The Miami Hurricanes 52-30 over the Toledo Rockets is arguably the most important win of the season for “The U.”
It is only game two you may say.
It is Toledo you may say.
Well, the Hurricanes were down to a high-octane Rockets team at the half moreover not knowing if their star running back would enter back into the game. This second game was played three weeks later. Rust was apparent.
The win was important in the column and for morale better yet the peace of mind since football was the last thing on the minds with Hurricane Irma displacing the entire state of Florida.
“That was enough drama for three weeks of football. I’m very impressed with what Toledo did tonight as a football team. We all know the score doesn’t indicate what really happened in that game or how close it was for them to tie this thing and possibly even take it into overtime.” Hurricanes coach Mark Richt stated. “Mostly I’m thankful for the victory. I’m usually that way anyway, but this one, in particular, just little more than normal. We’ve been through a lot. It has been an emotional rollercoaster for a lot of us.”
This was the longest stretch ever between regular-season games in program history, a span of 21 days that goes back to the season-opening win over Bethune-Cookman on Sept. 2. Coincidently because of a Hurricane.
The second half of the game was a telling point to the product of who this team was on the field. In the first half, there were plays where the defensive secondary was on vacation.
The Hurricanes were still wearing the rust of not playing for three-week leading them to punt the ball away on their first possession of the second half. With Mark Walton not officially back in the game. Malik Rosier impressed me by not vomiting his pre-game meal. Rosier spearheaded, an eight-play, 91-yard drive connecting with Mike Harley for 19 yards on 3rd-and-18 one play before Homer — then playing because of Walton’s injury scored on a 12-yard carry to put Miami back on top.
“Mark (Walton) went down and coach tells us every week about the “next man mentality” and that anyone can get hurt,” Rosier stated. “Travis Homer did a great job. It wasn’t about going to any one guy, it was about taking the right progressions, doing what I was supposed to do.”
Rosier has passed for 550 yards in two starts this season, with 333 coming against the Rockets along with three touchdowns. These are numbers without his ace at wideout Ahmmon Richards, who set a Miami freshman receiving record last year, has been out with a hamstring injury. Richards could return this week versus Duke at the eight lateral rematch site in Durham.
Little me whisper a couple of words for running back Walton. Heisman candidate.
Walton 11 carries 204 yards and a touchdown. He did not play a full game kinfolks. He became the sixth FBS player in the last decade to rush for 200 yards on no more than 11 carries. He had an 82-yard run in the first half, tying for the sixth-longest in Miami history. He’s also the fifth Hurricane to run for at least 200, joining Edgerrin James, Duke Johnson, Lorenzo Roan and Willis McGahee.
I will not insert a quote by Walton instead let him enjoy a drop the mic moment.