I am about to do something that is unheard of at the University of Miami. As a matter of fact, I am going to write something that will shock people, something that no one has ever seen.
I am going to write a column that actually compliments much-maligned Miami quarterback Brock Berlin. For the first time all season, Berlin deserves praise because he played well against Georgia Tech on Saturday.
Actually, Berlin was everything that Hurricane fans thought he would be when he transferred from Florida. He was poised in the pocket, efficient and crisp with his passes, and he even checked off his receivers.
Like most people, I was excited when Berlin announced he was transferring to Miami, and I thought we had our quarterback for the future. As it turned out, Berlin struggled last season and fell out of the graces of many fans and myself. However, the guy does win, and he proved that against the Seminoles earlier this season.
Against Georgia Tech, something strange happened. Berlin played like it was the last two minutes of the game throughout most of the game. He finished the afternoon completing 50 percent of his passes for 202 yards and three touchdowns. He did not throw a single interception. As a matter of fact, Berlin has thrown only two interceptions this season. His touchdown-to-interception ratio is five to two, compared to his 12 to 17 ratio last year.
Berlin passed for only 99 yards against Houston, and even Head Coach Larry Coker was upset with the passing game. Coker even hinted that a change could be coming in the future. With all the pressure of playing in a hostile environment on him, Berlin came up with his best game of the season, and one of the best games we have seen him play as a Miami quarterback.
So what does all this mean? Does it mean that I am convinced Berlin can take the Hurricanes to the national title game? Does it mean that all of his critics have been proven wrong and should apologize?
I don’t think we are quite there yet, because Berlin still has to prove that he can play this way over the course of the season. I was very pleasantly surprised by his play against the Yellow Jackets, but I am not convinced he has turned the corner. Even though I have been a critic of his, I would love for Berlin to prove me wrong and play well for the rest of the season. However, I still have my doubts about that happening.
What I did see is that Berlin is capable of playing at a high level and leading this team. The true test for Berlin will be whether or not he can be consistent.
Anyone can have one good game, but if he can put together a string of solid efforts, then he will prove all his critics wrong. Honestly, I am not sure if this game was a fluke or not. Of course, the Hurricane fan in me hopes that Berlin can play like he did Saturday every game, but the realist in me tends to think that it was one good game and we may see a different Berlin against Louisville in the Orange Bowl.
That said, I always hate the sportswriters who criticize athletes and then don’t give them credit when they play well. Therefore, I will simply say good game to Berlin and wish him well against Louisville.
Darren Grossman can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.