Steve Kim Canes Corner. So it turns out that the loss to Middle Tennessee St. wasn’t rock bottom for the Miami Hurricanes. I mean, yeah, that was bad, but this latest loss to Duke at Hard Rock Stadium might be worse. After momentarily rallying to take a 21-17 lead in the third quarter, they would then give up the next 28 points and ultimately fall to the Blue Devils, 45-21.
This marks the third loss to Duke — yes, Duke!! — since 2018. Also, the third home loss in Mario Cristobal’s initial campaign as the Miami head coach.
I want to make this clear, I am still a staunch believer in Cristobal and his vision. But we must also be honest about the present situation, this season has been a disaster. And while you can say that Cristobal has to be given time to build the program, it’s reasonable to expect the Hurricanes to win against the likes of MTSU and Duke at home.
Yeah, this is a full rebuild, and Cristobal has some harsh realities he has to face. Here are some thoughts on this game and the overall state of the program….
– Early on, Miami actually controlled this game. They were playing hard, and took an early 7-0 lead. But unfortunately, they couldn’t convert on short yardage situations, and then turnovers became a problem. They ended up with eight by the end of this debacle. You got the sense that at the end of the first quarter that they should been up by at least two scores, but the inability to run the ball and move the chains really blunted their momentum in the first half.
– Speaking of turnovers, Jaylan Knighton, once again fumbled, and that turnover, really began the Miami tailspin late in the first quarter. With Miami’s running back depth thinned out, they really have no choice but to play him, but it’s fair to say that he’s become a bit of a liability.
– There is a bright side, it has to be pointed out that Colbie Young has become a bona-fide number one wide receiver for UM. Young had six catches for 127 yards and two touchdowns. The problem is that no other receiver made a real impact. Brashard Smith was not in uniform today for some reason. Jacolby George returned and had five grabs for 30 yards. It’s evident that Miami really needs an infusion of speed and explosion in that room.
– Jake Garcia gave the Miami offense a jolt early on as he came in and threw a pair of touchdowns to Young and then Will Mallory. But as the game progressed, he regressed and he ended up throwing three interceptions. For better or worse, with Tyler Van Dyke getting knocked out, the gunslinger from Whittier, California, might be the guy for the foreseeable future.
– Much of this is on the players, after all, they are the ones on the field. But it has to be said that Cristobal might have to take a serious look at the long-term future of offensive coordinator, Josh Gattis, and defensive coordinator, Kevin Steele. Both came in highly touted, yet both units have under-performed and seemingly regressed.
– One last thing, it’s obvious that Miami will not have the type of season that the fan-base or Cristobal envisioned. So with that said, you wonder if it’s time to go with the full-blown youth movement and start playing the underclassmen that really have a future with the program. Back in 1997, out of necessity, Butch Davis played a cadre of youngsters (Dan Morgan, Santana Moss, Reggie Wayne, Nate Webster, Damione Lewis, Leonard Myers, Bubba Franks, etc) that became the foundation of some great teams.
Cristobal has to see which players really have a future with the program moving forward. With his lucrative contract, he’s going to be here awhile. He has to find out which players will be there with him moving forward that he can build with
Steve Kim Canes Corner.