I won’t lie to you guys, watching the Hurricanes drop a heartbreaker to the North Carolina Tar Heels last Saturday was one of the more gut-wrenching losses I had seen in sometime. Being so close to victory and then having UNC drive down and score, plus Miami missing a last second field goal was nothing short of deflating.
So now, Miami sits at 0-2 for the first time since 1978, and the picture being painted around the UM program is pretty bleak to say the least.
Manny Diaz on his team's growing pains pic.twitter.com/J6fNZ5vRyT— Miami Herald Sports (@HeraldSports) September 8, 2019
Though even with the team going through its worst start to a season in 40 years, that doesn’t mean, and more importantly cannot mean that the 2019 season in its entirety is lost as well.
Before the start of the year I was asked about my predictions for this upcoming season for the Canes, and I believed that Miami would go 10-2 in the regular season and win the ACC Coastal. I was really buying into the hype and dream that Manny Diaz was selling, and it seemed that the players were as well.
Miami goes 10-2 in the regular season. Book it. pic.twitter.com/6E0BhptaDT— Still Optimistic Canes Fan (@hurricanesmarsh) August 5, 2019
Well, two games have gone by and they’ve been two losses. However, I'm still sticking to my prediction that Miami will win 10 games in the regular season, I also gave the option of 9-3 just to be safe though as well.
9-3 or 10-2 regular season. Call me completely insane but in no way am I jumping ship https://t.co/1iKzGJLQK8— Still Optimistic Canes Fan (@hurricanesmarsh) September 8, 2019
Does the defense have obvious problems that we haven’t been used to in the last three seasons? Yes, and something must change. It’s been a while since I saw Miami’s secondary torched like they were against UNC, and that is not the same Trajan Bandy that we’re used to.
Was the offense absolutely horrendous when it came to leaving points on the field on Saturday? A resounding yes. Something needs to be done about our red zone offense as well as our kicking game, both in Bubba Baxa booting it and the line protecting for him.
Even with all those issues, I'm still confident and actually anticipating a Coastal title for Miami and 9 to 10 wins for the Canes here in the regular season. If you look at that offense led by Jarren Williams, you have to love what you saw and it’s truly only the beginning. Throw in the rushing attack with DeeJay Dallas and Cam Harris, plus Brevin Jordan and K.J. Osborn out there snagging passes, this Miami offense is exciting.
With 167 yards and a touchdown between the two of them, DeeJay Dallas and Cam Harris were puttin' in work. pic.twitter.com/08Kte7YWYw— Canes Football (@CanesFootball) September 8, 2019
And when it comes to the defense, Manny isn’t going to allow that kind of play-calling again, and you have to think that the defensive line with Jonathan Garvin and Trevon Hill is just going to get better and better as the season goes on. Look at Gregory Rousseau for example, who is leading the Canes defense in sacks and TFLs and he’s not even in the starting rotation.
It also comforts me a tiny bit that these losses have both been at the last second. It would be another story if the Hurricanes were blown out against the Gators or Tar Heels, but they weren’t. In both instances, Miami had the ball last with an opportunity to win or at least tie the game. I know it’s a lame thing to talk about how Miami is a few plays away from being 2-0, but it’s true. Heck, if that pass interference is called late in the game on the pass to Brian Hightower then we may be looking at a 1-1 Canes team right now.
I’m sorry but did anyone else think this was interference? pic.twitter.com/hH4AUvMAhw— Still Optimistic Canes Fan (@hurricanesmarsh) September 12, 2019
The point is, I know the season isn’t over, but the players have to believe that a lot more than I do. With 10 games left in the year, there’s way too much football to be played to throw in the towel.
Deejay Dallas on the Hard Rock Stadium run this spring after losing to Duke pic.twitter.com/7Apk15CO7Y— Gaboowins (@GabyUrrutia22) September 11, 2019
Plus, and it’s something I've looked to for hope for a while now, but look at the Hurricanes remaining schedule. Saturday against Bethune-Cookman is the first of five straight games being played at Hard Rock Stadium in front of the home fans. And with the exception of the game on October 11th against UVA, it seems Miami should easily win the other four.
Take the 2007 Michigan Wolverines for instance. They also started the season 0-2 that year, but rallied to win 8 of their last 10 games and then a bowl victory to end 2007 with a 9-4 record.
I know most Hurricanes fans wouldn’t be exactly pleased with a 9-4 record, but if we can be in January and see that this team didn’t quit and rallied to have a great year regardless of how it started, that’ll excite people and recruits a ton going into 2020.