The University of Miami has had a rough past 15 years when it comes to being National Contenders. They are decent year in and out, just never fulfill the expectations big Canes’ fans had come to expect from them since the days of talented teams from South Florida in the 80s. The U is a decorated program, “swag” is a big part of the theme at Miami as well. There is no doubting the fact that Miami is a storied program with 5 national titles (should be 6 but that’s for another day) but as of today in 2018 how do the Canes currently preside? Are they back? Are they on track to being back? Or nowhere close?
To start they are in year 3 with head Coach Mark Richt and the coaching staff that came with him. He is finally getting his players into the program, and as many remember when he was the head coach for UGA, he was known for all the South Florida talent he was able to bring in. Now he’s doing the same for the U and he doesn’t have to trek any further than his own backyard. There is no question the Canes are at least on the right track. They have NFL talent all over the field on both sides of the ball, but also have some obvious weak spots. Heading into this 4th week of College Football, the Canes are 2-1 and start ACC play next Thursday at home against UNC. As for this week there is one more interesting matchup before ACC play begins as FIU and beloved ex Miami Head Coach Butch Davis take on the Canes. Davis who is the person many Canes fans wanted before Richt was ultimately hired, coached a few of the best Miami teams to ever play and gets a lot of credit for recruiting the players on their 2001 title (some say the best team ever) the year after Davis left the program This will be an interesting match up in itself as the Canes look to prove they went with the right coach
As mentioned above the U will enter this game against FIU ( Florida International University) with a 2-1 record. Let’s take a quick reflection on the first 3 weeks, and what to expect going forward. The past success speaks for itself as stated above, the U is one of the most successful programs of all time, known as the “convicts” due to their hard play and swagger. You either loved them or you hate them, but you always respected them. In 2018 it’s not quite the same but there is a lot to be excited about going forward for the first time in a while.
Week One: The Canes faced a far superior team in LSU, who let’s be honest looks great at the moment, I won’t get into a few bad calls and the several terrible plays by Rosier that would have made it closer, but it was what it was. A sign that Miami is not yet a national contender, but it gives them a lot to play for as they need to prove the nay-sayers wrong more now than ever.
Week Two: The U dismantled Savannah State… what more must I say.
Week Three: The Canes went on the road to Toledo who were the MAC champions last year (proving further more the Canes aren’t scared to play tough non conference games) in what many speculated could be a close game, and as the Toledo fans sold their “U suck” t-shirts it still wasn’t enough and the Canes finished off Toledo in pretty simple fashion. 49-24.
Going forward there are pros and cons to look into, I will get more and more in-depth with each weeks reviews and previews. As we enter week 4 let’s just put a few things out there to keep an eye on.
Can you say O-line problems?? Wow it’s bad. We have wayyyy too much talent in the backfield and at wide out that doesn’t get used because the line can’t hold up. The QB situation is tough, I backed Rosier as many did for a long time, but I thought it was time for a change, I think we all did. Well he proved us wrong last week and I hope he continues to otherwise we better see Perry out there soon. I truly believe with him, JW13, Weldon, and the kid coming in that we have brought in the QB talent we need, but just are too young right now.
Another issue is can Manny Diaz be a great DC?? He was awful and rightfully ran away from Missouri but came over to the ‘Canes when Mark Richt did. He has defensive talent galore but can he put the right schemes together? He seems to have trouble with adjustments. Also can Head Coach Mark Richt be a winner? They always said he couldn’t win the big one at UGA, let’s hope he can prove that wrong at the U as well.
There are some positives as the Canes D is loaded even though injuries haven’t helped. The injuries have also affected the offense as well, with all-American receiver Ahman Richards who is still out and Michael Irving Jr. is out for the year on that side of the ball as well. They need to see more turnover chains as I said earlier the Canes swag is what drives them and that chain has been big. There have been some pretty terrible knock off attempts by other schools but the original chain is what the U is all about. A few more positives to look at would be the recruiting classes that are coming in look great, the current talent is mainly young, and Richt recruits Florida well. As for 2018 the loss was not in conference so an ACC championship is still in play as well, and if this team can somehow run the table that LSU loss is starting not to look as much of a dagger on those College Football Playoff dreams
Will the 2018 Canes win it all? Probably not, can they be good and compete for the ACC crown? Possibly. They do seem to be trending in the right direction as in his first two seasons Mark Richt went 8-4 with a bowl win, then 10-2 and ended the FSU losing streak as well as making an Orange Bowl appearance. Can they get back to winning national titles? We will see. There’s a lot to be excited about for fans, recruits, and alumni as they have been very vocal about wanting to help the program in any way.
Miami has been there and done that, they have also been at the bottom and are working their way back up. Are they back? You decide. I will go with on the right track and hope for the best. One thing I know that will remain the same after this weekends matchup with FIU is that in Miami, it always was, is, and always will be “all about the U”.
If you want to know my pick, just take this quote, if Miami loses Saturday it will be a huge blow to the program and fans can hang it up for this season. For the sake of Miami let’s hope they win by 50. Now realistically you can’t take anyone lightly, period, and a win is a win but I would like to see another 40 spot and to hold them under 20. Winning is first but player development is crucial as well. Either way let’s hope the boys get after it this weekend, and show Florida who really runs this state.
First week trivia- What is the name of the Canes Mascot, what type of “bird” is it, and why is it important when it comes to Hurricanes? Real Canes fans should get this quick! I ask this because the new turnover chain has caused a lot of fans to mistakenly call it a “pelican”. Shaking my head.