Following their ACC home-opener loss to the Hokies, it’s obvious that the ‘Canes won’t live up to the preseason hype, and may not achieve anything close to it.
While it’s extremely premature to call for Diaz’s head at this moment, pressure should be put on him, and the rest of Miami’s coaching staff to win. To put it simply, Virginia Tech looked like one of the worst teams in the ACC before Saturday, and the ‘Canes still found a way to play ‘down’ to their opponent.
One of the most concerning things about Saturday’s game was how rusty and out-of-sync the ‘Canes seemed. Coming off a bye week, we expected Miami to be firing on all cylinders, with an improved and efficient scheme. Unfortunately, what we saw was a team that didn’t wake up until the end of the first half.
We also saw something new from Jarren Williams, although it wasn’t the good sort of ‘new.’ Of course, Williams’ mistakes aren’t Diaz’s fault, but it was a major factor in proving that Miami wasn’t ready to play out of the gate. Against North Carolina, the ‘Canes surrendered 17 early points but clawed their way back before halftime. It was a similar situation against Virginia Tech, but there are no valid excuses this time around.
Miami fans are all aware of how important winning at home is, and to lose in this fashion, it’s going to be difficult to generate the home-field ‘advantage’ that so many teams thrive on. To put it bluntly, the fans need something to be excited about. Losing to a sub-par Hokies team is just the opposite of what this fanbase, staff, and players needed.
Next week the ‘Canes take-on Virginia, the Coastal’s best team. Defeating the Cavaliers could save this season, as well as Diaz. When Mike London was Virginia’s head coach, beating Miami was ‘always’ their high-point of the season. Figuratively, Miami kept him employed. Now, Manny Diaz and his staff are the ones desperate for an ACC win — defeating Virginia would give this program a crucial boost.