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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: Michigan State Spartans edition

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And so we’ve come to the end of the road......

NCAA Football: Michigan State at Miami
When the opposition is celebrating, it’s not a good thing, yanno?
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Another week, another atrocious performance from the Canes. While Miami was able to overcome the deficient performance last week to eke out a win against Appalachian State, such was not the case today. Michigan State came into Hard Rock Stadium and emerged with a 38-17 win over the Canes on Saturday afternoon.

Jake Marcus had your game recap

Candis McLean had your 3 stars from the game (a tough content task to create under such circumstances as these, to be sure)

And now, TIME TO SCORTCH THE EARTH!!! Good, Bad, and Ugly begins now.

The Good

  • WR Charleston Rambo was uncoverable today. Not only did he start his day with 10 catches for 117 yards and a TD in the first half he ended up tying the Canes program record with 12 catches on the day. His final line: 12 catches. 156 yards, 2 TDs. And it wasn’t NEARLY enough
  • This touchdown catch by Rambo was both a great throw by King and an incredible catch by Rambo.
  • Miami’s defense came out ready to play. In the first half, Miami routinely stuffed MSU’s inside run game, and got pressure on their QB Peyton Thorne. It wasn’t perfect, but it was damn good. And that’s a win, in my opinion.
  • QB D’Eriq King looked better throwing the ball today. 38-59 for 388 yards with 2 TDs and 2 INTs. But it wasn’t anything NEAR a great performance. More on that to come. Trust me.
  • King’s 59 attempts were a program record, surpassing the 54 attempts by Ryan Collins (1993 vs Memphis) and Brock Berlin (2003 vs West Virginia).
  • P Louis Hedley. 3 punts for 147 yards, a 49ypp average. Great job.
  • S Bubba Bolden. 10 tackles and solid play today. But again, in a 3 touchdown loss.
  • K Andres Borregales. Yes, he missed a chip shot 27 yard FG, but he rebounded to nail a 55 yarder to bring Miami within a touchdown early in the 4th quarter when things were still competitive. Not is fault the wheels came off directly after that. Great kick, kid.
  • 8 TFLs
  • 3 sacks
  • 2 PBU
  • 9 receivers with catches today
  • 28 first downs
  • 84 plays of offense
  • 5.2 yards per play
  • 13 chunk plays — 9 passes (15+), 4 rushes (10+)

The Bad

  • Losing.
  • Losing to Michigan State.
  • More penalties. I’d give you the number but I’m gonna save that for the last part of this piece. Really need to get this addressed and cleaned up.
  • And you know what? Everything else goes in The Ugly. Fuck it.

The Ugly

  • You lost to Michigan State and looked TERRIBLE while doing so.
  • You got run off the field 28-10 in the 2nd half in your own building.
  • You missed 20+ tackles
  • You dropped 6-8 passes, including 2 would-be touchdowns.
  • QB D’Eriq King’s fumble on the first drive of the game. Miami had a GREAT script and was killing MSU. They had no answer for the Canes. Then King fumbled and all that momentum was gone.
  • King’s turnovers today were at the heart of this loss. 4 in total: 2 interceptions and 2 fumbles. Sure there are circumstances to describe each play, but giving the ball away 4 times under any circumstance is unacceptable.
  • Ah, yes, the penalties. 6 for 53 yards (with 2 additional penalties declined) in the first half alone. That’s atrocious. Yes, I know there were a couple bad calls in there, but even without those, it’s STILL too many penalties. FIX IT!!!
  • Offensive Line was bad. So bad, in fact that the RT Jarrid Williams was benched after one (1) drive. And “first round draft pick” Zion Nelson passed his audition to be a turnstile at a movie theater with flying colors. He was beaten clean — as in he didn’t even TOUCH the rushing defender — multiple times, including on King’s 2nd fumble, a strip sack that put MSU on the doorstep for the score that would really end the game as they went up 14 points. I’m tired of seeing the stat that Miami’s OL has the 2nd most returning starts in the Country. The unit sucks. Who cares?
  • Injuries. Jalen Rivers — Miami’s best OL this year — left the game in the first quarter never to return. Other players missed plays. King was hurt in 2H and gutted it out but he clearly was affected by a shoulder that wasn’t right.
  • Miami’s tackling. I could wax poetic. I could even drop some of my self-compiled stats. But I’ll let this embedded tweet do the talking:
  • 52 rushing yards on 2.2 yards per carry.
  • Not even TRYING to run the ball.
  • AND no creativity or diversity in the run game either, so MSU was just standing there waiting for you when you did attempt a rushing attempt.
  • 4 turnovers!!!!!
  • Allowed 6.2 yards per play
  • Allowed 14.5 yards per completion (MANY of the yards for this came after the catch due to missed tackles, so that’s awesome)
  • Lost time of possession 31 to 29 minutes even
  • Allowed 3 sacks
  • CONTINUED red zone ineptitude (the phrase I used last week). 1/3 in the red zone today. That’s how you lose.
  • 6-17 on 3rd down
  • 2-4 on 4th down (because you need those!)
  • Tackling. It sucks. And you saw a P5 team take advantage of Miami’s clear deficiency in that area.
  • Effort. Getting beat is one thing. Quitting is another. And in the 4th quarter today? That team quit. And that’s bullshit. The LEAST you can do is play for pride. And you couldn’t even do that. Pathetic.
  • Forced 0 turnovers after MSU had been giving the ball away multiple times in their previous games.
  • Seriously. -4 Turnover margin. It’s a wonder this game was this close in the end.
  • I’m sure there’s more. But yeah. The ugly was pretty much everywhere you looked. Hold on, lemme point to all the issues with this program real quick:

Team Grades

Offense: F-

Passing game got going today, and it had to. Yards were there. Even more than the 388 yards that were on the stat sheet were there to be had today. But the run game was ATROCIOUS today. The turnovers — all 4 by D’Eriq King — were also quite poor. 1 for 3 in the red zone. Multiple offensive penalties. Again, even with Rambo tying a record and King setting personal and program records today, this performance yielded only 17 points. Failure. F minus.

Defense: F--

The defense had moments of brilliance. The 1H work to stuff inside runs. Keeping Sparty off the scoreboard in a couple instances where they were REAL CLOSE to scoring when they got the ball. But 20394329082 missed tackles. Penalties. Ignoring the QB to let him scramble for 22 yards on a key 3rd down with the game still within reach. And, in the end, just quitting on the game. Players may say they didn’t quit, but I have eyes in my head and a brain that works and those things tell me otherwise. F double minus. GTFOH.

Special Teams: B

Punting was great. Kicking was 1 of 2 but the make was from 55 and a pressure kick to keep the game close in the late stages of the 3rd quarter. Return and coverage units didn’t really have much to do today and that’s fine. I guess? this was the best unit of the day. And it wasn’t even that good. Which tells you something about today’s performance overall.

Coach: Fireable

Surprised, are you? Clearly, you didn’t read the subheader on this very piece of content. LOL.

Yeah. I’m going there. Already. 3 weeks into the season. Yup. Fireable. I said it and I didn’t stutter.

Miami is 1 and 4 in their last 5 games going back to last season. And with every passing week, they look worse than the week before. Miami had a season set and primed for 10+ wins and a Coastal Division Championship, with a veteran team, a VERY FAVORABLE schedule where the Canes miss the best teams in the conference, and had the majority of the tough games of the season at home.

Then you go out and lose to Michigan State. Maybe it’s my fault for having hopes and expectations. Maybe it’s my fault for being from Michigan and knowing Sparty fans and hating losing to them the 3rd most of any team in existence (O-State and Florida being at the top of that list, in order). Maybe it’s on me.

But you know what? The rest is on the coaching staff, who was again outclassed at every turn, out maneuvered during the game, and left talking about “moral victories” after losing another game that, reasonably, they should not have.

John Michaels wrote about Miami needing to divorce mediocrity. That won’t happen with this staff. So I’m going to be here and root for my Alma Mater and clearly, coherently evaluate the performances I see on a weekly basis. But today was the day that my thought that Manny Diaz is THE GUY to bring Miami back died. This performance was absolutely fireable if Miami was serious about winning at football. And eventually, you’ll all agree with me (if you weren’t already calling for Diaz’s firing before I finally got here by watching this travesty mixed with a sham mixed with a mockery.....a travashamockery....today).

Now, we could do the thing where we get rid of a coordinator or position coach. Where we flip up the scheme a bit. Where we try to put band-aids on the flesh wounds that are bleeding this once-storied program dry. But remember this performance and this piece today: Manny Diaz and staff gotta go. It’ll just take a while for Miami’s administration to see that clear and present truth.


I’m pissed. And it’s my fault for having expectations for a big season. But whatever. This is my piece of content and I can say what I want. And I did. Loudly and clearly.

Agree? Disagree? Been waiting on me to be done with Diaz? Whatever your thoughts, hope in the comments. I’m responding this week. Let’s talk.

Go Canes