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Miami Football: Winners and Losers from the Week 5 Game vs. Georgia Tech

David MayerCorrespondent IDecember 25, 2016

Miami Football: Winners and Losers from the Week 5 Game vs. Georgia Tech

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    Running back Mike James scored the game-winning 25-yard rushing touchdown in overtime as Miami beat Georgia Tech, 42-36.

    Georgia Tech got the ball first in overtime but was stopped on 4th-and-1 when quarterback Tevin Washington tried to sneak it in from the right side of the offensive line.

    This was the fourth straight victory for Miami over Georgia Tech.

    Here are my winners and losers for the Miami Hurricanes.

Winner: Mike James

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    This is the obvious choice for a winner as Mike James ran 15 times for 89 yards and had three rushing touchdowns. He also caught three passes for 24 yards and a touchdown.

    James scored on a 25-yard run in overtime to win the game for the Hurricanes. It wasn't just the stats that were impressive; it was the way the senior running back never gave up.

    James completely refused to let tacklers take him down, running over and through them all game long.

Loser: Jedd Fisch

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    This actually could have been a "loser/winner" slide, but for two quarters offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch was completely out of his league. His poor play-calling and lack of trust almost lost the game for the Hurricanes.

    Everyone in the world knows what Miami is going to run on offense because coach Fisch continues to be too conservative, using the same plays over and over again.

    I absolutely can not stand the short swing passes, yet he continues to call them. I understand that the play does work at times, but most of the time it's just a bust.

    Coach Fisch has to realize that he has superb athletes and a quarterback that has a strong enough arm to throw deeper down the field.

Winner: Andreu Swasey and Al Golden's "U Tough"

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    For those who don't actually know what U Tough is, it's a conditioning program that Al Golden started when he first came to Miami. He noticed the players from the previous season ran out of gas in every game.

    He and Andreu Swasey (strength and conditioning coach) decided it was time to for the Hurricanes to be in better shape than any other team in the country.

    After watching Miami against Georgia Tech game—it worked.

    You could tell by the fourth quarter that the Hurricanes were still fresh while the Yellow Jackets were struggling to catch their breath.

    What Golden and Swasey did this spring and summer is paying off, and I promise you there isn't another team in the country that is in better shape than the Hurricanes.

Losers: Defensive Backs

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    I know that Yellow Jacket quarterback Tevin Washington only completed 3-for-8 passing, but those three completions went for 132 yards, 16.5 yards per pass.

    It wasn't just the crazy numbers that concerned me; it was the lack of coverage skills by every defensive back not named Brandon McGee

    McGee did a great job on covering his man and freshman Deon Bush was all over the field, but the other defensive backs drew far too many penalties and gave up too many big plays.

    I understand that many of the defensive backs are young, but they need to get better. Especially when they run into teams that are balanced, such as Florida State.

Winner: Phillip Dorsett

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    Heading into the season I knew wide receiver Phillip Dorsett was going to be a special player, and he proved on Saturday that he could be the best receiver on the team.

    Besides the one fumble, Dorsett was tremendous, catching nine balls for 184 yards and touchdown. The touchdown came early in the game when he was left wide open down the right sideline as quarterback Stephen Morris hit him in stride for 65 yards.

    Dorsett has tremendous quickness and will be a valuable part of the Hurricanes offense moving forward.

Loser: Jake Wieclaw

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    First of all, I just want to say that Miami kicker Jake Wieclaw is still one of the best field-goal kickers in the ACC, but Saturday wasn't his day.

    It wasn't just the missed field goal that bothered me on Saturday; it was also the kick out of bounds and the lack of leg strength he had on kickoffs.

    With as young as this Hurricane team is, the close game against Georgia Tech won't be the only one and the Hurricanes need Wieclaw to step it up.

Winner: Anthony Chickillo

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    Finally, Anthony Chickillo decided to play some football. The super sophomore has struggled so far this year and there wasn't a better time than last week to start playing to his potential.

    Chickillo ended the game with a career-high seven tackles, three tackles for loss and a sack. He was consistent all game long and made big stops towards the end of the game.

    Chickillo earned College Sports Madness Defensive Player of the Week for his performance against Georgia Tech.

Winner: Stephen Morris

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    I have said the Miami Hurricane coaching staff should start throwing the ball more because I knew quarterback Stephen Morris has a tremendous arm—it seems they finally listened.

    Morris completed 31-of-52 passes for 436 yards and two touchdowns. The yards were career-highs for Morris and the fifth-most passing yards in school history.

    It wasn't all good for Morris; he still had a few over-throws and needs to understand his arm strength. His lack of arm control was evident on two pass attempts in the end zone that would have been touchdowns if he would have put a little less on the ball.

    Overall, you can't deny his talent and if Morris continues to show the composure he did on Saturday, the Hurricanes have a chance to make it to the ACC title game.

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