Coming into the 2021 season, the Miami Hurricanes fancied themselves ready for prime time, with the talent to take a step forward as a program and prove they belong when faced with competing against the sport’s best teams.
Then the season opener against the #1 Alabama Crimson Tide kicked off and all of that ended.
Debuting Bryce Young, a blue chip recruit making his first career start at QB after playing in relief 9 times a season ago, and featuring a monstrous defense that was hell bent on stopping any and everything Miami wanted to do on offense, the Crimson Tide methodically built a 27-0 lead late in the 2nd quarter and coasted to a 44-13 victory over the overmatched and outclassed Hurricanes.
In his starting debut, Young was sublime. He finished 27/38 for 344 yards, 4 TDs and 0 INTs and was nearly pitch perfect throughout the day. Miami tried to bring different pressure and coverage packages to affect Young’s performance, but they were unable to make an impact on his performance.
Young’s performance was record-setting; no other Alabama QB had ever thrown more than 3 TDs in their starting debut. Until today.
For their part, Miami never looked on the level to compete in this game. The offense sputtered early, the defense was helpless to defend the run or the pass that Alabama employed, and the best defensive player on the roster, S Bubba Bolden, was ejected for targeting on the final play of the 1st quarter.
More frustrating was Miami’s seeming lack of preparation for the moment. The offense had no coherent gameplan, the defense had a gameplan that just didn’t work, and Manny Diaz and company were simply outcoached from the first moment of the game to the last.
Obviously, there will not be another opponent on the schedule for this season of Alabama’s caliber for Miami. But, Miami didn’t look the part of being anything near the caliber of team they need to be in order to take the step forward toward a 10+ win regular season that everyone has been pointing toward.
Long story short, this was a prime time game and Miami proved, quickly, that they’re not ready for prime time.
Oh well. On to the next one.
Miami faces Appalachian State in their home opener next Saturday.