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Marsh’s Monday Morning Thoughts: Kicking Problems, Beating FSU, Declaring Early For The NFL Draft

How many more games would Miami have won in 2019 if they could make a field goal?

Virginia at Miami Al Diaz/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Hello everyone, Marsh here. I’m in a mini-van with my family right now, we just passed the great city of Las Vegas and we’re on our way to California. So I thought to myself, I can’t take anymore of the Bill Burr podcast that my brother has on, so why not blog about the Canes, and sports in general?

It’s been over a week without sports, and I’m starting to break. When my college classes were first canceled, I was ecstatic at the thought of sitting at home and doing nothing. However, then sports were canceled as well, and day after day I've slipped more and more into becoming into a crazy person.

Today, as I've been been stuck in this mini-van, I decided to watch some old Hurricanes games, and yes, I have some thoughts.

First, I don’t think I’ve really realized how much of a difference having an accurate kicker will make for the Hurricanes in 2020.

Looking back at the 2019 season, there were several games where the lack of a consistent kicking game really hurt Miami. Against the Gators, Bubba Baxa’s missed field goal from close cost the Canes an opportunity to take a 23-17 lead in the fourth quarter. Even if UF makes the score 24-23 after their next touchdown, Miami then only needs a field goal to win that game, instead of needing six points on their final drive.

Then against the Tar Heels, several missed Baxa kicks lost the Hurricanes the game. Against the Hokies in October, a Deejay Dallas touchdown run tied the game at 35 with just minutes left, but a missed extra point failed to give Miami the lead.

Two weeks later, the Canes had the opportunity to win the game with a 27-yard field goal, but it was blocked. It was the third field goal under 35 yards that Miami missed that game. They ended up losing 28-21 to a horrendous Georgia Tech team.

So, out of those four games, you could say that Miami would’ve won at least two of them with a decent kicker, but alas, 2020 will be different. The Hurricanes landed Jose Borregales, a former Lou Groza Award finalist who transferred over from FIU.

The second thought I had, what would it take for Brevin Jordan and Gregory Rousseau to stay an extra year at Miami for the 2021 season? You see players from Clemson and Alabama choose to stay for their senior year and turning down the NFL Draft.

Yet, there have been several guys from Miami who leave after year three, and sadly, some of those Hurricanes who depart early go late in the Draft, and several have gone through without even being selected.

I believe if the Hurricanes rising seniors stayed for their last year and put off the Draft for one more season, it would greatly help the culture at UM, as well as help win more games.

The thing is though, those guys would need a really good reason to return to Miami, and that reason is winning. Ed Reed came back for his senior year to win a national championship. He knew he could’ve been a decent draft pick after his junior season, but he wanted to finish what he started with the Canes.

Two players who will have this opportunity following the 2020 season is tight end Brevin Jordan and defensive end Gregory Rousseau, arguably the two most talented Hurricanes on the roster. Also, they’re already projected as high first-round picks in the 2021 NFL Draft.

But the question is, if Miami was to rattle off a 10-win season in 2020, would those two consider returning for their senior years? I honestly think they would. And if they were to come back, how much better would that make the Hurricanes in 2021?

And my third and final thought of the day, Miami has defeated Florida State in three consecutive years, and completely own that rivalry at this point. I cannot explain the joy that overcomes my soul when I remind myself of this every 35 minutes. Come November 7th, it’ll be four in a row.