It’s a post-game Monday, meaning it’s time to slap on that orange and green speedo and leap off the high dive into the deep recesses of my Canes thought pool..........
1) Sorry, I ended up giving Miami too much credit. I had Michigan State winning 34-24, which would have been an improvement from the game’s final score. A number of things worried me going into Saturday...namely how disciplined and well-executed Sparty had looked so far against admittedly inferior competition. Sparty’s success on the ground again was cause for concern against a defense that just can’t tackle anymore. Honestly, any play that wasn’t a run outside was arguably a wasted play for State on Saturday, because they found success time and again running wide.
2) Zion Nelson and the rest of the line continued to show that they’re going to be the death of this offense this year. Sure, there’s tons of blame to go around. Too many drops from the pass catchers. Mike Harley, Jr. and Will Mallory were culprits Saturday, with Mallory’s end zone doink being especially egregious and costly. Harley did bounce back after his drop with some key catches, but Mallory continues his 2021 milk carton photo campaign. Cam Harris looks slow as molasses lately, unable to run away from anyone or through many tackles. D’Eriq King, while a warrior, made some egregious decisions Saturday, turning the ball over 3 times. But, again, the offensive line generated very little push and had King running too much when he dropped back. Nelson getting whipped on the fourth quarter sack fumble was also avoidable and well described by our own Roman Marciante here:
Only 2 defenders on your side of the Center. Defensive End is pressed out and IMO, this unnecessary false step to help your guard out, caused the unraveling of the game. pic.twitter.com/nsdhvPTJWG— rOmaN (@Romancane) September 19, 2021
3) Despite the offensive mess, Miami found a star on Saturday in transfer WR Charleston Rambo. For whatever reason, State never adapted and kept giving him and King the 10 to 12-yard hitch patterns for first downs. Rambo caught both of the Canes’ touchdowns - from 3 and 14 yards out. For the game, he totaled 12 catches - which tied the school record for catches in a game - for 156 yards and 2 touchdowns. Game ball and a big pat on the back for number 11, because he gave one of the best performances Miami has had from a wide receiver in a long time. Bravo, Charleston.
4) I don’t want to see Gurvan Hall on the field for awhile. That inexplicably bad decision to attack the blocker beside the ballcarrier made national headlines and led to a 54-yard play:
The defensive back glitched out pic.twitter.com/pPa0zXejpT— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 18, 2021
Hall hasn’t had a great start to the season to put it mildly, and it’s time for both Kamren Kinchens and James Williams to start seeing the field over him. And if Diaz wants to put them on the field together more, I’m also more than good with that right now. Let the fellas eat.
5) Speaking of letting them eat, Chantz Williams has simply been Miami’s most impactful defensive end so far this year. Give. The. Kid. The. Starting. Gig. Until. Someone. Else. Earns. It.
6) King has a banged up shoulder and is questionable for this weekend. Just go ahead and rule him out and give Tyler Van Dyke the start, and let him split time with Jake Garcia. It’s good practice against live competition under the lights for both players, especially since it’s a distinct possibility one of them will start the following week against a game Virginia team.
7) And lastly, while I’m not on here calling for the firing of Manny Diaz (yet), I want to know one thing: where the hell is Blake James in all of this? Yeah, yeah....I know it’s not his way to say anything, almost ever (post 58-0 Clemson loss notwithstanding), so spare me those particular comments, but acknowledging that this type of result is unacceptable gives us fans AT LEAST some comfort in knowing you actually care about the state of the programs you’re tasked with managing. The baseball, basketball, and football programs have all slipped into near-total irrelevancy under your watch. You’re building the opposite of champions. Your teams are turning into mediocrity while you pimp a slogan and grift the donors and alumni. SAY. SOMETHING!!!! Pick up the iPhone, thumb out a tweet about how the result isn’t what we’d hoped, that you have higher expectations for this program, that you expect the team to turn it around, etc, etc. SOMETHING. SHOW. US. YOU. CARE. Because right now, it looks like you’re content on being cheap and allowing the program to slog through mediocre seasons year and year.
Be a leader for once in your freaking tenure, man.