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Miami Blows Past Savannah State

By Carlos Pineda
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Miami's 77 points was the most in program history, breaking the previous record of 75 set in 1954.

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — All week long, Miami players and coaches spoke about using the Savannah State game this week to work on the troubles stemming from the first two games of the season.

It's fair to say the Hurricanes accomplished that, beating Savannah State 77-7 on Saturday night at Sun Life Stadium. Within minutes Miami (3-0) was ahead by three touchdowns and had a 49-0 lead by halftime.

Miami's 77 points was the most in program history, breaking the previous record of 75 set in 1954. While the offense totaled 637 yards and scored on eight of its 10 red zone possessions, quarterback Stephen Morris left the game with a right ankle injury with 8:51 left in the first quarter. Miami coach Al Golden confirmed at halftime that x-rays were negative and that Morris would be fine.

Following the game, Golden said they would be cautious with Morris and "get him off his feet in the next 48 hours, but it looks like he'll be fine."

Last year Morris suffered an injury to his left ankle during the fourth quarter of the North Carolina game.

Morris only attempted four passes — he was three of four for 82 yards and a touchdown — before he was sidelined for the remainder of the game. Quarterbacks Ryan Williams (11-for-13 for 176 yards and two touchdowns) and Gray Crow (6-for-6 for 55 yards and a touchdown) filled in the rest of way.

Plenty of the young guys had opportunities to showcase their talents. Freshman running back Gus Edwards rushed for a career-best 113 yards on 12 carries and scored his first career touchdowns — three to be exact. Freshman receiver Stacy Coley caught his first collegiate touchdown and also had an 88-yard kickoff return for a score late in the third.

"I was very excited," Edwards said after the game about scoring three touchdowns. "I haven't scored that many touchdowns since my last game in high school, so I was pretty happy."

Edwards entered the game with 22 rushing yards on six carries.

In just one quarter of action, running back Duke Johnson had eight carries for 59 yards and a rushing touchdown. He also returned the opening kickoff 95 yards to the Savannah State one-yard line. Johnson finished with 154 all-purpose yards, the sixth time in the last seven games he amassed 100 all-purpose yards.

"I think we learned a lot of individuals," Golden said. "I think we're coming out of it healthy, which was my primary concern once it got a little lopsided."

By the end of the first quarter many of the starters were substituted, allowing the reserve players plenty of playing time.

The Miami defense gave up 183 total yards and held Savannah State scoreless until the third quarter when DeQuan Daniels had a 75-yard touchdown run. Miami led 63-0 by that point.

Carlos Pineda - Carlos Pineda is a featured writer for Southern Pigskin. He covered the UCF Knights football team for Florida Today in 2010. Carlos' work has been published in the South Florida Sun Sentinel, Miami Herald, Orlando Sentinel and Orlando Business Journal. He attended the University of Central Florida. Follow Carlos on Twitter @CarlosFPineda.