Monday, October 17, 2022

The Canes Peaks and Valley’s

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

In team sports, there are lots of Peaks and Valley’s during the season. 

There is no way to get around it. 

Here are some of the things that present challenges for teams.

1. Injuries.

2. Key players have off days and don’t perform up to standards on those days, therefore leading to mistakes.

3. Underestimating an opponent and looking flat.

4. Travel has also played a part on game day.

5. A team is simply not good enough for the opponent.

6. A coach simply out coaches the other.

These are just the main ones. 

Going into the season, the Miami Hurricanes lured Mario Cristobal from the Oregon Ducks to replace Manny Diaz. 

If there is anyone that can turn this program around, there is no doubt that Cristobal will get the job done. He’s a former Hurricane and also had success at FIU.

As I appear Nationally on numerous podcasts and talk about the Hurricanes, I’ve been very consistent with one philosophy, and that’s if anyone expected Cristobal to turn the Canes into a national contender overnight, then don’t count on that happening.

He’s trying to establish a culture and he’s going to recruit his own players.

Going into the 2022 Season, I had no expectations for the Hurricanes.

I did know that incumbent QB Tyler Van Dyke was capable of having a strong season and could be playing on Sundays down the line.

After starting out 2-0 with wins over Bethune Cookman and Southern Mississippi, the Canes hit their valley. 

On September 17, Miami lost a tough road contest to Texas A&M 17-9.

The low point early in the season was a home loss to Middle Tennessee when the Blue Raiders came to Hard Rock Stadium on September 24, and emerged with a 45-31 win. Van Dyke was benched and replaced by Jake Garcia.

The North Carolina Tar Heels came to town on October, 8 and defeated Miami 27-24. 

Things looked ugly early as North Carolina took an early 21-7 lead and this contest looked like a blow out waiting to happen. 

That wouldn’t prove to be the case. 

Van Dyke threw for 496 yards and three touchdowns. His lone interception was with under a minute remaining throwing a desperation pass in a rally that fell short.

Miami used eight different wide receivers and this was the question I asked Cristobal after the game.

Also, check out the other interviews in this story. 

They’re very insightful as during the press conference, the Canes were optimistic dropping to 2-3.

The offense amassed 538 yards and 496 of those came through the air. Miami recorded 29 first downs while North Carolina had 22.

Will Mallory had eight receptions for 115 yards, averaging 14.4 yards a catch. His name was prominently brought up in the press conference.

Despite the fact that the Hurricanes lost their third straight game, it was clearly evident that the team was focused on Saturday’s road matchup against Virginia Tech.

Would the three-game losing streak end?

Yes as Van Dyke threw for 351 yards and two touchdowns to lift the Canes to a 20-14 win. 

His best target was Colbie Young. Young caught nine passes for 110 yards and one touchdown, averaging  12.2 yards per catch.

The Canes out gained Virginia Tech 458-257 and led in first downs 22-19. The Hokies saw their record drop to 2-5 while Miami’s improved to 3-3.

Up next for Miami is a home contest with the Duke Blue Devils (4-3) and the contest will start at 12:30 PM.

The last time these two teams met was on November 27, 2021 and Miami routed Duke 47-10.

It will be interesting to see if the Hurricanes can muster up another win and get closer to Bowl Eligibility.

There is a lot of football to be played and as the old adage states, these games are played one at a time.

Meanwhile, since Middle Tennessee faced Miami, the Blue Raiders have lost three in a row.

On Friday, September 30, UTSA (University of Texas San Antonio) which was once coached by former Hurricanes boss Larry Coker, drilled the Blue Raiders 45-30 at home.

The Blue Raiders traveled to the University Alabama Birmingham on October 8 and were thrashed 41-14.

On Saturday, October 15, The Blue Raiders hosted rival Western Kentucky and lost 35-17.

As I said, Peaks and Valley’s. Every team has them.

The main objective is to get rid of them at the right time.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at southfloridatribune@gmail.com and you can follow him on Twitter @TribuneSouth. 

You can find his broadcasts on the South Florida Tribune You Tube Channel. By Subscribing you’re going to get notifications of all streaming shows as well as videos in the field.


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