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Miami Hurricanes News and Notes: Canes lose to UNC; VT this Thursday; Crootin’

Your daily digest of Miami Hurricanes news for October 17th

North Carolina v Miami Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Back for another week. Here we go:

Canes offensive struggles continue in 20-13 loss to UNC

Yeah, we have serious problems on offense, guys. Faced with another defense that came into their game against the Canes with plenty of struggles, Miami could only muster 13 points in a touchdown loss to North Carolina. The Canes, now 4-2 (1-2 ACC), face an uphill battle to win the Coastal division. We’ll get to that more, but here are your links to our coverage of and reaction to this game:

I wrote your game recap

Jerry’s The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly team grades

Justin Dottavio broke down some of the failings on offense from a X’s and O’s perspective.

Here are the highlights from the ACC Digital Network. Full disclosure, you’re not going to see much you enjoy in this video:

Just a couple tweets that are none-too-good about the Miami offense:

Canes went from dropping 1 out of every 17 catchable passes through the first month of the season to dropping 1 out of every 5 catchable balls the last 2 weeks. That’s not gonna cut it, gentlemen.

Following the loss, Miami — ranked 10th just 2 weeks ago — fell out of the Amway Coaches poll, and the Associated Press Top 25 on Sunday.

There’s a saying that goes as follows: “Once is an accident, twice is a trend, three times is evidence.” We have plenty of evidence that the defense is good, damn good. But we also have a trend that the offense is struggling very badly, and could have evidence (i.e. a third game of that performance level) when the Canes travel to Blacksburg, VA to face Virginia Tech on Thursday night.

That bounce back we needed last week? Need it again this week. In a bad, bad way.

Up Next: at Virginia Tech ON THURSDAY NIGHT

After 2 tough losses, the Canes have a short week, as they head to face Virginia Tech on Thursday night.

This is always a tricky week. Miami plays a Thursday Night game every year because, despite our shortcomings on performance, the Canes are a good TV draw for ESPN. This game is on the road bc ESPN/UM Athletics don’t want to host a game in SoFLA on a Thursday night because the crowds were invariably bad in previous years. (You know the drill, Miami is an event town, and has tons and tons of things to do, so a weeknight crowd would be sparse at best)

What’s the opening spread for this game? Glad you asked:

Even coming off a loss last week, VT is nearly a TD favorite over Miami. And, with the recent showing the Canes offense has had, I can’t fault that line. But, just like we did in 2014, it’s time to get ourselves together and get a win on Thursday night.

Crootin’ picking up behind the scenes

No, this won’t be like June 2014 when Miami got like 15 (no exaggeration) commits, but the Canes have started to see some positive movement in recruiting.

Of note, 4-star RB Anthony McFarland just took an official visit to Miami last weekend, and the Canes are trending up for him. Several recruiting analysts have put Miami as their pick for McFarland’s commitment on 247sports’ crystal ball, and after this weekend I did the same. It’s early still, and McFarland has visits to Maryland and Alabama on deck, but this recruitment is widely thought to be down to Miami and Maryland, and I’m going Miami for him as of today.

4-star OLs Kai-Leon Herbert and Tedarrell Slaton, teammates at American Heritage (Plantation, FL), are targets Miami is starting to make moves on. Herbert is currently committed to Michigan, but that could be changed over time. Slaton is uncommitted, and evaluating his options. Miami is said to be selling early PT to both players, with Herbert a top LT recruit (who admittedly needs to add some weight/strength), and Slaton a top-tier Guard prospect. With Miami’s desperate need for OL upgrades, these 2 players would be a major recruiting win for Mark Richt and Company. And, if you put them with current Canes commit 4-star OT Navaughn Donaldson, now you’re cooking with gas.

3-star TE Tre McKitty enjoyed his official visit this weekend. His father — a Canes fan — was with the Oregon commit, and was very complimentary of UM. With Oregon scuffling badly, and few in the recruiting world believing McKitty will stick with that commitment, Miami may make a move here too. McKitty has several other visits lined up before deciding his final destination prior to enrolling in January.

3-star S Amari Carter had a great visit to Notre Dame last weekend. The 3-star player saw 2 of his former teammates play for ND, and that was his last visit ahead of his announcement on Saturday evening. Unless Carter pushes back his announcement — entirely possible because recruiting is weird — I still expect him to pick the Canes as of today.

Here’s my piece previewing last week’s official visits and a really good recruiting mailbag. Trust me, you want to read this one:

There’s more, because recruiting never stops, but those are the high notes for now. Be sure you check back later today for our weekly recap of how the Canes Commits fared in their HSFB games.

Quick Hitters

Tempo, tempo, tempo.

SBNation Analytics guru Bill Connelly’s new S&P+ ratings have the Canes 17th. They fell slightly from 14th last week. There are other S&P+ ratings too, but I haven’t passed those along before. Here we go: Offense (33rd), Defense (11th), OLine (103rd), DLine (15th). No matter where you look, it seems clear where the problems are.

IDK how I missed this, but the NCAA could be adding early signing periods for football recruiting.

One of the top rated Miami commits, 4-star DE D.J. Johnson from Sacramento Burbank HS got a nice video profile from a local TV station this week.

Matt Porter of the Palm Beach Post wrote about Miami’s offensive struggles, UNC’s non-TD called a TD, and Demetrius Jackson being the latest player to battle injury for Miami.

Christy Cabrera-Chirinos of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel says Miami’s depth will be tested this week against Virginia Tech.

Craig Davis of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel wrote about Canes VR and how it’s helping connect fans with UM athletics.

Susan Miller Degnan of the Miami Herald detailed how Miami plans to correct mistakes ahead of this week’s game against Virginia Tech.

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald wrote about the Canes’ malfunctioning offense.

That’ll do it for today.

Make it a great Monday, Canes!