The Miami Hurricanes this year have had a topsy turvy type of season. There were a lot of expectations behind this team and we can say after an 8-4 record they lived up to the hype. For everyone who thought this team would fail…well, they were wrong.
They were partly wrong because they didn’t expect Miami’s quarterback Brad Kaaya to take his game to the next level like he did.
There was so much adversity this season for this roster it was amazing they rallied around their leader to have a great season. Firstly, a lot of people before the beginning of the season didn’t expect Miami to have a competitive team after losing so many impactful players to the NFL. Then we got to see Florida State win the fifth straight game in the Al Golden Era. Then we got to see the Golden Era end after the worst loss in school history because of the Clemson Tigers. We even sadly had to hear the unfortunate news of Artie Burns’ mother passing away to go home with the Lord.
However, this team played with the same heart that their quarterback Kaaya plays with. After Golden got fired, Miami won their last four out of five games and eclipsed a better record than their previous year.
During an interview with Matt Porter of the Palm Beach Post, Kaaya said this.
“It means a lot, just because this team, this program, made something out of nothing. A lot of guys could have thrown in the [towel], just not been focused and started looking at next season and looking at the next level.”
The fact that Miami didn’t quit after so many tough situations is truly a testament to the leadership of their quarterback. So many people gave up on this team and never did they stop fighting.
A huge part of the reason why this team didn’t quit is because this season the sophomore Kaaya went on a complete binge. Many people expected Kaaya to step up as the face of ACC quarterbacks and Kaaya took the bull by the horns. Kaaya’s greatest attribute this year had nothing to do with any of his physical and mental fortitude on the field. Instead, Miami got a true leader and this year Kaaya stepped into his own. Whether he had to stay in the pocket and knowingly take a hit to get the ball to someone open, he did it and never complained and people followed him because of it.
More importantly, this year Kaaya again threw for more than 3,000 yards, and he also threw for 15 touchdowns and only four interceptions. Now standing at the end of the year, Kaaya is now in the fifth spot for all-time passing yards in Miami history. By the end of his junior season, he might be able to walk away with Ken Dorsey’s record of 9,565 yards thrown.
Miami has one more game to play before their season is over, so Kaaya will have another chance to add more yards to his record. What’s more important is that Miami could have a 9-4 record and a chance to start the year as one of the teams ranked within the top 25.
At the scene of his final game, interim head coach Larry Scott said this.
“They did everything I asked them to do and more. You’re happy to see that when they do buy in and they believe in each other and they play for the right reasons … they’re hard to beat.”
Hopefully, Miami fans are feeling the same after the year the team just had.
D’Joumbarey A. Moreau covers sports in Miami-Dade & Broward County. You can follow him on Twitter@DJoumbarey.