Let’s talk about Chicken Little. It feels like that right now, right? After the Miami Hurricanes 42-35 loss to Virginia Tech, at 2-3 this season, 0-2 in the ACC, and 2-8 in their last 10 against Power 5 opponents, the sky looks like it’s falling.
In the very first scene of the movie, a book opens and Chicken Little closes it. “We’re not doing that,” he says. He shows constraint. He’s not telling that same story that you’ve heard before. This story needs to change.
In this first chapter of Manny Diaz’s story, it’s not time for this book to be closed either. You know the rest; the sky is not falling; the world is not ending; if you feel that way you can stop reading here.
That said, it is time to have many, and I mean many, cold, hard truths about this Miami Hurricanes team. Its players, its staff, its administration, its fans, everyone.
But Chicken Little continues his exposition. “Here’s what we’re gonna do,” he adds.
And there is where our story begins. There’s a lot in this loss to make you want to believe the worst. Coming off another bye week showing that early performance, offensive and defensive metrics both hovering in the mid-50s nationally, quarterback debates, a run game that can’t even begin, too many turnovers, a defense that seems to not have an identity, and combined with countless years of mediocre anonymity, I get it. There’s plenty there to believe the glory days are done and will never return.
The Ed Reed clip should play in your head right now. You’re hurt; I’m hurt; he and so many before him are hurt.
“Joaquin said dominate.”
But “Here’s what we’re gonna do.”
The entire Drive Chart for the Canes in the first half:
End of Half (TD Hail Mary)
It was 28-7 at that moment, and barely that. It was honestly the worst half I’ve ever seen the Miami Hurricanes play in my nearly three decades of watching, attending, and covering the school.
The sky circling above the Hurricanes turned dark and ominous, the rain literally began to fall.
Here’s the response in the second half:
End of Game
Last 4 drives – 21 points, 260 yards
In 2019, the Canes are averaging 3.1 more points per game in the second half than they did in 2018.
They’ve controlled the ball nearly 60% of the time in the second half. That ranks 6th in the nation.
64% possession in the 4thquarter. 5th in the nation. That’s up from 50% last year.
First half Canes appear to be The Old Miami. Second half Canes look to be The New Miami.
Second halves used to be the weakness. Now it’s the strength.
So is it a loss? Yes.
Are moral victories pointless? Of course.
Are you tired of hearing it? Definitely.
But this is the start of this era of Miami Hurricane football. This is the opening scene of the movie. They’re not telling that story. Right now? This is the first half. The second half is next.
And even as the sky looks like it’s falling…
“Here’s what we’re gonna do.”