Starting out with the positive, Miami’s defense had another dominating performance — allowing the Chippewas just 10 points (not counting the safety) and 31 rushing yards. The group was ferocious and fired-up, with the turnover chain making 3 appearances — including an interception that sealed the game for the Hurricanes.
Shaquille Quarterman looked to be his usual self, totaling 14 tackles, 2 of them for a loss. Behind him was Gurvan Hall Jr. with 10 total tackles — a career-high for him.
The defense remains as the lone ‘sure’ group for the Hurricanes, as just about every other area has some major question marks.
Going forward, the ‘Canes must give their defense a break from time to time if they want to make it anywhere close to the ACC Championship. Other teams on Miami’s schedule will make them pay for constantly leaving their defense ‘out to dry.’ To put it simply, it’s not ‘winning’ football, although the ‘Canes still squeaked by Central Michigan.
Manny Diaz wasn’t satisfied by the performance, rightfully so. He, as well as Miami’s players and coaches, know they must be better in the coming weeks, and how pivotal this bye week is.
“There’s 100 things we have to fix,” Diaz stated following Saturday’s game. “But I’d rather fix them after a win.”
Winning this game truly is the only ‘saving grace’ for the ‘Canes, as most teams get beat when they’re not ‘up’ for a contest. “There’s a preparation aspect to it,” Diaz said on 560-AM. “And what showed up was the danger when you think something’s going to be easy.”
What many fans saw though, wasn’t a team that wasn’t trying as hard. To put it bluntly, fans saw a porous offensive line, stubborn playcalling, and a surplus of avoidable penalties. ‘Effort’ may have been an issue, but there were problems that proved to be far-more concerning than that. Maybe the ‘un-discipline’ can be blamed on the ‘Canes for thinking Central Michigan would go down easy, but if the same Miami squad that took the field Saturday shows up against a conference foe, they won’t have a narrow victory to be thankful for.