It’s Monday. Yep...it is.
Which means it’s time to strap into an orange-and-green bumper car and bang around inside my Cane-afflicted brain.
1) The article picture seemed appropriate for today, for multiple reasons. First, obviously, a 45-3 loss is as much of a flying circus as one could have imaged that Saturday would look like. There might as well have been clowns, people doing funny walks, and even an evil killer bunny making a late game appearance. I bet the latter would have had more fight in him that what I watched.
2) The other reason is, well, like I said: I’m sad (which, if you recall, the good Arthur, King of the Britains, announced before fighting the black knight at the bridge). I’m extremely disappointed in how far this team has fallen. I just see a team who isn’t playing up to its potential, and quite frankly isn’t playing that hard. This team is far, far too talented to lose Saturday in a lopsided fashion that you would expect to see from an FCS school. Miami is now among the worst college football teams in the state of Florida. Worse than Florida State (and by a mile), worse than Florida, and worse than UCF. Right now, the Canes are arguably closer to USF, FIU, and FAU based on the level of competitive play they would show against any given team this year.
And that just makes me sick.
3) Kevin Steele downright pissed me off last week when he got snippy with a reporter who asked a fair question about the number of chunk plays the Canes had given up this year. Well, Kevin, whatcha got to say about that now? I thought it was bad before, but the Noles went through your defense like a glowing-red poker through a vat of duck fat. You owe that reporter an apology, and you owe it to these fans to work with Mario to both find some guys this offseason who will play hard and smart, and then directing them better than you’ve done this year. Spare everyone the vitriol going forward, m’kay, pumpkin?
4) Give me some Jacurri Brown going forward. I don’t know what’s going on with Jake Garcia, but he’s proven himself the past few games to be incapable of leading the offense like it needs to be led. Florida State has an athletic defense, so big plays are harder to make with a running quarterback. Georgia Tech shouldn’t present quite the same challenge. It’s a relatively tame road environment with a beatable defense (at least against an average and/or competent offense), so it’s a prime spot to let Brown get a manageable baptism by fire in an ACC road environment before going to a REAL cauldron the next week at Clemson. Brown’s dual-threat ability gives me more hope of him being able to do SOMETHING (anything!) to create some chunk plays and more scoring opportunities.
5) To any Canes that aren’t giving their all and are planning on peacing out through the portal...guess what? That pig slop of an effort you’re putting out is going on tape. That’s you. That’s what coaches will see and evaluate you on. So if you think you’re headed to supposedly greener pastures and are just going through the motions the rest of the year because you don’t really care about this team, or because you want to stick it to the coaching staff because of playing time, or because the are coaches are trying to change the culture to one of more accountability, or (insert any other reason here)....well....the pickings may be slimmer than you’d hoped when all is said and done.
6) And that’s why a bowl game would be important to earn - to see who’s buying in, who’s giving their all, and who needs to go. For those staying on, especially the younger guys, it’s an extra couple weeks of practice, a road trip, and another game. Those are valuable things for a program trying to focus on doing the small things right first. And it’ll be a tough task to achieve with the way things are going. Wins against Georgia Tech and Pitt are a must, because this team couldn’t beat Clemson’s backups right now.
7) Prediction: Georgia Tech 27, Miami 16
If Jeff Sims is back from a foot injury, he will be a thorn in the side of the Hurricanes. The favored Jackets have improved as the year has gone on, with road wins at Pitt and Virginia Tech (the latter with backup QB Zach Pyron) and a home win against a surprisingly-good Duke team. I just don’t have faith that Miami will be able to generate enough offense with whoever they put at QB (even though I think Brown is their best chance right now), and continually leaving the offense on the field will lead to a worn down defense that finally gives in the fourth quarter.