The Miami Hurricanes football team started the season strong but lost its last two games by close margins at home, eliminating most hope of making it to the college football playoffs.
The Canes lost to rival Florida State 20-19, due to a heartbreaking blocked extra point, and were defeated by North Carolina 20-13, dropping the team’s record to 4-2 and 1-2 in ACC play.
The story of both these games was the lack of offensive production that was put up by the Canes. It has been a tale of two halves for the Canes: the team did not perform well in one half of each game.
Against FSU, Miami led 13-3 at halftime, but they were nearly shutout in the second half until quarterback Brad Kaaya hit Stacy Coley for a touchdown with less than two minutes to go in the game. Kaaya threw an interception in the red zone earlier in the third quarter, losing the opportunity to extend the Canes’ lead.
When the Canes hosted UNC, the team only put up three points in the first half and looked cold on offense. The Canes only had one offensive touchdown the entire game.
The offensive play-calling has been questioned the past two games due to only putting up 32 points during that span.
Here are my suggestions: The Canes need to get back to throwing screen passes early on and eventually throwing deep to Coley. I also believe running back Joseph Yearby should get as many touches as Mark Walton, as he is just as explosive out of the back field. Also, enough with the dropped passes, as there were several of them against UNC.
So what now for the Miami Hurricanes? It is clear Head Coach Mark Richt will not pull a Larry Coker, going undefeated and winning a national championship in his first season as general of the Hurricanes.
However, he has an opportunity to improve on the Canes’ record from last season by either going 10-2 or 9-3 in the regular season. In addition, The Canes could snap the 11-year bowl-game win drought, which would be a positive sign for the team going forward in the Richt era.
It is not going to get easier for the Canes. The team must rally quickly as it travels to Blacksburg to take on Virginia Tech at 7 p.m. Thursday on ESPN.
Let me remind you that there is still some hope for a Coastal crown, but a win Thursday night is a must, as the Canes will need to refocus the offense.