Malik Rosier, Mark Walton power Miami to season-opening win over Bethune-Cookman
Miami Hurricanes quarterback Malik Rosier (12) reacts after completing a first down during the first half against the Bethune Cookman Wildcats.
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) -- Miami quarterback Malik Rosier has spent his life hearing two different pronunciations of his last name, some saying it with an "er" at the end and others with an "eer."
He doesn't have a preference.
And if he keeps playing like he did in Miami's opener Saturday, people will know his name anyway.
Rosier threw for 217 yards and three touchdowns, Mark Walton rushed for 148 yards and two touchdowns and the 18th-ranked Hurricanes beat Bethune-Cookman 41-13.
"It was great, but that's not championship level," Rosier said. "That's not what we need. We're going to go back through, we're going to fix the mistakes that we had and we're going to get better."
Rosier completed 17 of 28 passes for Miami, which scored on five of its first six possessions. Braxton Berrios, Lawrence Cager and Darrell Langham had touchdown catches for Miami.
"He handled the game well and his decisions, I thought, were pretty darn good," Miami coach Mark Richt said of Rosier. "The fact that he never put the ball in harm's way was great. I thought he mostly made the right decisions."
Larry Brihm completed 22 of 35 passes for 212 yards for Bethune-Cookman, which led 3-0 early.
Miami put the game away with three touchdowns in an eight-minute span of the second quarter, all of them five-yarders -- Walton went airborne for the first Hurricane TD of the season, Cager's scoring grab capped an eight-play, 92-yard drive and Langham's catch was the topper to a four-play, 78-yard jaunt that made it 24-3.
"I don't accept moral victories, we're not going to accept this with a pat on the back and say everything's OK," Bethune-Cookman coach Terry Sims said. "We've got some things we've got to fix."
In two career starts -- the other a win at Duke on Oct. 31, 2015 -- Rosier is 37 for 57 for 489 yards and five touchdowns. He's taking over for Miami career yardage leader Brad Kaaya, who skipped his senior season and turned pro.
"I think Malik did a great job," Walton said.
Bethune-Cookman: QB Akevious Williams, the presumed starter coming into Week 1, did not play because of an academic issue.... Michael Jones' 1-yard TD run in the third quarter came in his first game since 2015. He missed last season with an injury. ... WR Jawill Davis, a Miami native, caught five passes for 48 yards. He's now caught a pass in 22 straight games.
Miami: RB Travis Homer, Walton's backup, ran for 103 yards on 11 carries. ... Walton has scored in all three of his season-opening games at Miami. He needed 16 carries for the second-highest rushing total of his career, topped only by a 155-yard effort against Florida Atlantic. ... The Hurricanes tied a school record by winning their 11th consecutive home opener, something last done from 1986 through 1996.
The game featured a Tupac and a Shakur, and a full Jackson Five -- and even more musical themes. Bethune-Cookman had a running back named Tupac Isme, a wideout named Shakur Nesmith and a lineman named Montel Jordan (with apologies to the Montell Jordan of "This Is How We Do It" fame). Miami had a Michael Jackson, Joe Jackson and Demetrius Jackson, to go along with Bethune's Cedric Jackson and Dajuan Jackson.
FATHERS AND SONS
Two players with Hurricane DNA got their first notations on the Miami stat sheets. Tight end Michael Irvin II, the son of the Pro Football Hall of Famer, got his first catch. And freshman Zach Feagles, the son of longtime NFL punter and `Canes great Jeff Feagles, made his debut with a 51-yard punt in the third quarter.
When Miami's Malek Young got a fourth-quarter interception, he was presented with a thick gold chain with a huge "U" logo pendant -- which he wore on the sideline. "Is it pretty gaudy?" Richt asked. "We're just trying to motivate. It's crazy what motivates them. Even the decals we put on our helmets, they cost maybe 15 cents apiece, but they like them. They like to get them on their hat."
Bethune-Cookman: The Wildcats visit Southeast Louisiana next Saturday.
Miami: The Hurricanes go to Arkansas State next Saturday.