The Miami Hurricanes didn’t have their best performance against the FAU Owls on Friday night in front of a national audience. Miami led by just three points at halftime and FAU tied the game 20-20 in the third quarter before the Hurricanes scored 24 unanswered points to put things out of reach.
The Hurricanes should have some concerns as they head into their game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers Saturday at Sun Life Stadium. Here are some key takeaways from Miami's 44-20 win over FAU.
1. Miami’s shaky defense
In Week 1, the Hurricanes' defense recorded a shutout against Bethune-Cookman. Even though it was against an FCS opponent, many saw progress from Miami’s defensive performance. However, the same defense that produced a shutout looked shaky against FAU's offense.
The Hurricanes struggled to make tackles against the FAU ball carriers and they were out of position a number of times in the first half. Jay Warren rushed for 132 yards for the Owls before he got injured during the second half. Miami also struggled to contain backup quarterback Jason Driskel, who led FAU to a couple of scoring drives in the first half.
While Miami forced five turnovers in the game, they also gave up 292 yards to FAU in the first half. That has to improve if they want to beat Nebraska, which boasts considerably more talent on offense, this weekend.
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2. Yearby and Walton are playmakers
One of the positives for the Hurricanes on Friday night was the play of their running backs. Both Joseph Yearby and Mark Walton have shown in the Hurricanes’ first two games that the team will be just fine at running back.
Yearby rushed for 146 yards and a touchdown. He also recorded three receptions for 97 yards and another score. Freshman Mark Walton rushed for 42 yards and three touchdowns. He also chipped in four catches for 20 yards.
When Miami announced Gus Edwards was out for the season with a season-ending foot injury, many people had questions about the Hurricanes' rushing attack. So far, Yearby and Walton have put those questions to rest.
3. Despite 2-0 start, Al Golden is still on the hot seat
Throughout the years, plenty of Miami fans have been calling for the firing of head coach Al Golden. On Friday night, fans showed their displeasure of Golden once again.
Before kickoff at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton, banner that read “Make Miami Great Again—Butch Davis 2016” flew overhead. Golden clearly saw the banner and was not pleased.
This isn’t the first time a banner calling for Golden’s job has flown prior to a Hurricanes game. Last season prior to a home game against Cincinnati, a banner that said “Fire Al Golden Save The U” was flown over Sun Life Stadium.
In his fifth season at Miami, Golden has a 30-22 record but he has failed guide the Hurricanes to an ACC Championship Game appearance and also is still looking for his first bowl victory (0-2).
Even with the 2-0 start in 2015, the pressure will be on Golden all season long, unless he can lead the Hurricanes back to contention in the ACC Coastal Division. And even that may not be enough to save his job.
— Written by Antwan Staley, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and has extensive experience covering Florida sports teams. Staley has written for Bleacher Report, Pro Player Insiders and is a reporter for Sports Talk Florida. Follow him on Twitter @antwanstaley.