After the Storm: VT

After the Storm: VT

The Miami Hurricanes dropped their second straight ACC Coastal matchup of the season to the Virginia Tech Hokies on Saturday, 42-35. Now at 0-2 in the division and with the season slowly slipping away, here were my takeaways from the game.


**There’s no defending this coaching staff at this point, so I won’t try to. Miami has been outcoached in every FBS game they have played to this point, both before and during the game. This team is never prepared to play, and it’s now gotten to the point where Miami found themselves in a 28-0 hole early in the 2nd quarter against a VT staff that was on the hot seat coming into this game for beating an FCS opponent by 7 and losing by 35 to Duke. Considering the context of the opponent, it was one of the most pathetic Miami performances I have ever seen, right on par with 58-0 and UVA in the final Orange Bowl game. After another 11 penalties vs. VT, this team now AVERAGES 10 penalties per game (2nd worst in the country), a number that would be a season-high for most teams, and continues to show not even a hint of discipline. I give props to the players for fighting back to tie the game in the 4th, but this game should’ve never even been that close to begin with in a contest UM was favored in by 2 touchdowns.


**5 games in for Manny Diaz, and even the most ardent supporters of the “You need at least 3 full years to evaluate a coach” mantra are starting get nervous. What can you really hang your hat on and say Diaz has done well so far? The defense is much worse than a year ago, and the offense can’t stop shooting themselves in the foot with a scheme that is outdated. He looks overmatched with in-game decisions, like the job was much more difficult than he anticipated. I've never seen UM teams less prepared to start the game coming out of bye weeks, and that is saying a lot considering the coaching staffs that have been here the past 15 years. He hasn't even shown the bare minimum competency to corral his team and get them to play with proper discipline, as the penalties show. Nobody was expecting an ACC title in year 1; what Canes’ fans were expecting were wins over a UNC team coming off a 2-9 season and a VT team that just lost by 35 points to Duke at home, teams Miami beat last year in a terrible 7-6 season by a combined 61 points. The cupboard was certainly full enough to do that. Miami has regressed from even last year and looks like a complete disaster yet again, and they still don’t have a coach that can bring the best out of a team with the most talent in their division.


**The coordinators aren’t getting it done. After UM’s last game, I said how Miami needed to make some changes on both sides of the ball over the bye and how they looked against Virginia Tech would tell you a lot about if these coordinators are the guys to get UM to the next level or if they are just more of the same of what Miami has seen the past 15 years. Well, the verdict is in, and Blake Baker and Dan Enos failed the exam; neither coordinator really impressed against the Hokies and only Enos made notable adjustments to his style of play in running more spread looks, which even then took another half of ineptitude for him to finally implement. Baker in particular continues to not have any feel for calling a game on defense, sending blitzes at inopportune times and getting beat by the same plays over and over again. With two weeks to prepare for an inferior opponent, the duo was completely out-schemed by Justin Fuente and Bud Foster, and the 28-0 lead they spotted VT proved to be too much to overcome when they finally did get it together.


**Why did it take so long to open up the offense? Miami’s first 4 drives ended in turnovers (5 giveaways in first 6 drives overall), Jarren Williams was pulled in the first quarter after 3 interceptions, and N’Kosi Perry wasn’t much better in the first half. Bud Foster was eating Dan Enos’ lunch and then some, which was even worse considering VT came into the game second to last in turnover margins in the country (-2 average per game). UM was only able to get on the board with a desperation hail mary heave to end the half that luckily bounced right into Mark Pope’s hands.

The second half, on the other hand, was a completely different story, as the Canes finally made some adjustments and scored 28 points, accounting for 341 total yards of offense. Perry was stretching the defense and making VT defend the entire field, while Jeff Thomas was finally being utilized after almost a half season of wasting his talents; the junior receiver made the extra touches count with two 4th quarter TD’s (6 catches, 128 yards overall). Where was that the majority of the game and all season? Again, though, Miami certainly cost themselves the game by playing conservative in the first half and not taking care of the ball. You would hope the Canes’ offense would take what they learned about themselves in the second half and build on that going forward, though I haven’t seen much out of this staff so far to be confident that will actually happen.


**Whether Diaz wants to admit it or not, the Canes now have a QB controversy on their hands. In a little over 3 quarters of play vs. VT, Perry was objectively better at moving the offense than Williams has been all season. No, Perry was not perfect, completing 59.6% of his passes with one interception on the board and one that was called back due to a roughing the passer call. He made some bad reads on the day and sometimes forced the ball when he didn’t need to. But the offense was looking explosive in the 4th quarter for the first time this season vs. an FBS team, Perry was moving the ball at will at times, and, most importantly, he finished drives in the endzone. He ended the game with 422 passing yards and 4 TD’s, and clearly has a better connection with UM’s most dangerous offensive weapon in Thomas than Williams does. In his Monday presser, Diaz said that Williams would remain the starting QB, but certainly the freshman is on a much shorter leash after his struggles vs. VT. The calls for Perry will intensify if Williams comes out with a similar performance in the first half this week against UVA.


**Yet again, Miami’s defense made a nobody, first-time starting QB look like an All-American. In his first ever start, VT quarterback Hendon Hooker came across as a one-read QB that struggled with accuracy and was uncomfortable sticking in the pocket and going downfield. Despite all of that, in what could have been a nightmare debut game on the road for the sophomore, Hooker was instead rarely pressured by Miami’s front 7, handed multiple short fields, allowed a ton of simple and easy reads, and had plenty of lanes to run. Hooker finished with 4 total touchdowns and no turnovers, including a game-winning, 63-yard drive in the 4th quarter that saw the Miami defense fooled on the same TE throwback play that they misread twice earlier in the game. As with the UNC game earlier in the year that featured a QB making his second start, I saw nothing creative out of Blake Baker that would confuse an inexperienced gunslinger and force him into mistakes. At some point, the coaching staff needs to be held accountable.


**Red zone defense continues to struggle. UM’s defense had their biggest issues in the most important moments of the game: Inside the red zone. Yes, Miami’s offense turned the ball over 5 times vs. VT, 3 times in their own territory, putting the defense at a huge disadvantage. However, each time when it was up to the defense to respond with a stop or a takeaway of their own, Miami’s defense seemed to lay down and crumble. The Hokies were 6 of 6 in the red zone on Saturday, hitting paydirt each time. Miami’s red zone D is now 95th in country and Baker’s unit has shown an alarming inability to defend the most crucial part of the field as opposing offenses are converting at an 87.5% rate in the red zone.


**From a mathematical standpoint, UM’s season is hanging on by a thread. A loss to UVA this weekend would all but put the final nail in Miami’s chief preseason goal of winning the Coastal. However, with how Miami has played so far in 2019, expecting them to run the table would be foolish even if they did beat the Cavs on Friday night. Simply making a bowl game would be an accomplishment for this team at this point. Miami fans are rightly more concerned with the future of the program, and if Diaz is really the guy for the job. After 4 straight dud hires at HC, the fanbase knows what bad coaching looks like, and I don’t think I’m off base in saying that Diaz will be well on his way to being the 5th without massive and sweeping changes over the offseason. And I’m usually the person preaching patience.


Grades


Offense: D

A difficult grade here this week considering the two halves were complete opposites of each other. The first half was a complete disaster, featuring 5 turnovers on the first 6 drives and a QB change. UM’s offense came to life in the 2nd half with 28 points and 341 yards, though. Ultimately, Enos finally made some adjustments and UM finished with 563 total yards and 7.2 yards per play; that should be enough to win most every game, but you’re not going to win many with a -5 turnover margin, and that’s the biggest factor in this grade. The offense also had a chance to tie at the end of the game and couldn’t punch it in. Improved a bit with 7 of 15 (46.7%) 3rd down conversions. Finally got Jeff Thomas going. 7 more sacks given up by what has to be the worst OL in the country at this point.


Defense: D-

The only reason this grade isn’t an ‘F’ is because the defense was hamstrung by the offenses’ 5 turnovers and continually put in bad spots. Miami also only gave up 337 total yards, but couldn’t get stops when they needed it most, including in the red zone and VT’s final drive of the game. UM let a first time starting QB that could barely throw beat them by putting little pressure on him, allowing VT to scheme up a ton of simple, easy reads for him. 42 points allowed. Only 5 TFL and 2 sacks. Let up over 50% (9 of 16) on opponent third downs. 0 turnovers forced. Very poor tackling overall. Another underwhelming performance from what was supposed to be the backbone of the team.


Special Teams: C-

Louis Hedley had another great game, averaging 48.7 yards per punt. Could you imagine this team with the same punting game as last year? Jeff Thomas had an exciting 29-yard punt return, and the coverage teams did their job for the most part. Again, though, this grade is hurt by Bubba Baxa, who missed yet another key kick with the chance to put UM up by 1 late in the game, killing all the momentum after Miami completed a 28-point comeback. It’s time to explore other options at the position to see if someone else can get it done.


Coaching: F

What more can you say? This was a fireable game for every coach involved. The staff should be embarrassed with their effort on Saturday. UM never looks prepared for games on offense or defense, twice now this year coming off a bye and extra time to prepare. 11 more penalties and the second most penalized team in the nation is a microcosm of the lack of coaching going on at Miami right now. Miami had a chance to win this game at the end on both offense and defense, but again found ways to lose and has no killer instinct whatsoever. Enos did make some quality adjustments in the second half, but it was nowhere near enough to save this grade. No assistant should feel comfortable with their job security at this point.

ajkreider

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Messages
1,326
You had me until this:

"it was one of the most pathetic Miami performances I have ever seen, right on par with 58-0 and UVA in the final Orange Bowl game."

Um, yeah. I'm thinking getting shutout by 6 TDs to UVA then is worse than being tied with a couple minutes to go against a bad VT, and still having a shot to win with 10 seconds to go. Hell, if we got beat that bad by this year's UVA team, it would be worse, and they're ranked.
 

SCarolina Ibis

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May 28, 2017
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1,174
The Miami Hurricanes dropped their second straight ACC Coastal matchup of the season to the Virginia Tech Hokies on Saturday, 42-35. Now at 0-2 in the division and with the season slowly slipping away, here were my takeaways from the game.


**There’s no defending this coaching staff at this point, so I won’t try to. Miami has been outcoached in every FBS game they have played to this point, both before and during the game. This team is never prepared to play, and it’s now gotten to the point where Miami found themselves in a 28-0 hole early in the 2nd quarter against a VT staff that was on the hot seat coming into this game for beating an FCS opponent by 7 and losing by 35 to Duke. Considering the context of the opponent, it was one of the most pathetic Miami performances I have ever seen, right on par with 58-0 and UVA in the final Orange Bowl game. After another 11 penalties vs. VT, this team now AVERAGES 10 penalties per game (2nd worst in the country), a number that would be a season-high for most teams, and continues to show not even a hint of discipline. I give props to the players for fighting back to tie the game in the 4th, but this game should’ve never even been that close to begin with in a contest UM was favored in by 2 touchdowns.


**5 games in for Manny Diaz, and even the most ardent supporters of the “You need at least 3 full years to evaluate a coach” mantra are starting get nervous. What can you really hang your hat on and say Diaz has done well so far? The defense is much worse than a year ago, and the offense can’t stop shooting themselves in the foot with a scheme that is outdated. He looks overmatched at times in-game, like the job was much more difficult than he anticipated. I've never seen UM teams less prepared coming out of bye weeks, and that is saying a lot considering the coaching staffs that have been here the past 15 years. He hasn't even shown the bare minimum competency to corral his team and get them to play with proper discipline, as the penalties show. Nobody was expecting an ACC title in year 1; what Canes’ fans were expecting were wins over a UNC team coming off a 2-9 season and a VT team that just lost by 35 points to Duke at home, teams Miami beat last year in a terrible 7-6 season by a combined 61 points. The cupboard was certainly full enough to do that. Miami has regressed from even last year and looks like a complete disaster yet again, and they still don’t have a coach that can bring the best out of a team with the most talent in their division.


**Why did it take so long to open up the offense? Miami’s first 4 drives ended in turnovers (5 giveaways in first 6 drives overall), Jarren Williams was pulled in the first quarter after 3 interceptions, and N’Kosi Perry wasn’t much better in the first half. Bud Foster was eating Dan Enos’ lunch and then some, which was even worse considering VT came into the game second to last in turnover margins in the country (-2 average per game). UM was only able to get on the board with a desperation hail mary heave to end the half that luckily bounced right into Mark Pope’s hands.

The second half, on the other hand, was a completely different story, as the Canes finally made some adjustments and scored 28 points, accounting for 341 total yards of offense. Perry was stretching the defense and making VT defend the entire field, while Jeff Thomas was finally being utilized after almost a half season of wasting his talents; the junior receiver made the extra touches count with two 4th quarter TD’s (6 catches, 128 yards overall). Where was that the majority of the game and all season? Again, though, Miami certainly cost themselves the game by playing conservative in the first half and not taking care of the ball. You would hope the Canes’ offense would take what they learned about themselves in the second half and build on that going forward, though I haven’t seen much out of this staff so far to be confident that will actually happen.


**Whether Diaz wants to admit it or not, the Canes now have a QB controversy on their hands. In a little over 3 quarters of play vs. VT, Perry was objectively better at moving the offense than Williams has been all season. No, Perry was not perfect, completing 59.6% of his passes with one interception on the board and one that was called back due to a roughing the passer call. He made some bad reads on the day and sometimes forced the ball when he didn’t need to. But the offense was looking explosive in the 4th quarter for the first time this season vs. an FBS team, Perry was moving the ball at will at times, and, most importantly, he finished drives in the endzone. He ended the game with 422 passing yards and 4 TD’s, and clearly has a better connection with UM’s most dangerous offensive weapon in Thomas than Williams does. In his Monday presser, Diaz said that Williams would remain the starting QB, but certainly the freshman is on a much shorter leash after his struggles vs. VT. The calls for Perry will intensify if Williams comes out with a similar performance in the first half this week against UVA.


**Yet again, Miami’s defense made a nobody, first-time starting QB look like an All-American. In his first ever start, VT quarterback Hendon Hooker came across as a QB that struggled with accuracy and was uncomfortable sticking in the pocket and going downfield. Despite all of that, in what could have been a nightmare debut game on the road for the sophomore, Hooker was instead rarely pressured by Miami’s front 7, handed multiple short fields, allowed a ton of simple and easy reads, and had plenty of lanes to run. Hooker finished with 4 total touchdowns and no turnovers, including a game-winning, 63-yard drive in the 4th quarter that saw the Miami defense fooled on the same TE throwback play that they misread twice earlier in the game. As with the UNC game earlier in the year that featured a QB making his second start, I saw nothing creative out of Blake Baker that would confuse an inexperienced gunslinger and force him into mistakes. At some point, the coaching staff needs to be held accountable.


**Red zone defense continues to struggle. UM’s defense had their biggest issues in the most important moments of the game: Inside the red zone. Yes, Miami’s offense turned the ball over 5 times vs. VT, 3 times in their own territory, putting the defense at a huge disadvantage. However, each time when it was up to the defense to respond with a stop or a takeaway of their own, Miami’s defense seemed to lay down and crumble. The Hokies were 6 of 6 in the red zone on Saturday, hitting paydirt each time. Miami’s red zone D is now 95th in country and Baker’s unit has shown an alarming inability to defend the most crucial part of the field as opposing offenses are converting at an 87.5% rate in the red zone.


**From a mathematical standpoint, UM’s season is hanging on by a thread. A loss to UVA this weekend would all but put the final nail in Miami’s chief preseason goal of winning the Coastal. However, with how Miami has played so far in 2019, expecting them to run the table would be foolish even if they did beat the Cavs on Friday night. Simply making a bowl game would be an accomplishment for this team at this point. Miami fans are rightly more concerned with the future of the program, and if Diaz is really the guy for the job. After 4 straight dud hires at HC, the fanbase knows what bad coaching looks like, and I don’t think I’m off base in saying that Diaz will be well on his way to being the 5th without massive and sweeping changes over the offseason. And I’m usually the person preaching patience.


Grades


Offense: D

A difficult grade here this week considering the two halves were complete opposites of each other. The first half was a complete disaster, featuring 5 turnovers on the first 6 drives and a QB change. UM’s offense came to life in the 2nd half with 28 points and 341 yards, though. Ultimately, Enos finally made some adjustments and UM finished with 563 total yards and 7.2 yards per play; that should be enough to win most every game, but you’re not going to win many with a -5 turnover margin, and that’s the biggest factor in this grade. The offense also had a chance to tie at the end of the game and couldn’t punch it in. Improved a bit with 7 of 15 (46.7%) 3rd down conversions. Finally got Jeff Thomas going. 7 more sacks given up by what has to be the worst OL in the country at this point.


Defense: D-

The only reason this grade isn’t an ‘F’ is because the defense was hamstrung by the offenses’ 5 turnovers and continually put in bad spots. Miami also only gave up 337 total yards, but couldn’t get stops when they needed it most, including in the red zone and VT’s final drive of the game. UM let a first time starting QB that could barely throw beat them by putting little pressure on him, allowing VT to scheme up a ton of simple, easy reads for him. 42 points allowed. Only 5 TFL and 2 sacks. Let up over 50% (9 of 16) on opponent third downs. 0 turnovers forced. Very poor tackling overall. Another underwhelming performance from what was supposed to be the backbone of the team.


Special Teams: C-

Louis Hedley had another great game, averaging 48.7 yards per punt. Could you imagine this team with the same punting game as last year? Jeff Thomas had an exciting 29-yard punt return, and the coverage teams did their job for the most part. Again, though, this grade is hurt by Bubba Baxa, who missed yet another key kick with the chance to put UM up by 1 late in the game, killing all the momentum after Miami completed a 28-point comeback. It’s time to explore other options at the position to see if someone else can get it done.


Coaching: F

What more can you say? This was a fireable game for every coach involved. The staff should be embarrassed with their effort on Saturday. UM never looks prepared for games on offense or defense, twice now this year coming off a bye and extra time to prepare. 11 more penalties and the second most penalized team in the nation is a microcosm of the lack of coaching going on at Miami right now. Enos did make some quality adjustments in the second half, but it was nowhere near enough to save this grade. No assistant should feel comfortable with their job security at this point.
Bravo. This was such an uncharacteristic take down of the coaches I kept making sure u actually wrote it.

This is a disaster that I fear will be kept alive by the odd win here or there. Manny will probably upset Virginia but turn around & lose to Georgia Tech & Pitt. Then he'll save his ass by beating FSU when Taggart manages to out retard him in the worst coached game of 2019. We'll hit bowl eligibility on the dot & lose to a better MAC staff than the one we have.
 

Disgustipated

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Aug 6, 2014
Messages
1,472
Bravo. This was such an uncharacteristic take down of the coaches I kept making sure u actually wrote it.

This is a disaster that I fear will be kept alive by the odd win here or there. Manny will probably upset Virginia but turn around & lose to Georgia Tech & Pitt. Then he'll save his ass by beating FSU when Taggart manages to out retard him in the worst coached game of 2019. We'll hit bowl eligibility on the dot & lose to a better MAC staff than the one we have.
Fuente almost out retarded him with clock management at the end of the first half and end of game
 

TimeB0mb

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Nov 29, 2015
Messages
4,775
The cupboard is empty argument is irrelevant. If the record was exactly the same but Miami was top 10 least penalized, then I'd buy the argument that Miami is bereft of talent. The unreal amount of penalties highlights that Diaz has no control of the team and/or he chose a terrible staff.
 
Joined
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Messages
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There is not a single thing that gives any hope that we will win another game this year. I don't recall ever being in that situation before.
Yea... That's why I believe something will happen with Manny.

There's no reason to think he can rebound from this, and his 'principal in the classroom' maneuver with Baker is the coup de grâce, IMO.

Completely unacceptable and he continues to double down on the team-alienating, tone-deaf hypocrisy.
He'd have fired a stranger for this performance without reservation and beat his chest over the "Miami standard", but since it's his protege he's gonna go full Mark Richt with the nepotism.
 
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SSCane

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566
This team is hot garbage. Worst team I’ve seen since we were on probation in the 90s. I’ll bet this team finishes with a losing record. Mark my words. We finish no better than 5-7. We just lost to two of the worst teams in the coastal, (the worst deivinsion in the worst conference) We are, what are... a terrible unprepared, unfocused, badly coached football team that will lose at least 1/2 of its remaining games. Diaz and crew are a disaster.
 

NicKane

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May 11, 2017
Messages
1,123
The Miami Hurricanes dropped their second straight ACC Coastal matchup of the season to the Virginia Tech Hokies on Saturday, 42-35. Now at 0-2 in the division and with the season slowly slipping away, here were my takeaways from the game.


**There’s no defending this coaching staff at this point, so I won’t try to. Miami has been outcoached in every FBS game they have played to this point, both before and during the game. This team is never prepared to play, and it’s now gotten to the point where Miami found themselves in a 28-0 hole early in the 2nd quarter against a VT staff that was on the hot seat coming into this game for beating an FCS opponent by 7 and losing by 35 to Duke. Considering the context of the opponent, it was one of the most pathetic Miami performances I have ever seen, right on par with 58-0 and UVA in the final Orange Bowl game. After another 11 penalties vs. VT, this team now AVERAGES 10 penalties per game (2nd worst in the country), a number that would be a season-high for most teams, and continues to show not even a hint of discipline. I give props to the players for fighting back to tie the game in the 4th, but this game should’ve never even been that close to begin with in a contest UM was favored in by 2 touchdowns.


**5 games in for Manny Diaz, and even the most ardent supporters of the “You need at least 3 full years to evaluate a coach” mantra are starting get nervous. What can you really hang your hat on and say Diaz has done well so far? The defense is much worse than a year ago, and the offense can’t stop shooting themselves in the foot with a scheme that is outdated. He looks overmatched at times in-game, like the job was much more difficult than he anticipated. I've never seen UM teams less prepared coming out of bye weeks, and that is saying a lot considering the coaching staffs that have been here the past 15 years. He hasn't even shown the bare minimum competency to corral his team and get them to play with proper discipline, as the penalties show. Nobody was expecting an ACC title in year 1; what Canes’ fans were expecting were wins over a UNC team coming off a 2-9 season and a VT team that just lost by 35 points to Duke at home, teams Miami beat last year in a terrible 7-6 season by a combined 61 points. The cupboard was certainly full enough to do that. Miami has regressed from even last year and looks like a complete disaster yet again, and they still don’t have a coach that can bring the best out of a team with the most talent in their division.


**Why did it take so long to open up the offense? Miami’s first 4 drives ended in turnovers (5 giveaways in first 6 drives overall), Jarren Williams was pulled in the first quarter after 3 interceptions, and N’Kosi Perry wasn’t much better in the first half. Bud Foster was eating Dan Enos’ lunch and then some, which was even worse considering VT came into the game second to last in turnover margins in the country (-2 average per game). UM was only able to get on the board with a desperation hail mary heave to end the half that luckily bounced right into Mark Pope’s hands.

The second half, on the other hand, was a completely different story, as the Canes finally made some adjustments and scored 28 points, accounting for 341 total yards of offense. Perry was stretching the defense and making VT defend the entire field, while Jeff Thomas was finally being utilized after almost a half season of wasting his talents; the junior receiver made the extra touches count with two 4th quarter TD’s (6 catches, 128 yards overall). Where was that the majority of the game and all season? Again, though, Miami certainly cost themselves the game by playing conservative in the first half and not taking care of the ball. You would hope the Canes’ offense would take what they learned about themselves in the second half and build on that going forward, though I haven’t seen much out of this staff so far to be confident that will actually happen.


**Whether Diaz wants to admit it or not, the Canes now have a QB controversy on their hands. In a little over 3 quarters of play vs. VT, Perry was objectively better at moving the offense than Williams has been all season. No, Perry was not perfect, completing 59.6% of his passes with one interception on the board and one that was called back due to a roughing the passer call. He made some bad reads on the day and sometimes forced the ball when he didn’t need to. But the offense was looking explosive in the 4th quarter for the first time this season vs. an FBS team, Perry was moving the ball at will at times, and, most importantly, he finished drives in the endzone. He ended the game with 422 passing yards and 4 TD’s, and clearly has a better connection with UM’s most dangerous offensive weapon in Thomas than Williams does. In his Monday presser, Diaz said that Williams would remain the starting QB, but certainly the freshman is on a much shorter leash after his struggles vs. VT. The calls for Perry will intensify if Williams comes out with a similar performance in the first half this week against UVA.


**Yet again, Miami’s defense made a nobody, first-time starting QB look like an All-American. In his first ever start, VT quarterback Hendon Hooker came across as a QB that struggled with accuracy and was uncomfortable sticking in the pocket and going downfield. Despite all of that, in what could have been a nightmare debut game on the road for the sophomore, Hooker was instead rarely pressured by Miami’s front 7, handed multiple short fields, allowed a ton of simple and easy reads, and had plenty of lanes to run. Hooker finished with 4 total touchdowns and no turnovers, including a game-winning, 63-yard drive in the 4th quarter that saw the Miami defense fooled on the same TE throwback play that they misread twice earlier in the game. As with the UNC game earlier in the year that featured a QB making his second start, I saw nothing creative out of Blake Baker that would confuse an inexperienced gunslinger and force him into mistakes. At some point, the coaching staff needs to be held accountable.


**Red zone defense continues to struggle. UM’s defense had their biggest issues in the most important moments of the game: Inside the red zone. Yes, Miami’s offense turned the ball over 5 times vs. VT, 3 times in their own territory, putting the defense at a huge disadvantage. However, each time when it was up to the defense to respond with a stop or a takeaway of their own, Miami’s defense seemed to lay down and crumble. The Hokies were 6 of 6 in the red zone on Saturday, hitting paydirt each time. Miami’s red zone D is now 95th in country and Baker’s unit has shown an alarming inability to defend the most crucial part of the field as opposing offenses are converting at an 87.5% rate in the red zone.


**From a mathematical standpoint, UM’s season is hanging on by a thread. A loss to UVA this weekend would all but put the final nail in Miami’s chief preseason goal of winning the Coastal. However, with how Miami has played so far in 2019, expecting them to run the table would be foolish even if they did beat the Cavs on Friday night. Simply making a bowl game would be an accomplishment for this team at this point. Miami fans are rightly more concerned with the future of the program, and if Diaz is really the guy for the job. After 4 straight dud hires at HC, the fanbase knows what bad coaching looks like, and I don’t think I’m off base in saying that Diaz will be well on his way to being the 5th without massive and sweeping changes over the offseason. And I’m usually the person preaching patience.


Grades


Offense: D

A difficult grade here this week considering the two halves were complete opposites of each other. The first half was a complete disaster, featuring 5 turnovers on the first 6 drives and a QB change. UM’s offense came to life in the 2nd half with 28 points and 341 yards, though. Ultimately, Enos finally made some adjustments and UM finished with 563 total yards and 7.2 yards per play; that should be enough to win most every game, but you’re not going to win many with a -5 turnover margin, and that’s the biggest factor in this grade. The offense also had a chance to tie at the end of the game and couldn’t punch it in. Improved a bit with 7 of 15 (46.7%) 3rd down conversions. Finally got Jeff Thomas going. 7 more sacks given up by what has to be the worst OL in the country at this point.


Defense: D-

The only reason this grade isn’t an ‘F’ is because the defense was hamstrung by the offenses’ 5 turnovers and continually put in bad spots. Miami also only gave up 337 total yards, but couldn’t get stops when they needed it most, including in the red zone and VT’s final drive of the game. UM let a first time starting QB that could barely throw beat them by putting little pressure on him, allowing VT to scheme up a ton of simple, easy reads for him. 42 points allowed. Only 5 TFL and 2 sacks. Let up over 50% (9 of 16) on opponent third downs. 0 turnovers forced. Very poor tackling overall. Another underwhelming performance from what was supposed to be the backbone of the team.


Special Teams: C-

Louis Hedley had another great game, averaging 48.7 yards per punt. Could you imagine this team with the same punting game as last year? Jeff Thomas had an exciting 29-yard punt return, and the coverage teams did their job for the most part. Again, though, this grade is hurt by Bubba Baxa, who missed yet another key kick with the chance to put UM up by 1 late in the game, killing all the momentum after Miami completed a 28-point comeback. It’s time to explore other options at the position to see if someone else can get it done.


Coaching: F

What more can you say? This was a fireable game for every coach involved. The staff should be embarrassed with their effort on Saturday. UM never looks prepared for games on offense or defense, twice now this year coming off a bye and extra time to prepare. 11 more penalties and the second most penalized team in the nation is a microcosm of the lack of coaching going on at Miami right now. Enos did make some quality adjustments in the second half, but it was nowhere near enough to save this grade. No assistant should feel comfortable with their job security at this point.
Excellent article Stefan, I’m glad you had the cajones to call it how you see it and not sugar coat how bad things are like the rest of the Miami media does. Smh Diaz talks about living up to the miami standard and holding people accountable, well I and many other fans on here appreciate you holding Diaz accountable with this article. This staff, team, admin and program are a disaster!
 

Palm beach cane

Freshman
Joined
Mar 10, 2019
Messages
111
I just read the Sun Sentinel article before logging in and reading this, and the combination has me feeling miserable.

The whole Diaz is going to get more involved with the defense isn’t what everyone made it out to be. He also completely put the VaTech game on the players 100%, and said there wasn’t a coaching failure. He’s asking these kids to be accountable and he can’t even do the same.
 

AHURT12

Redshirt Freshman
Joined
Aug 28, 2012
Messages
484
The cupboard is empty argument is irrelevant. If the record was exactly the same but Miami was top 10 least penalized, then I'd buy the argument that Miami is bereft of talent. The unreal amount of penalties highlights that Diaz has no control of the team and/or he chose a terrible staff.
Chiefs had 11 penalties last night against the Colts, does that mean Andy Reid has no respect from the players?
 

AHURT12

Redshirt Freshman
Joined
Aug 28, 2012
Messages
484
The Miami Hurricanes dropped their second straight ACC Coastal matchup of the season to the Virginia Tech Hokies on Saturday, 42-35. Now at 0-2 in the division and with the season slowly slipping away, here were my takeaways from the game.


**There’s no defending this coaching staff at this point, so I won’t try to. Miami has been outcoached in every FBS game they have played to this point, both before and during the game. This team is never prepared to play, and it’s now gotten to the point where Miami found themselves in a 28-0 hole early in the 2nd quarter against a VT staff that was on the hot seat coming into this game for beating an FCS opponent by 7 and losing by 35 to Duke. Considering the context of the opponent, it was one of the most pathetic Miami performances I have ever seen, right on par with 58-0 and UVA in the final Orange Bowl game. After another 11 penalties vs. VT, this team now AVERAGES 10 penalties per game (2nd worst in the country), a number that would be a season-high for most teams, and continues to show not even a hint of discipline. I give props to the players for fighting back to tie the game in the 4th, but this game should’ve never even been that close to begin with in a contest UM was favored in by 2 touchdowns.


**5 games in for Manny Diaz, and even the most ardent supporters of the “You need at least 3 full years to evaluate a coach” mantra are starting get nervous. What can you really hang your hat on and say Diaz has done well so far? The defense is much worse than a year ago, and the offense can’t stop shooting themselves in the foot with a scheme that is outdated. He looks overmatched at times in-game, like the job was much more difficult than he anticipated. I've never seen UM teams less prepared coming out of bye weeks, and that is saying a lot considering the coaching staffs that have been here the past 15 years. He hasn't even shown the bare minimum competency to corral his team and get them to play with proper discipline, as the penalties show. Nobody was expecting an ACC title in year 1; what Canes’ fans were expecting were wins over a UNC team coming off a 2-9 season and a VT team that just lost by 35 points to Duke at home, teams Miami beat last year in a terrible 7-6 season by a combined 61 points. The cupboard was certainly full enough to do that. Miami has regressed from even last year and looks like a complete disaster yet again, and they still don’t have a coach that can bring the best out of a team with the most talent in their division.


**Why did it take so long to open up the offense? Miami’s first 4 drives ended in turnovers (5 giveaways in first 6 drives overall), Jarren Williams was pulled in the first quarter after 3 interceptions, and N’Kosi Perry wasn’t much better in the first half. Bud Foster was eating Dan Enos’ lunch and then some, which was even worse considering VT came into the game second to last in turnover margins in the country (-2 average per game). UM was only able to get on the board with a desperation hail mary heave to end the half that luckily bounced right into Mark Pope’s hands.

The second half, on the other hand, was a completely different story, as the Canes finally made some adjustments and scored 28 points, accounting for 341 total yards of offense. Perry was stretching the defense and making VT defend the entire field, while Jeff Thomas was finally being utilized after almost a half season of wasting his talents; the junior receiver made the extra touches count with two 4th quarter TD’s (6 catches, 128 yards overall). Where was that the majority of the game and all season? Again, though, Miami certainly cost themselves the game by playing conservative in the first half and not taking care of the ball. You would hope the Canes’ offense would take what they learned about themselves in the second half and build on that going forward, though I haven’t seen much out of this staff so far to be confident that will actually happen.


**Whether Diaz wants to admit it or not, the Canes now have a QB controversy on their hands. In a little over 3 quarters of play vs. VT, Perry was objectively better at moving the offense than Williams has been all season. No, Perry was not perfect, completing 59.6% of his passes with one interception on the board and one that was called back due to a roughing the passer call. He made some bad reads on the day and sometimes forced the ball when he didn’t need to. But the offense was looking explosive in the 4th quarter for the first time this season vs. an FBS team, Perry was moving the ball at will at times, and, most importantly, he finished drives in the endzone. He ended the game with 422 passing yards and 4 TD’s, and clearly has a better connection with UM’s most dangerous offensive weapon in Thomas than Williams does. In his Monday presser, Diaz said that Williams would remain the starting QB, but certainly the freshman is on a much shorter leash after his struggles vs. VT. The calls for Perry will intensify if Williams comes out with a similar performance in the first half this week against UVA.


**Yet again, Miami’s defense made a nobody, first-time starting QB look like an All-American. In his first ever start, VT quarterback Hendon Hooker came across as a one-read QB that struggled with accuracy and was uncomfortable sticking in the pocket and going downfield. Despite all of that, in what could have been a nightmare debut game on the road for the sophomore, Hooker was instead rarely pressured by Miami’s front 7, handed multiple short fields, allowed a ton of simple and easy reads, and had plenty of lanes to run. Hooker finished with 4 total touchdowns and no turnovers, including a game-winning, 63-yard drive in the 4th quarter that saw the Miami defense fooled on the same TE throwback play that they misread twice earlier in the game. As with the UNC game earlier in the year that featured a QB making his second start, I saw nothing creative out of Blake Baker that would confuse an inexperienced gunslinger and force him into mistakes. At some point, the coaching staff needs to be held accountable.


**Red zone defense continues to struggle. UM’s defense had their biggest issues in the most important moments of the game: Inside the red zone. Yes, Miami’s offense turned the ball over 5 times vs. VT, 3 times in their own territory, putting the defense at a huge disadvantage. However, each time when it was up to the defense to respond with a stop or a takeaway of their own, Miami’s defense seemed to lay down and crumble. The Hokies were 6 of 6 in the red zone on Saturday, hitting paydirt each time. Miami’s red zone D is now 95th in country and Baker’s unit has shown an alarming inability to defend the most crucial part of the field as opposing offenses are converting at an 87.5% rate in the red zone.


**From a mathematical standpoint, UM’s season is hanging on by a thread. A loss to UVA this weekend would all but put the final nail in Miami’s chief preseason goal of winning the Coastal. However, with how Miami has played so far in 2019, expecting them to run the table would be foolish even if they did beat the Cavs on Friday night. Simply making a bowl game would be an accomplishment for this team at this point. Miami fans are rightly more concerned with the future of the program, and if Diaz is really the guy for the job. After 4 straight dud hires at HC, the fanbase knows what bad coaching looks like, and I don’t think I’m off base in saying that Diaz will be well on his way to being the 5th without massive and sweeping changes over the offseason. And I’m usually the person preaching patience.


Grades


Offense: D

A difficult grade here this week considering the two halves were complete opposites of each other. The first half was a complete disaster, featuring 5 turnovers on the first 6 drives and a QB change. UM’s offense came to life in the 2nd half with 28 points and 341 yards, though. Ultimately, Enos finally made some adjustments and UM finished with 563 total yards and 7.2 yards per play; that should be enough to win most every game, but you’re not going to win many with a -5 turnover margin, and that’s the biggest factor in this grade. The offense also had a chance to tie at the end of the game and couldn’t punch it in. Improved a bit with 7 of 15 (46.7%) 3rd down conversions. Finally got Jeff Thomas going. 7 more sacks given up by what has to be the worst OL in the country at this point.


Defense: D-

The only reason this grade isn’t an ‘F’ is because the defense was hamstrung by the offenses’ 5 turnovers and continually put in bad spots. Miami also only gave up 337 total yards, but couldn’t get stops when they needed it most, including in the red zone and VT’s final drive of the game. UM let a first time starting QB that could barely throw beat them by putting little pressure on him, allowing VT to scheme up a ton of simple, easy reads for him. 42 points allowed. Only 5 TFL and 2 sacks. Let up over 50% (9 of 16) on opponent third downs. 0 turnovers forced. Very poor tackling overall. Another underwhelming performance from what was supposed to be the backbone of the team.


Special Teams: C-

Louis Hedley had another great game, averaging 48.7 yards per punt. Could you imagine this team with the same punting game as last year? Jeff Thomas had an exciting 29-yard punt return, and the coverage teams did their job for the most part. Again, though, this grade is hurt by Bubba Baxa, who missed yet another key kick with the chance to put UM up by 1 late in the game, killing all the momentum after Miami completed a 28-point comeback. It’s time to explore other options at the position to see if someone else can get it done.


Coaching: F

What more can you say? This was a fireable game for every coach involved. The staff should be embarrassed with their effort on Saturday. UM never looks prepared for games on offense or defense, twice now this year coming off a bye and extra time to prepare. 11 more penalties and the second most penalized team in the nation is a microcosm of the lack of coaching going on at Miami right now. Enos did make some quality adjustments in the second half, but it was nowhere near enough to save this grade. No assistant should feel comfortable with their job security at this point.
Half empty stadium F-
 

2020 Commits

OT
6'6"
330
Orange Park, FL
WR
6'1"
195
Bradenton, FL
QB
6'4"
215
Glastonbury, CT
WR
5'10"
160
Miami, FL
DT
6'3"
290
Hollywood, FL
RB
5'11"
205
Miami, FL
DE
6'4"
240
Orange Park, FL
DE
6'3"
265
Miami, FL
S
6'0"
180
Hollywood, FL
C
6'3"
270
Ocala, FL

Latest Predictions

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Low
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Low
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Medium
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Medium
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Medium

2019 Schedule

08/24
Florida
Orlando, FL
L 24 - 20
09/07
North Carolina
Chapel Hill, NC
L 28 - 25
09/14
Bethune-Cookman
Miami Gardens, FL
W 63 - 0
09/21
Central Michigan
Miami Gardens, FL
W 17 - 12
10/05
Virginia Tech
Miami Gardens, FL
L 42 - 35
10/11
Virginia
Miami Gardens, FL
W 17 - 9
10/19
Georgia Tech
Miami Gardens, FL
10/26
Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA
11/02
Florida State
Tallahassee, FL
11/09
Louisville
Miami Gardens, FL
11/23
FIU
Miami, FL
11/30
Duke
Durham, NC
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