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2016 Russell Athletic Bowl

S E A S O N I N R E V I E W UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI 2 0 1 6 R U S S E L L AT H L E T I C B O W L 5 3 CANES WIN BIG IN RICHT DEBUT Game 1 • Sept. 3, 2016 • Miami 70, Florida A&M 3 • Miami, FL The Mark Richt era got off to a rocking start for the University of Miami on Sept. 3 at Hard Rock Stadium. Playing in their newly renovated home under their first-year head coach, the Hurricanes recorded an interception on the season’s third play, scored on a touchdown pass three plays later, and cruised to a 70-3 win over FCS foe Florida A&M in their season opener. Miami (1-0) added a blocked punt, a punt return for a touchdown, a 46-yard interception return, and a career high-tying four touchdown passes from quarterback Brad Kaaya in Richt’s first win at Miami. Richt, who spent 15 seasons at the helm in Georgia before rejoining his alma mater as head coach in December 2015, improved to 13-3 in season openers. The Hurricanes reached the 70-point plateau for the first time since 2013, while the 42 thirdquarter points were the most in program history. Florida A&M (0-1) was held to 197 total yards and just 22 rushing yards. On the home sideline, Miami had three 100-yard rushers in the same game for the first time since 1987. WALTON RUNS FOR FOUR SCORES IN FAU WIN Game 2 • Sept. 10, 2016 • Miami 38, Florida Atlantic 10 • Miami, FL Sophomore running back Mark Walton found the end zone four times to guide No. 25 Miami to a 38-10 win over visiting FAU on Sept. 10 at Hard Rock Stadium. Walton, who led Miami with 10 total touchdowns as a freshman in 2015, became the first Hurricane since 2012 to record a four-touchdown game and only the sixth in program history to record at least four rushing scores in a single contest. Walton, who rushed for a career-high 155 yards on 17 carries against the Owls (1-1), had scoring runs of 7, 3, 16 and 30 yards, the last of which pushed Miami’s lead to 30-10 in the early stages of the fourth quarter and put the game out of reach. Junior running back Joe Yearby added 121 yards on 20 carries, as Miami outgained the visitors 279-47 on the ground. Despite heavy rains that arrived with less than a minute remaining in the third, the 57,123 fans in attendance were treated to another strong performance by the Miami defense and an offense that came through with a second-half surge. WALTON, KAAYA ACCOUNT FOR TWO TD’S EACH AS CANES GO 3-0 Game 3 • Sept. 17, 2016 • Miami 45, Appalachian State 10 • Boone, NC Pregame festivities for what locals had dubbed “The Showdown in Boone” included paratroopers dropping onto the field holding the United States’ colors in front of a Kidd Brewer Stadium-record crowd of 34,658. All that was missing was fireworks – until the Hurricanes took the field. Running back Mark Walton took the visitors’ first offensive play from scrimmage 80 yards for a touchdown, and No. 25 Miami used a 21-point first quarter to take early control en route to a 45- 10 win over Appalachian State Saturday afternoon. The victory kept Miami (3-0) undefeated on the season as the team heads into its bye week. Miami outgained the Mountaineers 211-51 in the first quarter, including 114 passing yards on mostly successful bubble screens thrown by junior quarterback Brad Kaaya. The Hurricanes outgained Appalachian State 549-241 for the game. Kaaya finished the afternoon 21-for-27 for 368 yards with three touchdowns and one interception, moving past Miami legends Gino Torretta, Steve Walsh and Vinny Testaverde into a tie for third-most touchdowns in Miami history (49). The performance marked the eighth 300-yard game of his career. Braxton Berrios Mark Walton Ahmmon Richards


2016 Russell Athletic Bowl
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