Demoralized and Defeated: Why should we give a shit when the players don’t?

By 2003alumgocanes

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So much to talk about, so little time, or whatever.  2 questions I thought I would never be asking our community:

  1. Who is our equipment manager and is he retarded?  It looked like we were playing on roller skates. I have no idea what happened with our cleats, but something is wrong there.
  2. How do you feel about the role of nepotism in the 21st century?  I guess what’s good enough for North Korea is good enough for us.

Several things swimming through my mind.

Missed opportunities.  This is always the case after a loss, but I can’t help but think what if Laron Byrd doesn’t trip over the 40 yard line on the second play of the game, what if Cooper lands that trick play inbounds, what if our WRs caught the ball, what if the officials called the obvious delay of game on UVA’s first TD pass (don’t know if the play clock was on the TV broadcast, but at the game, it hit zero at least a second before the ball was snapped), what if we could make a tackle.  Just painful

But ultimately, if you can’t tackle, suck at kick coverage, and can’t catch, you just suck.  These are recurring themes.  They aren’t being fixed.  I doubt they will be.  You can sometimes get away with Laron Byrd dropping a TD, or 800 missed tackles on a TD run (like we did against UNC), but if you do that EVERY game, you are bound to lose.

But there are a few moments (the biggest of which will be dealt with separately outside this list) that really stood out to me as “win” moments:

  1. When Jacory got injured, a championship defense, or any sort of winning defense, or any sort of good defense, would step and say, “fuck this. Jacory’s out.  Our offense might not score more than a FG.  But that’s enough.  If the other team doesn’t score, they can’t win.  So, we aren’t letting them score, period.”  Instead, our defense folded.  They quit, and promptly got run over, giving up 2 TDs in the waning moments of the first half, and forcing us to chase the game.  The exact wrong response was given.  UVA scored 2 TDs in that limited time frame, and a FG the rest of the game (not counting their 5 yard TD drive off of a pick).  That let up at the wrong time epitomizes this team.   Loaded with talent, but not the will or ability to actually play strong for 4 quarters.
  2. The kickoff after we went down 24-6.  What the hell is that?  By a fluke, the kick bounced over the returner’s head.  We seem to have him walled in, inside the 10.  Instead, he escapes, Benjamin tackles him by his facemask (not his fault, he had to bring him down), and they end up punting from midfield instead of their end zone.  We end up eating up 5 minutes driving 90 yards instead of having an easier drive.  These little mistakes count.
  3. Somehow, despite all the screw ups and all the mistakes, it is 24-19, with 4:36 left.  This is despite the defense only making 1 stop after it was 24-0.  So, you ask them to make a second stop, and hey, you just have to do it before they get 2 first downs, since we have 3 timeouts.  And they couldn’t even do that.  Really?  You can talk about statistics all you want, but that is a visualization of a defense that stinks.  You can’t make 1 stop on 2 sets of downs against a horrible team?  Absurd.

On a related note, did I miss where being a football player of the University of Miami was a burden?  How come our entire team looks like they would rather be at the Grove than on a football field?  I am not going to get into whose fault that is (players vs. coaches, because it is futile), but I can only say that when I think about what it would feel like to put on that jersey, and put on that helmet with the U on it…when I think about the pride and push to do my best, and then when I see our players moping around, not giving a shit, barely trying…what the hell am I missing?  How is humanly possible to not care when you are representing the University of Miami?  What is wrong with these fuckers?  I am disgusted and outraged.

And that leads me to the conclusion of this clusterfuck, 1 ridiculous coaching trend and one of the worst coaching decisions I have ever seen:

  1. What does it take to get a player benched? I haven’t really seen much of Streeter, Hurns or Thompkins, but I can tell you that they have absolutely no reason to work hard in practice. If our WRs continue to shit themselves, drop passes, run improper routes…and still continue to play, what is the incentive for anyone else?  What is the message you are sending to your team about accountability?  You are telling them there is none.  Same goes for McCarthy.  I don’t care how many tackles he was credited with or about how he finally made an INT after not getting near the TE the whole game (before and after the INT).  He stinks.  He overpursues and is constantly out of position.  I don’t know how good Kelvin Cain is.  But, I did see him play, and he certainly is worth a shot.  Again, what kind of message are you sending to a MLB who made 13 tackles, recovered a fumble and forced a fumble when he can’t get in another game despite the current MLB killing the team?  You are telling the entire team that performance doesn’t matter.
  2. The decision to put Spencer Whipple into this game was insulting to 85 guys on this team (including Whipple), Hurricane fans and anyone associated with the school.  Ironically, my friend and I had this discussion before the game.  I concluded, “look, Whipple is technically the backup because Highsmith is injured and they don’t want to burn Morris’ shirt.  But, if Jacory gets injured, they can’t be stupid enough to actually put Whipple into a competitive ACC game.  He clearly can’t play on this level.”  Boy, they proved me wrong, but the decision was awful on so many levels.  We have seen Whipple flutter a few passes in games.  The players, on the other hand, see it on a daily basis.  They also see Stephen Morris play.  When our coaches put in Whipple, they are telling our players, “we are putting in the worse QB.”  This sends 1 of 2 messages:  either the coaches think UVA is so bad that they can beat them with a D-II quality QB or the coaches think that the game isn’t important.  Either message is bullshit.

And, there is no reason that can be validly given to justify the decision.  Not wanting to burn Morris’s shirt is ridiculous.  He is already 2 years behind Jacory.  You don’t need the extra year, not with an ACC title on the line.  And, don’t even fucking tell me the coaches saw something in Whipple that made them think he could play, because if they did, their evaluatory skills are so severely lacking that immediate dismissal is warranted.  This was an arrogant, nepotistic decision.

And that is probably the thing that makes me the angriest, the more I think about it.  Everyone remembers Kirby Freeman’s 1 completion stinker.  But, at any point did anyone think, despite the awful level of horse shit he was laying on the field, “put in Matt Perelli”?  Of course not.  It’s an absurd notion. Walk-ons are so many levels qualitatively lower than scholarship players, the idea of playing them is absurd.  I know Whipple is technically on scholly, but not really.  We essentially subbed in Perelli with a healthy scholarship QB on the sideline.  I think 800 guys would have to get injured before Nelms starts at safety, yet here is Whipple, killing our drive and setting up UVA for a TD with a panicked throw into coverage from a QB that was clearly way in over his head.  But you dig a layer deeper, ask yourself a question, and answer it honestly:  If we had a walk-on QB who we finally gave a scholarship too, but was clearly not good enough to play D-1 football, and his name was Spencer Jones, would anyone ever consider putting him in the game?  The answer is obviously no.  We, the University of Miami, a school with 5 NCs, ranked in the Top 25, in control of our own destiny in the ACC Coastal, actually put a QB in the game because he was the OCs son.  Think about that.  That is the most outrageous load of bullshit inflicted on this program since Terry Porter’s flag.  We actually blew the season because we chose to play the OCs son, a player who does not belong on this level and couldn’t crack the three-deep at Brown.  And, of course, his idiot dad decides to let him wing it.  2 INTs in 6 pass attempts killed 2 drives, and helped UVA to a 14-0 half time lead. Morris came in, battled hard (not helped by the WRs who can’t catch shit), and eventually got in a rhythm.  But those 14 points wasted with a D-II QB in the game were too much to overcome.  It’s ridiculous, it’s unbelievable, it’s upsetting, and it warrants dismissal of the entire staff.

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