College football fans across the nation were excited to see what Miami’s offense would bring against the Tigers. Unfortunately, what we witnessed on Saturday night was a completely dominated and fooled unit, far from the elite level they were playing at in weeks prior.
Instead of a showing that solidified Miami’s improvement, we saw it crash back down to earth. Of course, Clemson is a much better team than Florida State or Louisville, but this matchup was the ultimate test to see how far the program has come since the conclusion of the 2019 season. Based on the result of Saturday’s game, the harsh conclusion is not very far. ‘Canes fans were hoping to see a team sprinting to success, not a program that still has a long, long way to go.
Clemson 408 yards, Miami 107. Disappointing that talent gap remains as glaring as it is. UM can't fix OL and not good enough to play at this level at handful of other positions— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) October 11, 2020
Sure, soundly-beating the ‘Noles and Cardinals puts the program in a better place than they were in 2019. In the grand scheme of the college football world, however, Miami was thought to be a title-contender, D’Eriq King a Heisman favorite. A performance such as that proves the hype was, once again, smoke and mirrors.
UM QB D'Eriq King: "I need to make better throws... They have a good defense, but we didn't play good at all."— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) October 11, 2020
While the hype comes from media and talking heads unrelentingly stating “the U is back,” there’s never been a better time to prove them right. However, not only was Miami’s offense stopped at every turn, they were seemingly unprepared. Ultimately, the blame for Saturday’s embarrassment rests on the game plan and execution, not the media’s tropes.
.@Coach_MannyDiaz is asked the question of all questions for @CanesFootball: Is the U back? #TheHuddle pic.twitter.com/JdBZsAsro3— ACC Network (@accnetwork) October 3, 2020
What matters now, is Miami’s response to adversity. In seasons past, we’ve seen the ‘Canes go into a shell following a disappointing outcome. Most of those losing skids came after heart-wrenching defeats to rival Florida State, but Miami has to quickly put this game behind them in order to prepare for next Saturday’s game against Pitt.
Pittsburgh offers Miami another tough test, especially on offense. Stubborn defense is part of Pitt’s brand, and after watching film and regrouping, offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee has to ensure that the ‘Canes aren’t so easily figured-out again.
The @Pitt_FB defense has 1️⃣7️⃣ sacks through the first three games.— ACC Network (@accnetwork) October 2, 2020
No other team in FBS has more than 11 pic.twitter.com/xqETJ66NBo
While Saturday’s game went just about as bad as any Miami fan could’ve feared, what matters is the road ahead, and taking care of business in order to earn a trip to the ACC Championship Game and a second chance at knocking off the Tigers.