Miami Sports Day

‘CANES GAMEDAY: Miami Open Richt Era with Drubbing of FAMU

Miami scored touchdowns on nine of its first 11 possessions and sailed to a 70-3 win over Florida A&M on Saturday in Miami Gardens, Fla. The victory made Mark Richt’s debut as Hurricanes coach a successful one.

“I’ve had the ability to kind of focus on the things I can control: the types of plays that we’re going to call, the formations they’re supposed to be in, calling a game for the first time in a while, that’s where all my thought process was,” Richt said.

The 60,703 fans in attendance were the most for a Hurricanes’ opener since Miami’s opener against Ohio State in 2011.

Junior QB Brad Kaaya finished the game with 135 yards passing and four touchdowns. With his four touchdown passes, Kaaya now is tied for seventh place on the all-time career touchdown list with Craig Erickson (46). Kaaya did not throw an interception, giving the standout signal caller just seven interceptions over his last 609 pass attempts

The hosts (1-0) took a quick 14-0 lead.  Miami added two more touchdowns in the second quarter for a 28-0 lead before FAMU(0-1) got on the scoreboard with Austin Miller’s 31-yard field goal.

The Hurricanes came out after halftime and scored touchdowns on their first three series. Wide receiver Braxton Berrios scored on a 41-yard punt return for another Hurricane’s TD.

“Honestly, when we come off the highway there was only one game before that we saw cars in that back lot—it was FSU my freshman year [in 2014]. There were cars in that back lot and that was incredible, honestly, to see. It was the
home opener, coach Richt’s first game, new stadium, there’s a lot of things,” Berrios said.

Miami running back Joe Yearby scored on a one-yard run on his first carry, then scored again on a 64-yard TD. He finished with 105 yards rushing and two touchdowns on seven carries. Sophomore Mark Walton finished the game with a career high 117 yards rushing. His 37-yard touchdown run is also a career long from scrimmage.

Redshirt junior Gus Edwards’ 74-yard touchdown run was a career-long and his first touchdown since the 2014 season. Edwards missed all of the 2015 season due to injury. Miami rushed for 373 yards as a team.

“Yeah, you know, when you practice it’s one thing. This is our first time playing in this newly renovated stadium. I haven’t played in it in a while, almost a year,” noted Kaaya. “Still getting used to how it looks, getting used to its vantage points, like where the light hits you for everyone, especially for me and the receivers, just getting used to it again, and that’s huge.”

Florida A&M managed 197 yards in total offense. The bulk from QB Kenneth Coleman, who was 9-of-16 passing for 135 yards.

“I want to give props to [defensive coordinator] Coach Diaz and [special teams coordinator] Coach Hartley, because I’ve not spent much time at all getting in the middle of defense or getting in the middle of special teams or the kicking game, so I can focus on the job I’ve got to do as a play-caller. I’m just trying to get guys to play hard, execute the whole way though and, for the most part, I thought we did,” Richt said.

FIRST TIMERS: Graduate transfer Marquez Williams’ first half touchdown reception was his first as a Hurricane….Freshman Ahmmon Richards recorded his first career reception and first career touchdown. Richards finished the game….with two catches for 31 yards and a touchdown…Redshirt sophomore Malik Rosier scored his first career rushing touchdown, a 19-yard run in the third quarter.

GAME NOTES: The Hurricanes’ first punt of the game did not come until the 3:36 mark of the second quarter. Miami outgained  FAMU 214-154 in the first half. In the second half, the Hurricanes held a 309-43 advantage in the second half. The Hurricanes scored 42 points in the third quarter and took a 70-3 lead into the fourth quarter. The 42 points scored in the third quarter are the most points tallied in a quarter in program history. Miami had three 100 yard rushers (Mark Walton, Joesph Yearby and Gus Edwards) for the first time since 1987.

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