And that means it’s time to slip on the driving gloves, crank up the engine on the orange and green hot rod, and drive through the tunnels of Canes-related thoughts snaking through my brain.
1) I’ll say this: Miami plays it’s a$$ off for Mario Cristobal. The Canes gave maximum effort against FSU (and generally have been giving it all year), and it was nearly enough to spring the upset. They played hard, they generally played well, and with the exception of the offensive game plan in the second half, I don’t have a lot of major complaints.
2) I refuse to believe something wasn’t up with that safety non-call. That’s absolutely criminal. There’s no possible way that wasn’t a safety when Wesley Bissainthe tackled Jordan Travis with the ball CLEARLY over the goal line when Travis was first contacted. Even my FSU friends admitted that was a clear safety. Twice now Miami has been robbed of points this year that way. And even play-by-play announcer Sean McDonough admitted it was weird that the replay booth refused to answer the phone from them and give them an answer as to what happened. They actually tried to call and get an answer and were ghosted by the replay booth. LMMMAAAAAOOOOOOOO. Because there was no legit answer they could give. Between the two safeties and Chaney being down against Georgia Tech, Miami has been the victim of three dreadful replay misses this year. They lost in two of them, and certainly and clearly lost BECAUSE of one of them (and the hubris/ignorance of Cristobal and/or Shannon Dawson to not kneel the ball).
3) I’m sick for Emory Williams. The pain and grief in his face after he got hurt reaching for that (temporary) game-saving first down on the final drive was heartbreaking. He stepped into a terribly difficult situation and performed as well as I could’ve expected him to. And that wasn’t lost on his teammates either, whose respect he clearly has earned. I hate that he’s not going to get a chance to finish out this year and get some valuable game reps. Get well soon, #17. You did your school proud. See you in spring ball.
4) Jacolby George is a dude. Man, what a revelation he’s been this year. Find a way to get that man some more touches, STAT.
5) I love how Don Chaney, Jr. and Mark Fletcher, Jr. are running together right now. Bowling ball after bowling ball. And the offensive line had stretches where they were dominating with the run.
6) However, FSU dialed up some run blitzes, and Dawson didn’t adapt in response. Talk about the perfect time for some boundary plays or slip screens. Those should have been implemented WAYYYYYYYYY more in the second half, but they weren’t. Instead, it was run/run/pass too often. So disappointing, as any kind of creativity on first down with that level of commitment by FSU to stopping the run could have really paid off. I’d like to know Dawson’s thinking on that.
7) Louisville comes to town on Saturday. One last chance for Miami to notch a win against a highly ranked team. An 8-4 regular season is still on the table. That’d be a big step up from 5-7. Win the bowl game to finish a season that had wins over Texas A&M and Clemson, and I would call that a very big progression from last year.
If only there was a healthy quarterback that could help lead them there. Sigh.........