Complete analysis of the Cincinnati game

Over 1,000 total yards of offense and 99 points later, Miami defeated Cincinnati on Saturday. Read on for complete analysis of the game by CanesTime's Mike Bakas.

* Al Golden and his staff took lots of heat this past week following another bad loss last weekend. A lot of people wondered how prepared his team would be or how much confidence they'd have coming into this game. The team answered that in a big way today. They came out and seemed prepared and ready to play a good football game. That was very encouraging to see. Cincinnati is not a very good football team so Miami -- with the amount of talent they have -- should dominate a game like this but it hasn't always happened that way for the last several years so it was encouraging to see.

* As good as the offense was in this game, they still struggled on money downs. They went just 3-for-10 on third downs in this game. The team relied so much on big plays in this game -- and that's totally possible when you have this much more talent and speed than your opponent -- but they can't do that against quality opponents so it would have been nice seeing them convert third downs and sustain drives.

* Defensively, they weren't able to get off the field real well on money downs again. Cincinnati was 10-of-21 on 3rd and 4th down. Just getting the ball back two or three more times could have been another 7, 10, or 14 points.

* Brad Kaaya played a very good football game. He got rid of the ball quicker, seemed to go through his progressions better, and did a nice job of not making too many low-percentage throws. He protected the ball well and seemed to be comfortable throughout.

* Playing Ryan Williams late in the game was a bit surprising considering Al Golden hinted just a few days ago at a possible redshirt. Either Williams decided against it and let the coaches know not to pursue it or they made a decision later in the week not to pursue it. Either way, if the decision was still up in the air it would have made no sense to play Williams in that spot. I'm sure Golden will address this after the game or later in the week. The idea of getting Williams back for 2015 was nice while it lasted (for a few days). It was, however, encouraging to see Ryan back on the field after the long time off recovering from knee surgery.

* The ground game was in total control today. Their ability to run the ball with ease really helped set up play action and helped set up big plays down the field for guys like Phillip Dorsett. Miami is capable of running for 300+ yards on a lot of teams but it rarely happens.

* Stacy Coley's lack of involvement in the passing game continues to be a mystery and disappointment at the same time. The coaches talked a lot about getting him going this week and they simply were unable to make it happen. I have the same opinion of Standish Dobard. He has been a total non-factor in the passing game ever since Kaaya underthrew him for an interception against Louisville. That's not real encouraging for what should be Miami's starting tight end next season.

* Cincinnati posed absolutely no threat on the ground in this game -- even as bad as Miami's been defending the run lately -- so it allowed the Canes to take some more chances against what quickly became a one-dimensional Cincinnati offense. The Canes were able to generate three turnovers and turn them into points. The Bearcats still went for over 400 yards of offense and scored 34 points so it's a good thing the Miami defense was able to generate a few turnovers or this could have turned into a shootout.

* Tyriq McCord dropping back into coverage is still frustrating to watch but his pick six was a clear example of his elite level athleticism. Most people look at Miami's defensive production and probably get very surprised when something like this happens. Good for McCord on the touchdown but I'd much rather see him getting strip sacks on a weekly basis.

* Justin Vogel's excellent season continued. He punted the ball really well and did a great job of placing the ball deep into Cincinnati territory. He's still having one of the best seasons of any punter in college football.

* 13 penalties for over 150 yards won't get it done most weeks. That's something the coaches will have to clean up, especially when going back on the road to Virginia Tech next week.

* The team will get a much-needed week off next week before traveling to take on Virginia Tech. If Miami wants to have any chance of staying in the Coastal Division race, it's absolutely a must-win game for the Canes.

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