Haven't I seen this before?! The head-scratching play-calling on offense, the passive, bend-but-eventually-break defense and the eventual loss to a team that appeared beatable? And why shouldn't I join the masses of Hurricanes fans that are calling for the heads of Al Golden, his BFF-slash-Defensive Coordinator Mark D'Onofrio and Offensive Coordinator James Coley after just one game and one loss?
Well, it is just one game. Eleven games remain and perhaps 12 if the ‘Canes return to a bowl game this season. We are starting a true freshman at quarterback. And we didn't have a chance to test-drive the 2014 model of the Hurricanes against Cupcake U like we'd prefer to, so it's really not the end of the football world like it seems, is it?
At first glance, the talent is there, even under center with Brad Kaaya. I know fans are clamoring for a staff that shows a concept of playing to win instead of playing not to lose. And the Louisville team I watched last night isn't better than the ‘Canes. They just executed better, played better, and were put in a better position to win. They had the eye of the, um, Cardinals, when in reality, they should've felt like they were in the eye of a Hurricane.
The ‘Canes started fast last year, garnered national attention and climbed in the polls, then literally saw their fortunes turn for the worst in the 2nd half of the Florida State game in early November, the first of three straight losses in which the defense gave up 40+ points in each. So we have been in this frustrating position before as 'Canes fans.
Instead of taking the gloom & doom approach I have felt on campus after opening night, I'm opting to look through rose-colored glasses in the hope that Miami beats up on Florida A&M and Arkansas State the next two weeks as expected and Kaaya gets his feet under him. Need another reason for optimism? The defense actually did look a lot better against Louisville, despite the loss. And here's hoping in addition to those factors, Al Golden and his coordinators visit Dictionary.com and read the definition of insanity before taking their squad to Lincoln to play Nebraska on the 20th.
It can get better. It will get better.