It was a tough night for Brad Kaaya, who couldn’t get Miami’s offense rolling in a 20-19 loss. Part of the reason: Florida State hammered him — on one play, so hard he lost a tooth.
In the third quarter, Seminoles linebacker Matthew Thomas was penalized and ejected for targeting after an illegal hit to Kaaya’s head which knocked out a molar.
The play, a run-pass option, called on Kaaya to read an unblocked FSU linebacker (Thomas). Kaaya faked the handoff to running back Mark Walton, which caused Thomas to step in Walton’s direction but did not slow his momentum. Kaaya quickly scanned for an open receiver and released the ball a second before Thomas arrived.
Thomas’ hit sent Kaaya and one of his upper left molars flying. Right tackle Sunny Odogwu picked up the abandoned tooth and handed it to his quarterback.
“I’ve never seen anything like that,” said ABC’s Kirk Herbstreit, a former Ohio State quarterback and one of the most widely known, well-traveled college football commentators.
To that point, Kaaya was 15-of-22 for 166 yards and a touchdown. After that play (a 2-yard completion), Kaaya was 3-for-9 for 46 yards. The dental-work drive ended when he threw an end-zone interception, part of a string of six straight missed throws.
“I chipped half of my back molar on one of them. It was one of them. I’ll be good though. It’s part of football.”
Kaaya did, however, complete his final two in the fourth quarter. One, a third-and-8 conversion, was for naught because UM’s offensive line allowed two sacks to end the drive. The other was clutch. Kaaya hit Stacy Coley for a touchdown that pulled Miami to within 20-19 with 1:38 left.
How did he feel after?
“Not amazing,” Kaaya said. “I’ll go and see the trainers tomorrow. I took some hits today, took some hits to the head which I wasn’t a fan of. I lost a tooth, but I’m good. I’ll be in there next week.”