Anyone who thinks Florida State is better than Miami after watching last week’s slop fest in Tallahassee must be delusional.
If the Hurricanes’ 10-7 loss was played three weeks later, it would not have been close. The offensive line would have had more practice time to gel and Kyle Wright’s first-half jitters would have been nonexistent. Call me presumptuous, but I think the team could have figured out how to execute a field goal attempt in three weeks.
Unfortunately, I can’t blame FSU for the schedule. Miami should have seen the warning sign last year when it took a blocked field goal and overtime to beat the Seminoles at home. The Hurricanes were asking for trouble by opening with a top tier team instead of FAMU or McNeese State. Here’s a guarantee: UM will not play in the Labor Day special next year. Get ready for an early-season version of Texas v. Oklahoma in 2006.
The schedule cannot be changed now, so let’s move to what can be fine-tuned as the season goes on. After a shaky start, Wright looked like the quarterback everyone thought he could be in the second half. By the end of the season, Wright might become one of the premier passers in the nation.
Hurricane fans should be rejoicing over the new and improved Tyrone Moss too. He listened to his coaches and dropped 15 pounds in the off-season. Moss looked much quicker and showed an ability to cut outside that didn’t seem possible two years ago. He should be able to rush for 1,000 yards this season.
There’s no question that Miami’s loss to Florida State was both shocking and sickening. It should not lessen UM fans’ enthusiasm for this season, however. A conference championship and BCS berth are attainable goals with plenty of winnable games on the schedule. And if the stars are aligned in Miami’s favor and a few teams choke down the stretch, the Rose Bowl isn’t completely out of the question.
Eric Kalis can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.