IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIITTTTTTTTTTTTTT’SSSSSSSSSSSSSS Monday! Time to slap on an orange-and-green speedo and swan dive into the pool of Canes thoughts floating around in my brain.
1) As the title notes, I’m right. Why do I say that? Because the line line last week of Miami -4.5 absolutely baffled me, and I immediately called it out. There was no way on God’s green earth that Miami should have been favored in that game, especially with how totally lost the Canes looked on both sides of the ball against lowly MTSU. I thought UNC should have been a 4-5 point favorite, and the game script pretty much followed that prediction fairly well. I’m often not right, but this time I was. Vegas just got it wrong.
2) And speaking of broken, Miami’s running game is BROKEN. Sputtering 1973 Ford Pinto-type of busted. The most broke of broken down. 1.8 yards per carry. Against a UNC defense that was ABYSMAL coming into the game. Miami should have been able to do MUCH better running the ball than they did, and this stinker of a performance comes on the heels of a 1.6 yards per carry average against an MTSU defense that got boat raced by UT-San Antonio’s offense. I defer to my colleagues on the Xs and Os, but this is worse than I thought it would be. Especially with Mario Cristobal and Alex Mirabal coaching these guys up. It’s just....God, it’s just so much worse than I thought possible.
3) On the other hand, welcome to the 2022 college football season, Tyler Van Dyke. The embattled signal caller put doubts to bed (for at least a week) with a 496-yard passing performance. Unlike September, he and his receivers were much more in sync on routes and ball delivery. He was mainly accurate with his ball placement and avoided making really any major mistakes until the interception on the final drive, which looked more like a mis-run route by someone, or at least a miscommunication between TVD and his receiver. Hopefully this will be the start of a strong stretch run for Tyler.
4) I want more Colbie Young at WR. He has the look of a possible difference maker in the passing game down the stretch. Big body, runs good routes (at least so far), and made a play when they needed it with a late touchdown that gave the Canes a chance. Let’s let him prove whether he can be the guy out wide that this offense needs.
5) Will Mallory stood out as well. That drop on 3rd and 2 near midfield was a killer, but he still had an otherwise very productive day and led all Miami receivers with 8 catches for 115 yards. He moved the sticks a number of times and began to really show that ACC-top-tier skill that many of us had pegged him with in the preseason. Better late than never, I suppose.
6) Speaking of better late than never, the defense allowed touchdowns on three of UNC’s first four drives in the first half, but they held them in check in the second half, allowing only 6 points. That should have been good enough to win the game. If you had told me going in that UNC would only score 27 points, I’d have said Miami would’ve won the game with 80-85 percent certainty (yes, I felt that bad about UNC’s defense). Sigh...
7) The season goals are now all but gone. This team isn’t good enough to win out, which they likely would almost have to do to win the division and make it to Charlotte. I said after MTSU it was time to readjust expectations, and it’s time to do so again after this loss. It is what it is.
8) Prediction: Miami goes to Virginia Tech and lays an ass whipping on the dreadful Hokies. That all having been said, I feel like this was a wake up call for the Canes’ offense, and Virginia Tech’s offense is a special brand of bad. Like, just-a-notch-above-Iowa-type of bad. A perfect elixir for Miami’s defense to hopefully get right for 4 quarters. Canes can’t run it worth a crap yet again, but they won’t have to. Van Dyke stars for a second straight week. Miami 33, Virginia Tech 16.