Miami Hurricanes wrap up dramatic 2015 football season

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Players celebrate their win in Durham after cinching the game against Duke with an unprecedented eight-lateral play on Halloween. Photo Courtesy Ben McKeown

Players celebrate their win in Durham after cinching the game against Duke with an unprecedented eight-lateral play on Halloween. Photo Courtesy Ben McKeown

The 2015 Hurricanes didn’t have the success many dreamed of before the season, falling short of claiming the ACC Coastal title. While the Canes didn’t get the trophy they desperately desired, the program certainly had its fair share of ups and downs.

Just think back to the absolute craziness of this season.

It started with banners that followed the Canes wherever they went, calling for the firing of Head Coach Al Golden before the season had even begun. The Canes got off to a 1-0 start with an easy 45-0 victory against Bethune-Cookman that featured a 75-minute lightning delay. The following week, Miami picked up another win over Florida Atlantic that was held up by – guess what – another lightning delay.

Against Nebraska, Miami held a 27-3 lead, yet still needed a field goal in overtime for the win. Then followed two straight losses, one of which came against a backup freshman quarterback at Cincinnati in a poor performance on national television and another in a solid effort that came just short against Florida State.

The sixth game of the season represented the calm before the storm as the Canes handled their business in a tidy fashion with a 30-20 win over Virginia Tech. Soon afterward, Hurricane Drama made landfall.

In the program’s worst loss in its 90-year history, the Canes were pounded by Clemson 58-0 at Sun Life Stadium. The stands were empty by halftime and everyone knew what was to come of former Head Coach Al Golden following the defeat. Sure enough, he was fired and Larry Scott took the helm.

In what was one of the most thrilling coaching debuts and college football games in recent history, the Canes pulled off the “Miracle in Durham” with an eight-lateral play as the clock expired to beat Duke and somehow keep their ACC Coastal hopes alive.

While unconventional, the play boosted the team into the final stretch as the Canes won four of their last five games. That stretch did include a blowout loss at North Carolina, but just like its entire season, a major down was followed by a major up and the Canes finished with wins over Georgia Tech and Pittsburgh.

They may have been just 8-4, but the Canes certainly had one of the most entertaining seasons in college football. How many schools had two lightning delays, plane-flying banners, a coaching change, two blowout losses and an amazing eight-lateral play to win a game?

It was a year filled with drama, there’s no doubt, but there were certainly positives along the way. While the Canes didn’t reach their goal, it was still a winning season in the end, and it was certainly a fun ride.

Visit www.themiamihurricane.com to read David Cline’s piece on the positives and negatives of the 2015 football season.

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