Duke Johnson rushed for a career high 186 yards and scored a touchdown to help the Miami Hurricanes claim victory in a turf war Friday night with Florida Atlantic. Miami defeated the Owls 34-6 on a night in which the school celebrated the 30th anniversary of the 1983 national championship Hurricanes.
Johnson, the ACC’s leading rusher returning in 2013, had a 53-yard touchdown run in the second quarter to give Miami a 10-0 lead but it took a while for the Hurricanes to really deliver a knockout blow against the Owls. Two touchdowns in the third quarter helped ive Miami reason to breathe easy.
Miami quarterback Stephen Morris did not have a standout performance, but was effective enough to get by this week. Eight different receivers caught a pass for Miami, including Morris for a loss of 16 yards on one ill-advised play.
The night marked the start of another season with a dark cloud floating above it of course. The NCAA’s investigation in to the University of Miami continues to drag on, but Golden hopes to have his team focused on taking care of what they can on the field. Moving forward, Miami has plenty of work to do if they are to become a challenger in the ACC. Miami converted just four of 14 third down attempts but they did rack up over 500 yards of offense, more than doubling the production by Florida Atlantic. Penalties plagued Miami early and often, which will surely be something head coach Al Golden feels a need to address moving forward.
Miami will host the Florida Gators next week in Miami.
Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.
Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.
And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.
“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”
Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.
You know how I know we’re gradually creeping up on the end of another regular season? Watch lists are being whittled.
The first major honor to do so is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given out annually to the best quarterback who is a college senior or fourth-year junior. The preseason watch list was 30 quarterbacks strong; the newest list has been cut in half to 15.
The most recent list includes one of the top Heisman contenders (TCU’s Trevone Boykin) and the top two nationally in passing yards (Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty), as well as a quarterback who’s closing in on the all-time FBS record for rushing touchdowns (Navy’s Keenan Reynolds).
The Pac-12 leads all conferences with three watch listers, followed by two each from the AAC, ACC and Big Ten. The SEC has as many players (one, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott) as the FCS (North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz).
Last year’s winner was Marcus Mariota of Oregon.
Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Everett Golson, Florida State
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Cody Kessler, USC
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah