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Monday Musings: Taming the Pack

NCAA Football: North Carolina State at Miami Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Itttttttttttttttt’s Monday.....meaning it’s time to latch on that orange-and-green-painted scuba tank and tumble backwards into the Canes-related thoughts of my mind...........

1) It’s been a minute, hasn’t it? I almost completely forgot what winning was like. And not just winning, but beating a Power Five opponent. And hell...not just beating a Power Five opponent, but one ranked #18! I read that Miami beat Louisville last year when they were ranked, and the last ranked opponent they’d slayed before that was Notre Dame in 2017!!!! Whaaaaaat??? Wow...if that doesn’t sum up how awful the Manny Diaz era has been, then nothing will.

2) But hey! They won! So away from the negative and back to the positive.

3) THAT - that right there - was the start I’d been looking for. Not coming out and being down 14-0 before you can blink an eye. Instead, they took the fight to NC State right out of the gate. Tyler Van Dyke led a touchdown on the first drive, and the Canes were up 7-0 quickly.

4) And it’s not just the quick start, but the MENTALITY. It takes a strong mentality to come out and take it to your opponent quickly, and Saturday was the first time in awhile that I felt like we’d seen that. And do you think it’s a coincidence that happened right after TVD called his shot earlier this week against the NC State defense, saying they couldn’t stop the Canes’ offense? I do not. That performance was the product of a quarterback who believed, and a team who believed in him. That’s called leadership.

5) And TVD was absolutely sensational. 25 of 33 for 325 yards, 4 TDs, and no picks. That’s what I’m talking about. He looked confident and much more comfortable than his last home game against Virginia. The young fella took a big step step forward in his development on Saturday.

6) Diaz announced today that Bubba Bolden is out for the rest of the year with a shoulder injury. I’ve seen quips on Twitter about that being an excuse for poor play, but I have absolutely no reason to believe that is true, so I’ll choose to believe he really is hurt. Would explain some things as well. Best of luck, Bubba, and thanks for everything you’ve given to the U.

7) Glass-half-full: now we get to see James Williams and Kam Kinchens on the field together, with some Avantae Williams sprinkled in more and more. Me likey. Speaking of Williams, lawd have mercy, he was everywhere on Saturday. All over the field and around the ball. That was an overall impressive performance and a glimmer of the sky-high ceiling he can reach.

8) Miami moves on to Pitt as 11 point dogs on the road. Man, that number is way, WAY too high, methinks. Pitt is playing well lately, sure, but this will be a competitive game. Miami has continued to fight the past several weeks despite the end results. UVA should have been a comeback win. UNC very well could have, and NC State was. The kids have been fighting hard, and that’s something I’ll take every single time.

Go Canes!