Every year there are a few college football programs that you can look at in some games and say “I don’t know who could beat this team if they play like this every game.” and that same team against weaker competition drops the ball or look like they have never played football before.
The biggest culprit of this disease of playing down to their competition is the Miami Hurricanes. I went back to look at some of Miami’s best and worst played games, the competition in those games, and what was the key that was the reason they won or loss. Mind you, games where Miami loss have also been placed in the best category and vice versa.
What I notice was that in the games Miami played well but loss, the canes were missing one key element. It was either a poor offensive line play, corners playing out of position, or just going for that extra yard. That effort to win the one on one battle.
In the Florida Game is week 0 this past season, Miami loss 20-24. The loss was one of their better games played this season besides the offensive line play. We’re there some miss tackles, but that’s just football. There will always be hiccups in games that you will expect. Miami played up to #8 Florida. Florida had the experience and the depth to make life tough for the Miami offense, but the game wasn’t too big for the Canes. Miami is good enough to be on the field with Florida. If you looked at the LSU game last season, it was a game that showed Miami needed a quarterback and an offense to let the talent on the team shine. Jeff Thomas was an animal against one of the best defensive secondary in the country.
There has only been a few games were Miami has put it all together and they happened in back to back weeks. Notre Dame and Virginia Tech. The Canes defense played fast, the offensive line made it easy for the running backs to run, and to top it off the Quarterback play of Malik Rosier was outstanding.
Miami crushed Notre Dame 52-3 in a pre-playoff game. The Canes looked scary good, and some considered them to be #1 in the country. When Miami has every piece working for them, the Canes are as dangerous as any. I do believe that Miami is a giant that needs the right scheme to let the monsters on the team loose.
Let’s be honest with ourselves, if Miami was running the spread offense 10 years ago or even 5 years ago when Mark Richt took over, the Canes would be competing for championships
Mark didn’t have as much success as he wanted at Miami, but he was a key piece Miami needed in order to get pushed into the right direction.
Now Miami’s bad games were obviously towards the end of the year against Duke, FAU, and Louisiana Tech this past year, and Pittsburgh a few years ago. I also forgot to mention the Central Michigan game this year. There are more games in the worst played column, but these games stand out.
The games listed show little to no effort to win the one on one battle. These games are where Miami expects to win, and end up playing down to the competition. Just because the media put a (w) in the win/loss column doesn’t mean you automatically win that game.
I’m at the point we’re if Miami doesn’t put up a certain amount of points up on inferior competition then it will be a loss to me. Miami has a standard, and squeaking by weak teams just won’t cut it.