Ok the first week of the season is over, and Miami lost 24-20 to the Florida Gators. Being at the stadium myself, yes it was hard to watch that game as it ended in heartbreaking fashion. But it’s over now, UF is behind the Hurricanes and they can move on.
Moving on is what The New Miami or #TNM, the hashtag created for this Manny Diaz era is supposed to be all about. Though in years past, the Hurricanes haven’t been able to move on.
In each of the last three seasons, Miami has endured either a three or four-game winning streak, each time deteriorating a once promising season. 2016, UM got off to a 4-0 start, but lost at home to the Florida State Seminoles, then proceeded to lose three games after that and they finished at 9-4.
Next year in 2017, Miami started an incredible 10-0, but were upset by the Pittsburgh Panthers in the last week of the regular season, lost the last two games after that and finished 10-3. Then last season in 2018, the Hurricanes were 5-1, until another upset loss, this time to the Virginia Cavaliers was the beginning of another four-game losing streak, and Miami finished 7-6.
In fact, in 14 of the last 16 seasons dating back to 2003, the Hurricanes have lost consecutive games at some point during the year.
Coach Diaz realized this and that’s why #TNM is being preached so much. It’s not just losing, it’s one loss being a nail in the coffin for the whole team and season, and it’s a disease that has plagued this program.
Both Travis Homer and Tyree St. Louis have spoken about a lack of effort. Jonathan Garvin talked about some players on defense feeling a “victim mentality.” This is...something.— Christy Chirinos (@ChristyChirinos) December 28, 2018
Now it’s his chance as the new head coach for Miami, to make this indeed a new team. Just like in years past, this squad has the talent. This Hurricanes team, while they may be young, they’re incredibly skilled and even with the loss to Florida, they still should be playing in December against the Clemson Tigers in the ACC Championship Game.
Even though they came up short against the Gators, I saw a different fight in the Hurricanes that I didn’t see following the Virginia losses last season. And even after the loss, DeeJay Dallas stood out to me the most when he talked about how Miami is going to be here for the long haul. That long haul starts in 12 days against the North Carolina Tar Heels.
DeeJay Dallas: 'We ain't going nowhere; we're going to be here for the long haul.' https://t.co/fN93hXtbhq— David Furones (@DavidFurones_) August 25, 2019
Here’s the thing, good teams know how to rebound after a loss. Perfect example is with the New England Patriots. In week four of the 2014 season, the Patriots were throttled 41-14 to the Kansas City Chiefs. After the game, reporters were hounding coach Bill Belichick, questions about if Tom Brady is getting too old, among several more. Belichick’s response was perfect, “We’re on to Cincinnati.” Bill wasn’t worried about the game that had just ended, he was focused on the Bengals the following weekend.
New England not only defeated the Bengals the next week, they went on to win the Super Bowl that season.
Nick Saban with the Alabama Crimson Tide is another great example. In 2007, Saban’s first year with the Tide, Bama had a four-game losing streak after starting off 6-2, ultimately finishing 7-6. Since that season 11 years ago, Alabama has had zero consecutive losses in the regular season.
Am I saying that if the Hurricanes beat the Tar Heels that they’re going to win the National Championship? No. What I'm saying is that the Hurricanes need to have this attitude and say, “we’re on to UNC.” Watch film from the Florida game, fix your mistakes, and move on and win out.