For Miami stars Duke Johnson and Brad Kaaya, getting over the Hurricanes’ loss to Florida State was predictably difficult.
Wondering what might have been made it even tougher.
Johnson missed 13 of Miami’s final 27 plays, including most of the last series, because of leg cramps. And Kaaya felt cramps develop in the back of his right leg shortly after the second half began in what wound up as Miami’s 30-26 loss to the unbeaten and now No. 1-ranked Seminoles.
“Very frustrating,” Johnson said. “Especially since the night before, they tell you to hydrate and I actually did hydrate, drink a lot, do all the things you’re supposed to and you still come out with cramps.”
Miami (6-4, 3-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) averaged 6.6 yards per play while Johnson was on the field in the second half. When Johnson was unable to be in the game during the final two quarters, the Hurricanes’ production plummeted to 2.4 yards per play.
“Probably could have helped out in certain situations,” Johnson said.
Not only were the Hurricanes without Johnson at times, but running back Gus Edwards – who has five touchdowns in 49 carries this season – also had to miss the game because of an ankle injury. That left Joe Yearby as the only other available running back behind Johnson, and the freshman finished with 34 yards on 10 carries.
Yearby was on the field in place of Johnson for the final six Miami snaps.
“Joe did a really good job, but to shoulder the load in that game late in the third, early in the fourth, that was a challenge for him and something we were not really prepared for going into it,” Miami coach Al Golden said. “No question that made a difference.”
Kaaya said he isn’t prone to cramping, except for one limited instance in high school.
“Start of the second half, I went to go throw my first pass and my plant leg cramped up,” Kaaya said. “For a few plays in that third quarter, it kept happening. Feels like something was working against us.”
Miami plays at Virginia (4-6, 2-4) on Saturday night.
NOTES: Golden said S Deon Bush (hamstring) and DE Anthony Chickillo (knee) were held out of practice Monday for treatment after getting hurt in the Florida State game. Chickillo has made 44 straight starts and Bush is tied for the lead among active FBS players with nine career forced fumbles, one of those coming in Saturday’s loss. … Clive Walford is one of eight players still under consideration for the Mackey Award, given annually to the nation’s top tight end. Walford has 33 catches for 522 yards and seven touchdowns, tying him for the team lead. “I don’t know if there’s a better one out there,” Golden said.
Republished with permission of the Associated Press.