And you all know what that means. It’s time to grab the baseball bats, smash the pinata shaped like my head, and see what orange and green nuggets come falling out.
1) First........wow, I couldn’t believe the article photo that I found. A smiling AND happy Mario Cristobal? By God, I’ll take that rarity. Love to see coach happy. And why shouldn’t he be......
2) ......because us Hurricane fans are. Miami is doing things they didn’t do last year: beat the ever-loving snot out of teams that they should. This is the perfect start to the season that Miami fans could have asked for. As bad as 2022 went, there was legitimate concern about whether the Canes would struggle with a Miami (OH). If they would get their doors blown off at home by Texas A&M.
Well, not only did none of those things happen, but Miami is putting teams away early in games, including putting away Texas A&M well before the game’s final minutes. Had Miami not spotted the Aggies two early touchdowns, that would have looked like a Miami (OH)-type of scoring margin. That’s absolutely nuts to consider after last year.
3) And a large part of that success has to do with both new coordinators: Shannon Dawson and Lance Guidry. Miami’s offense has been innovative, balanced, and aggressive, taking shots when necessary but also wearing teams down with a vastly improved offensive line. Dawson has basically played to the strengths of his inherited roster. WHAT A CONCEPT, EH, JOSH GATTIS?!?!
Guidry’s defense is playing fundamentally sound football. Tackling well. Not getting gashed by being out of position. The absolute polar opposite of what we saw last year. My word, what a difference a year makes.
4) And speaking of the offensive line, man, that group can take this team places this year. I can’t believe the push this team is getting in the run game. The last few years, I’m used to seeing Miami lineman held up or pushed back, with opposing jerseys at or beyond the line of scrimmage. Now, I just see Miami jerseys over the top of defenders, and a yard or two up the field. It’s visible and obvious to this layman that holes are being popped open and Miami is winning the battle up front.
It’s one thing to do it against inferior competition (UM’s running backs also averaged a decent 4 yards per carry against Texas A&M). It will be a whole other thing to do it against UNC, Clemson, and Florida State. However, they’re not getting stuffed after 2 yards against inferior competition anymore, so that’s already a big step forward.
The pass protection has also been sound, as Tyler Van Dyke has had time to carve up opposing defenses. Miami is tied for 18th in the country with only 4 sacks allowed through 4 games.
As goes this positional group, so go the Miami Hurricanes, and the big guys up front could take this team further than many of us thought possible this fall.