Herb Waters on 4th and 19 to make it 16-7. Waters led all Miami receivers with five grabs for 81 yards and that score. Kaaya finished with 223 yards and two scores and he connected with eight different receivers. He also had a long pass dropped by Stacy Coley that likely would have gone for a long touchdown and a nice throw to Phillip Dorsett in the endzone that had to be reviewed.
Duke Johnson wasn't the only Miami running back who had a strong night. Joseph Yearby finished with 61 yards rushing and 59 yards receiving, including a 47-yard touchdown grab from Kaaya in the 4th quarter.
Miami was led defensively by Denzel Perryman, whose late interception helped clinch the win for the Canes.
Miami is now 3-2 on the season and 1-1 in the conference. They will travel to take on Georgia Tech next Saturday night in another important Coastal Division game.