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Resetting Our Expectations Post-Virginia

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The dust has (partly) settled since Miami’s loss at Virginia, let’s re-evaluate our expectations of this season. 

NCAA Football: Miami at Virginia Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

Fans have lobbied for a new offensive coordinator, another quarterback change, and even a head coaching change - all of which are unlikely. With this in mind, what can we expect of the ‘Canes by the end of the 2018-19 season?

With a long, painful bye week underway, Mark Richt and the ‘Canes have more than enough time to prepare for Boston College. Confidence is low, unfortunately, as Malik Rosier is back leading the offense, along with N’Kosi Perry failing his first road test (in Richt’s eyes).

Miami’s last shred of hope lies with the defense, as nothing seems to be changing with Richt’s scheme. Only allowing 16 points on the road should always result in victory, but that sadly wasn’t the case last Saturday. We have a championship-caliber defense on our hands, and its’ potential is being tarnished.

All of this leads to a concoction of mediocrity and unmet standards. It makes us question what the Canes’ record will be by the end of 2018. The toughest part of the schedule has just begun, and the ‘Canes failed their first test. Barring a dramatic improvement from Malik Rosier, the chances of reaching the ACC Championship Game are dwindling. Richt, the players, and the fans know that not winning the Coastal division will ultimately deem this season as a failure.

Miami is an incredibly streaky team, which may be the most concerning part about their loss at Virginia. The ‘Canes lost 3 consecutive games following “The Block at the Rock” in 2016, and lost 3 in a row to end the 2017-18 season after being upset by Pitt. With a demoralizing loss last Saturday, another losing streak would turn this season from disappointing, to disaster.

During his tenure at Georgia, Mark Richt was known to have 8 win seasons; a very mediocre win total. If the same pattern begins to develop at Miami, it’s safe to assume that he’ll eventually be on the hot seat. As of now, that’s not the case, but the fans and players deserve better than the Sun Bowl. Elevating this program back to dominance is where we want to be, and Richt will be ousted if the direction continues to deter from that.

Despite the offense having a terrible showing, the talent on the roster should be able to mount 10 wins at least. We’ve heard all about the offense’s potential, but it still hasn’t been reached. Miami won’t reach the College Football Playoff this year, but another Coastal title would still be a great consolation prize. We can accept that for now, but if Mark Richt and his scheme continue to hinder the team’s chances of victory, patience will run out, and change will be put in order.

Miami comes to Boston College next week as a team with everything to lose. A solid performance is needed more than ever, as the ‘Canes can salvage their season, and get on the right track. We can only hope that improvement is shown, as we cling to our Coastal title expectations.