The happiest person at the end of Miami's 32-point romp over Florida A&M might have been Joe Taylor.
Who, by the way, coached on the losing side of the 48-16 game.
Taylor found nothing enjoyable about the loss, not surprisingly. But what Florida A&M's coach took away was a newfound appreciation for what Randy Shannon has done in 2 1/2 seasons at Miami, taking a team in need of rebuilding and bringing it back to the cusp of national prominence.
"'All you kept doing was working, and I'm proud of you,'" Taylor said, when asked what his message to Shannon was. "We go back a ways, he knew I was serious and I am serious because he's doing it the right way."
The Hurricanes (4-1) returned to No. 9 in the AP Top 25 on Sunday, matching both where they were before losing to Virginia Tech last month and the highest ranking they've had since late in the 2005 season.
Outside of a couple injuries _ notably, wide receiver Aldarius Johnson hurt his right shoulder _ Saturday's win over the Rattlers went largely according to Miami's plan. The Hurricanes had seven players account for touchdowns, used at least 56 players including a handful for the first significant time this season, and peeled off 31 unanswered points.
"Yeah, but we're coaches," Shannon said Sunday. "We want more."
So it was back to work Sunday for Miami, which hits the road next weekend to face Central Florida (3-2), a team that gave the Hurricanes all they wanted last season before falling 20-14, a game that wasn't decided until linebacker Darryl Sharpton knocked down a fourth-down pass with 1:52 remaining.
Even in the din of Saturday night's postgame rejoicing, Miami was already looking forward to the bus ride to Orlando next week.
"I know that Central Florida's going to be a sold-out game in Orlando, it's a night game and that's something we love playing in," quarterback Jacory Harris said. "We're going to go up there, just have fun and endure this three-hour-long bus ride."
One of Shannon's top priorities is always finding depth at certain positions, and facing a Football Championship Subdivision team like Florida A&M (4-1) didn't hurt Miami in that regard.
A.J. Highsmith played the second half at quarterback, his first action behind Harris this season. Damien Berry got into a game at running back for the first time, piling up 162 yards on 14 carries, including a 26-yard gain in the first half and then runs of 49 and 35 yards on consecutive plays in the fourth quarter. Offensive linemen such as Ben Jones and Tyler Horn got extended playing time, as did defensive linemen like Curtis Porter, who could have been a redshirt candidate before getting into Saturday night's contest.
Porter getting into the game suggests that defensive lineman Marcus Forston, who's been battling injuries since training camp this summer, might not be able to return this season. Shannon acknowledged that's a possibility.
"We had some other guys step up. Some younger guys stepped up," Shannon said. "We've got some positions where if guys get nicked or tired, we can stick some other guys in."
The best part of the FAMU win, in Shannon's mind, was that Miami didn't overlook its opponent. The Rattlers were the first Miami opponent all season not to be ranked in the AP Top 25.
"We just didn't want the game to be closer than it was supposed to be," cornerback Brandon Harris said.