MIAMI GARDENS (CBSMiami) – After three weeks away from football, the 14th ranked (2-0) Miami Hurricanes overcame a sluggish start to beat the Toledo Rockets 52-30 at Hard Rock Stadium.
Malik Rosier threw for 333 yards and three touchdowns and Mark Walton rushed for 204 yards and a score in the win. Senior receiver Braxton Berrios caught five passes for 105 yards with a crucial 19 yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter to put the Hurricanes up 31-16, and give his team some breathing room.
The Hurricanes, who hadn’t played a game since their season opening win over Bethune-Cookman on September 2nd, looked out of sync in the second quarter, where they gave up 16 unanswered points after taking a 10-0 lead in the first.
As the offense sputtered in the second, with all three drives ending in punts, Miami also had an injury scare. A Toledo defender landed on Mark Walton’s left ankle after a tackle. Walton went to the locker room for evaluation but would did return in the fourth.
Miami earned momentum back on offense with their second drive of the third quarter. The Hurricanes marched down the field for 91 yards on 8 plays, taking a 17-16 lead on a 12 yard touchdown run from Travis Homer.
Homer, who took over in the backfield while Walton was sidelined, also caught 2 passes for 29 yards on that scoring drive.
After a trio of touchdown passes from Rosier to Dayall Harris, Berrios, and Christopher Herndon, the ‘Canes built their largest lead of the game at 38 – 16.
But the Rockets refused to go away quietly.
Quarterback Logan Woodside threw a pair of fourth quarter touchdown passes to Diontae Johnson (who also caught a 2-pt conversion), to cut Miami’s lead to 38-30. The second of those touchdowns came on an 8-yard drive after a Rosier interception.
Woodside, an NFL prospect, went 28-48 in the game for 342 yards and three touchdowns. Over his past two games, he’s thrown nine touchdown passes and racked up 800 yards through the air.
Rosier made up for his interception with a big touchdown run with 6:01 left in the game to put Miami back ahead by 15. He sold a play fake beautifully before running to the left virtually untouched for a 23-yard score.
Travis Homer sealed the game with a 15-yard touchdown run with 2:30 left to put the Hurricanes up 52-30. Homer scored twice in the game while rushing for 32 yards.
Miami’s defense sacked Woodside four times, with defensive end Trent Harris recording two of those and (DE) Chad Thomas and (DT) RJ McIntosh collecting the others. Cornerback Sheldrick Redwine recovered a fumble, for Miami’s lone turnover. He was awarded Miami’s famous “turnover chain” necklace by defensive coordinator Manny Diaz.
A concerning stat for Miami’s defense has been a difficulty in stopping opponents on third down. Toledo Converted 13 of 23 third down attempts. Miami allowed Bethune-Cookman to convert 47-percent of their third down tries in the opener.
Offensively, the Hurricanes converted only three of their nine third down tries.
Next up for Miami, they’ll travel to the 4-0 Duke Blue Devils on Friday, September 29th for their first ACC matchup of the season. Duke defeated UNC 27-17 on Saturday.