You know what good football teams don't do? They don’t turn the ball over. You know what even better teams don't do? They don’t turn the ball over inside their own 50-yard-line. The Hurricanes have mastered the art of turning it over, and seemingly have perfected this by doing so in their own territory, repeatedly.
Saturday against Georgia Tech, Miami drove down on their first offensive series while N’Kosi Perry conducted a beautiful 11-play 75-yard drive, that ended with a Deejay Dallas touchdown. Even I sat up in my chair, thinking that this week would be different.
However, I was wrong, again. After a Gerald Willis III offsides penalty on a fourth-and-seven for Georgia Tech on their first drive, and later a Yellow Jackets touchdown, Miami’s offense was ready to take the field again.
Though, they didn't get that chance just yet. On the kickoff following Tech’s score, Dallas fumbled, giving the Yellow Jackets offense the ball right back at the Hurricanes 23-yard-line. It was Dallas’ third fumble in two games.
Three plays later, it was Georgia Tech up 14-7 after another touchdown.
Then, this time in the second quarter, with the ball at their own 40-yard-line, it was Perry who fumbled the ball, giving the ball back to the home-team Yellow Jackets, which then resulted in three more points for Paul Johnson’s team.
And, another Miami turnover. This time, a N'Kosi Perry fumble. He drops the snap. Oh boy.— Christy Chirinos (@ChristyChirinos) November 11, 2018
Those who watch football understand very clearly how big of a role turnovers play, and Canes fans realize that what we saw on Saturday isn’t anything new for Miami football.
Last week against Duke was arguably the most-frustrating sequence of turnovers. In a game that the Canes had absolutely no business losing, Dallas fumbled twice, the first of which came inside their own 20, which Duke then turned into a field goal.
DeeJay Dallas gives it right back with his second fumble of the game. Brutal.— David Wilson (@DBWilson2) November 4, 2018
In the fourth quarter, the play immediately following a Jaquan Johnson interception which gave the Hurricanes offense hope to comeback and win the game, Dallas again fumbled, this time off a Perry screen pass. Though the Blue Devils didn't score off the turnover, they then pinned Miami down inside their own 10-yard-line with a great punt.
While being sandwiched by Zach Allen and Max Richardson, Malik Rosier throws up a duck. Wyatt Ray nearly picks it off, but it rolls out of his hands, and, after a game of hot potato, Hamp Cheevers ends up with his fifth interception of the year (tied for the most in the FBS). pic.twitter.com/zkAeaHAATr— Andy Backstrom (@AndyHeights) October 27, 2018
If you haven't punched your phone or computer while reading up to this point, it gets shockingly worse. Against Boston College, two Malik Rosier interceptions in the third-quarter, when the game was still in reach, gave the Eagles the ball inside Miami’s 20, ultimately ending in ten-points for BC.
Malik Rosier throws his 2nd interception of the quarter. Next play, Dillon scores a touchdown for BC. Miami down 27-14 in the 3rd quarter— WPLG Local 10 Sports (@Local10Sports) October 27, 2018
Even when facing Virginia, the interception bug was had by both Perry and Rosier. Perry threw two picks in back-to-back drives, and Rosier tossed one himself in the fourth-quarter, just as Miami was driving down for a score.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL #Canes QB N'Kosi Perry has already thrown 2 INTERCEPTIONS— Florida Gridiron Preps (@FLgridironpreps) October 14, 2018
Malik Rosier is now in the game
Virginia Cavaliers @UVAFootball 10
MIami Hurricanes @CanesFootball 0
2ND QTR, 11:16
ESPN2#FLgridiron #UM #TheU #Canes #UMvsUVA
So during this debacle of a four-game losing streak that has shut the door on Miami’s season, the Canes have turned the ball over a total of nine times. Seven of those turnovers occurred within Miami’s own 50-yard-line. Also, their opponents have scored 33 points off turnovers in the last four losses.
During the 2017 season, it took Miami’s offense 10 games to reach at-least nine turnovers, and by that point, the Canes were 10-0 on the year.
Obviously a large part of this disaster of a season has to be on coach Mark Richt, but you cannot give him all of the blame.
The Hurricanes are a team that relies on its defense creating turnovers, and bringing out the Turnover Chain to bring momentum. And while that Chain helped Miami in 2017 reach ten-victories as well as games this season against FSU and UNC, it’s their offense and its unfortunate ability to turn the ball over themselves, that has helped sink the Canes to mediocrity in 2018.