MIAMI GARDENS (CBSMiami) – The 18th ranked Miami Hurricanes opened their season with a victory on Saturday, beating the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats 41-13 from Hard Rock Stadium.
After a slow first quarter for Miami’s offense, quarterback Malik Rosier found his rhythm. The redshirt junior takes over the starting role from UM’s all time leading passer, Brad Kaaya. Rosier threw a career high three touchdown passes in the win.
The game was tied at three at the end of the first quarter, before Miami built a 24-6 halftime lead.
The Hurricanes scored three touchdowns in the second quarter: a five yard run from junior tailback Mark Walton and a pair of 5 yard passes from Rosier. Lawrence Cager and Darrell Langham were on the receiving end of Rosier’s scoring strikes.
Langham also hauled in a beautiful over-the-shoulder catch on a Rosier deep ball for a forty-eight yard gain. Langham’s catch was the key play on a brilliant Miami scoring drive of eight plays for ninety-two yards.
The Hurricanes cashed in on their opening drive of the third quarter, with Walton scoring his second touchdown on a six yard run.
Rosier’s final touchdown pass of the game would come in Miami’s final drive of the third quarter. He connected with senior wideout Braxton Berrios between the hash marks for twenty-two yards.
Rosier finished seventeen for twenty-eight with 217 passing yards and three touchdowns. He connected with nine different Hurricanes receivers, with Langham leading the charge with sixty-five yards on three catches.
Rosier ran the football four times for forty-three yards. His mobility adds an element that his predecessor, Kaaya, did not offer. In his first snap from scrimmage, Rosier tucked and ran for sixteen yards and a first down.
Mark Walton finished with 148 rushing yards and two scores on sixteen carries. The junior running back was named team MVP a season ago after rushing for 1,117 yards and fourteen touchdowns in 2016. His longest carry on Saturday was for forty-seven yards, on a play where he reversed field after a big hole provided by freshman guard Navaughn Donaldson.
Backup running back Travis Homer also eclipsed the century mark, rushing for 103 yards on eleven carries.
Miami’s defense allowed 350 total yards from the Wildcats, with 229 of those coming through the air. Bethune-Cookman quarterback Larry Brihm Jr. threw for 222 yards and an interception. Hurricanes sophomore cornerback Malek Young recorded the INT, and freshman safety Amari Carter forced a fumble on a booming fourth quarter hit.
Sophomore linebacker Shaquille Quarterman led the ‘Canes with eight tackles. He had one tackle for a loss. Miami recorded seven TFL’s.
Miami’s offense totaled 555 yards, with 322 on the ground and 233 through the air.
The game was tightly officiated with the teams combining for twenty-one penalties for 179 yards. The Hurricanes committed eight of those for eighty-three yards.
The official attendance at Hard Rock Stadium was 50,454.
The Hurricanes will play their next two games on the road. The Hurricanes visit Arkansas State on September 9th before visiting the third-ranked Florida State Seminoles on Sept. 16th.