I'll be honest; I don't understand why everyone is so upset with the Miami Hurricanes performance against the Nebraska Cornhuskers last weekend. Yes, the game shouldn't have been as close as it was at the end of the game and yes there were some time management issues during the fourth quarter but the team got the victory. The win is the most important thing to this team because for another week, Miami stays undefeated and rises above all those that aren't.
Assuming we all can move passed the last nine minutes of the fourth quarter; I think the program should be encouraged with what they saw out of both the offense and the defense. Remember, heading into this contest Miami didn't really seem to have a true number one receiver or a plan of attack. Now we all can definitively say that Rashawn Scott is this team's number one pass catcher. After the last two games, Joe Yearby is firmly the team's number one running back with Mark Walton getting 30-40% of the workload. Also, even though the defense got gashed at the end for a few big plays you have to be encouraged by the rushing defense. Last season against Nebraska, Miami gave up over 300 yards on the ground and this year it was roughly half that amount (153 on 32 carries, much of that at the end on Armstrong's scrambles). The pass defense was disappointing; especially at the end but it is what it is. Going into the season everyone knew the Canes were thin at the cornerback position. Losing Ryan Mayes for the week then safeties Deon Bush and Jamal Carter for the last few drives due to the targeting penalties compounded the short coming. Lastly, don't forget that uber athlete Jermaine Grace was lost for the last bit of the game due to the head/shoulder injury as well.
As we usually do in this piece, we'll look ahead in the schedule and as a fan you have to be excited. Miami does have a legitimate shot of doing very well in the coming month against the tougher (toughest?) competition of their schedule. Honestly, of the four upcoming games in Cincinnati, FSU, VT and Clemson the team I'm most concerned about is Cincinnati just because I know the least about them. I know people don't agree with my doubts on FSU (see my Sunshine Seven series on Wednesday's) but they just flat out haven't impressed me this year. Their defense is exceptional but their offense has zero identity right now and we're a quarter of the way through the season. Clemson and VT both have playmakers on both sides of the ball but struggled last week against more firm competition. Although many seem to doubt Miami's execution, you can't really nail them down and say they're truly "worse" than any of their next four opponents.
In closing, the one thing I will say I was disappointed with last week against Nebraska was Al Golden's demeanor and reaction to certain events on the sideline. I get it. I get that he's seen the banners flying, he has to know most of the fan base is not satisfied with the performance of the team on the field so he may be pressing a little during the heat of battle. However, getting two or three sideline warnings in a game is ridiculous. That call is made maybe two or three times per team an entire season. Respects the referee's and have your players, assistants and yourself stay behind the white line.