Top Performers vs Georgia Tech

On a night most would like to forget when the ‘Canes blew their chance at an ACC Championship rematch with Florida State. Not to mention a potential opportunity to play for a National Championship and a BCS Bowl. The embarrassing performance against Georgia Tech in a 14-10 loss at the Orange Bowl was tough to take for Miami fans.

However, there were still a few players that looked like they actually showed up to play in this game.

Was it execution? Was it extremely questionable play calling in different situations? Was it decision making? Was it the referees who penalty calls on Miami and lack of calls on Georgia Tech was extremely suspect? Ryan Moore tackled on a deep route. No call? Kenny Phillips has two picks negated by two pass interference calls on Marcus Maxey that make you scratch your head.

Now the ‘Canes are left to finish off the season against Virginia next week with the chance to go 9-2. Yes, with an unlikely Virginia Tech loss to North Carolina and a win over Virginia, the ‘Canes will be in the ACC Championship and regain that chance to play in a BCS game, but more than likely, the ‘Canes are heading to the Gator Bowl with a win next win and an outside chance at a BCS game if they are lucky enough to not plummet in the polls and not get the chance to be an at-large invitee to a BCS game.

But who knows? Here are our top performers for an overall lackluster team performance.

Offense

1. WR Ryan Moore – Moore made some nice grabs finishing with three catches for 77 yards. His over-the-shoulder catch late in the second quarter was one of the most remarkable catches of his career at UM. It set up the ‘Canes only touchdown two plays later when Kyle Wright. His 25-yard reception over the middle in the ‘Canes final drive put them in prime position to have a chance to win it, but it was for naught.

2. WR Sinorice Moss – Moss' 19-yard touchdown reception just before the half that gave Miami a 10-7 lead was about the only thing worth smiling about in this game. His 25-yard reception on a quick screen on the final possession gave Miami the ball at the 27-yard line, but on the next play Wright threw a pick and the game was over. Moss finished with six catches for 63 yards.

3. PK Jon Peattie – Peattie did his job when called upon. People are probably wondering why he wasn't called upon to attempt a kick of about 35 yards with seven minutes to go after he hit a 43-yard field goal early. He also hit his only extra point. But the reality is the coaching staff didn't have any confidence in getting back into scoring territory.

Defense

1. S Kenny Phillips – Phillips looked real good in an otherwise bad day for the team overall. Phillips had two interceptions that were called back because of suspect pass interference calls on Marcus Maxey. He also finished with five tackles on the night.

2. S Brandon Meriweather – The senior safety finished with eight tackles to help lead the defense, but it was a night that wasn't to be. It's not a good sign when your two safeties are looked to as the top players in the game because that means they were doing too much.

3. DT Orien Harris – Harris was very effective inside making two solo tackles and one assist. All of them were for losses, but his line mates didn't put pressure on Reggie Ball like they needed to.

4. CB Kelly Jennings – The senior corner did a fairly good job covering what is probably the best receiver in the country in Georgia Tech's Calvin Johnson. Johnson did have six catches for 89 yards, but had a host of other passes thrown his way. Jennings finished with five tackles, a tackle for loss and a pass break up.

5. LB Rocky McIntosh – The senior linebacker continues to shine on the defensive side of the ball. His ability to go from sideline to sideline is impeccable. He led the team in tackles with nine, but unfortunately, it wasn't enough on this disappointing evening; however, his celebration penalty with Bryan Pata in the third quarter probably cost Miami the game as Tech ended up scoring on that possession.

Rudy Rodriguez-Chomat is a Staff Writer with CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at rudy@canestime.com

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