Football

The question

Dan Stein

Dan Stein

Thursday night was pretty rough.

After Georgia Tech whooped the Canes like they stole something – on national television no less – I was at a complete loss for words (which is rare).

My dad went to sleep early in the third quarter, so he was no help. My mom is perpetually happy, so little perspective was gained there. My brother is in a fraternity; he had other things to talk about on Thursday night.

So instead, I turned introspective (I recommend it).

What did I learn from this game?

Several things, such as the value of tackling low and playing sound defense.

However, those are technical aspects that come with coaching and repetition. A week is usually not enough to prepare for that type of offense, and it wasn’t like the coaches could start prepping for this offense during the lead-up to Virginia Tech.

What I learned from that game was that expectations weigh heavily; it takes a truly special group to overcome.

Until last week, Miami was flying under the radar. The wins that they got were not exactly representative of a team coming in with hype and backing it up.

This was the first time Miami was put into a tough spot and expected to win.

This was not a fan base hoping for a win. This was a game in which almost everyone was expecting a Miami win.

The team came up short.

The overwhelming question now is if this team will bounce back. This is the first loss of this kind, and it is the type that can break players.

In 1998, I watched Syracuse massacre the Canes 66-13. The next week Miami responded with their biggest win in half a decade, beating undefeated UCLA to close the regular season.

It was a classic bounce-back game. It was the first sign that the kids on the Miami roster had something special inside their chests.

Those guys took losses to heart. They didn’t just want to win, they wanted to embarrass the opponent. Everything was personal. It was classic Miami football.

How will this team respond?

Will they play with a chip on their shoulder? All of a sudden North Carolina State looks like a team on the rise. Will Miami be able to handle the tough road conditions?

The question now becomes whether this team will take two steps back or a big one forward, toward joining players like those young stars of the 1998 team.

A few weeks ago people were touting these guys as the next great team. After this loss, the comments are going in the other direction. Does this team have what it takes to use this as fuel?

Or will they simply be consumed by the flames?

November 23, 2008

Reporters

Dan Stein

Senior Sports Writer


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

After this past University of Miami football game, coach Mark Richt said the crowd came alive during ...

The attorneys for University of Miami men’s basketball coach Jim Larrañaga expect indictments to be ...

Few could have imagined this scenario coming into Saturday’s University of Miami football game at ho ...

Alex Cora’s success hasn’t surprised Miami Hurricanes baseball coach Jim Morris. Cora, according to ...

A six-pack of Canes notes on a Thursday: • Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz has an interesting theor ...

Univeristy of Miami’s Wynwood Art Gallery holds its annual faculty exhibition featuring thought-prov ...

From a game simulating how whales navigate to a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, the U showcased some of ...

A new mobile game called Blues and Reds, now available worldwide, aims to help researchers study int ...

A major Lancet Commission report, a three-year project headed by UM’s Professor Felicia Knaul and co ...

With a $6.8 million NIH grant, the UM School of Nursing and Health Studies and FIU Robert Stempel Co ...

Syracuse visits Miami on Saturday, October 21st at Hard Rock Stadium. ...

Thirty years ago, the 1987 Hurricanes achieved perfection. This weekend they are back where it all b ...

As a Hurricane Club member, you are invited to participate in the 25th Annual University of Miami Ha ...

Behind a historic performance from senior Olga Strantzali, the University of Miami volleyball team b ...

The Miami women's tennis team opened play Friday at the ITA Southeast Regional Championships Pr ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.