Hurricanes dominant in crushing of Toledo
Miami quarterback accounts for five touchdowns as the Hurricanes pull away in road game against MAC power Toledo.
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.
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.
Miami receiver Jeff Thomas beats Toledo safety Josh Teachey for a 38-yard score on a pass from Malik Rosier on Saturday in Toledo.