Hur­ri­canes dom­i­nant in crush­ing of Toledo

Mi­ami quar­ter­back ac­counts for five touch­downs as the Hur­ri­canes pull away in road game against MAC power Toledo.

The Palm Beach Post - - FRONT PAGE - By Tom D’An­gelo Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Quar­ter­back Ma­lik Rosier was re­spon­si­ble for five touch­downs as UM found a higher of­fen­sive gear to hum­ble Rock­ets, 48-24.

The Univer­sity of Mi­ami walked

TOLEDO, OHIO — into the Glass Bowl and crushed Toledo’s dreams. The Hur­ri­canes with­stood a fran­tic at­tempt by the Rock­ets to get back into the game by find­ing an­other gear of­fen­sively for a 49-24 vic­tory Satur­day.

Toledo (1-1) ral­lied from a 21-point deficit to twice pull within a touch­down be­fore No. 21 Mi­ami (2-1) pulled away. The Hur­ri­canes scored touch­downs on four con­sec­u­tive drives and the de­fense re­cov­ered from a tough stretch, send­ing the ma­jor­ity of the sell­out crowd of 28,117 home early.

“You just bat­tle,” coach Mark Richt said. “We weren’t try­ing to prove any­thing other than try­ing to win the game. As it turned out, we an­swered.”

Quar­ter­back Ma­lik Rosier was re­spon­si­ble

for five touch­downs, three rush­ing and two pass­ing. He com­pleted 13 of 23 passes for 205 yards. Rosier was re­placed by N’Kosi Perry with less than seven min­utes re­main­ing.

Re­ceiver Jeff Thomas con­tin­ued to daz­zle with

105 yards on five catches, in­clud­ing a 38-yard touch­down. Run­ning back DeeJay Dal­las, who

said last week that the Hur­ri­canes crush op­po­nents’ dreams, topped the 100-yard mark for

the first time in his ca­reer, rush­ing for 110 yards on 17 car­ries. Mi­ami did not have a turnover.

Here are our five takeaways:

1. Rosier comes up big twice: Af­ter the Rock­ets closed to 21-14 and 28-21, the Hur­ri­canes an­swered each time.

On the first pos­ses­sion, Rosier needed just five plays to lead a 75-yard drive, high­lighted by a 41-yard pass to Thomas. Dal­las scored on a 19-yard run. On the sec­ond, the Hur­ri­canes con­verted on three third downs and a fourth down to again pull ahead by two touch­downs. Rosier com­pleted two passes for 38 yards, in­clud­ing an 8-yarder to Lawrence Cager for a touch­down.

Rosier has been un­der fire by UM fans and was booed dur­ing Mi­ami’s 77-0 over Sa­van­nah State in its home opener.

“Now he can stop be­ing booed,” Dal­las said. “I don’t like that. That’s not some­thing our fans should be about. Ma­lik came out to­day and he played with edge and he played like a starter should and he’s go­ing to keep play­ing like that.”

2. First three games a mixed bag: Mi­ami now has played one of the big boys, a cup­cake and a mi­dlevel pro­gram. The Hur­ri­canes looked bad against LSU, over­whelmed a se­verely out­manned Sa­van­nah State and fi­nally got it to­gether late against Toledo to run away with the vic­tory. But we may not know for a while how good this team is — the next three games are at home against FIU and two strug­gling ACC pro­grams, North Carolina and Florida State.

“Th­ese guys were tough,” cor­ner­back Tra­jan Bandy said of Toledo. “They gave us a bat­tle and at the end of the day, we won that bat­tle.”

3. Jeff Thomas is a star: Thomas, the Hur­ri­canes’ all-pur­pose yardage leader this season, had no rush­ing yards com­ing into the game. That changed on UM’s first se­ries when he took the ball on an end-around and scooted 19 yards to high­light a scor­ing drive. Thomas en­tered the game eighth na­tion­ally with an av­er­age of 182.5 all-pur­pose yards. He had 171 against the Rock­ets, in­clud­ing a 38-yard TD re­cep­tion.

“Early on he was it,” Richt said. “He was the guy mak­ing plays that kept us in the thing.”

4. Lack of depth ex­posed: Toledo’s suc­cess started when UM se­nior safety Jaquan John­son, a pre­sea­son All-Amer­i­can, went out with a right ham­string in­jury. John­son was in­jured on the Rock­ets’ last se­ries of the first half, which re­sulted in their first TD. That drive also was helped when tackle Ger­ald Wil­lis came off the field with what ap­peared to be cramps. Wil­lis re­turned on the next se­ries but John­son never came back as the Rock­ets scored on four straight drives.

“I brought the de­fense (to­gether) and told them we have to keep fight­ing,” Bandy said. “Just be­cause Jaquan went down, it’s the next man. We con­tin­ued to fight. We gave up a cou­ple of plays but let that go.”

5. Enough is enough: The game marked the fourth time since 2015 that Mi­ami was sched­uled to play a road game against a lower-level pro­gram. The Hur­ri­canes vis­ited FAU, Ap­palachian State and Toledo, and their game at Arkansas State last year was canceled due to weather. None of th­ese games were sched­uled by cur­rent AD Blake James.

With the ex­cep­tion of the fi­nal game on the cur­rent con­tract with FIU — which will likely be played at Hard Rock Sta­dium or Mar­lins Park next season — don’t ex­pect to see any more road games against Group of Five op­po­nents.

NEIL GERSHMAN / CANESPORT.COM

Univer­sity of Mi­ami quar­ter­back Ma­lik Rosier takes off against Toledo Satur­day in the Glass Bowl. Rosier ran for 80 yards and three touch­downs while throw­ing for 205 yards and two more scores in a 49-24 win.

NEIL GERSHMAN / CANESPORT.COM

Mi­ami re­ceiver Jeff Thomas beats Toledo safety Josh Teachey for a 38-yard score on a pass from Ma­lik Rosier on Satur­day in Toledo.

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