It's the Lakers vs. Celtics. Yankees vs. Red Sox. Manchester United vs. Real Madrid. When the Canes and Noles matchup they are polar opposites like cops and robbers when you were a little kid. The tension rises and the air feels thicker; It is as though green & orange just won't chemically mix with garnet & gold. But this time around a large amount of Miami's roster who are freshman, have no idea what this rivalry is all about. The only perspective they may have before this weekend is what teammates have told them or the same insight that you and I have as fans.
However some of these Hurricanes are very familiar with some of the current players for the Seminoles. Alex Fernandez & Garrett Kennedy both attended the same high school (Archbishop McCarthy) as FSU sophomore Jose Brizuela. Brizuela is currently leading Florida State with an impressive .343 batting average. However the freshman has really struggled on defense committing 13 errors which leads the ACC.
I spoke to several UM players Thursday during practice and fresh off their 5-3 defeat over Bethune Cookman. In general they said that no one is panicking, including the freshman. Most of these freshman are struggling for the first time in their careers after dominating at their respective high schools. I spoke to Bryan Radziewski and asked him what goes on in the dugout as of late during games when runs have not come easy. He said "I've always been taught control what you can control. I can't hit for them and I can't play defense." Senior Chantz Mack mentioned he would speak to the young guys some time before the series starts Friday night. He also spoke about the support that he expects the opponents to have this weekend. "It will be a packed house probably, they are going to hear some trash talking for the first time at home from the opponents fans." Canes fans are not only hoping that those bleachers packed with the garnet & gold stay real quiet. But that those walking outside the park don't confuse Alex Rodriguez Park with Turner Field.
If this young team is indeed staying positive and sticking together, the hard work and talent will show in due time. The fact of the matter is all three aspects of the game for this team have not come together consistently enough to win. David Thompson seems to be breaking freshman hitting records and then injures his shoulder. B-Rad strikes out 16 guys one game then Miami commits 5 errors the next. If there was ever a weekend when the cops needed to put it all together, it would be this weekend vs the robbers.