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Hot Seat Heat Check: Week 11

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Feelin’ hot, hot, hot in Coral Gables.

State of the U Illustration by Mike Meredith

Welcome back to the Hot Seat Heat Check. This is our weekly feature checking in on where things stand for Head Coach Manny Diaz.

Took a week off last week. I THOUGHT I was being nice. But then.....well, let’s just recap and you’ll get the idea.

Week 10: A 3rd consecutive win, this one over GT

We have plenty of recaps up on the site, so I won’t go too deep on this one, but Miami found their way to a 3rd consecutive win, this one over Geoff Collins’s Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.

Miami turned the ball over 5 times (3 fumbles, 2 turnovers on downs), and those errors undid a lot of great work that the Canes had done on the day. A 1.8x yardage and 2x first down advantage, 6-6 in the redzone (to ZERO TRIPS TO THE RED ZONE FOR GEORGIA TECH), and more. Instead of the 4+ touchdown blowout the stats would lead you to believe occurred in this game, Miami barely escaped 33-30. I tweeted after the game that it felt like the 2015 game against Nebraska — a 36-33 overtime win for the Canes — and I stand by it. Miami had this game firmly in hand, but due to the many, many missteps on the field, ended up with a nailbiting, last second victory instead of a comfortable win.

Even with that being the case, that was Miami’s 3rd consecutive win, and the heat was almost all the way off, and the ACC Coastal was still in play, and the season had much promise. Until....

Week 11: Miami loses to Florida State

Yeah. So, about that goodwill and positive vibes from the 3 game winning streak, all that came to an abrupt end when Miami lost 31-28 to the previously 3-6 Florida State Seminoles.

Much like the previous week against Georgia Tech, it was a multitude of errors by the Canes that gifted FSU the lead and, eventually, the game. Missed tackles, dropped passes, a season-high 14 penalties (and multiple other declined penalties as well), some bad decisions, and just outright bad luck, and well....that’s how you lose.

It’s the same old story of the Diaz regime: another slow start (17-0 FSU before Miami decided to put points on the board); another game where the team looked unmotivated and wholly unprepared for the spotlight; and, in the end, another game where the missteps of the Canes allowed an inferior team to hang around, and this time, that inferior team used every advantage Miami handed them to deal the Canes — and Diaz — a massive, MASSIVE blow to the season, and a coaching tenure.

Let me quote myself here to close this section of the piece:


Week 11 Heat Check: A Raging Inferno

If the heat was turned down after the win over GT — a game that should have been a 4+ TD blowout by the stats if not for the myriad turnovers — it’s been turned up EXPONENTIALLY after losing to the dregs of the earth known as Florida State.

Plain and simple: Manny Diaz is not the guy, and this is another game that is evidence to that effect. I’m not wrong in saying that both GT and FSU are inferior teams to Miami. They are.

BUT.

When you play down to, or below, the level of your opponent, that’s how you get beaten. And let’s be clear: the was NO REASON for Miami to drop this game to FSU. None whatsoever. But, Diaz and Co. found a way to lose that game, and in doing so, have put themselves right back on the firing line.

So now, the inferno is raging, and the clock is ticking. It’s not about “if” Diaz will be fired. It’s about “when”, and who will replace him to hopefully lead Miami forward in the direction that the program needs to go, a direction and level of performing excellence that Diaz is clearly unable to achieve.

I like Diaz as a person well enough. He means well, cares for his players, his players care for him, and he clearly wants to win. But unfortunately, he just doesn’t have what it takes to make that happen.

Sorry Manny, but I’ve seen enough; you’re not the guy. And it’s time that everyone admit that and Miami moves in a different direction.

Sorry buddy.

Go Canes