Canes Rewind: A Look Back at the Game Against Louisville
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Each week this season, we’ll take a look at the game that was for the Hurricanes.
Here are some key storylines, numbers of note and quotes from Miami’s loss to Louisville.
After a hard-fought loss at Florida State last week, the Hurricanes knew they had little time to dwell on what happened in Tallahassee – not with another top-10 matchup awaiting.
Miami came into its home finale against ninth-ranked Louisville knowing it had an opportunity – to bounce back after a loss to the rival Seminoles, to honor its seniors in their final game at Hard Rock Stadium and hopefully, to walk away from the game with the newly minted Schnellenberger Trophy, a tribute to the legendary coach, Howard Schnellenberger, who had a massive impact on both of the programs on the field Saturday.
But while the Hurricanes came out hot and played well for the better part of the afternoon, Louisville scored a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns to rally and earn a 38-31 win over Miami.
Hurricanes quarterback Tyler Van Dyke, under center after fellow quarterback Emory Williams was injured at Florida State, completed 24 of 39 passes and threw for 327 yards and a touchdown, while running back Mark Fletcher, Jr. had 17 carries for 126 yards and two touchdowns and receiver Xavier Restrepo had eight catches for 193 yards.
Louisville (10-1, 7-1 ACC) scored on its opening drive, but Miami answered, scoring on its next possession when Fletcher scored on a 21-yard run and Andy Borregales tied it on the point-after attempt.
For much of the day, that’s how things went, Miami and Louisville answering every time one seemed to grab an edge or momentum.
In the end, though, Louisville eventually took the lead for good and broke a 31-31 tie when it went on a 3-play, 75-yard drive that ended when Kevin Coleman, Jr. scored on a 58-yard touchdown pass from Jack Plummer with 4:17 left.
The Hurricanes (6-5, 2-5) drove inside the Cardinals’ 5-yard line on their next possession but weren’t able to score. Miami had one final possession minutes later to try and tie the game again, but a last-second pass from Van Dyke to Restrepo came up just short of the endzone.
“We gave ourselves a chance at the end. We found ourselves in a situation where we had a chance to take control of the game. It kept going back and forth. Good fight, good effort,” Hurricanes head coach Mario Cristobal said. “A lack of discipline at the end, that part is disappointing. We have to fix that. Aside from that, close isn’t good enough. Credit to their offense. They did some things that were very challenging. We’ve got to find a way to get better, get back to work for a quick turnaround and go play our best football on Friday next week.”
Numbers to Know
5 – Number of career 100-yard receiving games for Xavier Restrepo, who had a career-high 193 yards on Saturday.
7.4 – Average yards-per-carry for Miami running back Mark Fletcher, Jr., who totaled a career-high 126 yards against Louisville. He set his previous high of 115 rushing yards two weeks ago at NC State.
11 – Number of career interceptions for Hurricanes safety Kam Kinchens, who recorded another pick Saturday. The last player to total that many interceptions at Miami was Sean Taylor, who had 14 interceptions between 2001 and 2003.
“He was very determined. It carried over to this week. He was very urgent if you watch the way he was moving around in the pocket. His feet were quick. He’s healthy now, too, almost completely. He was very determined to play well, and he did that today.”
– Head coach Mario Cristobal, on the play of quarterback Tyler Van Dyke
“Obviously, you want to win games. It’s frustrating, because we know if a couple plays went our way, execute better on those plays, we could be standing here right now with a win, maybe a win last week. It is frustrating because we feel like we’re a really good team. We don’t feel like we deserve to be 6-5, but we are. We have to own up to those plays that maybe win us the game and not make those mistakes.”
– Quarterback Tyler Van Dyke, on how close Miami came to upsetting two top-10 teams in back-to-back weeks
“It’s tough. It’s definitely tough, hard on you after the game. But as you guys know, the next week comes quick. We have to move on, keep pushing. We’re still optimistic. We’re close. We’re so close. We’re knocking on the ceiling. It’ll break through. It’ll break through for us soon. But we have to keep going. Next week comes fast.”
– Defensive lineman Branson Deen, on how the Hurricanes need to quickly turn their focus to Boston College after Saturday’s game
As the Hurricanes noted after Saturday’s game, their next game – a Friday afternoon showdown against Boston College – looms and preparation for that game began almost immediately.
The Eagles are coming off a 24-16 loss at Pittsburgh and have lost two straight entering Friday’s game. But dual-threat quarterback Thomas Castellanos – a transfer from UCF – has been a force for Boston College all season. He leads the team with 827 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns and has also thrown for 1,995 yards and 14 touchdowns.
The Hurricanes lead the all-time series against their former Big East conference foes 24-6, but the two teams have met just three times since 2011. Boston College has won two of those meetings.