The Mario Cristobal led Miami Hurricanes opened the 2022 season with a 70-13 win over the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats last Saturday afternoon at Hard Rock Stadium.
Here are Head Coach Cristobal’s postgame remarks. “Obviously, the goal overall was to be 1-0 by 7:15 tonight and that was achieved. There were a lot of bright spots.
Certainly, things showed up in a positive way in terms of physicality and conditioning and execution in particular on the offensive side of the ball. Overall, I thought we played relatively hard. Things that stand out that we have to work on that showed up in not such a positive way are a couple of penalties that need to be avoided that we can’t waste. Tackling was up and down; we had some good moments and bad moments. But on third down, pash rush discipline, lanes and contain, things of that nature that allow for big plays that burst out the door are things that we have to get better on. On first and goal, obviously we fumbled the ball there and that’s inexcusable. We went under center and that didn’t work out with a new center. I should’ve done a better job coaching that.”
What happened was starting center Jakai Clark went out injured, a left handed sub came in and they should have went to a shotgun formation.
Coach further stated, ”There were a couple of substitution errors. Aside from that, there was a lot of balance and big plays on both sides of the ball. We took control of the game early and I am really proud of the second and third team guys who went in there and executed at a high level and sustained the momentum to close out the football game. We’re 1-0 and there were some good things and some stuff to work on. We’re looking forward to getting back to work tomorrow.”
Miami had 605 total yards, 305 rushing and 300 passing. With co-starter RB Jalan Knighton held out as a precautionary measure both Henry Parrish (133 total yds 108 on the ground with 3 TD) and Thad Franklin ( 78 yds, 2 TDs) had great afternoons.
Tyler Van Dyke was 13-16 for 193 and 2 TD. Jake Garcia was 8 for 8 with 107 yds. 10 different receivers had receptions and there were no drops. Xavier Restepo led with 5 catches for 100 yds and a TD. Two TEs started and both Will Mallory and Elijah Arroyo were rock solid. Key’Shawn Smith was exceptional as Kickoff returner taking three for 184 yds. 75 Canes played in the total team effort that featured 24 ten plus yard plays. Miami was 7 for 7 on third down. The players of the game were the Offensive Line , LT John Campbell Jr , LG Jalen Rivers, C Jakai Clark , RG Justice Oluwaseun and RT DJ Scaife Jr. Gilbert Frierson playing the ‘Star’ position had a pic six. Overall the defense was strong but there were some areas of concern that a team like Miami can get away with against less than top flight competition but won’t wash against ranked and conference opponents.
The Canes allowed six plays of more than 20 yards. They lost contain on the Wildcats QB four times on third down. They gave up their only TD against when they ran a zero blitz with no coverage.
Miami has plenty to work on before they face ‘the elephant in the room’ Texas A&M in College Station, Texas on September 17. Next up is Southern Mississippi at noon on Saturday, September 10 at Hard Rock Stadium.
I believe it will take two or three years for the Canes to be able to compete against the Alabama, Georgia and Ohio State’s. Those three especially are loaded with five star talent. Cristobal has done very well in the transfer portal but his first recruiting class won’t be on campus until next year. It will likely take three recruiting cycles to get back to the Hurricane glory days and I have no doubt Miami’s leader can take them there.
Great teams require great players. Georgia had 15 players selected in this years NFL draft. Miami had the same amount as Fayetteville State, Fordham, Lenoit-Rhyme and Yale. Patience in the fan base is all this program needs. The right man is on the job.