The excitement behind first year Miami Hurricanes head coach Manny Diaz is quickly losing steam as the once ACC powerhouse has now found themselves as an unranked, middle of the pack team in their conference with an 0-2 record. Granted, they have had some bigger tests than most teams in the first two weeks of play, but still, there is too much talent on this team to have had such a lackluster start.
So, today has to be the day for Diaz to see some success as he heads into his first home game as the Canes head coach. Even if it’s against an FCS team, it will give the Canes the boost they need to turn the season around. They have a lot of young talent who can certainly bring Miami back to its state of prominence and there is still a lot to be hopeful for as they head into their first kickoff in Hard Rock Stadium this season.
History is certainly on Miami’s side. In their all time series with Bethune-Cookman University, Miami has a perfect 4-0 mark against the Wildcats, winning all four games by 3o points or more. Also, Miami has not lost a home opener since 2006, and have emerged victorious in its last 12 home openers, most recently, a shoutout 77-0 victory vs. Savannah State last season.
Amidst the two early losses, RS Freshman QB Jarren Williams has looked strong. In his first ever collegiate start against Top 10 ranked Florida, Williams finished 19-for-30 for 214 yards and 1 TD. He looked even better in week two against ACC opponent North Carolina, throwing for 309 yards on 30-for-39 passing with two touchdowns and no picks. He’ll likely put up even bigger numbers today against a significantly weaker defense. He’s now the ranked fourth among ACC Quarterbacks.
Williams also has strong targets in RB DeeJay Dallas who rushed for 107 yards on 14 carries, averaging 7.6 yards per rush vs. UNC, as well as TE Brevin Jordan who leads the team with 161 receiving yards (80.5 per game).
On the defensive end, Miami has one the best linebacker trios in college football right now with Zach McCloud, Michael Pinckney & Shaq Quarterman. These three have started nearly every game together since arriving to University of Miami as early enrollees in 2016.
UM’s starting offensive line now has three freshman. True freshman LT Zion Nelson, redshirt freshman RT John Campbell, Jr. and true freshman Jakai Clark who made his first start against the Tar Heels. The young UM offensive line looked much improved in week two, but they still allowed four sacks and aren’t up to the caliber they need to be to be considered a solid offensive line. However, facing a FCS level opponent like Bethune-Cookman, the starting five on the offensive line should be able to grow confident together this week.
Should Miami be upset with the way they’ve started this season, for sure. But, the 0-2 start does not have to reflect what the rest of the year will look like. This week is the perfect opportunity for the teams nine new starters so far this season to get more comfortable and build some confidence, and get the second string guys playing time to give the team more depth all around.
Former Bucs- Hurricanes TE Winslow pleads guilty Monday
With his retrial on felony rape charges about to begin Monday in San Diego, former Hurricanes All American and NFL TE (including with the Buccaners) Kellen Winslow II accepted a guilty plea deal from San Diego prosecutors on two more of the charges against him.
Winslow was in court Monday afternoon, as prosecutors and his defense team told the judge that he agreed to plea, if the six other remaining serous charges against him would be dropped and he could avoid a longer sentence.
Kellen Winslow Jr. Pleads Guilty to Raping Unconscious Woman https://t.co/U8vnwUGm28
— TMZ Sports (@TMZ_Sports) November 4, 2019
Winslow had been previously convicted in June on four counts of rape and other sexual misconduct charges involving multiple women. The jury deadlocked on the eight remaining charges that were brought against him and a mistrial on those was declared. However, prosecutors exercised their right to retry the 38 year old Winslow on those remaining counts.
The guilty pleas Monday involve sexual battery on a 54 year old unidentified woman, who claims Winslow raped her in his Jeep in 2018.
The other count involved a 2003 accusation that Winslow had raped a then 17 year old San Diego High School student at a home during the summer, while he was a prominent 19 year old player at the University of Miami.
Winslow is a former All American tight end from the Miami Hurricanes from 2001-03 and played 9 seasons in the NFL, including three with the Buccaneers from 2009-11. He was the sixth overall pick by the Browns in the 2004 draft and is the son of former Chargers great and Hall of Fame inductee, Kellen Winslow.
After his rookie season Winslow suffered a horrific knee and leg injuries in a motorcycle accident in a Cleveland suburb mall parking lot. He was unable to play in the 2005 season, because of the injuries.
Winslow played three more seasons for the Browns before being traded in the 2009 offseason to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In exchange for a second and fifth round picks, the Bucs acquired Winslow and gave him, at that time, the largest contract for a tight end in NFL history with $36 million over six seasons.
In his first season in Tampa Bay he set the Bucs single season tight end receiving record with 77 catches and 884 yards. He led the team in receptions again in 2010, as the Bucs finished 10-6 and missed the playoffs on a tiebreaker. In his final Buccaneers season of 2011 Winslow finished with 75 receptions in a dismal 4-12 year.
Winslow had been facing life in prison, if convicted on all 12 counts. However, it is believed with the plea deal and the total now being six convictions/guilty pleas, that his sentence will be somewhere between 12 and 18 years on the charges.
Winslow will be sentenced in February.
Canes take rivalry game with shutdown of FSU
This long-standing rivalry provided an opportunity for two teams evenly matched teams to bring home a win to salvage a below-average season. It would provide a good momentum shift for the Canes or the Noles to head into the final few weeks of the 2019 season with.
FSU/Miami is always a hard fought matchup regardless of the state of each program but today, Miami wanted it far more in a 27-10 win.
As we wrote earlier today, the Noles and Hurricanes have both been bad for stretches of 2019. Inconsistency has killed both teams and would play a huge part of this game. The winner will be whoever has the most consistent offense.
And that’s exactly what it came down to.
In the first half, Florida State was not only playing against the Canes but also against themselves. They had 8 penalties for a total of 60 yards, which halted any attempted of offensive momentum for the Seminoles.
The defense, who in recent weeks have been much improved, wasn’t bad overall. However, they gave up a couple of big passing plays that resulted in touchdowns for Miami. If you have to place the blame on one side, it was the offense, or lack thereof.
The real issue for Florida State remains the offensive line. They allowed 9 sacks on Alex Hornibrook and James Blackman and didn’t create any holes for Cam Akers to produce on offense. OC Kendal Briles attempted to call creative plays with Akers running the wildcat to set up their single TD drive.
It was Briles’ effort to compensate for the lack of protection on the line, however, it wasn’t enough to produce more than one solid drive down the field.
The most glaring difference between the two programs today was that Canes QB Jarren Williams had time to throw down the field, while Hornibrook didn’t.
Florida State went into the game as a very mediocre football program with a opportunity to garner an important victory at home, but remains a poorly coached, mediocre program with a long way to go to get back to relevancy.
Credit to Miami, who’s now won three straight in the FSU series. They came into the game with the same record and similar issues to the Noles, who left with a hard earned win.
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