It was a grim night for a sold-out crowd on Saturday night at Hard Rock Stadium as Miami lost its fifth game of the season to Florida State.
“We got work to do. We got to build, we got to build man. I knew it but, we got to build, stuff like this it ain’t, it ain’t it,” Miami head coach Mario Cristobal said after the game.
Here are the key takeaways from the loss:
Miami is not a good football team
Many believed Miami could at least achieve a solid nine-win season. Doing so would have been an improvement of two wins from last year and a step in the right direction.
As of early November, even winning out would not give Miami nine wins. There is no other way around this fact: Miami has not lived up to preseason expectations, and that is nothing but disappointing.
“Poor performance by our program, as a head coach got to take responsibility for that, and the entire program has to take it head on, go back to work,” Cristobal said.
Unfortunately for Miami’s fans, they often hear some form of the above message each week, and the disappointment mounts. Now 4-5 overall and 2-3 in conference play, UM is fifth in the Coastal Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and closer to the bottom of the conference than the top.
Star-studded coaching staff may end with several “one and dones”
Some believe that offensive coordinator Josh Gattis’ system is unfit for Miami. Others feel that Cristobal is most to blame as he leads the team and has mentioned the importance of a strong running game several times. Defensively, many think that defensive coordinator Kevin Steele has not produced good schemes as his defense continues to give up scores on explosive plays.
The offensive rushing attack has failed Miami. The Hurricanes are only 10th in the ACC in rushing yards per game, and they haven’t been able to make up for it through the air. An anemic passing offense has been a reason for the ‘Canes not scoring a touchdown since the third quarter of their game against Duke on Oct. 22.
Miami’s defense has now allowed 45 points in three different home games, most recently in its loss to the Seminoles.
As Steele and Gattis headline each unit, they seem to be stuck in a burning house of criticism. At 4-5, these two coordinators may have a legitimate reason to back out of the program after this year to retain their respective legacies and work elsewhere for a fresh start.
A bowl game appearance is now the primary goal for Miami.
Before the season, dedicated ‘Canes fans were hoping to have their flights booked to Charlotte, North Carolina come December for a trip to the ACC Championship game.
Miami fans also would have probably accepted a deal for the Hurricanes to have a progressive nine-win season and a decent bowl selection, too, even if that meant missing the conference title game.
With both of these hopes realistically out the window, Miami can still chase a feasible goal for improvement: a bowl game. To accomplish this, the Hurricanes must win two of their last three games of the season.