Last Saturday was Coach Mario Cristobal’s 52nd birthday. I’m willing to go out on a limb and hazard a guess that he’s had 51 better ones.
Miami is expected to dominate visiting teams like 25 point underdog Middle Tennessee State. In a complete collapse the Hurricanes were manhandled by the Blue Raiders.
The final was 45-31 and I can’t say it was that close. I can say the result was inexplicable.
Mid-Tenn St.came in as the FTS 101st in passing offense, 104th in rushing offense and 112th in total offense yet lit up the Canes defense for 507 yards and 5 TDs that included passing scores of 69,71 and 98 yards.
Miami had averaged 5.1 yds per rush over the first three games but were held to 1.6 per carry Saturday afternoon.
It gets worse!
Tyler Van Dyke had his career worst game…by far. His first two passes were intercepted, the second for a pick-six. He finished 16-32 for 138 yds and a TD. Van Dyke was replaced by Jake Garcia who went 10-19 and 169 yds. Garcia led two scoring drives that were both capped by 1 yd rushing scores by Thad Franklin Jr.
The Blue Raiders QB Chase Cunningham was 16-25 for 408 yds and 3 TD with one pick.
The Canes were repeatedly punched in the mouth on both sides of the ball in this one.
Maybe starting Left Guard, Jalen Rivers’s honest words can help us understand what happened. “We looked at that team [like], Oh, we’re going to win this game, so we came in obviously unmotivated or kind of slow, and we had to ramp things back up when we got punched in the mouth. I just feel like we just came into the game like, Oh, we’re going to win, and you saw what happened.”
Cristobal summed it up thusly, “You’ve really got to be a man about this stuff. You’ve got to be an adult about this stuff. We should’ve played a lot better than what we did and in terms of leadership the expectation is for everyone to show up, everybody to get better, do their best and work hard because obviously what we have done is not good enough and isn’t enough.”
Canes Corner sees the loss as an anomaly and not necessarily a negative long term. As I’ve written here before I’m someone who believed UM Football would never return to where they would compete for national championships. The arrival of Coach Cristobal completely changed my mind and I believe no less this Friday than I did last Friday that Miami will rise again to those great heights.
Great teams like Bama, Georgia, Ohio St, etc.
require great players. Teams get great players by recruiting the nations top prospects. Cristobal’s first recruiting class will enroll next fall. When his ‘23 , ‘24 and ‘25 classes are enrolled and on the playing field is when we will be able to compete with the best. Patience is what’s needed, there will be bumps in the road but we are playing the long game.
The Canes have their only bye week coming up and take the field next against North Carolina at Hard Rock Stadium on October 8 at 4:00 pm.
That will be the first of eight consecutive ACC contests.
Men’s and Women’s Basketball Media days are this week and I’ll be doing a roundball update next week.
Be safe all and Go Canes!