Miami (Fla.) is no exception, as it finds itself in a huge hole to the Cardinals at halftime in the 2013 Russell Athletic Bowl, down 22-2.
With the Hurricanes’ exceptional athleticism and ability to make game-changing plays with numerous deep-ball threats within the receiving corps, this one isn’t close to over. However, adjustments will have to be made if Al Golden’s crew wants to turn this around in the second half.
Here are some of my first-half game notes:
- What’s up with this Miami offensive line? The Hurricanes allowed an ACC-best 13 sacks all season long, but have given up three to the Louisville defensive front already. I’m not sure whether it’s miscommunication and missed blocking assignments or if the Cardinals’ defensive line is just that good, but something is going to have to change or Miami doesn’t won’t sniff a comeback attempt.
- Louisville has dominated every aspect of the game—except for penalties. And boy, have they come at the wrong times. The Cardinals ended the first half with seven penalties for 64 yards, and almost all of them coming on plays which would have resulted in a first down or touchdown. It’s 22-2, but it could be much worse.
- Teddy Bridgewater is really, really good. Sure, he’s getting enough time in the pocket to make comfortable decisions, but there have been times where he’s made throws that only elite quarterbacks can make. Bridgewater is 19-of-26 for 231 yards and two touchdowns so far, and there’s no reason to believe he’ll slow down in the second half.
- Miami needs to do a much better job setting themselves up on third down. Gaining yards on first and second downs have been a challenge, and many plays have resulted in negative yards. This is why the Canes are 0-for-7 on third down, and a big reason why they’re in such a huge hole.
- A huge strength for Miami has been the ability to make big plays by breaking tackles and making tacklers miss on special teams. Louisville has done an excellent job staying in its lanes and forcing Hurricane returners to stay in the middle of the field, making the opportunity for a long return much more difficult.