Sunday Bloody Sunday

By 2003alumgocanes

I can’t believe the news today

oh, I can’t close my eyes and make it go away

And so, as the song goes, ‘Canes Nation awakens to another bloody Sunday, left to dissect another loss.  But this loss feels different for 2 reasons:

  1. Ohio State is a legitimate big time opponent.  This is the first time in 5 years that our Hurricanes played a big time opponent and looked like they belonged on the field.  Think about how over-matched the team was just 2 years ago at Florida (where they did an admirable job hanging around, but really were clearly outclassed).  We thought we had that last year, but it turns out Oklahoma stunk.
  2. This game was blown.  Against a real opponent.  This wasn’t UNC or Clemson last year, where a game was blown against a clearly inferior opponent.  This was a game blown against an elite opponent.  That is a something different.

This game was lost on fundamentals, and that is ultimately the most frustrating thing.  We had 2 TDs over the top of their defense that were lost with poor throws (one overthrown, one underthrown that should have been pass interference).

We had a possession where we dropped 2 INTs, had DVD mistime his jump on an easy INT, and missed an easy sack.  We make one of those plays and Ohio State doesn’t get the field goal they ultimately made to make the game 13-10.

We dropped 2 TDs on a drive where we ultimately failed to score.  Meanwhile, Ohio State’s RB makes a twisting TD catch on a jump ball with Sean Spence draped all over him.

This game easily could have ended with Jacory throwing 2 INTs and Terrelle Pryor throwing 3-4 INTs, except our defenders didn’t catch the ball, and Travis Benjamin had 2 huge errors.

We had the superior kicker, yet went 1 of 3 on FGs while they went 5 of 6.

The bottom line is that both coaching staffs put their players in similar positions to make plays simply by executing fundamentals…and their players did, time and again, while ours failed, down to the last 2 drives where Travis Benjamin dropped a 4th down conversion and Ohio State ran off the last 7 minutes of the game, aided by several missed tackles.

An ironically idiotic question was asked of Jacory in the post game press conference, when he was asked what Miami can do to get on Ohio State’s level.  He gave the simple, accurate answer:  not throw interceptions.  Ultimately, that’s where the game was decided.  But the reason the turnover battle was 4-0 in Ohio State’s favor was a team-wide inability to execute.  Whether it be a WR not knowing the play or passing a perfectly thrown ball to a DB.  Whether it be dropped INTs.

Eventually, this team will have to clean up the fundamentals to compete on a elite level.  The talent is clearly there.  Even the play calling  (both offensively and defensively) put these players in a position to succeed all day long.  They just didn’t.  In a way, this game does reek of Washington 2000.  Where our team, a veteran team too, went on the road and played a slop-filled mess of a game and ultimately lost, while growing from that situation and not looking like that again for years.  No, I am not saying we are now embarking on a 34-game win streak.  There can be hope, though.  Or maybe I am just a dope.  The future will tell.  In 2000, after wetting themselves @Washington, the team went into Morgantown and pushed around West Virginia, showing the mental toughness lacking in Seattle.  They never looked back.  With games @Pitt, @Clemson and FSU coming up in a row, this team has every opportunity to regroup and prove that they have learned from this game against teams that have clearly proven themselves to be inferior to Miami in the first few weeks of the season.  Whether they do or not is another story entirely.

Unlike 2000, however, there are no elite teams left on Miami’s schedule.  No defending champion, #1 ranked FSU for these Hurricanes to test themselves against to prove that they have fully learned from going toe-to-toe with elite talent, and blowing it.  In fact, the early returns are in, and the questions about the Hurricanes’ schedule have been answered…crap.  It’s hard to see any of the teams on the schedule actually being Top 20 caliber.

  • Virginia Tech followed up a crappy Monday Night performance against Boise State by losing at home to James Madison.
  • Josh Nesbitt took another step towards proving that he might be the worst passer in college football history as Georgia Tech lost to a Kansas team that had previously lost to a 1-AA team.
  • UNC is obviously a mess.
  • FSU got out-classed and embarrassed at Oklahoma.  Basically, they proved that they are at the stage we were in 2007.  Something tells me they could have not urinated on Bobby Bowden’s head and he could have managed to get anally raped by Oklahoma just the same as Jimbo Fisher.
  • Pitt already lost to Utah and looked like crap against New Hampshire.
  • BJ Daniels showed that despite an off season, he is still operating at a level slightly above that of a functional retard.

Comparatively, the loss to Ohio State looks great, and you can reasonably conclude that anything short of 11 consecutive wins (including the ACC Championship Game) and a trip to the Orange Bowl will be a colossal  underachievement.

And so there is a disappointment, but maybe a glimmer of hope, a light at the end of the tunnel.  Was this game simply a learning experience that the Hurricanes can grow from given that it was the first time any of these players stepped on the field against an elite opponent and showed they had the talent to compete?  Or was this merely a continuation of what we saw against UNC and Clemson last year?  I don’t know the answer to those questions.  But once again, ‘Canes Nation is left to ponder:

How long…

How long must we sing this song?

How long, how long

On another Sunday Bloody Sunday in Coral Gables.

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