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Brutal Honesty; Miami Is Still Rebuilding and Far From Being Back

Al Golden has said it all along. At 7-0 we just were not listening. Now, at 7-3 and having been blown out in the three losses, we should listen to what he is saying. The UM Is not back. They are just getting better.

Al Golden patrolling the sidelines during loss at Duke
Al Golden patrolling the sidelines during loss at Duke
Grant Halverson

Miami coach Al Golden has been repeating it all season. It has been his mantra.  It is about time that we listen and understand that the University of Miami is not playing the type of football that will make anyone remember the glory days. Miami is not back from anywhere.  They are still rebuilding, but they are getting better.

"Our message has not changed," Golden said on Sunday in his weekly post-game teleconference with the media. "I want them to live in the present moment.  We cannot live in the past. Our guys know that we are not back, we are still building."

One of the building blocks and foundations of the program will continue to be defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio. D'Onofrio has been subject to ridicule since last season, but Golden has faith in his top defensive assistant and does not listen to the boo-birds, naysayers or haters.

"I do not even listen to it,"I am responsible for all three phases and the buck stops with me.  Golden said. "I have complete faith that we can right this thing.  We still have a lot to play for and we are going to right this. We all know that we missed too many tackles.

D'Onofrio does not put the pads on and he does not take the field.  At last check, he was never charged with having to make a tackle or fight off a block.  He is responsible for coaching the players up and putting them in a position to succeed if they do their jobs correctly.  Thus far, the defense has not been making the grade.

"Mark is working his tail off. The whole defensive staff is working their tails off," Golden said. "We all have to do a better job It has to be better and it all starts with me."

Golden was asked if he was happy with his defense and he responded rather tersely, "You know that I am not."

Golden did say that he was frustrated.

"There is plenty of frustration. I would be concerned if there wasn't," Golden said. "When execution does not meet outcome you get frustration. I would be concerned if the guys were not fired up and wanting to improve."

There was also a dose of disappointment that riddled the locker room.  However, Golden said, it is time to put the game in the rear-view mirror and move forward.

"At the end of the day we are all disappointed. We are resolute," Golden said. "But, we are 7-3 and have a chance to win our eighth game this week against Virginia."

Golden used an analogy that seems like it put the entire 2013 season into proper perspective.  It might not have been his intention, but it certainly seemed appropriate.

"Before every accident there is a warning," Golden said. "We have to heed these warnings."

The coach did remind everyone that the Canes were 5-5 at this point last season and were still fighting in week 11 to become bowl eligible.

"We're excited about the future," Golden said. "These young men are not going to get down on themselves.  There is still a lot to play for. "

The Canes will have Philip Dorsett and Stacey Coley back for the game with Virginia this Saturday.  Dorsett has been out since an MCL tear was sustained against North Carolina on October 17 and Coley was knocked out of Saturday's game with concussion-like symptoms.