The bizarre trend plaguing the Hurricane football team with so much superior talent on paper projected to dominate the competition but always falling short come game day continues to find ways to follow the Miami Hurricanes. While Miami looked bigger, tougher, and more athletic overall, The University of Miami Hurricanes still managed to lose in an embarrassing defeat against the University of Cincinnati Bearcats 34-23.
What went right:
1. Quarterback Brad Kaaya did all he could for most of the night. He finished 24 of 39 for 255 yards without a touchdown or interception. The red zone failures did not appear to be a result of failure on the part of Kaaya. Granted, there are skills many fans can argue he should work on when inside the red zone like stepping up in the pocket or making a consistent accurate throw, those skills are minor considering most of the red zone struggles during the game were due to play calling, not execution.
2. Running back Joseph Yearby again played remarkably finishing with 17 carries for 113 yards and a touchdown. Yearby also displayed impressive, elusive runs similar to that of former University of Miami running back Duke Johnson.
3. While the defense had a rough first half, by the time the second half came around, they stepped up and played well.
4. There were good tackling techniques by the linebackers against the run however there were no memorable blown assignments.
5. Safety Rayshawn Jenkins grabbed another interception in the first half. Based off of what UM fans have witnessed thus far, next year a potential duo of Jenkins and Jamal Carter at the safety positions will look promising for Miami on paper.
What went wrong:
1. Another inconsistent, befuddling game for offensive coordinator James Coley left UM fans tumultuous. There are numerous plays that can be criticized, but the specific third down play trailing by a touchdown in the red zone, with nine minutes left in the fourth quarter, takes the cake. After winding down the play clock, burning a timeout, and winding down the play clock again, Miami chose to run. Third down and six with one of the best quarterbacks in the country, and Miami took all that time to call a simple run play. What’s next, a triple option play call? James Coley and Al Golden need to take the training wheels off of Brad Kaaya, and let him step up and make a play.
2. Kicker Michael Badgley missed two long distance field goals that proved to hurt the Hurricanes later on in the game. He has shown potential to be a good kicker, but the Hurricanes came away with no points on two long drives.
3. The offensive line continues to play inconsistently for four quarters. Some drives, they look grown up. Others, they look inexperienced. Four penalties for the offensive line plagued Miami at crucial moments in the game, and put a halt to the run game when Miami needed it most late in the game.
4. Safety Dallas Crawford had another forgettable game. A few missed tackles, and multiple blown coverages resulted in huge plays for Cincinnati. Based on his consistently stark performance as a safety, maybe Crawford might reconsider returning to his former position as a running back.
Losing to Cincinnati on a nationally televised stage is despicable. This football program has fallen into a dark pit that should make every coach on the Hurricane staff feel less secure in their positions after this year. Miami went into the game as a 6.5 favorite, and lost by 11 to a true freshman quarterback playing the American Athletic Conference.
The same old Hurricanes came out to play Thursday night. Self-inflicted wounds and a lack of execution on offense lead to their doom, a fate die-hard UM fans have heard for almost a decade now. UM fans have kvetched for Al Golden’s job for years, and after Thursday’s performance fans may finally get their wish. The Hurricanes travel to Tallahassee Saturday to take on rival powerhouse Florida State University Saturday, Oct. 10th at 8 p.m. EST.
To those who are attending this game and are 21 and older, drink up. This could get ugly.
Brandon Carusillo is a senior majoring in public relations and minoring in psychology. He’s from Coral Springs and wants to work as an entertainment agent when he graduates. He loves music, sports, writing and photography.
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