Commentary, Football, Sports

Canes football winning despite heavy criticism

The Canes storm the field after their overtime win against Nebraska. Hallee Meltzer // Photo Editor

The Canes storm the field after their overtime win against Nebraska. Hallee Meltzer // Photo Editor

Due to an extreme amount of criticism from fans and media alike, the Hurricanes and Head Coach Al Golden have adopted an “us against the world” mentality this season.

After a fourth-quarter collapse against Nebraska, the stage was set for critics if the team lost. With banners calling for Golden to be fired and former players calling for a change, the chain reaction would have been inevitable.

The Canes could have crumbled knowing the firestorm that was coming their way, but instead they proved everyone wrong and moved to 3-0 for only the second time since 2005.

“[It was a] great look on the sideline when it did go to overtime – nobody panicked, leaders led and everybody else just stayed together. I’m proud of the way we finished,” Golden said after the game. “Obviously, we have some things we have to correct. But I just told the guys, ‘You’re 3-0, you just beat a good team.’ It was a great win.”

Yes, they haven’t played the greatest competition, but a team can only beat what’s in front of it. That’s exactly what the Hurricanes have done.

The fans flying banners and former players calling for change have every right to do so, but even the most critical fans must admit there has been progress.

Remember, the Canes dominated Nebraska for three quarters. While they didn’t close it out the way they wanted to, it was some of the best football we’ve seen around here for a while.

This team has young talent across the field that fans have seen flashes of in each game. Along with the talent, though, is a sense of togetherness that will help them win games just like Saturday’s.

“Unity kills adversity. We had a more unified team tonight, and it showed as far as that overtime,” senior linebacker Raphael Kirby said. “Our leadership, our camaraderie, the great teammates we have in the locker room, it was a test of our leadership once again. Adversity hit, and we killed it with unity.”

In past years, we would have seen Miami lose a game like this one, but in every game this season they’ve dealt with adversity and passed the test.

Before the season kicked off against Bethune-Cookman, fans flew a banner reading, “Temple Coach = Temple Results, Fire Al Golden.” The team hadn’t even taken the field and fans were already surrounding the program with negativity. Then they went out on the field and, while it was against an overmatched opponent, allowed just 79 yards and pitched a shutout.

Even in Boca Raton against Florida Atlantic University (FAU), Canes fans flew a banner that read, “Make Miami Great Again, Butch Davis 2016.” With the game tied at 20-20 versus FAU early in the third quarter, the Hurricanes, led by an outstanding performance from sophomore running back Joseph Yearby, outscored the Owls 24-0 the rest of the way for the victory.

After another banner flew over Sun Life Stadium on Saturday, the Canes remarkably blew a 23-point lead in the fourth quarter. With Nebraska carrying the momentum, junior defensive back Corn Elder picked the ball off on the first play of overtime. Just a few moments later, sophomore kicker Michael Badgley hit a clutch 28-yard field goal to silence the critics once again.

Each and every time the Hurricanes have been presented with a challenge, they’ve answered the call. Despite a perfect record, players know they have to improve.

“Season doesn’t stop here. Just because we are 3-0 now doesn’t mean we have accomplished anything yet,” sophomore quarterback Brad Kaaya said after the dramatic win against Nebraska. “Right now, we’re happy about the win. It’s great for the program, great for the fans, great for all of you people. At the same time, we still have a lot more football to play and we have to keep getting better.”

While the team isn’t contending for a spot in the College Football Playoff, everyone wants progress. Judging from the first three games, it’s safe to say this team has improved despite some of the talent that has been lost.

Some may choose to continue flying banners and calling out the program on social media. However, the Miami Hurricanes are up against the world, and so far, they’re undefeated.

September 23, 2015


Austin Sapin

17 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Canes football winning despite heavy criticism”

  1. Terrance Sullivan says:

    We started 7-0 in 2013. Just a FYI. Might want to amend this Article. Go Canes!

  2. Sl says:

    The only problem I had w the canes coaching is DC. I do not know if his scheme was too complex or not aggressive enough. The results were bad. I agree with the comments that this team shows great promise. The IDIOTS who r flying the banners hurt our school, our team, the fans and our a recruiting. The should be flying apology banners. If we finish the year w 10 wins, a great possibility, all the fans will be back on the bus who were those folks who doubted so much.

  3. Kermit says:

    I think we need to take this years team and its performance separate from the previous years under Golden. Let’s see how they fare against Cincy this Thursday as another measuring stick for the season. We will that game and I feel we will be ranked going into the FSU battle. I see a lot of improvement on defense this year, now that we can rotate players in. Kaaya is jelling as a top flight QB. The only thing there I’d like to see is getting Coley more involved. I think we have the offense to keep piling up points, and finally a young, aggressive defense to make some stops. I think we will surprise a lot of people this year with our performance, and our final record. Go Canes!!!

  4. Wood says:

    Wow, AutoCorrect is kicking my butt today. The beginning of the post was supposed to say, “As a fan from the Tampa bay area.”

  5. Wood says:

    As a friend and me games from the Tampa Bay area, I support this team and the coach 100%. Most coaches would have left with the tires screeching once they found out what was going on at Miami when he showed up. Not only has he stayed, he has developed a really good relationship with the local community and he has recruited well for a coach that doesn’t have all of his scholarships to use. I mention my drive from as a reference to my dedication to watching my favorite team. We drive 4 hours to watch the game whether they are 9-3 or 5-6. You can’t ask for a world-class coach and 5 star players when you can’t feel the stadium for your biggest home game of the season. And that’s after they removed 20,000 seats. Worst fan base ever. If you fly banners over the stadium and approve of that, then you know nothing about what it takes for a school to persuade a young 17 or 18-year-old student to come to your school and play for you only to have fans who won’t comes up game and watch you criticize how you play.

  6. Mike says:

    I don’t have much to say as a fan, I wish things were better. However, I think these young kids need to work on performing at a higher level. They got to get out the highschool mentality and grow some more balls.. A lot these teams they are playing are good but not great and that should be their motivation… Forget the world, focus as a team and play ball…

  7. JB says:

    Errata on my comment Underachievement no over. Sorry, for the typos also.

  8. JB says:

    Agreed of the overachievement last year, let’s dissect what happen. Started 5-1with a Freshman QB, 18 years old never started a game before. Went to Tally dominate 3 quarters of the game, then lost it. After that game lost 4 out of 5 and lost the bowl game ( I was there) at Shreveport La. The U may had 7 players drafted, but the reality was different . The defense rotation was not as deep as we have now, Duke Johnson as great as he was, he did cough the ball in key plays that cost the team basically the game. WR Coley was not a factor the whole year, beside the rookie QB and a depleted WR core the offense sputter when Duke was stopped. Beside all that and strictly by the numbers, the 6-7 season showed better numbers in defense that the 9-3 season. This year the offense is catching up with the defense and the results are noticeable, the bench is deeper, the rotations are more frequent and the players are fresher. Still the u don’t have the full complement of scholarships they should. By the way the fact that we had 7 players draft is a reflect of the coaches, no one I mean no one would’ve predict the U had that many picked in the draft 2 years ago. Developing players is what a great coach is all about. Look how many we have playing now in a draft level, most of this kid were 3-4 stars no 5 stars and they are playing in a higher level. This is coaching guys!!! Before we cast out Coach a Golden lets look at numbers and be real of what he have accomplish in 5 years, most of them with a cloud over. Let’s keep what we got is working!!! GO U!!

  9. Evans White says:

    Excuses the miss spelling in my last comment . It’s 1:19 in the am. The struggle is too real

  10. Evans White says:

    It’s almost pathetic when fans say it’s bad coaching that we went 6-7 with all that NFL talent. They fail to realize that the most important player on a football team is the quarterback. They fail to realize in the NFL that position is the highest paid solely because it’s the most important position. That position is like the point guard of the team, that point gaurd needs to distribute the ball to the offense of weapens. Knowing that, the only difference between our 9-4 season and the 6-7 season was the fact that we played the entire season with a 3rd string qb. Even though that 3rd string qb is a stud he still was arid freshman that came in at the end of the summer. Our first string qb went down, second string qb got kicked off the team and we played the season with a 3rd string. Fans need story be quite, quit all the negativity that’s scary recruits away and let the season play out who knows if we go undefeated or go 3-10 who knows let the season play out. It’s almost childish and pathetic. The fans that are crying are the fans that don’t show up to home games and make us a laughing stock but they want to voice their opinions and act like hurricanes fan. Idc how bad we are how, it hurts for a bit then I’m right back supporting the U because I’m a true fan, and when we start winning I’ll have more pride knowing that I stuck with the U through the storm. All those fake fans, go route for fsu or uf. Leave us be!! It’s all about the U

  11. The u of Miami has a strong tradition of winning. The college ran the 90’s in football. The u of Florida took them off their schedule, because they knew that playing Miami every year they would never go to the sec title game. Only F S U continued the tradition. Which by the way is one of the best played. But remember things has changed since then, there are now six colleges in the state alone. Not all kids know of Miami’s great winning tradition. Al Golden is not the problem, the kids have to play the game Changing the head coach is not always the way to go. Maybe putting a little faith and support in the program mite help. I grew up in Miami and I am proud of what they have accomplished as a football team. They are my favorite college team. Go Cain’s.

  12. Dominic says:

    Our conversation in the cheap seats at the game last week was over which is the better team, Nebraska or FAU? Sure the Huskers are big and tough against the running game, but FAU’s starting QB would drive that team crazy. FAU was aggressive, bodies flying, crisp play calling, I think they would take the Huskers by a FG.

    Take what you saw in the first three quarters against Neb as the real deal. After that… two ejections, two running TDs called back, some dubious officiating, bad clock management, an overexcited coaching staff losing composure…. but then I like an excited into-the-moment coach. Could have been a much different game.

    Accept that the old fatigue-wearing, trash-talking days are not returning….. and we are not moving forward asking for them. Why? Because the UM Board of Trustees says so. Besides the recruiting issues, behavior management is why so many kids keep getting kicked off this team. Golden will coach this team and keep it on track, on message.

    Keep it clean. Be academically excellent. Win the right way. Graduate. Support your team and university when you move on. Think Penn State (before their own scandal) or Stanford.

    Go CANES!

  13. Tommy Toth says:

    I was as disappointed as next guy regarding the Nebraska game finish. It has been tough to watch the Canes the last several years. However, I think what many fail to realize is the Shapiro investigation is over, but the sanctions are not. We still do not even have access to all of our scholarships yet. This is a hyper-pertinent point because we are an expensive private school. Also, think about all the recruits that went elsewhere because of the black cloud that hung over us. I believe last year was the first that Golden was able to recruit without any questions about our punishment? In my opinion, his first 3 years at Miami do not even count. You can’t ask a man to bring us a championship in 4 years when the first 3 years were tainted by huge NCAA scandal. Miami does not have the aura it once had. Its last championship was 14 years ago. We have been mediocre for many of those years. To think that Golden is going to be able to turn around a mediocre program coming out a tremendous scandal with several scholarship losses in 4 years is simply unreasonable. This process is like turning a shipping barge not a jet ski.

  14. Cane'73 says:

    The fans support the players not the coach.

    Is this a public relations piece? Setting the team against the fans is very, very debilitating.

    The critics can only be silenced by performance.

    By the way, you say not one word about the penalties against coach Golden for overstepping on the field after being duly warned? Keeping a drive alive for Nebraska and another one on which they scored?

    And I like the modern fonts! At least something with a touch of swagger!!!

  15. Nicholas Cimmento says:

    I’m behind the “Canes” and coach Golden100%. The team is jelling every game. I feel very strongly that we will beat Cincinnati next week and “YES”, topple F S U on there home field. Our defense is young, every game they are getting better. I’m sure the rest of the A C C is starting to take notice and are getting a little worried. I love it. Its about time!!!

  16. Don says:

    For the record, which you seem to miss, the fans (myself included) are not criticizing because the canes are 3-0. The criticism comes from years of under achieving, based soley on the talent level that they possessed. Last season being a glaring example, finishing 6-7 (after going 9-3 the previous season) and having 7 players drafted by the nfl and several other players sign with nfl teams as undrafted free agents. Golden may be a fine person and coach, but the record clearly shows that he is not the right person to take Miami to the next level.

  17. Jean vorbe says:

    Go canes. You make me proud!

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