State of the Canes
Most Miami fans thought we had an realistic chance to make some noise in the ACC, but now 0-2 in conference play, championship hopes are gone. Many fans look at our 2-3 record and say, I thought this was suppose to be the year the Canes make some noise, shake things up, not be 2-3, but the Canes play beyond their records.
Let’s look at loss number one, Maryland. The obvious storyline was that the Canes were flooded with allegations and basically their defense got a major facelift with the only real playmaker left on defense was Vaughn Telemaque. The Terps took advantages of the inexperience on the field and basically screened their way to touchdowns. On offense, the #1 receiver at the time Travis Benjamin and quarterback Jacory Harris weren’t able to play and the Canes passing game still looked good, with the emergence of Allen Hurns as a deep threat at receiver. We also saw Lamar Miller live up to the self-proclaimed hype as he ran for 119 yards and one touchdown. The Canes were one interception and one good drive away from winning a game with very little time to prepare.
After the Canes dominated Ohio State, many fans showed up to the Kansas State, expecting to see their Canes blowout the Wildcats, now five weeks into the season, we know KSU is nothing to joke about. The Wildcats dominated, I mean, dominated the first half. Fans were getting ready to leave Sun Life Stadium with the thought, here we go again then Lamar did what he does best, hit big plays to switch momentum. Miller was clearly hurt and he still got the job done, talks a lot about this guy’s toughness. The Canes defense still had no answer to KSU quarterback Colin Klein but the Canes had a chance on offense to win it and after a great play action pass to tight end Blake Ayles and getting up to the five yard line, the Canes seemed to have lock it. However, after three plays, including a drop by Clive Walford which no one seem to even talk about, the Canes ran a roll out, giving Jacory the option to either run or throw it to the flats, the corner of the endzone or hit the slot receiver who ran a stick, Jacory took off late and was short of a touchdown by one yard. The fact that the Canes were able to come back from adversity and the Canes were one yard short of winning it, not a bad outing against a team that stopped Robert Griffin III.
After an easy win over Bethune Cookman, the Canes headed to Blacksburg to face the Clemson-strucked Virginia Tech. The Hokies got off to a hot start, and I mean blazing hot and it was looking like a blowout, until Allen Hurns made two great catches to keep the game somewhat close heading into halftime. The Canes came out firing, scoring on a 77 yard pass to Travis Benjamin from Jacory Harris to make it a ball game. Down 31-21 with a little over eight minutes left, the Canes offensive line took charge and just kept driving the Canes down the field and Miller caught and ran for a touchdown to give the Canes the lead with three minutes left. The Canes bended, bended and finally broke on 4th and one as the tight-end turned quarterback ran a read option, something the Canes were stopping all game, and took it up the gut for nineteen yard and the touchdown and eventually the win. Now, yes, the Canes defense broke down at the last minute but let’s focus on the good news, the Canes came back from adversity, once again, from a legit, ACC Championship contender.
Now the Canes run defense, horrid, Sean Spence and company need to step up but this team is tough. They’re offense just clicks in the fourth, I don’t know why but when the Canes raise four fingers, things click. They run to the ball, they tackle better, Jacory makes better decision and Lamar Miller might be the biggest playmaker Miami has seen since Andre Johnson or Ed Reed.
Why have so much hope? Simple. Lamar is only a sophomore and I expect him back at Coral Gables for at least one more year and Morris will be given the keys to this offense. They lose Mike James but I’m excited about guys like Eduardo Clements. Allen Hurns and Tommy Streeter are both underclassmen and their line has great depth. On defense, outside of Spence, the linebacking corps stays the same and guys like James Gaines and Travis Williams will only get better with time. If Vernon and Ojomo come back, which I have serious doubt, the line stays the same and same with secondary.
We’re in week five and we’re already looking into next season? We’ll yeah, it’s Golden’s first year and he is really just evaluation what he has, spring games help but ultimately, we knew it was going to take a few games, maybe a whole season, before we really know the state of the Canes.