Against Virginia Tech a week ago, we arguably witnessed one of the worst defensive performances by the ‘Canes in at least 2 years. A week later, Miami’s defense bounced back and put on one of their most dominant showings in recent memory.
It’s easy to assume that head coach Manny Diaz’s re-involvement with unit had something to do with the improvement. Whatever he said or implemented obviously worked, as the ‘Canes didn’t allow a single touchdown on Friday night. This is a far cry from the 42 points they surrendered to a weak Virginia Tech team the previous week.
Diaz and his team understood how pivotal and crucial winning this game was. Like many Hurricanes’ fans said, the season depended on the outcome of this game. Dropping to 2-4, and 0-3 in conference play would’ve been dismal — now, the ‘Canes have newfound momentum and confidence.
Another bright spot on the defense was Gregory Rousseau, who totalled 7 tackles, 1 sack, 2 tackles for loss, and 1 forced fumble in his first career start. Rousseau was a force on the defensive front — the spark he provided should keep the ‘Canes defense churning.
In the coming weeks, it’d be encouraging to see Miami’s offense put up more than 20 points so the defense wouldn’t be as pressured. Regardless, the ‘Canes won, and that’s the important part. Beating Georgia Tech and capping their home-stand off with another conference victory will further-propel this team past the disappointing start to the 2019 season. This may very well be Diaz’s early ‘signature’ win, on the way to building something incredible.