Miami’s absence from games being played for two weeks came from a rise of COVID-19 concerns. They were dealing with mild cases for about a month now, but it seems as if it’s finally hit the team hard finally.
A lot of people were concerned with how a pause in the schedule would effect the Hurricanes negatively, especially with the race to the ACC Championship getting even more heated. Nevertheless, with the ACC’s flexibly with schedules this year Miami won’t pay the price that other teams in different conferences have paid.
How a Timeout for Canes Football can be Beneficial
While rescheduling games could be viewed as a setback for a team trying to prove themselves as December nears closer, it might not be the worse case scenario. But how can this situation actually help Manny Diaz’s squad?
Well first, Miami has not had a comfortable win since September which says something about the mindset of this team right now. They built so much momentum heading into the Clemson game and once they lost it, they haven’t been able to recover. In particular, the Canes last 2 games needed star quarterback D’Eriq King to lead comebacks against the N.C. State Wolfpack and Virginia Tech Hokies in back-to-back weeks for them to stay alive.
Miami has also had a lot of quiet injuries. Brevin Jordan might not be 100% healthy as he suffered an injury earlier this year and has been rotating more frequently. There has been speculation that running back Cam’Ron Harris is also dealing with a smaller injury. Two weeks off will provide a fast paced Hurricanes team time to recover.
Revamping the Defensive Play Calls
Miami’s defense lead by Blake Baker has looked nothing short of awful against the Wolfpack and Hokies in the first 3 quarters. While strong 4th quarters in both games undoubtedly gave them wins, taking off 3/4th’s of the game is unacceptable. We should expect Baker to implement different schemes similar to what Diaz used from 2016-2018. If the Canes defense can step up, expect a dominant team to make an appearance.
Throughout 2020, the snowball effect has been detrimental and you could feel that Miami was on the verge of dropping a game soon. Now that Diaz will have 3 weeks to prepare for Wake Forest, North Carolina, and Georgia Tech (Game against Georgia Tech will only be played if the Canes do not make the ACC Championship), they’ll be able to regroup and focus on finishing off a rebound season for this Hurricanes program, and an unprecedented year in College Football. And possibly a chance at Clemson/Notre Dame in the ACCCG if everything plays out in favor of Miami...