First Half Domination. Almost the entirety of the first half was absolutely owned by the Deacs, including the opening drive of the game, which took the better part of 10 minutes, involved several third down conversions, and resulted in a touchdown. Just beautiful.
Tyree Harris Is A Baller. The freshman receiver proved to be an amazing asset, as he actually had arguably a better stat line than stalwart Michael Campanaro, and that's no slight on Camp. Tyree had 6 catches for 95 yards, including a gigantic 56-yard catch. Camp, on the other hand, had 10 catches for 88 yards and one touchdown. Watching Tyree (and other young receivers for that matter) made me feel like this passing game may not be entirely out to shore next year without Camp after all.
Goal Line Stand With Duke Johnson? Yes Please. So, it didn't happen when the game was on the line, but the defense had an absolutely massive goal line stand earlier in the game, and without that we may not have even been up with less than five minutes to go anyway.
Pressure? No Problem. The team just didn't cave. Whether it was going 2-2 on 4th down attempts including a gutsy call by Coach Lobo that led to a touchdown, or executing a touchdown drive to go ahead again after Miami easily could've run away with it, this team fought until the very end, and deserves to be lauded for it.
Missed Field Goal Cost Us. I don't want to throw Chad Hedlund under the bus, since it was a 47-yarder into the wind, and Chad absolutely blasted a 51-yarder against Maryland last week, but as soon as that attempt went wide, I said to myself "We're going to lose by 3." This loss isn't on Chad, but I'd be remiss to not report that attempt as a negative aspect on the day.
No Forced Turnovers. The defense had a great day overall, but I really would've liked to see at least one turnover by them, especially since the team has that as a point of emphasis and Miami had had a lot of issues with that recently.
Sitting On The Lead. Now, you're going to get differing opinions here, so this one is particularly subjective, but I'm of the opinion that when you're up 4 after dominating the entire first half with a little over a minute left and two time outs, you try to do something. Our receiving corps and offensive line had been balling hard, and Tanner Price had been having a great day and looking good under pressure. Given the scope of the game, I'd have liked to see a little more aggressiveness there.
I had to struggle for this one, but in the end I decided it was really funny how one Miami fan on another forum I frequent was lamenting Miami's third down defense early on (to be fair, it was pretty atrocious). He'd be all "Third and long? Time for another Wake first down!" and we;d proceed to move the chains. It was pretty hilarious.
The Bottom Line
Hell of an effort by players and coaches alike. I'm heartbroken we didn't win, but if we play like we did today, I think Duke, Cuse, and Vandy are all winnable games, and they might need to be given how the ACC bowl situation is looking to shake out. I can scarcely think of a team in recent memory that has played with so much will and passion at almost all times, so I hope they're rewarded with a postseason berth. Let's torch Cuse next week. Go Deacs.