FAU Game - Mike's Take

The Hurricanes defeated FAU by the score of 44-20 on Friday night. Read on for a complete game analysis from CanesTime's Mike Bakas.

* The biggest thing that jumped out to me is that this team still has a major issue that it's had in recent years -- there is very little positive energy on the field. The players, especially on defense, seem to be going through the motions. I was really hoping - although not expecting - to see something different but it's not happening.

* Aside from BCU, FAU will be the worst team Miami plays this season. I'm not sure one of their starters was recruited by Miami out of high school. They simply don't have the players to compete with a team like Miami, and that was very evident. People will talk about how "good" FAU's offense is but don't expect them to be productive against good teams.

* Brad Kaaya was more accurate in this game than he was in the opener. However, because of how bad FAU's defense is, it's still tough to tell how much progress he's made. Nebraska's defense will obviously provide him the first major test.

* Joe Yearby was the best player on the field Friday night. All the way up until this game I thought Mark Walton was on the verge of becoming the team's top running back. Yearby erased that for now. He showed a little more burst and it was good seeing him involved in the passing game the way he was. He ran hard between the tackles, and UM needs him to continue playing at a high level like that.

* The depth at wide receiver - especially without Stacy Coley and Braxton Berrios - is a major issue and it was evident in this game. After Herb Waters and Rashawn Scott - the two starters - only Malcolm Lewis (whose < 8 yards per catch continues to prove he's not a game changer) had catches. I said throughout last week that I wasn't sold on players like Darrell Langham and Lawrence Cager and Tyre Brady being able to make an impact. Unfortunately, that stayed true in this game. Without Berrios and especially Coley, UM has next to no depth at this position.

* Even though Standish Dobard didn't have a single catch, it was nice to see Chris Herndon (two catches) and Jerome Washington (one) getting involved in the passing game. They're very talented, and need to play roles in this offense.

* The offense struggled all last year and again in the opener on third downs. Friday was no different, as the Canes converted just 3-of-13. As long as this continues to be a problem, Miami will continue having a difficult team beating above average teams.

* After a strong performance in the opener, the defense got exposed a bit in this one. Sure they caused a couple turnovers but FAU had close to 400 yards of offense, scored all four times in the redzone (two touchdowns), converted 8-of-15 money downs, and gave up just two sacks on 34 pass attempts. Miami's defense must get better if they want to live up to expectations this season.

* It was interesting and encouraging to see Anthony Moten starting the game at defensive tackle. That means he was the best player at that spot all week in practice. Sure, Courtel Jenkins is a solid player and can do some nice things but Moten is a big time talent and UM needs him to step up and play well. It appears he may be turning the corner.

* Raphael Kirby has played very well through the first two weeks of the season. He had 12 tackles and was very active. I thought it was going to be extremely difficult to replace Denzel Perryman in the middle of the defense this season but Kirby has done a fine job so far.

* Bring on Nebraska!


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