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Salomon: Letters To Al, Post Nebraska Victory Edition

Editor and Contributor Scott Alan Salomon continues his weekly series of Letters to Al Golden. We are pleased to report that Mr. Salomon did not break anything after last week's meltdown against the University of Nebraska and PETA should not be upset as no animals got hurt in the fourth quarter. He was not thrown out of the game and maintained all decorum in watching the Hurricanes elevate their record to 3-0.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Dear Al:

A lot of my readers are going to expect me to rip you for almost blowing a three-score plus lead last week in only eight minutes of action. They are going to want me to get a pound of flesh for you wasting the offensive opportunities that we had in the fourth quarter and for abandoning the ground game which was working so well.

However, I am going to take the high road and not do just that. I am going to praise you for the 52 minutes that we played well and also give you credit for bringing this team to 3-0 so early in the season.  I realize that this was not the signature win that we all wanted, and it probably could have been if Coach D'Onofrio motivated the defense to finish the stellar game that they started, but it was a win nonetheless.

As Beldar Conehead says in the State Farm Commercials, "This pleases me."

I can see why you threw the football so much in the fourth quarter. It worked most of the game and you thought that it would work the rest of the way. I too often yell at you for taking your foot off the gas and resorting to the run when you have a team against the ropes and you did not really disappoint me this week.

What did upset me was that Brad was snapping the ball with a running clock and 20 seconds left on the play clock. We could have managed the clock a lot better by snapping the ball at the last possible second and it would not have given the Shucked Huskers enough time to tie the game at the end. Simple ball control and snapping the ball at the end of the 40-second play clock would have denied Nebraska enough time to tie the game and to take it into overtime.  The only problem that I with you on that issue is that you did not tell Brad, as his coach, to snap the ball late and to take some time off the clock.  The offense was too efficient in clock management.

We could have given Joe and Mark more carries and they could have chewed some time off the clock. There were too many drives where we ran three screens, had some incompletions and the punt team came on the field. Had we ran the ball and snapped the ball late, we would have taken about five of the eight minutes off the clock.

Enough said. We won the game, you learned your lesson as I just instructed you, you saw it on tape and it is time to move on.

You also wanted to run up the score to impress the pollsters and I cannot blame you for that. I know that you have no desire to be ranked during the season and that the only thing that matters is what happens when they are all counted, blah, blah, blah. However, being ranked in the Top 25 would have been sexy and the fan base and players would be wearing a bigger smile on their faces.

We have a bye week this week before traveling to see Gunner Kiel and the University of Cincinnati.  This is a big game and Tommy Tubberville will be ready to beat you at home on Thursday night before a national audience on ESPN. They will probably be wearing all black and have some special name for the game, like Black Out, or something like that, but we cannot lose this trap game as we get ready for ACC play.

Please make sure that everyone has Nebraska in the rear-view mirror and that they are focused on the Bearcats and nothing else. FSU and the rest of the season will come in due time. Let's get a big win over Cincy, in their house, in front of our targets on national television and give people a reason to love the U and to come to Miami. These national TV games are opportunities for you to sell the program to recruits and please do not waste this one.

Take care of Marques this week, get him healthy and we will see what the rest of the season hold for Mr. Gayot. Best wishes for his recovery. I commend you for going with them to the hospital and you sold me on the fact that you do care for your players. Let''s get some more wins and we will talk again next week.

Best wishes to Marques and let's get some Bearcat meat next week.



PS: Due to next week's game being on Thursday night, and we having a bye week this week, I probably won't write until Friday of next week.