Miami @ Georgia Tech: Game Notes

Miami is set to take on Georgia Tech this coming Saturday for their ACC Opener. Read on for some game notes.

CANES HEAD TO GEORGIA TECH FOR ACC OPENER

The Miami Hurricanes travel to Atlanta, Ga., for their first ACC road contest of the year to play Georgia Tech on Saturday under the direction of first-year head coach Mark Richt. Kickoff is set for noon on ESPN2.

Miami’s trip to Georgia Tech will mark the start of the Hurricanes’ 13th ACC season. 

The Hurricanes own a 6-6 record in ACC openers.

MIAMI CONTINUES TO CLIMB THE RANKINGS

The Hurricanes are currently ranked No. 14 in both in the Amway Coaches Poll and Associated Press Poll. 

This is the highest the Hurricanes have been ranked since Nov. 9, 2013 when Miami held a No. 14 ranking in both the Coaches Poll and the Associated Press Poll.

Following its 45-10 win at Appalachian State, Miami moved up 10 spots in the AP poll and six slots in the coaches poll.

A LOOK BACK AT APP STATE: CANES LEAVE NO DOUBT 

Miami’s first touchdown came at the 11:48 mark of the first quarter as sophomore running back Mark Walton dashed 80 yards to the endzone on the first offensive play of the game for Miami.

Miami had seven plays of 50 yards-or-more last season. In the game against Appalachian State, Miami had five plays of 50 yards-or-more. 

Miami outgained Appalachian State, 549-241 in total yards. 

The 34,658 fans in attendance at Appalachian State served as a Kidd Brewer Stadium record. 

Junior quarterback Brad Kaaya threw three touchdowns and is tied for third in UM history with Stephen Morris. He currently has 49 career touchdown passes. 

Wide receiver Ahmmon Richards led the Hurricanes with a freshman-record 142 receiving yards on four catches, including a career-long catch of 62 yards. It was the first 100-yard game of his career.

Junior defensive end Chad Thomas led Miami with nine tackles (three solo), 1.5 sacks and three TFLs.

Cornerback Corn Elder finished with seven tackles (six solo). He also had a sack, a TFL, a pass breakup and a quarterback hurry.

MEET THE NEW GUY IN TOWN - MARK RICHT

University of Miami Director of Athletics Blake James announced on Dec. 4, 2015 the hiring of Hurricane alumnus Mark Richt as the 24th head football coach at The U.

Richt was officially introduced to the public at a news conference at the Shalala Student Center. 

Richt, born in Omaha, Neb., and raised in Boca Raton, Fla., returned to his alma mater after leading the University of Georgia football program for the previous 15 years. During that time he compiled a 145-51 overall record and an 85-40 mark in Southeastern Conference play. 

Richt won two SEC championships, six SEC East titles and nine bowl games, and finished the season in the Associated Press Top 10 rankings seven times.

Career Victories - Active Coaches

1. Brian Kelly, Notre Dame 227

2. Bill Snyder, Kansas State 195

  Nick Saban, Alabama 195

4. Bob Stoops, Oklahoma 180

5. Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech 171

6. Terry Bowden, Akron 161

7. Tommy Tuberville, Cincinnati 158

8. Urban Meyer, Ohio State 157

9. Rich Rodriguez, Arizona 155

10. Mark Richt, Miami 148

RICHT VS. GEORGIA TECH AND THE ACC

In 15 years as the head coach at Georgia, Mark Richt faced off against Georgia Tech on an annual basis. In his 15 matchups against the Yellow Jackets, Richt posted an impressive 13-2 record. 

During his time at Georgia, Richt played 22 games against ACC opponents. In those 22 games, Richt posted a 19-3 record. 

WHAT TO WATCH FOR 

Mark Richt will take part in his 200th career game as a head coach.

Richt will look to become the fourth Hurricane head coach to win his first four games. Howard Buck, Dennis Erickson and Larry Coker are the only other Hurricane coaches to win their first four games. 

Miami will look to move to 4-0 for the 17th time since 1950. The Hurricanes have started 4-0 five times since 2000: 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2013.

Miami will be in search of its seventh win in eight tries against Georgia Tech. 

Running back Mark Walton will look to surpass the century mark for the fourth consecutive game. Duke Johnson is the last Miami running back to rush for over 100 yards in four straight games.

Quarterback Brad Kaaya currently has 49 career touchdown passes. He needs just one touchdown pass to move past Stephen Morris.

Kaaya will look to throw for 200-or-more yards for the 21st time his career. In 20 of his 28 career games, Kaaya has thrown for over 200 yards. He also has at least one touchdown in 25 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 eighth time in his career in which he has passed the century mark and would tie him for eighth all-time with Frank Gore. 

Senior offensive lineman Danny Isidora will look to make his 30th consecutive start. Isidora’s current consecutive start streak of 29 games is the team’s longest.

Ahmmon Richards needs just 130 yards to crack into the all-time top 10 for most receiving yards by a freshman pass catcher.

YIPPEE KAAYA

QB Brad Kaaya is in the midst of his junior season at Miami, in which he has already posted career numbers that rank among the most prolific in program history.

Kaaya was on the 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 7,130 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.

With his three touchdown passes at Appalachian State, Kaaya passed legendary Hurricane quarterbacks Craig Erickson, Gino Torretta, Steve Walsh and Vinny Testaverde on the all-time touchdown pass list. 

Kaaya’s 49 career touchdown passes are tied for third in Miami history.

Kaaya has thrown for 200 or more yards in 20 of his 28 career games and has eight 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.

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.

MAKING HIS MARK

Running back Mark Walton enters the Hurricanes’ matchup at Georgia Tech in the hopes of surpassing the 100-yard plateau for the fourth consecutive week. 

In Miami’s last outing at Appalachian State, Walton rushed for 130 yards on just 16 carries and scored a pair of touchdowns. 

Walton scored a touchdown on the first play of the game at Appalachian State, as he raced 80 yards for the score. His 80-yard run was the longest of his young career. 

Walton’s 80-yard touchdown run against Appalachian State is the longest rush in the ACC this season. 

In 16 career games, Walton has scored 17 touchdowns (16 rushing, one receiving).

Walton currently ranks fifth nationally in rushing yards per game, averaging 133.7 yards per game. He also ranks sixth nationally in scoring with 15.0 points per game. 

Walton’s 8.35 yards per carry ranks sixth nationally.

On Sept. 10 against FAU, Walton rushed for a career-high 155 yards. He also scored a career-high four touchdowns against the Owls. In two career games against FAU, Walton has totaled seven rushing touchdowns.

Walton got off to an impressive start to the 2016 season, as he rushed for a then-career-high 116 yards and had one touchdown against FAMU.

Walton delivered an impressive first season with the Hurricanes as a freshman in 2015, ranking second on the team 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.

FRESHMAN PHENOMS

Miami freshman linebackers Michael Pinckney, Shaquille Quarterman and Zach McCloud have made an immediate impact in their first seasons at The U. 

The three rookie linebackers have combined for 35.0 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss and 2.0 sacks.   

The Miami freshman trio has started at linebacker in the Hurricanes’ last two games. 

Pinckney is currently tied for the team lead with 16.0 tackles, while Quarterman and McCloud rank sixth and 11th on the team in tackles, respectively.

THE SPECIALIST

Punter Justin Vogel has gotten off to a strong start to his senior campaign through three games. The Tampa, Fla., native has 10 punts for 453 yards. His 45.3 yards per punt average ranks second in the ACC. 

Vogel has five punts inside the 20-yard line and has three that have gone over 50 yards.  

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 Oct. 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 and 62.1 yards on kickoffs in 2014. He was named third-team All-ACC by Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association.

THE COLEY CONNECTION

Wide receiver Stacy Coley has established himself as one of the Hurricanes’ top pass catchers of all-time. In 39 career games, Coley has hauled in 114 receptions for 1,600 yards and 14 touchdowns (tied for ninth all-time). 

He currently stands as the team’s leading pass catcher with 11 receptions.

In his last outing against Appalachian State, Coley caught five passes for 85 yards and two touchdowns. 

Coley has caught a pass in 12 straight games.

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

•  After a quiet 2014, he returned 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 last season.

He caught at least three passes in each of his final nine games in 2015, and had 678 yards over that span. 

Following the 2015 campaign, he earned All-ACC Second Team (Coaches) and All-ACC Third Team (ACSMA) recognition.

   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 has connected on 21 extra points this season. He has now made 66 straight PAT kicks and 95 for his career. He is 2-for-4 in field goal attempts this season.

In his last outing at Appalachian State, Badgley connected on six extra points and a season-long 44-yard field goal. He is a perfect 13-of-13 in field goal attempts from between 40-49 yards during his UM career. 

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 last season, while his 25 made field goals were tied for fourth-most in the nation. He ranked 16th in scoring (9.6 points per game).

THE SOUTH FLORIDA DUO 

Miami running backs Mark Walton and Joe Yearby have combined to rush for 657 yards this season. 

Louisville’s rushing duo of Lamar Jackson and Brandon Radcliff are the only other rushing tandem in the ACC that have more combined yards than Walton and Yearby.  

Walton (401) and Yearby (256) have accounted for 80 percent of the Hurricanes rushing output this year.

In addtion, Walton (42) and Yearby (24) have combined for 66 points.

Both Walton (Booker T. Washington) and Yearby (Miami Central) attended Miami-area high schools before joining the Hurricanes.

Consistent canes

Offensive lineman Danny Isidora, leads all Hurricanes with 29 straight starts.

Fellow offensive linemen Nick Linder and Trevor Darling also have proven to be mainstays on the Hurricanes’ offensive line as they have both started 21 straight games. 

Isidora, Linder, Darling and running back Joe Yearby were the only Hurricanes to start every game last season. 

Miami’s active all-time start leaders include quarterback Brad Kaaya (28), defensive back Rayshawn Jenkins (25), wide receiver Stacy Coley (23) and Yearby (13).

Defensive back Corn Elder (13), offensive lineman Sunny Odogwu (12), tight end Standish Dobard (11), receiver Malcolm Lewis (11), defensive lineman Chad Thomas (11) and defensive lineman Trent Harris (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:

Date, Opponent , Turnovers Forced

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 has scored 153 points through three games this season. 

The Hurricanes are averaging 51.0 points per game, which ranks sixth in the NCAA and second in the ACC.

The Hurricanes have outgained their opponents 1,542-652 through three games this season.

Miami scored 70-or-more points for just the third time in school history on Sept. 3 as the Hurricanes hung 70 points on FAMU in their home opener. 

Miami’s offense over the past two seasons has 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 rarely beat Miami when scoring 10-or-fewer points.

The Hurricanes are now 161-2 in their last 163 games when holding opponents to 10 points or less, after winning 45-10 at Appalachian State. 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).

  KOOL CANES

Craig Kuligowski, who is widely regarded as one of the top defensive line coaches in the country, has already made an immediate impact in his first season at Miami. The Hurricanes currently lead the nation in tackles for loss per game (14.0) and in sacks per per game (4.3).

Through three games, Miami has totaled 40 tackles for loss and 13 sacks. In 2015, the Hurricanes recorded 66 tackles for loss and 26 sacks for the entire season. 

Prior to arriving at Miami, Kuligowski spent 15 years at Missouri where his defensive line units frequently ranked among the nation’s best in tackles for loss and sacks. 

  GETTING DEFENSIVE

Under first year defensive coordinator and Miami native Manny Diaz, the Hurricanes lead the nation in scoring defense (7.7), team sacks (4.3) and team tackles for loss (13.3). 

Miami also ranks in the top five nationally in total defense (No. 2, 217.3), team passing efficiency defense (No. 5, 89.1), rushing defense (No. 4, 65.0) and first downs allowed (No. 43). 

Miami has allowed just two touchdowns in its last 14 quarters, dating back to last season. 

Miami’s defense has started and finished games strong as it has not allowed a single point in the first and fourth quarters.

In its last outing at Appalachian State, Miami held the Mountaineers to just 2.6 yards per carry on the ground.

Miami dominated FAU in the first half as it held the Owls to just one yard rushing on 17 attempts. The Hurricanes also did not allow the Owls to convert one third-down conversion as they went 0-for-11. FAU finished the game with just 46 yards. 

The Hurricanes opened the year on a high note as they held FAMU to just 43 second half yards. 

   PAVING THE WAY

The Hurricanes’ offensive line has paved the way for 816 rushing yards this season. Miami’s ground attack is averaging 272.0 yards per game, which ranks ninth in the country.

Through three games, the Hurricanes have totaled 186 plays and have allowed just 8.0 tackles for loss and 2.0 sacks. Miami opponents are averaging just 2.67 tackles for loss per game - a figure that ranks fifth in the country.

Center Nick Linder was named to the Lombardi Award, Outland Award and Rimington Trophy preseason watch lists. Fellow offensive lineman Danny Isidora also was named to the Outland Award watch list. 

UM entered the 2015 season with one of the youngest offensive lines in the ACC, totaling 23 starts. Miami offensive linemen now have 100 career starts.

In 13 games last season, Miami’s youthful offensive line, which consisted of a combination of one redshirt freshman, three sophomores and two juniors, allowed the Hurricanes to average 401.4 yards per game in total offense.

   A SPECIAL TEAM

Miami special teams have played a major factor in the Hurricanes’ three wins this season.

Sophomore RJ McIntosh blocked his first career punt against FAU on Sept. 10. It marked the second straight week in which a Miami player had blocked a punt. Pat Bethel blocked a punt against in the Hurricanes’ season opener against FAMU.

Junior Braxton Berrios’ 41-yard punt return for touchdown in Miami’s season opener against FAMU was the first of his career. It also marked the first time a Hurricane had scored on a punt return since Corn Elder did so against Bethune-Cookman in 2015.

Junior kicker Michael Badgley has connected on 21 extra points this season.

#PROCANES CONTINUING TRADITION

Miami currently has 43 #ProCanes on NFL rosters; 22 of 32 NFL teams had at least one former Cane on their roster, while the Indianapolis Colts lead all teams with four.

•  Miami had two players selected in the 2016 NFL Draft this past year.

DB Artie Burns (1st round, PIT) and DB Deon Bush (4th, CHI) were selected.

Miami had eight former student-athletes sign free agent contracts following the 2015 season: Rashawn Scott (MIA), Tracy Howard (CLE), Ufomba Kamalu (DEN), Calvin Heurtelou (HOU), Herb Waters (GB), Tyriq McCord (PIT) and Raphael Kirby (DET).

The Hurricanes have had five or more players taken in the NFL Draft on 24 separate occasions since 1980.

Ninety five Hurricanes have been picked in the NFL Draft since the start of the 2000 season, a figure that is tied for second-most among all NCAA programs.

Miami’s 29 NFL first-round draft picks since 2000, including Artie Burns (No. 25 overall) in 2016, are the most among all NCAA programs.

   CAN OF CORN

Cornerback Corn Elder has continued to build off of his strong junior campaign. Through three games in 2016, Elder has totaled 12.0 tackles (11.0 solo), 1.0 tackle for loss, 1.0 sack, one interception and two pass breakups. 

His 11.0 solo tackles are a team best. 

In the Hurricanes’ home opener against FAMU, Elder picked off a pass and tallied a pair of tackles.

On Sept. 10 against FAU, Elder tallied 3.0 solo tackles and had one pass breakup.

In the Canes’ last outing at Appalachian State, Elder tied a career high with 7.0 tackles. He also tallied a sack, a tackle for loss, one pass breakup and one quarterback hurry.

Elder emerged as one of Miami’s top playmakers in 2015.

Elder took the final lateral of “The Return” 91 yards to give Miami a 30-27 win over Duke in 2015.

Elder tied for fifth in the ACC with 13 passes defended (1.0 per game).

Elder led all UM cornerbacks in sacks with 2.0 in 2015.

THE CAPTAINS

This season Miami will select its captains on a game-by-game basis. 

In week four, junior kicker Michael Badgley, senior offensive lineman Danny Isidora, sophomore defensive lineman Kendrick Norton and junior defensive lineman Chad Thomas will represent the Hurricanes during the coin toss at Georgia Tech. 

PREVIOUS CAPTAINS

Week 1: Jamal Carter, Danny Isidora, Brad Kaaya and Justin Vogel 

Week 2: Braxton Berrios, Corn Elder, Nick Linder, Rayshawn Jenkins

Week 3: Braxton Berrios, Shaquille Quarterman, Sheldrick Redwine, Marquez Williams

A THREE-HEADED MONSTER

From 2001-2015, Miami had three players run for 100 yards in openers. In 2016, Miami had three players run for 100 yards in the 2016 opener alone (courtesy of the AP).

Miami running backs Mark Walton, Gus Edwards and Joe Yearby all surpassed the century mark on the ground in the Hurricanes’ opener against FAMU as they rushed for 116, 106 and 105 yards, respectively.

The Miami running back trio combined to rush for 327 of the Hurricanes’ 373 yards. 

   EDWARDS SHINES IN RETURN TO THE GRIDIRON

Redshirt junior running back Gus Edwards returned to the lineup against FAMU. Edwards missed the entire 2015 season with a foot injury suffered during preseason training camp.

In his first action since 2014, Edwards rushed for 106 yards on seven carries and one touchdown. 

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

  WELCOME TO THE SHOW

Miami had 13 freshmen make their debuts on Sept. 3 against FAMU in the form of DL Pat Bethel, DB Romeo Finley, RB Travis Homer, DL Joe Jackson, DB Jeff James Jr., TE Michael Irvin II, LB Zach McCloud, WR Dionte Mullins, LB Michael Pinckney, LB Shaquille Quarterman, WR Ahmmon Richards, DB Cedrick Wright and DB Malek Young.  

McCloud, Pinckney, Quarterman and Richards also started for the Hurricanes.  

   ZAGACKI AND BAILEY RETURN TO THE BOOTH FOR YEAR 15

•   “Voice of the Hurricanes” Joe Zagacki and color commentator Don Bailey, Jr. return to the booth for their 15th year of Miami football on the radio. 

The radio team has broadcast 216 straight games together. 

2016 Miami Hurricane Football Affiliates

Miami’s Sports Radio 560 WQAM: Miami- Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach

WKWF AM Sports Radio1600: Key West- Marathon-Key Largo

ESPN West Palm 106.3FM: West Palm Beach

WPSL 1590 The Talk of the Treasure Coast: Stuart-Ft Pierce-Port St Lucie

WSTU AM 1450 Martin County’s Heritage Station: Stuart-Jupiter

WFWN 97.3 The Fan: FT Myers-Naples

WHOO 1080 SPORTS TALK 1080 Orlando-Kissimmee

WHBO 1040 Sports Talk 1040: Tampa-St Petersburg

WXIC 1060 AM: Melbourne-Titusville

1010XL-92.5FM: Jacksonville Sports Radio - Jacksonville - St. Augustine

1490 WTKE: Fox Sports Radio Northwest Florida’s New Home for Sports-Pensacola

  UP NEXT

The University of Miami football team returns home on Oct. 8 and will welcome No. 12/12 Florida State to Hard Rock Stadium. The game time has yet to be announced.


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