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Marsh’s Mailbag: 0-2 And Moving On, 2001 Canes Disrespected, Is This Fan Base Overreacting?

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ESPN disrespecting the 2001 Canes, what’s up with the Miami defense, and more.

NCAA Football: Miami at North Carolina Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports

Is it time to be worried yet for the Canes?

No it is not. After two weeks of playing teams on the road or in a neutral site, looking ahead to a very favorable schedule, panic time is not now. The time to be worried was last November when Miami was 5-5 with Mark and Jon Richt running our offense with no end in sight, now that’s bad. I’m not worried because coach Manny Diaz and OC Dan Enos has a plan, and it takes more than two games to realize.

Who has been the most disappointing through the first two games?

Never thought we’d be in this position but I have to say the defense. They played well against the Gators, forcing four turnovers and really allowing only 17 points, but they were torched by the Tar Heels and Sam Howell. That blown coverage by Trajan Bandy was the worst I had ever seen him play. Throw in missed tackles by everyone, an early targeting ejection from Amari Carter and allowing unnecessary plays, and that’s just now the Miami defense we’re accustomed to seeing.

Thoughts on Manny Diaz and what he said regarding recruiting?

I’m not surprised by it, and I almost felt like it didn’t even need to be said. Of course coach Diaz would want commits dialed into UM and not flirting with other schools, that just goes without saying. But now people are freaking out because of what he did to Temple, but I honestly could care less. Manny would still be in Philly if his dream job wasn’t offered to him. But at the end of the day, Diaz is 100% right when it comes to what he said about recruiting.

The defense was a strength of the team. Now it is not. There are always graduations & transfers. Manny no longer calling the D. Do you have any insight as to what, if any changes are being made on that end?

Coach Diaz isn’t the kind of guy to make “drastic” changes after one game and one performance. It’s obvious that DC Blake Baker made some questionable defensive calls, but they’re figuring out the kinks that come with having a new coordinator. But after the UNC game, the last thing I expected Manny to do was make any crazy changes, it’s not how he rolls.

More of an NFL Pro Cane question, but what’s wrong with Artie Burns on the Steelers?

I don't pay too much attention to the Steelers, but I'm always interested to see how former Hurricanes are doing. When it comes to Burns, what I’ve read about his situation is that he’s a fine practice player and preseason guy, but doesn’t ever seem to crank it up in the regular season. I know he’s a Cane, but maybe he just doesn’t have what it takes.

Why is Scott Patchan still starting?

Oh my goodness, my favorite topic. People are under the assumption that if a defensive end doesn’t record a sack during a game then he’s a terrible player and needs to be kicked off the team. I don't know if I'm seen more delusional people talk about football than I did last Saturday when people were crying about Patchan being on the field. It’s obvious Miami likes to use him for rush defense, which the Hurricanes have done very well against the running game thus far, ranking 18th in the country. Then they bring in Greg Rousseau on passing downs, it’s really not that hard to comprehend.

How do you feel our fan base is reacting to the recent losses?

I think most of them, their expectations are so high and ridiculous that they’re giving themselves zero chance to be happy as Canes fans. I understand that you think we should be winning championships every year, but this just isn’t the 1980’s. There’s still 10 games remaining in the regular season, Miami could still win the ACC Coastal, but some fans are so disgusted that they’re throwing the whole year away already. I wish they’d see the larger picture and the bigger dream that coach Diaz has, and realize that it wasn’t going to take place and take form in just two games.

How impressed have you been with the offense and especially Jarren Williams?

I am very impressed with the offense so far. Against UNC, they moved down the field basically at ease the entire game, well until they got to the redzone. That’s also a good point, the Canes offense is good but it’s not good enough, because we’re still 0-2 at the end of the day. They’re moving the ball, but it really doesn’t matter when you’re converting only 66% in the redzone. There’s still plenty to work on, but yes I like what I see so far. Dan Enos has done a great job, and Jarren finds his receivers such as K.J. Osborn and Brevin Jordan very easily for big gains, and this is only the beginning.

What’s up with Bubba Baxa?

It all comes down to confidence. We know that he can boot long field goals, because he hit a 50-yarder against UNC on Saturday. But if you saw him before he went out and tried to tie the game with a 49-yarder, one look at his body language and you knew that kick wasn’t going in. It needs to click for him because we need Bubba, and I think it will click here pretty soon.

Is it safe to say that this team was overhyped and is overrated?

Overhyped? Perhaps. I definitely didn’t think Miami would be sitting at 0-2, I knew it was a possibility but I don't think I really ever deemed it possible. It’s obvious that it’s a young and inexperienced team, though loaded with talent their freshness is still center stage. Overrated? No. Besides some off-season excitement, this team was still coming off a 7-6 2018 year where we saw an abysmal offense and a circus of a locker room.

What did you think about ESPN calling the 2001 Canes the 7th greatest team ever?

Complete rubbish. We’ve talked about this way too times that I think ESPN is just putting these lists together just to get a rise out of people. You’re going to tell me that the 1971 Nebraska Cornhuskers, who were running around with leather helmets and playing poor competition, were better than a Hurricanes team where 38 players on the roster were drafted into the NFL? This team had Clinton Portis, Willis McGahee and Frank Gore, all in the same running back room! Sean Taylor rode the bench for goodness sake! I don’t get how people can be so insane when making these lists, but in my opinion the 2001 Hurricanes were the best ever.