The Hurricanes got their signature win in the second week of the season.
How do you determine the progress of two teams in a game like the one we saw between Florida and Miami?
In the 21-16 loss to Miami, we learned more about the ill-fated success of the Gators more than the uprising of the Hurricanes.
While I thought Miami was better than people credited them with and the Gators would struggle more because of graduations, defections to the NFL and a lack of playmakers on offense and defense.
Here are the good, the bad and the ugly of this contest.
Just like Al Golden said, the Hurricanes beat a really good football game. The defense was on the field way too long, and the team gave it everything it had.
This is a rivalry game and more importantly, Golden’s players grew up a little bit more on Saturday. While the Gators are taking steps to prove they are still a team of reckoning in the SEC, an ACC team and state rival punched them in the mouth and made them submit.
This is the best win for the Hurricanes since they beat Virginia Tech in 2005.
Miami won the game as much as Florida lost this. This was also a huge statement for the ACC and recruiting for the Hurricanes.
Poor clock management, an early decision that back-fired and maybe a team that is not as good as they think they are. That about sums up the Gators.
Even in the closing minutes of the contest when Florida was down 21-9, the Gators were low and deliberate in getting to the line. There was no sense of urgency. Florida seemed to shoot itself in the foot many times in this contest. And when it was 14-6 at halftime, it almost looked like the wind was blown out of the sails of the Gators.
Having to play in a hostile environment, the fact Miami had its own mistakes (Stephen Morris finding a rhythm with his receivers and the fact the defense for the Canes was pretty impressive, this was an awful loss for the Gators more than a great win for Miami.
The numbers of this contest will show the Gators were the dominant team, and for the most part, they were on defense. Jeff Driskel’s performance on offense wasn’t great. Special teams was good with the punt block, but the offense could never find a rhythm.
The bottom line was Morris was not effective offensively in the air, but when it came down to it, he threw two touchdowns to Driskel’s one. Duke Johnson only had 59 yards rushing, but he scored the winning score and that was all that mattered.
The fact of the matter is simple - the Gators have to work on the same issues they were saddled with last season. Miami will take this game and build on it with momentum.
And for anyone who cares, the ACC has won two huge games in the past two weeks against SEC foes this season.