When the Miami Hurricanes lost a heart breaking game against Notre Dame on October 29th, Canes fans were on suicide watch, myself included. That loss marked the fourth loss in a row for Miami and what was once a promising turn around season looked all but dead. The offensive line looked dreadful giving up 18 sacks in that stretch. Brad Kaaya looked like he saw a ghost sitting in the pocket and his play was deteriorating. Instead of calling it quits, however the team came to play against Pittsburgh the following week, blowing out the panthers 51-28.
The following week a slow first half, turned into a route in the second half as Miami handled UVA 34-14. Then of course this week a similar result as an ugly first half, turned into second half dominance as Miami beat NC State for their third straight win 27-13.
Now the Canes are riding a three game winning streak, looking good, especially in the second half. During this stretch they have only given up three sacks. The person who deserves most of the credit is head coach Mark Richt. Though it may have took maybe a game or two too long to make the adjustments, they did actually make the adjustment, and it clearly is working. The offensive line clearly is doing much better than they were during that losing streak. The running game is back. Brad Kaaya is of course playing better.
On the defensive side of the ball, because the offense is now able to actually sustain drives and score TDs, their play has elevated. The defense, which had been the more consistent unit, even during the losing streak, is making plays and stopping the opposition, especially in the third quarter, where they have only given up one TD in the three games. They’re causing turnovers, and forcing a ton of three and outs. This had more to do with DC Many Diaz, but clearly, Richt didn’t lose focus with this team and got them to turn their season around.
The last match up will be against Duke. Miami is heavily favored and ought to end the regular season 8-4 with a win. They are favored at this point by 15 points. And 8-4 season isn’t terrible despite the ugly nature of a four game skid. Canes fans should have a lot to look forward to. On defense there will be 10 starters returning. On offense is Kaaya returns, they pretty much have a loaded clip there as well. But nothing will enhance that method more than a solid win on Saturday as well as a nice bowl victory.