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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: Georgia Tech edition

Season’s over.

Georgia Tech v Miami Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Miami Hurricanes lost to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 28-21 in overtime. The same Georgia Tech team that lost to the Citadel. The same Georgia Tech team that was 1-5 and winless in the ACC heading into this game.

The season is over. The wheels have come off.

Here’s our game recap by Gaby Urrutia

Our 3 stars from the game by KappaCane will be up later.

And with no further ado, let’s get into The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

The Good

  • The way the team bounced back early. Look, I know a strip sack for a TD for GT on the 3rd offensive play of the game is bad, but the Defense forced multiple 3 and outs, and N’Kosi Perry led the offense to 2 quick scores to get the lead back in the first quarter. That was the way you want to bounce back, and I’m glad the team made quick qork to get out in front.
  • RB Cam’ron Harris. The sophomore stepped in for an injured DeeJay Dallas and had a career day. 18 carries for 136 yards along with 3 catches for 31 yards and a TD. Harris is a very good player and has the skills to impact games in this way. I look for this to be a building block game of his career.
  • LB Shaquille Quarterman. 13 tackles, 2 TFLs, 2 QB Hurries, 1 PBU, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovered. 55 was everywhere today, but his PBU was a ball thrown DIRECTLY AT HIM that could have been a late turnover Miami needed, and even with 13 tackles, Quarterman missed a couple tackles on the day. Still, look at that stat line. That’s good, even if the result of the game wasn’t.
  • DE Trevon Hill. 2 tackles, 2 TFLs, a PBU, and a sack. His presence was felt in a bigger way than just those stats; Hill was an ever-present disruptor for the Canes defense. This was his best game as a Cane.
  • P Louis Hedley. Seriously, give this man the MVP already. 3 punts for 130 yards, a 43.3 average. But the first 2 were pinpoint kicks downed at the 6 and 4 yard line, respectively. And the last one was a 67 yard bomb that flipped the field. He’s been Miami’s best and most consistent player. Seriously: team MVP. Lock it up.
  • QB N’Kosi Perry. 16/28 passing for 188 yards and 2 TDs, to go along with a rushing TD. He did, however, have a fumble that GT recovered for a fumble on Miami’s first drive, so that wasn’t great.
  • 21 first downs
  • 8 TFLs
  • 3 sacks
  • 1 turnover (Quarterman’s fumble recovery)
  • 11.8 yards per completion
  • 6.45 yards per passing attempt
  • 5.7 yards per play
  • 4.9 yards per rush
  • 6.3 yards per rush when you take out the sack yardage
  • Only 6 TFLs allowed
  • Only 3 sacks allowed
  • Only 4 penalties
  • Won the field position battle handily. Miami’s average starting position: our 39. Georgia Tech’s? Their 24. That’s 180 yards of hidden field position advantage over 12 drives.

The Bad

  • We lost to Georgia Tech. A 1-5 team that lost at home to the Citadel.
  • Allowed Georgia Tech 31:58 time of possession.
  • Allowed 18 first downs.
  • Allowed 6-14 third down conversions. GT entered the game converting only 32.9% of their 3rd down attempts.
  • Allowed 2-2 4th down conversions. GT was only 2-9 on 4th this year heading into this game.
  • 5-13 third down conversions. This 38% conversion rate is actually an improvement from the 27.9% conversion rate Miami had on the year entering this game.
  • 0-1 on 4th down. And that just so happened to be the last play of the game, which was marked inches short of a conversion in OT.
  • Everything else is ugly. Keep reading.

The Ugly

  • Jeff Thomas announced as suspended for this game about 90 minutes before kickoff. Another “violation of team rules”. I mean, c’mon man.
  • The first drive. DeeJay Dallas didn’t field a punt at the 25, and it rolled to the 9. N’Kosi Perry missed an easy throw. Dallas gained 2 yards. Then Perry was sacked, fumbled, and it was recovered by GT for a touchdown. The only way it could have been worse would have been a pick-6 on the first throw (which wasn’t really possible by the formation, but you get what I’m saying).
  • Miami stopped GT short on 3rd down, forcing 4th and 6 from the 41. Everybody, including myself, tweeted “punt safe” or “watch the fake”. Miami went punt safe coverage. They watched the fake.....go up the sideline for a 41 yard TD on a pass from the punter to the gunner. DJ Ivey didni’t play the play. He just watched dude go right by him and eventually score. That’s not on coaching. That is on the player. That is one of the worst plays I’ve ever seen. I am disgusted.
  • Oh hey look, another call that would have clearly benefitted Miami that the refs botched. It was a play int he endzone for GT. QB was sacked, but “fumbled the ball” out of the field at the 1. No, sir. You cannot fumble it forward. So, either it’s a fumble and it goes back to where the runner was, in the endzone for a safety, or it’s intentional grounding from the endzone....for a safety. Of course, it was called none of those on the field, and “the play stands as called” after review, because of course it did. Whatever.
  • Another missed FG. This time, a 34 yard attempt by Turner Davidson. It was a good story for a week, but Miami is right back where we were a fortnight ago: without any semblance of consistent place kicking. Camden Price? Back to Bubba Baxa? Anybody?
  • DJ Ivey. Buddy. Another play looking in the backfield while his receiver goes by him and scores a TD. Happened on the fake punt. Happened on the go route just before the half. Absolutely atrocious by lack of discipline and zero awareness of the situation.
  • Gifting Georgia Tech 14 points on Perry’s fumble/TD recovery and the blown coverage on punt safe when you’re looking for a fake punt BUT DON’T COVER THE FAKE PUNT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR. Infuriating.
  • We went to Bubba Baxa late in the game for a 27 yard FG attempt. You guessed it: he missed it. Somebody has to be able to kick but we don’t have any other them on the roster, scholarship or otherwise.
  • 3-7 in the red zone. And all of those were TDs because.....
  • 0-3 on FGs. Davidson missed, Baxa missed, then when we went BACK to Davidson for the game winning attempt, he kicked it very low, and GT easily blocked it.
  • Miami deciding to take random drives off on defense.
  • Dan Enos: WHAT IS THE PLAYCALLING IN THE RED ZONE?! Double reverses. Trick plays. We don’t have ANY offensive staples we can go to? We can’t scheme a pass to Brevin Jordan that’s not short of the sticks on 4th and the ballgame? There’s....NOTHING in the playbook that works?!
  • Injuries. DeeJay Dallas, Michael Pinckney, and Trajan Bandy all left the game prior to the 4th quarter and did not return. Miami has the top end talent to be a decent team, but without those guys, the depth was challenged severely. They failed that challenge, in case you were wondering.
  • LB Ryan Ragone. WHO?!?! Exactly. Instead of playing Patrick Joyner or Sam Brooks or a scholarship player in Pinckney’s absence, Miami turned to a walk-on LB and gave him 35+ snaps in a tie game against a team that was run heavy, therefore raising the importance of the position he plays exponentially. Ragone missed as many tackles as he made, and was simply out of his depth here. And it’s understandable because he’s a walk-on.
  • The decision to play Ragone. This is on the coaches. I said it on twitter and people want to be outraged, but whatever: walk-ons should not be playing meaningful snaps in games that matter at the University of Miami. Not now. Not ever. The fact that the staff made this choice — and it’s not the first time btw; Ragone played several meaningful snaps against Virginia last week — is inexcusable. I would have rather given Sam Brooks those snaps and had it be a learning experience than playing a clearly substandard player in a role he can’t perform, as evidenced by his performance today.
  • We lost to THIS Georgia Tech team. Disgusting.

Team Grades

Offense: D

Only 357 yards of offense. 3-7 in the redzone. 0/3 on FG attempts. Stopped short on 4th and the ballgame. Only 21 points against a team that had given up 79 points in the last 2 weeks combined. Only 1 turnover was good, but that turnover directly gave GT points. We should have walked up and blown this team out. And we only scored 21. That’s on the offense.

Defense: D-

All the missed tackles. Letting GT convert to their heart’s content. Sure, the D only gave up 14 points (the other 14 were on an offensive turnover and special teams trick play........but the D was out there for that one so......?) but they didn’t step up when plays needed to be made. DJ Ivey and Ryan Ragone were picked on time and again by GT. So, player usage and scheme were also issues. So bad.

Special Teams: F

Look, I know I said Louis Hedley is team MVP and highlighted his 67 yard punt. I know KJ Osborn had a 52 yard punt return 1 play before his 13 yard TD reception. I know the kickoffs were all touchbacks and the punt coverage on Hedley’s 3 punts was stellar. But this team went 0/3 kicking FGs for a game that went into OT. If ANY of those kicks were made, Miami wins this game. But the Canes made none of them. And this has been a major, tier-1 issue all season long. So I’m sorry to those on STs who actually did their jobs and did them well. The missed FGs means this group’s grade is a 0.

Coaching: Fireable

Yup, you read that right. 7 games into the year, we’re at coaching being fireable.

Week after week, game after game, year after year, this program plays down to and below the caliber of their opponents. This time, we lost to a 1-5 GT team that was winless in the ACC and lost at home to an FCS team. This is unacceptable, and it’s on the coaches.

Why is Miami only scoring 21 points on 7 (!!!!!!!!!!) red zone trips? Why are the Canes missing tackle after tackle after tackle on defense? Why are certain individuals (I’ve called names already, no need to do that again) continuing to cost Miami points but still given playing time? What is the identity of this team? Where is the consistency in performance? Where have the Canes gone?

All of those questions comes down to coaching. Whether it’s changes being made at the coordinator level, or the position coaches, or the scheme, or the practice methods, or the player development techniques, there are changes, BIG CHANGES that are needed to be made.

And yes, it’s time to question Manny Diaz as the head coach, because teams do 2 things: 1. what you coach them to do or 2. what you allow them to do. Whether it’s coached or allowed, the performances we’ve seen this year have been terrible. And that can’t continue.

I don’t want to hear about culture. I don’t want to hear about playing hard. I want to hear about WHAT YOU’RE GOING TO DO TO FIX THE PROBLEMS!!! Because there are problems to be fixed, and if Diaz doesn’t have the temerity or expertise to fix them, then Miami needs to get someone who does.

A week after saving the season, Miami decided to go and ruin it. Great cool. Awesome. That’s on you, coaches. And the performance we sat and watched today is absolutely a fireable offense. And I won’t call it anything short of that.

We lost. To Georgia Tech. The season is over. This is a dumpster fire. I wish it wasn’t, but it is. If you disagree with that stance, I’d be very interested to hear your rebuttal. Whether you agree with me or not, the comments section is now open. Discuss.

Go Canes