Florida A&M Game Notes

The Hurricanes are set to take on Florida A&M in the season opener this coming Saturday.

CANES OPEN RICHT ERA VS. RATTLERS AT HARD ROCK STADIUM

•   The Miami Hurricanes will open their 2016 season on Sept. 3 against Florida A&M under the direction of first-year head coach Mark Richt. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. inside Hard Rock Stadium.

   Richt, who played quarterback at Miami and is a 1982 graduate of the University, was named the head coach of the Hurricanes on Dec. 4, 2015.

   In 15 seasons as head coach at the University of Georgia, Richt compiled a 145-51 overall record and an 85-40 record in Southeastern Conference play. His teams won two SEC Championships, six SEC East titles and nine bowl games, and finished the season ranked in the Associated Press top 10 seven times. His Bulldogs teams finished nine of 15 seasons with 10 or more wins.

•   Entering 2016, Richt’s .740 winning percentage ranks fifth-best among FBS head coaches and he is tied for ninth among the winningest head coaches in SEC history.

 

HOME, SWEET HOME OPENERS

•   The Miami Hurricanes open their ninth season at newly rebranded and renovated Hard Rock Stadium on Sept. 3 vs. Florida A&M. UM holds a 8-0 all-time mark in home openers at the stadium, having outscored opponents 312-53, with an average margin of victory of 32.4 points.

   The Hurricanes have not lost a home opener since 2006, when they fell to Florida State 13-10 at the Orange Bowl (9/4/2006); Miami has won nine straight home openers since.

   Since the start of the 2001 season, Miami has opened the season eight times at home and seven times on the road; the Hurricanes are 7-1 in those home games.

•   Since joining the ACC prior to the 2004 season, Miami has played a conference opponent in only three of its 12 home openers: Florida State twice (2004, 2006) and Georgia Tech once (2009) - UM is 2-1 in those three games.

•   Miami has played Florida A&M 10 times and is 9-1 in those games, including a perfect 9-0 record in games played in Miami or Miami Gardens. UM took on Florida A&M in its 2014 home opener, and won 41-7 in Brad Kaaya’s Miami debut.

   In the modern era of Miami Hurricanes football (since 1979), UM has opened the season at home 16 times and is 14-2 in those games, with its only losses coming in 1985 and 2006. Miami is 28-9 in regular season openers dating back to the start of the 1979 season.

 

RICHT IN SEASON OPENERS

•   In 15 years as a head coach, Mark Richt owns a 12-3 record in season openers with his three losses coming to Oklahoma State (2009), Boise State (2011) and Clemson (2013).

•   Richt’s teams have never lost a season opener at home.

 

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

•   Mark Richt will look to become the sixth-consecutive Hurricane head coach to win his home debut. The last Miami head coach to lose his home debut was Jimmy Johnson in 1984 (Florida State).

•   Quarterback Brad Kaaya currently has 42 career touchdown passes. He needs just one touchdown pass to tie former Cane quarterback Ryan Clement (1994-97) for eighth all-time.

•   Kaaya will look to throw for 200-or-more yards for the 20th time his career. In 19 of his 25 career games, Kaaya has thrown for over 200 yards. He also has at least one touchdown in 23 career outings.

•   Senior wide receiver Stacy Coley needs just 28 yards to move into second place on the all-time kickoff return list.

•   If running back Joe Yearby surpasses 100 yards rushing, it would mark the sixth time in his career in which he has passed the century mark and would tie him for 10th all-time.

•   Senior offensive lineman Danny Isidora will look to make his 27th consecutive start. Isidora’s current consecutive start streak of 26 games is the team’s longest.

•  Miami is in search of its 10th-consecutive win over FAMU. The Hurricanes have not lost to the Rattlers since a 16-13 setback on the road in 1979.

 

YIPPEE KAAYA

   Junior QB Brad Kaaya enters a highly anticipated 2016 season with career numbers that already rank among the most prolific in Miami history through just two seasons.

   Kaaya is on preseason watch lists for eight major honors: the Lombardi Award, the Manning Award, the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm, College Football Performance, the Davey O’Brien Award, American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team, the Wuerffel Trophy and the Maxwell Award.

   Kaaya’s 6,436 career passing yards are already the fifth-most in Miami history. His 3,238 passing yards as a sophomore in 2015 are tied for the sixth-most in a single season, while his 3,198 yards in 2014 are the eighth-most. He is the only QB with two individual seasons ranking in the top 10.

   Kaaya’s 42 career touchdown passes are the ninth-most in Miami history.

   Kaaya has thrown for 200 or more yards in 19 of his 25 career games and has seven career 300-yard performances. His career high of 405 yards came at Florida State on October 10, 2015.

   Kaaya was one of just three players nationally to throw for 3,000-or-more yards, 10-or-more touchdowns and five-or-fewer interceptions in 2015.

•   The California native was one of only 15 quarterbacks in the country to throw for more than 3,000 yards, 26-or-more touchdowns and 12-or-fewer interceptions in 2014; he was the only true freshman quarterback in the country to accomplish the feat.

   As a freshman in 2014, Kaaya was named the ACC Offensive and ACC Overall Rookie of the Year after a stellar first campaign with the Hurricanes.

 

YEARBY BECOMES NINTH CANE TO TOP 1K MARK

   Joe Yearby became the ninth Hurricane to top 1,000 rushing yards in a season as a sophomore in 2015, posting a team-high 1,002 yards on 205 carries (4.9-yards-per-carry average).

  The impressive feat marked the 10th 1,000-yard rushing season in Miami history.

   Miami is looking for a third straight season with a 1,000-yard rusher, which would mark just the second such stretch in program history. Duke Johnson rushed for 1,652 yards as a junior in 2014.

   The trio of James Jackson (1,006 in 2000), Clinton Portis (1,200 in 2001) and Willis McGahee (1,753 in 2002) recorded the only stretch of three straight 1,000-yard rushers in Miami history.

•   Yearby is joined in the backfield by sophomore Mark Walton and redshirt junior Gus Edwards.

 

MIAMI BOLSTERED BY ANOTHER RANKED RECRUITING CLASS

•   The Hurricanes have been joined by an 18-member signing class ranked among the nation’s best and several transfers expected to make an immediate impact in 2016.

•   Miami’s 2016 signing class, which was ranked No. 21 by Rivals, was headlined by five mid-year enrollees: QB Jack Allison, DL Pat Bethel, LB Zach McCloud, LB Michael Pinckney and LB Shaquille Quarterman, who all participated in spring practices and summer workouts.

   WR Dayall Harris (Ole Miss), DB Adrian Colbert (Texas) and FB Marquez Williams (Mars Hill) are among those newcomers expected to make early contributions at Miami.

 

BADG-O-MATIC

   Junior Michael Badgley enjoyed a prolific season in 2015, setting the single-season record for made field goals (25) and besting the previous school record held by Jon Peattie (22, 2003).

   Badgley tied a UM record when he hit a 57-yard field goal against Georgia Tech in 2015.

   The Summit, N.J., native set a school record when he hit five field goals against Nebraska in 2015, and would tie that mark later in the season with five field goals against Pittsburgh.

•   Badgley’s 2.08 field goals per game average ranked first in Division I, while his 25 made field goals were tied for fourth-most in the nation. He ranked 16th in scoring (9.6 points per game).

 

#TIGHTENDU TRADITION ALIVE AND WELL

  A trio of players helped continue the #TightEndU tradition for the Hurricanes in 2015, and all three players return in 2016: senior Standish Dobard, junior Christopher Herndon IV and redshirt sophomore David Njoku are expected to play significant roles in the offense.

   Njoku led all tight ends with 21 catches and 362 yards as a redshirt freshman in 2015, topping first-year numbers from some of the greatest tight ends in Miami history, including Jeremy Shockey (21 catches / 296 yards), Greg Olsen (16/275) and Bubba Franks (19/294).

   Herndon caught 18 passes for 237 yards and also hauled in one touchdown.

   Dobard, the veteran of the group, started seven games and totaled 90 yards on eight catches.

   Miami added two tight end signees in 2016: Jovani Haskins and Michael Irvin II.

 

EDWARDS RETURNS TO THE BACKFIELD AFTER MISSING 2015

   Redshirt junior running back Gus Edwards will return to his familiar place in the Miami backfield after missing the 2015 season with a foot injury suffered during preseason training camp.

   Edwards rushed for 349 yards and six touchdowns as a sophomore in 2014 after posting 337 yards and five touchdows as a freshman in 2014. He has a career rushing average of 5.4 yards.

 

MAKING HIS MARK

   Running back Mark Walton delivered an impressive first season with the Hurricanes as a freshman in 2015, ranking second with 1,054 all-purpose yards and first with 10 total touchdowns.

   Walton’s 10 touchdowns - nine rushing and one receiving - were tied with Stacy Coley (2013) for second-most by a Miami freshman since 2000.

  Walton, who had 461 rushing yards and 293 receiving yards, was one of just 11 freshman running backs nationally with eight-or-more rushing touchdowns in 2015.

   With a four-yard rushing touchdown and a 25-yard receiving touchdown against Georgia Tech (Nov. 21, 2015), Walton became just the third Hurricane to score a rushing TD and a receiving TD in an ACC game (Travis Benjamin, Stacy Coley).

 

THE SPECIALIST NAMED PRESEASON ALL-ACC

   Senior punter Justin Vogel earned Preseason All-ACC honors after a stellar junior season in which he was recognized with All-ACC third-team honors by media and All-ACC honorable mention from the league’s coaches.

   Vogel averaged 42.5 yards per punt in 2015, while his 73-yarder against Clemson on October 24 was the longest of any ACC punter in 2015. He totaled 13 punts of 50 yards or more last season.

   Vogel was one of 28 punters to be named to the watch list for the 2016 Ray Guy Award. Vogel is a three-time Ray Guy Award nominee, and was a semifinalist for the award in 2014.

   After spending the 2013 season at Florida, Vogel averaged 42.8 yards per punt & 62.1 yards on kickoffs in 2014. He was named third-team All-ACC by Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association.

 

RETURN TO FORM

   Wide receiver Stacy Coley had a dominant freshman season in 2013, earning Freshman All-America honors and All-ACC recognition after leading hte team with 1,461 all-purpose yards.

  After a quiet 2014, Coley had a return to form in 2015. Despite missing two games with a hamstring injury, Coley finished second on the team in catches (47) and receiving yards (689).

  Coley’s 79.2 yards-per-game average in conference play ranked second in the ACC.

•   Coley caught at last three passes in each of his final nine games, and had 678 yards over that span. The junior recorded atouchdown catch in back-to-back games for the first time since November 2013 when he hauled in scores against both Duke (Oct. 31) and Virginia (Nov. 7).

 

IRON CANES

   Offensive linemen Danny Isidora, Nick Linder and Trevor Darling, along with running back Joe Yearby, were the only Hurricanes to start every game in 2015.

   Isidora leads all Hurricanes with 26 career starts in three seasons on the offensive line.

   In addition to Isidora, Miami’s active all-time starts leaders include quarterback Brad Kaaya (25), defensive back Rayshawn Jenkins (22), wide receiver Stacy Coley (20) as well as Linder (18), Darling (18) and Yearby (13).

   Tight end Standish Dobard (11), receiver Malcolm Lewis (11), defensive end Trent Harris (10) and defensive back Corn Elder (10) also have double-digit starts.   

 

TAKE THREE

•   The Hurricanes are 16-1 since 2011 when forcing three or more turnovers, plus the Canes have won 61 of their last 66 games when recording at least three takeaways.

 

     The list of three-takeaway games since 2011:

     Oct. 22, 2011: Miami 24, Georgia Tech 7, 3 turnovers forced.

     Sept. 1, 2012: Miami 41, Boston College 32, 3 turnovers forced.

     Sept. 29, 2012: Miami 44, N.C. State 37, 6 turnovers forced.

     Nov. 1, 2012: Miami 30, Virginia Tech 12, 3 turnovers forced.

     Nov. 17, 2012: Miami 40, USF 9, 3 turnovers forced.

     Sept. 7, 2013: Miami 21, Florida 16, 5 turnovers forced.

     Sept. 21, 2013: Miami 77, Savannah State 7, 4 turnovers forced.

     Sept. 28, 2013: Miami 49, USF 21, 3 turnovers forced.

     Oct. 5, 2013: Miami 45, Georgia Tech 30, 3 turnovers forced.

     Nov. 23, 2013: Miami 45, Virginia 26, 4 turnovers forced.

     Sept. 27, 2014: Miami 22, Duke 10, 3 turnovers forced.

     Oct. 11, 2014: Miami 55, Cincinnati 34, 3 turnovers forced.

     Oct. 23, 2014: Miami 30, Virginia Tech 6, 3 turnovers forced.

     Nov. 15, 2014: Florida State 30, Miami 26, 3 turnovers forced.

     Sept. 11, 2015: Miami 44, Florida Atlantic 20, 5 turnovers forced.

     Sept. 19, 2015: Miami 36, Nebraska 33 (OT), 3 turnovers forced.

     Oct. 17, 2015:    Miami 30, Virginia Tech 20, 4 turnovers forced

 

OFFENSIVE EXPLOSION

•   Miami’s offense of the past two seasons, have been among the most explosive in program history, ranking second in 2014 (5,594) and ninth in 2015 (5,161).

•   UM compiled 5,536 total yards in 2013, which ranks as the third-best total in history.

 

  ALMOST PERFECT 10

•   Teams do not beat Miami when scoring only 10 points.

•   The Hurricanes are now 158-2 in their last 160 games when holding opponents to 10 points or less, after winning 45-0 in its 2015 season-opener against Bethune-Cookman. That run goes back to Oct. 1, 1977, ironically, a season that began with Miami holding its first two opponents to exactly 10 points apiece and still losing both of those games.

•   The only 10 points allowed-or-less losses since: Nov. 8, 2003 to Tennessee (10-6) and Sept. 5, 2005 to Florida State (10-7).


Canes Time Top Stories