On the eve of Miami’s sure-win matchup against a Savannah State team fresh off a 52-0 defeat at the hands of UAB, a program in just their second year of football after a two-year hiatus, Miami has a massive opportunity. It is not just a chance to feel out a new quarterback or allow young players to get meaningful reps. It is much, much simpler than that. It’s an opportunity to win.
The Hurricanes loss to Pitt to close out the 2017 regular season had the same impact a Florida State loss has had on the program for many years. In 2016, Miami was 4-0 before running into the 8thranked Seminoles. They lost their first game of the season that night and proceeded to lose the following three games to UNC, Virginia Tech and Notre Dame before ending the drought, ironically, to Pitt. The same story could be told about the 2014 season. Miami wasn’t having a particularly good year, by our standards. However, Miami was riding a three-game winning streak before losing to the Seminoles. That loss kicked off another four-game losing skid that was only stopped by a win over Bethune-Cookman to kick-off the 2015 season.
Before Miami figures out if Malik Rosier is going to be the quarterback going forward or before picking apart all the other discrepancies that are plain as day by watching last week’s loss to LSU, Miami needs to win. It is that simple. A dominating win against a bad program is exactly what this program needs right now. It has been over nine months since this team has felt the high that comes with winning a division one football game and that needs to change.
I, personally, see this team drastically improving from what was broadcasted to the world on Sunday night. The talent all over the field is ridiculous. We have weapons on the outside that are six, seven deep. We have a defensive line lead by Gerald Willis III and two potential first-round draft picks in Jonathan Garvin and Joe Jackson. We have an All-American middle linebacker in Shaq Quarterman. Two All-American defensive backs in Jaquan Johnson and Michael Jackson. It is easy to get caught up in one nationally televised game, but the reality is that this team has 12 or 13 more games this season. To let one of those games, especially on the first night of the season, dictate where the program is headed is laughable.
Savannah State is going to bring the confidence back to this Hurricanes team. Toledo, FIU and UNC on a Thursday night await Miami in the following weeks. Those games should have Miami riding a four-game winning streak and a couple extra days of rest before facing off with Florida State in Miami. By that early October matchup, this team will have an established identity and be ready to go.
No need to panic, people. No, Rosier isn’t the ideal quarterback. There is a lot that this team needs to work at, starting at the quarterback position. But all of that becomes easier to deal with after a victory. Let’s go get one tomorrow.