The two teams played 60 minutes of football, but it didn’t take nearly that long for the game to be decided.
Miami took the lead on their first possession after forcing a Georgia Tech punt. Runningback Joseph Yearby scored on a 28 yard run to the outside and up the sideline.
Georgia Tech tied the score on their next possession before the game flipped on its head.
After being held to a punt on their second possession, Yearby again led the charge, running five times in a row for 34 yards. This time, fellow runningback Mark Walton finished the drive by scoring from 14 yards out to put Miami up 14-7.
Walton’s touchdown would be the first of three scores by Miami in 1:38.
On the ensuing Georgia Tech possession, ‘Canes defensive end Trent Harris forced a fumble when he blindsided Jackets quarterback Justin Thomas. Linebacker Shaquille Quarterman was in perfect position to return the fumble 17 yards for the touchdown. Although a freshman, Quarterman wasn’t phased by the pressure of the moment.
“I honestly didn’t even think about it, it was liked my actions carried me,” Quarterman said after the game. “The opportunity arose and I did what I was supposed to.”
Two plays later, Thomas fumbled again before defensive end Joe Jackson scooped up the ball and scored.
Just like that, 28-7 ‘Canes. Three snaps, two touchdowns.
Now that’s efficiency.
Miami coach Mark Richt was pleased with the performance of the team, as well as the direction of the program.
“I’m so proud of how hard they played, and how hard our coaches have been coaching,” Richt said.
He made sure to recognize all the moving parts of a college football team.
“The whole thing, all the strength and conditioning, nutrition, academic people, I mean the recruiting, our administration has been awesome. I mean, everyone’s pulling in the right direction right now and it gives us a chance,” Richt said.
While the Jackets made it a one possession game again in the third quarter, quarterback Brad Kaaya led a quick drive to hit the 35-point mark. After a rushing gain of one on first down, Kaaya threw passes of 12, 31, and 31 yards one-after-the-other. Miami wideout Stacy Coley caught the last 31-yarder for six.
The touchdown throw was Kaaya’s 50th as a ‘Cane. It put him in third place all-time in Miami history for touchdown passes, passing (get it?) his predecessor Stephen Morris.
All-in-all, a solid effort by Miami. After facing relative cupcakes their first three games, the ‘Canes showed signs that they are emerging from the Al Golden era. At the same time, the transformation isn’t near completion, like when tight-end David Njoku killed a drive in Georgia Tech territory with a careless unnecessary roughness penalty.
Check out highlights of the game here (courtesy ESPN).
No. 14 Miami faces the No. 12 Florida State Seminoles Saturday October 8 in their next matchup. Can you say RIVALRY GAME?
Alex Goldman is a senior majoring in journalism with a minor in political science. He is currently the Sports Editor of distractionmagazine.com. He’s a Northern California native and loves snowboarding, writing, and above all the Green Bay Packers.