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Quick start by Dolphins helps Dan Campbell earn first home victory

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What a difference a day makes. On Saturday, the Miami Hurricanes suffered their worst defeat in program history, a 58-0 pounding from Clemson at Sun Life Stadium. It was 42-0 by halftime.

On Sunday, the Miami Dolphins played the role of Clemson, quickly jumping on the Houston Texans and holding on for a 44-26 victory at the same Sun Life Stadium for interim Coach Dan Campbell‘s first home victory. Miami led 41-0 at halftime.

Coming out of the locker room, the Dolphins were perfect on both sides of the ball. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill was 12-for-12 passing in the first half for 231 yards and four touchdowns. Miami had 392 yards of total offense at the break.

Rishard Matthews hauled in a 53-yard touchdown reception to open the scoring, followed by two TD receptions by Jarvis Landry and a 54-yard receiving score by Lamar Miller. Miller later electrified the crowd with an 85-yard run for a touchdown in the second quarter.

Meanwhile, the Texans’ first five possessions resulted in three plays and a punt. In the second quarter, Reshad Jones turned a mishandled Texans’ pass into a 27-yard interception return for a touchdown, to make it 35-0.

Unlike the Clemson/Hurricanes game, the second half was a different story. Miami seemed satisfied to sit on their big lead.

Meanwhile, the Texans kept playing, but Miami was able to withstand Houston’s second half surge. The Texans outscored Miami 26-3 in the final two quarters to make the final score respectable.

Tannehill finished with 18 completions in 19 attempts for 282 yards. He did not throw his only incompletion until the fourth quarter. Tannehill has now has thrown a touchdown pass in 15 straight home games.

Miller had 175 yards rushing and one touchdown. He also had 61 receiving yards and a touchdown. Matthews had 83 yards receiving and one touchdown.

Clearly, Campbell has had a significant impact on this team since he took over for the fired Joe Philbin. The ingredients making up this Dolphin team are still the same, but the product is clearly much better under the new chef.

Campbell has somehow stirred those ingredients and improved the soup as only someone named Campbell can.

His first big test as a coach comes next Sunday when Miami travels to Foxborough, Mass. to face the New England Patriots.

Bob Sparks is President of Ramos and Sparks Group, a Tallahassee-based business and political consulting firm. During his career, he has directed media relations and managed events for professional baseball, served as chief spokesperson for the Republican Party of Florida as well as the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Attorney General of Florida. After serving as Executive Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Charlie Crist, he returned to the private sector working with clients including the Republican National Committee and political candidates in Japan. He lives in Tallahassee with his wife, Sue and can be reached at Bob@ramos-sparks.com.

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