Report Card: Miami vs. Central Florida

Quarterbacks: D. For the second straight game, Robert Marve and Jacory Harris looked like freshmen and not veterans. Two of Marve’s three interceptions came from jumped routes; this means the defense was baiting him successfully. To say this was a regression is a bit rash, as again their supporting cast let them down, but it was definitely not an uplifting performance.

Running Backs: C. Graig Cooper looked good early but tired as the game went on, and no one stepped up to be a reliable second back (although Lee Chambers showed some promise). Additionally, blitz protection was not as good from this position as was needed. Overall, a very average day where positives canceled out negatives. It would be nice to see a back emerge as an up-the-middle threat; Javarris James’s return is sorely needed.

Receivers: D. Travis Benjamin came up with another big play, but he failed to come back and fight for the ball on one of Marve’s picks. Overall, no one steeped up and took the reins in this unit, and the lack of a go-to guy continues.

Offensive Line: D. The quarterbacks got hit too frequently, and one of Marve’s picks was because he got ripped as he threw. In addition, the line did not open up enough holes in the run game, especially against a weak opponent like UCF.

Defensive Line: B. The pass rush was better, and Allen Bailey registered his first two career sacks. They stood up well against the run as well. A solid performance, but more pressure is certainly needed.

Linebacker: B. They tackled well and did a good job in pass coverage, highlighted by Daryl Sharpton’s game-ending pass break up. They stayed home against the run and did not allow many big plays, which have previously killed the team.

Secondary: B. As bad as they have been, they shut down a pass-heavy offense all game long and did not allow a big play. Bruce Johnson getting flagged for a stupid interference call is all that keeps this from an A.

Special Teams: F. Matt Bosher shanked two punts and had an illegal procedure called. The coverage unit could not protect a two-score lead, allowing a 90-plus yard kick return touchdown late in the fourth quarter, following a Hurricane touchdown. Add in Sam Shields’s dumb penalty and these mistakes cancel out Richard Gordon’s blocked punt.

Coaching: D. The offense was too conservative at times and not conservative enough at times. When the ball should have been run up the gut, an outside play was called. When the defense should have been stretched, a screen or flat pass was too often used. The defense looked good, but the special teams were awful. Against a weak opponent, Miami should have won by three scores. Most of it is on the players, but a lot of this one was poor coaching.