Paper Champs

Football can be a strange game. Monday night’s 10-7 Florida State victory is a perfect example of that, as the Hurricanes dominated almost every statistical category-except for mistakes. Miami had 21 first downs while FSU had 9. The ‘Canes had 232 passing yards while Florida State had only 74. And in one of the most interesting categories of all, Miami held the ball for 13 more minutes than the Seminoles. The Hurricanes led in time of possession with 36:48 compared to FSU’s 23:12. Either way, Florida State beat Miami in the only stat that matters at the end of the night: points.

Offensive Line Woes

Much emphasis was placed on how UM quarterback Kyle Wright would fare in his first start as a Hurricane. Wright ended up hitting the turf in Tallahassee a lot more than people originally thought, and the offensive line is to blame. Miami allowed a school record nine sacks Monday night. There were times when members of the o-line didn’t even get a hand on a Seminole, as it came flying into the backfield. Although credit has to be given to the strong front seven of Florida State, there is no excuse for the nine sacks. It can be argued that Wright held on to the ball too long at times, but that is something he will learn as he matures as a starting quarterback. The offensive line was lucky that Wright remained in one piece after some of the hits that he endured.

Not-So-Special Teams

Miami entered its first game of the season with what many regarded as the best special teams unit in the nation. But the Seminoles left Miami humiliated as the unit had mishap after mishap on Monday. Throughout the series between the two schools, Florida State was the team left reeling after special teams mistakes, but this time it was the Hurricanes’ turn. There were two missed field goals, a botched field goal snap, a blocked punt and a muffed punt return. On several occasions, return superstar Devin Hester, who was getting underground preseason Heisman Trophy hype, called for a fair catch only to not catch the ball at all. Miami lost a ton of yardage as a result. Everyone in the nation will remember the blown snap and hold on the field goal attempt with 2:16 remaining that would have tied the game, but these other plays on special teams were just as costly.

Douglas C. Kroll can be contacted at