The Miami Hurricanes began limping shortly after the Middle Tennessee game. You could argue the signs of fatigue where there after Texas A&M. But this season neatly wraps up under one little universal bow. Underperformed. Roman is Burning.
The Pitt Panthers thrashed the Miami Hurricanes 42-16 and performed two simultaneous gut punches. If you thought you were sending the seniors off on a high note, ouch. And if you had any asperations of playing in a bowl. That’s two shots to the midsection. We will take a standing eight count please.
Don’t let the coaches lie to you. There was hope and aspirations of a successful season this year. Go back to the preseason and when you saw that feverish pitch to nab talent through the portal. Even back then it made sense. And remember when Mario Cristóbal said that Tyler Van Dyke was one of the best quarterbacks in the nation? I do.
Some in the administration balked at Toast’s pre-season prediction of 8-4. There was going to be massive frustration if even that record materialized. But even that record never emerged because 5-7 was the fog and the Hurricanes couldn’t navigate out of it.
There was a cautionary tale that was hiding in plain site. Alonzo Highsmith always knew talent was an issue on this team. We asked him point blank do we have more talent than our coastal counterparts, without hesitation, he said no. Highsmith knew. He always knew.
However, that never forgave the Hurricanes from losing to Middle Tennessee, Duke, Pitt and manage only 98 yards vs. Clemson. For that lack of talent didn’t give them a complete reprieve from admonishment. The Hurricanes were in fact limping. Talent was a crutch. But they were limping for other reasons as well.
The end of the season autopsy is going to reveal a cancer that has spread to almost ravenous proportions. The offensive line in fact needs an infusion of talent. You might need to grab a quarterback in the portal now. Wide Receivers? Running backs? Linebackers? Sure grab some of those too.
Culture is a big deal. Coach Cristobal is going to want an identification of himself in his new recruit. You don’t want to work for it? Don’t bother. Come get picked up by your parents. He has been rather unapologetic in that regard.
But if you are taking notes, talent and culture were culprits, but so were the coaches. Lincoln Riley’s West Coast experiment is the Anti-Mario. And it happens to be the side of the street I parade signs on. I am the obnoxious non silent mime who emphatically waves his sign every chance he gets to grab your attention.
Lincoln Riley did it with a bright mind for offense. He got kids to buy in because he is brilliant at what he does and runs a modern offense that is sexy and effective. Riley does it in a way where the points take care of his culture. Nothing breeds inline behavior more than winning. Nothing leads to more wins than points.
Mario tries to reverse engineer it. The mindset seems hellbent on establishing the culture and getting the right players in order to net better results. The selection to have a Michigan style offense with physical run game had nothing to do with a culture or talent problem. It was simply trying to put a shoe on that didn’t fit. That was Mario imprinting himself again.
The Miami Hurricanes need to be experts in doing more with less. That is the construct and a pillar that needs to always be a foundational corner stone. Not some antiquated ideologue that watches a certain offense beat Ohio State and think it’s universally gospel. Who cares that it is physical and beat Ohio State. What did it net the Miami Hurricanes? And what happened when it faced off vs. Georgia in the playoffs?
There is no universal key to great offensive football. But here we are again. Another Miami Hurricane coach insisted on doing offense a certain way and it failed miserably. Every new coach keeps thinking they are better than their predecessor but everyone of them keeps making the same mistake. And It is the cardinal one they vow never to do.
You hope and pray sooner or later Cristóbal will figure this out. Think players not plays. Put the kids in the best position to succeed and they will succeed more than they fail. This team needs a new culture, it needs more talent and it needs a brand new system that prioritizes points over physicality. And anyone who tries to say it’s one verses the other, is a liar.