Malik Rosier

Getty Images

Miami’s Brad Kaaya questionable for Virginia game

1 Comment

With the end of last week’s game still making news and being questioned, questions remain for Miami as to just who will be under center for this week’s game.

Brad Kaaya sustained a concussion in the worst loss in Hurricane history two weeks ago and didn’t play in Week 9’s wild win over Duke.  Ahead of Saturday’s game against Virginia, the quarterback is officially listed as questionable.

The good news for Kaaya is that, unlike the week before, he was able to practice in the days leading up to the game.  That said, it could very well be a game-time decision on the sophomore’s availability for a game that, with a win, would make the ‘Canes bowl eligible.

On the positive side, Malik Rosier wasn’t listed on the injury report.  Rosier, who started the Duke game in place of Kaaya, sustained an undisclosed injury in the Duke game that forced him to stay overnight in a Durham hospital.

The Palm Beach Post wrote that Rosier “was limited during Tuesday’s practice but said afterward he was preparing to play Saturday against the Cavaliers.” The fact that he doesn’t appear on the injury report bodes well for his availability.

Miami overcomes week of heartache, turmoil to stun Duke

Getty Images
27 Comments

To say it’s been a rough week for the Miami football program on and off the field would be a sizable understatement.

Exactly a week ago, the Hurricanes sustained the worst loss in the history of the Hurricanes, leading to the firing of head coach Al Golden the following day. Starting quarterback Brad Kaaya sustained a concussion in the loss and was ruled out of today’s game against No. 22 Duke, while defensive tackle Michael Wyche was charged in a domestic violence incident. Most tragically, the much-beloved mother of defensive back Artie Burns suffered a heart attack Monday and passed away the next day.

With all of that tumult and heartbreak thundering around them, The U proved once again what kind of sanctuary a football field can be as they went into Durham and stunned the Blue Devils 30-27 on one of the most wild endings in the history of any sport.  Duke had scored a touchdown with just six seconds left on the clock to take a 27-24 lead.  The Blue Devils squibbed the ensuing kickoff and, eight laterals, 46 seconds of real time, 75 yards of statistical movement, a couple of hundred yards of actual motion and a seemingly eternal officiating review, Miami-Duke told Stanford-Cal to go have a seat, son.

We’ll now await word from the ACC as to if or, even worse, why the block in the back that was initially called on that play was reversed under review when such a penalty is not reviewable.  Or how the knee of a Miami player that was seemingly down during the course of one of the laterals wasn’t picked up during the nearly 10-minute review.  Or how Miami players had begun to stream on the field before the touchdown was scored.  That said…

The Hurricanes played like an inspired bunch the entire night, and it’s not hard to understand why as Burns, showing the depth of character that the coaching staff loves about him, not only made the trip with his teammates but played four days after his mom’s death.  The stunning finish culminated a game that was dedicated to the courageous young man, and one that had taken on the look of a romp at least partway through.

Following a scoreless first quarter, Miami jumped out to a 14-0 lead midway through the second quarter and took a 14-3 lead into halftime.  A rejuvenated Blue Devils squad scored a touchdown in the first three minutes of the third quarter when, combined with a safety late in the same period, cut the lead to 14-12.  10 points in the first nine minutes of the fourth quarter stretched Miami’s lead out to 12 at 24-12 with 5:54 remaining.

A Thomas Sirk touchdown pass to Johnell Barnes from 13 yards out sliced the lead to 24-19 with 2:40 left in the game.  An ensuing onsides kick was recovered by the ‘Canes; the Blue Devils got the ball one last time with just under two minutes remaining, setting the stage for the crazy ending.

Playing for an injured Kaaya and making his first career start, Malik Rosier was, for the most part, superb. While he did have an interception, he nonetheless managed the game extremely well as he completed 19-of-28 passes for 265 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

One final statistical note: Miami was flagged a whopping 23 times for 194 yards, Duke five times for 41 yards.  Say what you want about reversing the penalty on the final play or the possibility a Miami player’s knee was down on the same play, I’ll just label it an officiating market correction — anyone see Duke’s final drive and the three somewhat questionable flags on the ‘Canes? — and move on from a shoddily officiated game on both sides.

The loss for Duke when it comes to the ACC Coastal race is a potentially significant one, but also one from which they can bounce back quickly. At 3-1 in ACC play, Duke finds themselves one game behind 4-0 North Carolina; next Saturday, the Blue Devils will travel to Chapel Hill for a critical matchup with the Tar Heels. Pittsburgh, which was dealt its first ACC loss by UNC Thursday night, is 4-1 and idle in conference play until a Nov. 14 date with Duke.

Depending on the outcome of the Duke-UNC game next weekend, that Pitt-Duke game the following week could end up being a play-in game to the ACC championship game.

Miami QB Brad Kaaya expected to be sidelined for Duke game

Getty Images
3 Comments

As Miami looks to bounce back from the worst lost in the program’s history and which triggered the firing of its head coach, they will likely have to do so without one of the top young quarterbacks in the ACC.

While there’s been nothing official yet from the school, the Miami Herald is reporting that Brad Kaaya is expected to be sidelined for this Saturday’s game against No. 22 Duke.  Kaaya sustained a concussion in the first half of the 58-0 loss to Clemson and didn’t return. Because of the head injury, Kaaya hasn’t been permitted to practice with the team or even watch film.

Kaaya might not even travel with the team as, the Herald writes, “[t]he cabin pressure on the plane flight might prevent him from going on the trip.”

Kaaya is currently sixth in the ACC in passing efficiency, one season after he was a Freshman All-American. If Kaaya’s unable to go, redshirt freshman Malik Rosier, who has worked exclusively with the first-team offense this week, would get the start.

In other travel news, interim head coach Larry Scott confirmed that Artie Burns will make the trip to Durham.  The cornerback’s mother suffered a heart attack Monday and passed away Tuesday.

Clemson destroying whatever is left of Miami, 42-0 at halftime

5 Comments

Tempers were mildly flaring before Miami and Clemson even put on full pads. A pregame warm-up shouting match may have been the most fight we could see from Miami today. The Hurricanes are being dominated on their home field by the Tigers, who lead Miami 42-0 at the halftime break.

Clemson marched right down the field on the game’s opening possession. An eight-play, 82-yard drive was finished off with a 34-yard touchdown strike from DeShaun Watson to Jordan Leggett for a quick 7-0 lead. Miami looked to be ready to answer on the ensuing possession, but Brad Kaaya was picked off by Jadar Johnson just inside the Clemson 20-yard line. It took just five plays for Clemson to add a second touchdown with Wayne Gallman running for a five-yard score at the end of a quick 84-yard drive fueled by a 63-yard run by Watson to the Miami 8-yard line. It has not gotten any prettier for Miami.

Zac Brooks and Artavis Scott each pushed into the end zone in short-yardage situations for scores later in the first half, with the two goal-line runners combining for four yards and two touchdowns. At one point Clemson had three touchdown drives that covered more yardage than Miami’s total offensive yardage output, with the Tigers putting together three touchdown drives of at least 80 yards.

Clemson’s offense scored its fifth touchdown of the half with one more 80+ yard scoring drive when Watson ran in from six yards out. With time dwindling, Miami took to the air to try and move into any type of position for a field goal, but Malik Rosier was picked off by Cordrea Tankersley, who returned the interception 36 yards for one more crushing blow before halftime. Rosier replaced Kaaya after the Miami starting quarterback left the game for medical attention in the locker room after taking a big hit early in the second quarter.

This one is flat out ugly, and Al Golden is running out of time and excuses.