The Miami Hurricanes are not having the season their beloved fans, myself included were hoping for. Mark Richt and his Canes came into the season were ranked in the top 10. However, after a dismissal loss to LSU in the season opener, the Canes fought to win the next five games – and then lost four straight back-to-back. Out of the ranking and in contention for a popular bowl game, there plenty of problems circling this normally great football program at the moment. I am sure all fans are familiar and share the same frustrations—yet that being said, here are my top five issues I have with the Hurricanes.
To kick this off, most fans might think it’s the play calling or the quarterback situation, but don’t worry ’ll save that for later. It’s the natural grit and Miami mentality that has not shown up this year. I personally don’t see the “dogness” if you will, in these players. From one year to another it feels like we lost it. I don’t see that Miami mentality anymore. The Miami Hurricanes are widely known to be, so to say, the ‘bad guys’. After watching every game this season, I really do not see the passion and drive from every player on the offense, defense and even special teams. I do see it from a handful of players, but that doesn’t help, they need it from all three units. If you are a Hurricane there is a certain type of football you play and I have yet to see it.
Number two, the play calling. As you all probably expected, this an issue. No—seriously, THIS IS AN ISSUE. The play calling has been extremely inefficient on the offensive side of the ball. Mark Richt had an offensive coordinator who called plays during his time at Georgia. With Miami, he has an offensive coordinator who is Thomas Brown, however, Richt calls the shots on offense. There have been some obvious speed bumps with the plays being ran this season. 99% of Canes fans I’m sure can agree with me on this one. If Richt does not fix this problem during the offseason, it looks like we will be in for another long season in 2019.
Over the course of ten games, Canes quarterbacks have been sacked 22 times and the offense has had a total of 210 yards lost. If you were thinking about the offensive line, you are correct. If you weren’t, well now you know what I’m talking about. My third concern is in the trenches, where games are won. This Miami O-Line hasn’t been on the winning side too much. Malik Rosier and N’Kosi Perry have had to scramble and hurry up more times than not this year. Between them two they have lost 152 yards. Richt hired offensive line coach Stacy Searels when he became head coach and has done a decent enough job to produce multiple All-ACC Honorable Mentions. However, this year has not been the greatest for the O-Line or for coach Searels. This is another aspect of this team that needs to be fixed this offseason. The Canes have the talent in the backfield to have huge rushing games, but it all starts with line creating space for the playmakers.
Like Devin Hester, my favorite Hurricane of all time, this is reason number four. If you were thinking that it’s the punt returner since I mentioned Hester, it’s not. It’s of course, the quarterback. Now, we all should know this is a major concern. Rosier is not really getting it done; Perry has not looked like what we expected. Jarren Williams, the freshman out of Lawrence, Georgia hasn’t really got a real shot to prove himself and redshirt freshman Cade Weldon is the fourth string. What now? Well Rosier is graduating soon and that leaves us with Perry and Williams fighting for the starting job next year. That’s if Richt doesn’t bring anybody in to compete for that spot under center. As far as this year has gone, Rosier has six touchdowns with five interceptions and Perry has 11 touchdowns with the same interceptions. The completion rate is very much the same with almost 54% for Rosier and Perry. The issue here is the accuracy and the decision making for both of the QB’s. It hasn’t really improved as the season has progressed and at this point we are nowhere near in contention for any major bowl game (if we even become bowl eligible). So my thought process here is to throw the young QBs out there. For example, just let Perry and Williams play all game to let them work and get more on-field experience for the upcoming years. That’s just my opinion, I’m no coach.
To finish this off, I’m going to head to the defensive side of this Hurricanes team. I don’t think the defense is the problem, I think the defensive coordinator is the problem. I also don’t think its his performance, I think it’s whether he stays wearing orange and green in 2019. Defense guru Manny Diaz has been coaching for 20 years now and has done an exceptional job everywhere he has planted his defensive mind. This year is his third year with the program and has done what was expected of him. An abundance of turnovers, that sweet Cuban link, tackles for loss, you name it; he has gotten the right players to fit this defensive scheme. Now, I believe he is capable to run a team and do an excellent job at just that. I am not saying he is leaving but don’t be surprised Hurricane nation if he accepts a head coaching job elsewhere. Do I want him to leave? Negative. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if he does. So this is the part where I beg Diaz to stay.
The 2018 season for the Hurricanes has not been what Miami expected nor what College Football expected. With a couple games left on the schedule, the fans need to switch the channel once again to next season and see what 2019 has in store for us. I will forever be a Miami Hurricane, CaneLifer, a part of CanesFam, a Miami HurriFan (I just made up that word) no matter what. These are just tough times we all must live through in hopes for better days. I keep telling myself these days are soon to come and I will continue to. So, stand with me Hurricane nation because sooner or later they will be here and we can party like its 2001.
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