Miami Hurricanes Looking Stronger & Stronger. ACC Champs Soon?
We all know that it’s really easy to have a pessimistic attitude when it comes to the Miami Hurricanes. Yeah, they lost their contract with Nike. Yes, other programs such as Ohio State, Alabama and Florida State have dominated college football again. Yes, during two out of their three wins Miami has looked sloppy.
However, there’s one important detail that many people are missing. Say what you want, but just keep in mind that the Miami Hurricanes are 3-0. In fact, for as much flack as Al Golden gets because the program isn’t back to national prominence quite yet, also keep in mind that it’s the second three-game winning streak Golden’s achieved at Miami. The last three-game winning streak he had transpired in 2013 when Miami ended up winning seven straight games. In addition, it’s also the second time since he’s arrived in Coral Gables that Miami has started off the season 3-0.
When Miami took the field against Nebraska for the entire first half and up to the end of the third quarter Miami was clicking on all cylinders. The play calling was aggressive, the defense was swarming and flying all over the field, everyone was making their correct blocks, and the coaches had their players playing at a high-level. There weren’t any complaints, that is until the last quarter and overtime occurred.
***On another note: Letting any team come back with such a huge lead is unacceptable. Killing opponents when their down and finishing them off is something that needs to get worked on but other than that great win against Nebraska.
One of the biggest reasons why people have started to show a lot of pessimism when it comes to the Hurricanes is because of their defense. In the first half of the football game against Nebraska, the Hurricanes defense looked reminiscent of the glory days back in 2001 when Miami had nothing but NFL talent in the secondary. Miami kept Tommy Armstrong Jr. in check for most of the game as the defensive line kept causing havoc. Courtel Jenkins was one of the standout players as he used his size and strength to mow through Nebraska’s offensive line.
Then we got to see defensive back Corn Elder lay a hit on a receiver so hard that it ended up dislodging the football. Elder was laying the type of wood that would have made the late Sean Taylor proud. Tracy Howard also showed up to the party and made sure that his assignments were on lock down. Even Deon Bush had an interception that’ll be on his NFL scouting reel.
— Stat (@Stat1124) September 19, 2015
Then out of the blue it happened. Nebraska had a furious comeback as they scored all three times during the last 8 1/2 minutes on all three of their scoring drives. What happened to the focus and defense, no one knows. What we do know is everyone wants change because in order for this team to compete for the ACC championship they need to fix their defensive woes.
It also happened against FAU. Miami allowed FAU to march up and down the field in the first half before making adjustments in the second half. In spite of saying that this Hurricanes team is flawed, people need to keep a few things in mind. One of which is that the season is only three weeks in. The first two games Miami played were warmups, preparation for the real tests on their schedule. When Miami played they Nebraska they aced their first test. Teams get better throughout the season and if this defense can play a complete game for 60 mins then they’ll be solid.
But for as easy as it is to find stats and arguments as to why Miami has been bad, it’s even easier to find reasons why you should be very optimistic about their season. When push came to shove and the Hurricanes were facing a loss, Elder came up with a huge interception and a return that helped set up Michael Badgley for the game-winning field goal.
First and foremost, the only stats that matter this season is the fact that Miami is 3-0. Get used to winning.
D’Joumbarey A. Moreau covers sports in Miami-Dade & Broward County. You can follow him on Twitter @DJoumbarey.