It’s been a few days since Miami lost to UVa at home. I have read and heard a lot of different reaction about the game. After the GT victory, I honestly thought that Miami was going to run the table and end up in the Peach Bowl. Sorry, I still think (and thought on Monday) Va Tech is going to win the Coastal division and beat Clemson in the ACC title game. It was not realistic to think Miami was going to go to the ACC title game. Between have a new staff coming in and putting in a new system, the suspensions, and change the thinking of the players; it was too much to ask. The best bowl I think Miami could get is the Champs Sports bowl. If Miami decides not to forfeit any bowl opportunity.
The problem with Miami is the defense, not that the offence is perfect either. Miami does not have enough talent of defense to stop a team that can run and pass. GT is a running team so they put 8 in the box, and made sure every runner got hit on every play. Kansas State, Maryland (when they started out against Miami), Va Tech, and UVa had balanced offences. Miami got burned by the big plays and on 3rd down. Miami has Spence and Ray-Ray as the only returning starters making an impact. Miami has been forced to play their entire incoming freshman to fill the holes. They have been playing as well as they can with the situation. Miami corners on outside linebackers have been a disaster. They can’t stop the run or the quick screen. It cost Miami the game late in the 3rd quarter.
The offence has issues with the running game all of a sudden. Miller seems to be banged up, and Golden wants him to hit the hole faster. James, who also has been hurt, is not able to get the short yardage on 3rd down. I expect Clements to get more carries against Duke. Jacory had a good game again, and Streeter looks like the player we all hoped he would be. Jacory is not Vinny or Dorsey, but who is? Jacory is just Jacory and as long as he keeps the interceptions down, it will be a good year from him. The tight ends need to become a force toward the home stretch of the schedule. They also need to block better. An example of that was on the 4 and short near the red zone.
Miami is improving on special teams. Benjamin kept Miami in the game against UVa. The punting team has vastly improved since the UNC game.
The biggest game for Miami the rest of the year is FSU in two weeks. They need to win this game to continue the growth of the program. Many of this year’s seniors remember the embarrassing loss last where the team looked like it quit. Also, part of that was because the old coaching staff did not prepare them for the game. They should have no problem against Duke or BC. The USF game will be another blog report.
This loss hurt, bad.
We are a few hours away from the kickoff on the game this evening. Miami basically needs to keep playing they way they have been for the past few weeks. Make no mistakes, no dumb penalties, no bad turnovers, and no fat guys getting hurt during a celebration.
Well I am still on the road and will keep this brief. I was very happy with the win against GT. J12 did not have the best game statically, but he got the job done. Miller may be banged up a bit, he was not able to get 100 yard for the 2nd straight week. The defense and the special team played almost a perfect game.
It will be a short week for Miami, as they play UVa on Thursday night.
Well I am going to make this a short blog, because I am getting ready to catch a flight. The bottom line of this game is who runs the ball the best. If GT’s running game takes off early and fast, it will be difficult for Miami to stay in this game. GT has the same issue; they have not been able to stop the run since the Maryland game. A GT loss again Miami, and their season could crash and burn and Johnson may be out of a job. GT’s defensive coordinator Al Groh was getting hammered on the UVa boards last week after UVa victory. The UVa fans seem to be happy that he is gone. To be fair, GT defense has been going downhill since Johnson lost most of the talent from the old GT staff. When GT lost to Air Force, a red flag was raised. If GT is supposed to be the master of the option, you would figure they would know how to stop it.
Miami needs to play run control offence and take the pressure off Harris. In turn, Harris will make the big 3rd down plays and the long passes a huge weapon against GT. Golden took the offence line to task last week for the running game. I look for Miller to get close to 200 yards this Saturday, and Henderson to be opening big holes. The punting must be better this week. I’m not sure who will be the punter, but they need to pin GT deep on their side of the field. Can someone please step and help Benjamin out on punt returns and kickoff returns!!
Chickillo is going major key to stop the run. He forced to play early this year because of the number of defensive players suspended this year. He has played well for being a true freshman. Again like last week, Spence needs to make the key reads to stop the triple option. Miami cannot allow Washington to get into a rhythm and make large plays like KSU’s quarterback. Golden knows Johnson offense when he coached against Navy. At Miami he had the speed to compete against it.
I still think Miami is going to run the table. Miami 32 GT 21
Give credit to Al Golden for suspending Regis for one game for his cheap shot last week. Unlike UGA, Vandy, and Mich State; who are waiting for their respective conference to lay down the punishment. Golden took care of it in house and swiftly.
Here is a video of it.
Being a transplant from Florida, The Georgia Tech game holds a little special meaning to me. Through my off and on 17 years of living in the state of Georgia, I have made a few Georgia Tech friends. When Miami announced it was moving to the ACC, I was thrilled knowing I was going to be able to see Miami play in Atlanta every other year. Some years have been fun, like last year. Other years like 2009 where my new wife and I nearly froze to death watching the game from the stands as the bees ran up and down Shannon’s team. I left that night know the Shannon hire was a mistake, and it was only going to get worse.
Now that Al Golden is making this team a winner, I am starting to feel like some special is about to happen. I was a little surprised Miami was a three point favorite in Vegas. This only means the betters are starting to believe in Miami again or they see problems with Georgia Tech after the UVa loss.
Golden is not sitting back and enjoying the last win against UNC. He is still working and making changes with the depth chart, and pressing players to play better. It may be coaches speak, but right after they won last week he started talking about getting ready for the next game. He does not want another let down like the Kansas State game.
In closing I want to comment on the NCAA investigation. Reports in the Miami Herald this past Sunday, say the NCAA ruling will much softer then first reported. Former players are not talking to the NCAA, and the bankruptcy judge can’t go after people for drinks and meals. I think the punishment will be 10 or fewer scholarships lost, and Miami will give up a bowl bid this year.
Miami had a very important victory over UNC yesterday. They started fast, held on to the lead, and made key plays when they had too. Jacory was the MVP in the Hurricanes victory. He was 20 for 30 for 267 yards, and 3 touchdowns. Benjamin and Streeter had great games too. After Benjamin got the wind knocked out of him from a solid hit from UNC’s Tre Boston, Streeter burned him for a long gain. It had to be my favorite play of the game.
Miami was not able to establish any kind of a running game. Miami only had 44 net yards again UNC’s run defense. They need to get the offensive line back on track for Georgia Tech. I did not track how many plays Henderson got it but, he needs to start next week. He blows holes off the line at Va Tech. I do not understand why they kept going to the running game when it was not working and UNC could not stop the pass.
Miami’s defense showed it still has serious issues. They allowed 429 yards of total offence, and they were run over in the 2nd half. Spence had a big game for Miami. He had 14 tackles and a sack. He seemed to be all over the field. He is going to need the same sort of performance against Georgia Tech Saturday. Olivier Vernon is going to return next week, and he will to play right away and play well. Luckily, UNC’s coaching staff did not have a scene of urgency in the 4th quarter. I expected UNC to run hurry up offense, but I guess they had no faith in Renner.
The special teams played well, but Byrd fumbled the UNC onside kick late in the fourth quarter. Byrd may have played himself on the bench for the rest of the season. I don’t even think he was in one offensive play yesterday. Wieclaw has been perfect with field goals and extra points. He is headed to being all ACC if he keeps it up.
Hopefully some of the critics Golden had had the last few weeks are satisfied with the progress this team had made. This is going to take some time, but I think the run will start now. Some of the phones calls I heard on WQAM and the hosts the past few were ridiculous and proved that most radio hosts know nothing about football. Sid said it best a few weeks ago, I rather be entertaining then right.
The ACC announced the game time for Georgia Tech is 3:30 EST next Saturday.
Miami has played the best 1st half I can remember in years. Jacory has been almost perfect half going 16-22 for 233 yards and 3 touchdowns. The defense is still having issues with the running game. Miami needs to force them to pass the ball. Reiner is not have a very good day passing the ball. He did have a good read to end the half.
Miami had been playing excellent special teams. Wieclaw is proving a great replacement for Bosher this season. The kickoff and punt teams have had a very good game.
UNC gets the ball in the 2nd half; they can’t let UNC score and build confidence. Miami needs to run the ball and kill the clock. It’s time for Miller to have another 100 yard day.
Today may be the biggest game Miami plays this year. Usually Virginia Tech or FSU would be considered the biggest game. In most years I would agree, but since this is such a major transition this year it’s different. Coach Golden made a comment this week that this will be the toughest opponent they have faced this year. Especially, with Quinton Coples on the defensive line. Former UNC Coach Butch David left a lot of NFL team on this roster. Miami has never won at UNC; it will be difficult today too.
If Miami wins this game on the road in Chapel Hill, this may start a run for the rest of the season. Yes, I do mean run the table. If Miami loses, the season could be wash and maybe they can upset Georgia Tech or FSU.
As for the game breakdown, the key will be running the ball on both sides. If Miller was on a top 10 team, he would be a top 5 Heisman candidate. For UNC, redshirt freshman Giovani Bernard had a big 2nd half again Louisville. Whoever controls the ground game and the line of scrimmage will win the game. Miami has used over 20 different defensive of players so far this season. Miami’s defensive line is mostly true freshman and sophomores. Miami linebacker, Sean Spence is going to need to have a good game if Miami is going to have chance. UNC’s quarterback, Bryn Renner has a good arm, but he can also run. Miami has been getting killed the last few weeks with running quarterbacks.
Jacory Harris has surprised me with improvement over the past three games. The last time he was at UNC, he threw 4 interceptions, with two of them for touchdowns. He is going to need to play a perfect game for Miami to win. If he can get the ball to Hurns, Streeter, and Benjamin and let them make plays with their speed. I’m still wondering if Byrd is going to show up this season. Long as the offensive line protects him and opens holes for Miller, Miami has a chance. Jacory said it best, about not waiting till the 3rd quarter to get the offence going.
Coach Golden has been working hard to get this team to believe they can win. They are starting to buy into it the program now. I have seen improvement since the beginning of the season. Golden took a lot of flak for the fake field goal against Virginia Tech. Not for call, as much using Whipple to fake the kick. It would have made more sense to run the ball, and make a statement. I would have kicked the field goal, and got points on the board.
I am taking Miami to win 28-24 over UNC.