You know the phrase that a zebra can never change its stripes? No phrase might be a better explanation of how the Miami Hurricanes played in their 24-20 loss to 8th-ranked Florida Gators in Week 0.
In the game, the same critical mistakes and errors that plagued the 2018 season hurt the 2019 Hurricanes, and forced them to lose a game that the Hurricanes should have won.
Up three in the second half, Jeff Thomas’ muffed punt within their 10 yard line allowed the Gators to take the lead.
Then, a Bubba Baxa missed field goal prevented the Hurricanes from going up six points. On the next play, Florida’s Feleipe Franks connected with Josh Hammond for 65-yard pass to place the Gators in prime scoring position.
On Miami’s final drive, a penalty on the interception drive pushed the Hurricanes back 15 years. The Hurricanes promptly gained one-yard of offense on the drive, and Jarren Williams was sacked three times. The Hurricanes failed to score on that drive.
Combine those critical mistakes with the multiple pre-snap penalties, and it is the same things that harmed the Hurricanes all of last season.
Simply put, don’t immediately assume the Miami Hurricanes are a better team compared to last season, because they might not be.
Last season, the Hurricanes were harmed by a stagnant offense that scored just 28 points per game, ranking 66th in the country. The Hurricanes were sacked 27 times, and the Hurricanes threw 14 interceptions.
While the errors and mistakes were a bit different this season, the effects were the exact same: a strong defensive performance turned into a tragic loss.
On offense, Jarren Williams was sacked 10 times, a sign of both poor pocket presence and horrific offensive line play.
Offensive coordinator Dan Enos did not do any favors for Williams either. At some point, Enos should’ve allowed Williams to use his arm, and test the Gators deep. However, screen passes and dump offs dominated the Hurricanes game plan. It almost became predictable.
If predictable is a word Hurricanes fans think sounds familiar, it’s because it is. Predictable is the best thing to explain last season’s offense, and the word reared its ugly head when trying to explain their offense against Florida at points.
Coaching was inexcusable, as it was last season. The lack of adjustments were concerning, and the inability to keep your offense disciplined was poor. This was the same as last year, and it hurt them then.
I’m not saying this year’s Hurricanes are the same as last season, because that’s unfair. However, the similarities are there in scheme, and critical mistakes.