After the Storm: FIU

After the Storm: FIU

There are no excuses for this loss.

The Miami Hurricanes just fell at the site of the old Orange Bowl to Florida International University, 30-24. Even typing that feels odd and wrong. It’s the type of loss that will have reverberations not just for the present season, but in years to come. Any momentum that head coach Manny Diaz had built up over the past 3 games is completely gone, dead, and buried. Because I would rather miss a bowl game than lose to FIU.

I feel I have been very fair and balanced when it comes to criticism of the coaches, both this season and in the past: I try and look at things from all angles and be as objective as possible, which is admittedly difficult at times. In my position, when things aren’t going right, you have to call it out or you lose all credibility. By the same token, if things go well, it’s prudent upon you to give credit when it’s due.

Well, Miami Hurricanes football is certainly not going right. Not with the players, not with the coaches, and not with the administration.

The brand Miami built over three decades is dying, slowly but surely, with each agonizing, head-scratching loss worse than the last. Those three decades of championships and soaring highs clash with this stark reality: When 2020 hits, it will be going on three decades of suck for this Miami program. That’s just the cold, hard truth.

On the outside, the logo still carries weight for some: It looks like the same Miami with improved facilities, and players and coaches certainly seem to talk like it’s the same Miami.

But the inside? The passion, work ethic, and brotherhood that made the University of Miami “The U” and got Miami to where it is was in the college football landscape has been hollowed out and co-opted in favor of cheap marketing ploys, hashtags, and talk that essentially means nothing.

If you want to tell me that Saturday was a genuine and good faith effort to win that ballgame, I have some ocean front property in Arizona to sell you. It was a program-changing loss that makes you re-evaluate and question everything that came before it.

Here were some of my questions: How could anyone watch that game and not ask yourself, “Do the players even care about the Miami legacy anymore or is it just a brand name to use along the way to the NFL?” Because it is essentially impossible for Miami to lose to FIU if maximum effort is given.

Earlier last week, I pointed out that I thought the prospect of being able to face-off against former high school teammates and rivals would be a motivating factor for the Canes to put their foot down and prove why they were worth a Miami scholarship over their counterparts. Instead, I have never seen a team come out so lifeless, so devoid of emotion, as if they expected FIU to lay down and literally hand them over the game.

Another question I asked myself: Does the staff know how to prepare this team whatsoever? The Canes are now 0-3 coming out of bye weeks. UM has gotten down 10-0 vs. UNC, 28-0 vs. Virginia Tech, and now 16-0 against FIU in those games. To me, that is the most searing indictment of this staff to date. FIU had a bye week as well, and clearly Butch Davis on the other side was able to figure out UM’s tendencies to a “T” and effectively communicate them to his players; he intimated as such in his postgame presser. Most notably, instead of getting sucked up, the FIU linebackers were sitting on those RPO throws over the middle from Jarren Williams that had proved so fruitful in the past for UM. By the time Miami was able to make adjustments to what FIU was throwing at them, it was far too late to really make a difference.

How about this one: Did anybody think “Does administration care about winning big at all, or do they just want the vague perception that they care?” Like hiring a $1.5 million offensive coordinator because he was associated with Alabama, regardless of if his system fits the stated criteria of “innovative and cutting-edge.”

There is nothing innovative or cutting edge about Miami’s offense this season. Dan Enos’ system is a mix of what didn’t work under Mark Richt and a feeble attempt to add modern elements without a feel or understanding of how best to implement and execute these concepts. The numbers bear this out as well: The theory went that if Miami could just be an average offense and get into the top half of the major offensive categories, they’d easily get to 10-wins and take the Coastal title. Except Enos has been unable to accomplish even that.

Taking only games vs. FBS opponents, in 2018 under Mark Richt’s staff, Miami’s offense had 24.8 ppg (90/130 in the nation), 347.5 ypg (110th), 5.3 yards per play (84th), 39.39% on third downs (59th), and 84.62% in red zone scoring (59th).

In 2019 under Enos? Miami has 25.4 ppg (83rd), 370.7 ypg (88th), 5.5 yards per play (68th), 25.83% on third downs (130th), and 71.43% in red zone scoring (118th).

In other words, no significant improvement has been made in any major category, while some have actually gotten worse, and Miami is still in the bottom half of each one.

Just last season against FIU, Richt’s offense rushed the ball for 248 yards early and often against a 9-win Panthers’ team and accounted for 427 total yards through three quarters before bringing in the backups in the 4th.

In contrast, Enos’ offense had 206 yards through three quarters this season before they got it together late in the 4th vs. a now 6-win FIU. Despite FIU coming into the game undermanned up front and leaking over 200 yards per game on the ground (113th in the country), Enos shunned establishing the run and elected to try and force the pass most of the game; Jarren Williams responded with 3 INT’s to put Miami in a 16-0 hole. Miami’s running backs averaged 6.96 yards per carry in the game by the way.

It has been a long and painful 16 year “rebuild” for Miami fans since UM won 11 games, the Orange Bowl, and finished top 5 in the AP poll in 2003. Since then, it has been one heartbreak after another, one broken promise after another, one coach after another.

Most thought that Randy Shannon losing to USF in 2010, a loss that ended his tenure at Miami, was the rock bottom of this era of Miami football. Boy, were they off.

Miami just lost to FIU, but what does that truly mean? Some perspective: The proverbial name the media likes to give FIU in relation to Miami is “little brother”, which is an insult to little brothers everywhere. Michigan State is a little brother to Michigan. Oklahoma State is a little brother to OU. The list goes on and on to usually describe lesser Power 5 programs that may not be as great as their in-state counterparts, but have still made notable accomplishments in modern college football.

FIU? They are a mosquito to the elephant that is Miami’s program history. Their first season of play was 2002, a year that Miami was playing for their 6th national title. The Panthers have never had a 10-win season, have won 2 bowl games ever, and had only beaten one Power 5 team in their 18 years of play coming into the game against UM (Louisville, 2011). They also just lost their last game by 30 points to FAU.

Yes, that’s not a typo: Florida Atlantic.

That’s not even to get into the roster make-up of each program. Despite the majority of FIU’s roster coming out of South Florida, only three players on FIU were even offered Miami before UM eventually backed off recruiting them. Talent-wise, Miami should be better and deeper at every single position across the board compared to FIU.

Those reasons and more are why Diaz described Saturday as “one of the lowest points ever in this proud program’s history”. He took full ownership of the loss, saying he and his staff need to do a better job of coaching, so at least he’s big enough to take that on his shoulders.

But it’s not enough. The damage has been done. After Saturday, it seems like the Miami program is just one more minute to midnight on the Doomsday Clock. There’s not much more time to mess around before the hand hits twelve and the Miami brand is completely dead.

So, the message for Diaz is clear: Get it done, or make way for someone who will.


Grades


Offense: F

The offense was held to 206 yards, 3 points, and 3 turnovers through three quarters. By the time they got it together in the 4th quarter, it was far too late. 1 for 10 on third downs to continue Miami's last place woes in these key situations. This would be unacceptable against most Power 5 teams, but it was against FIU.


Defense: F

297 total yards given up makes things seem better than they were. The defense made a habit of missing tackles, taking poor angles, and generally giving substandard effort for most of the game. The pass rush was completely taken out of the game (0 sacks, 3 TFL). 30 total points ceded to, again, FIU.


Special Teams: C+

Lou Hedley had a 52 ypp average and Camden Price made a chip shot field goal and all three XP’s. The return game didn’t have any notable returns, but the coverage units didn’t let up any either. Solid game with no big miscues, but nothing that made a lasting impact either.


Coaching: F

Everyone has their own takes, but for me the most damning indictment of this staff is that Miami is now 0-3 after their bye weeks. Miami looked unprepared and unmotivated from the jump. This was simply a fireable effort for all involved.

djnellz

Recruit
Joined
Jan 24, 2018
Messages
2,130
There are no excuses for this loss.

The Miami Hurricanes just fell at the site of the old Orange Bowl to Florida International University, 30-24. Even typing that feels odd and wrong. It’s the type of loss that will have reverberations not just for the present season, but in years to come. Any momentum that head coach Manny Diaz had built up over the past 3 games is completely gone, dead, and buried. Because I would rather miss a bowl game than lose to FIU.

I feel I have been very fair and balanced when it comes to criticism of the coaches, both this season and in the past: I try and look at things from all angles and be as objective as possible, which is admittedly difficult at times. In my position, when things aren’t going right, you have to call it out or you lose all credibility. By the same token, if things go well, it’s prudent upon you to give credit when it’s due.

Well, Miami Hurricanes football is certainly not going right. Not with the players, not with the coaches, and not with the administration.

The brand Miami built over three decades is dying, slowly but surely, with each agonizing, head-scratching loss worse than the last. Those three decades of championships and soaring highs clash with this stark reality: When 2020 hits, it will be going on three decades of suck for this Miami program. That’s just the cold, hard truth.

On the outside, the logo still carries weight for some: It looks like the same Miami with improved facilities, and players and coaches certainly seem to talk like it’s the same Miami.

But the inside? The passion, work ethic, and brotherhood that made the University of Miami “The U” and got Miami to where it is was in the college football landscape has been hollowed out and co-opted in favor of cheap marketing ploys, hashtags, and talk that essentially means nothing.

If you want to tell me that Saturday was a genuine and good faith effort to win that ballgame, I have some ocean front property in Arizona to sell you. It was a program-changing loss that makes you re-evaluate and question everything that came before it.

Here were some of my questions: How could anyone watch that game and not ask yourself, “Do the players even care about the Miami legacy anymore or is it just a brand name to use along the way to the NFL?” Because it is essentially impossible for Miami to lose to FIU if maximum effort is given.

Earlier last week, I pointed out that I thought the prospect of being able to face-off against former high school teammates and rivals would be a motivating factor for the Canes to put their foot down and prove why they were worth a Miami scholarship over their counterparts. Instead, I have never seen a team come out so lifeless, so devoid of emotion, as if they expected FIU to lay down and literally hand them over the game.

Another question I asked myself: Does the staff know how to prepare this team whatsoever? The Canes are now 0-3 coming out of bye weeks. UM has gotten down 10-0 vs. UNC, 28-0 vs. Virginia Tech, and now 16-0 against FIU in those games. To me, that is the most searing indictment of this staff to date. FIU had a bye week as well, and clearly Butch Davis on the other side was able to figure out UM’s tendencies to a “T” and effectively communicate them to his players; he intimated as such in his postgame presser. Most notably, instead of getting sucked up, the FIU linebackers were sitting on those RPO throws over the middle from Jarren Williams that had proved so fruitful in the past for UM. By the time Miami was able to make adjustments to what FIU was throwing at them, it was far too late to really make a difference.

How about this one: Did anybody think “Does administration care about winning big at all, or do they just want the vague perception that they care?” Like hiring a $1.5 million offensive coordinator because he was associated with Alabama, regardless of if his system fits the stated criteria of “innovative and cutting-edge.”

There is nothing innovative or cutting edge about Miami’s offense this season. Dan Enos’ system is a mix of what didn’t work under Mark Richt and a feeble attempt to add modern elements without a feel or understanding of how best to implement and execute these concepts. The numbers bear this out as well: The theory went that if Miami could just be an average offense and get into the top half of the major offensive categories, they’d easily get to 10-wins and take the Coastal title. Except Enos has been unable to accomplish even that.

Taking only games vs. FBS opponents, in 2018 under Mark Richt’s staff, Miami’s offense had 24.8 ppg (90/130 in the nation), 347.5 ypg (110th), 5.3 yards per play (84th), 39.39% on third downs (59th), and 84.62% in red zone scoring (59th).

In 2019 under Enos? Miami has 25.4 ppg (83rd), 370.7 ypg (88th), 5.5 yards per play (68th), 25.83% on third downs (130th), and 71.43% in red zone scoring (118th).

In other words, no significant improvement has been made in any major category, while some have actually gotten worse, and Miami is still in the bottom half of each one.

Just last season against FIU, Richt’s offense rushed the ball for 248 yards early and often against a 9-win Panthers’ team and accounted for 427 total yards through three quarters before bringing in the backups in the 4th.

In contrast, Enos’ offense had 206 yards through three quarters this season before they got it together late in the 4th vs. a now 6-win FIU. Despite FIU coming into the game undermanned up front and leaking over 200 yards per game on the ground (113th in the country), Enos shunned establishing the run and elected to try and force the pass most of the game; Jarren Williams responded with 3 INT’s to put Miami in a 16-0 hole. Miami’s running backs averaged 6.96 yards per carry in the game by the way.

It has been a long and painful 16 year “rebuild” for Miami fans since UM won 11 games, the Orange Bowl, and finished top 5 in the AP poll in 2003. Since then, it has been one heartbreak after another, one broken promise after another, one coach after another.

Most thought that Randy Shannon losing to USF in 2010, a loss that ended his tenure at Miami, was the rock bottom of this era of Miami football. Boy, were they off.

Miami just lost to FIU, but what does that truly mean? Some perspective: The proverbial name the media likes to give FIU in relation to Miami is “little brother”, which is an insult to little brothers everywhere. Michigan State is a little brother to Michigan. Oklahoma State is a little brother to OU. The list goes on and on to usually describe lesser Power 5 programs that may not be as great as their in-state counterparts, but have still made notable accomplishments in modern college football.

FIU? They are a mosquito to the elephant that is Miami’s program history. Their first season of play was 2002, a year that Miami was playing for their 6th national title. The Panthers have never had a 10-win season, have won 2 bowl games ever, and had only beaten one Power 5 team in their 18 years of play coming into the game against UM (Louisville, 2011). They also just lost their last game by 30 points to FAU.

Yes, that’s not a typo: Florida Atlantic.

That’s not even to get into the roster make-up of each program. Despite the majority of FIU’s roster coming out of South Florida, only three players on FIU were even offered Miami before UM eventually backed off recruiting them. Talent-wise, Miami should be better and deeper at every single position across the board compared to FIU.

Those reasons and more are why Diaz described Saturday as “one of the lowest points ever in this proud program’s history”. He took full ownership of the loss, saying he and his staff need to do a better job of coaching, so at least he’s big enough to take that on his shoulders.

But it’s not enough. The damage has been done. After Saturday, it seems like the Miami program is just one more minute to midnight on the Doomsday Clock. There’s not much more time to mess around before the hand hits twelve and the Miami brand is completely dead.

So, the message for Diaz is clear: Get it done, or make way for someone who will.


Grades


Offense: F

The offense was held to 206 yards, 3 points, and 3 turnovers through three quarters. By the time they got it together in the 4th quarter, it was far too late. 1 for 10 on third downs to continue Miami's last place woes in these key situations. This would be unacceptable against most Power 5 teams, but it was against FIU.


Defense: F

297 total yards given up makes things seem better than they were. The defense made a habit of missing tackles, taking poor angles, and generally giving substandard effort for most of the game. The pass rush was completely taken out of the game (0 sacks, 3 TFL). 30 total points ceded to, again, FIU.


Special Teams: C+

Lou Hedley had a 52 ypp average and Camden Price made a chip shot field goal and all three XP’s. The return game didn’t have any notable returns, but the coverage units didn’t let up any either. Solid game with no big miscues, but nothing that made a lasting impact either.


Coaching: F

Everyone has their own takes, but for me the most damning indictment of this staff is that Miami is now 0-3 after their bye weeks. Miami looked unprepared and unmotivated from the jump. This was simply a fireable effort for all involved.
This needs to be in a newspaper.
Thanks, D$
 

Don canon

2020 is the year!!!!! 11-1!!!!!
Joined
Aug 3, 2018
Messages
1,568
Heartbreaking lost man. This is the game that will define the Manny Diaz era. Either he rebounds from the is **** and becomes a legend or UM sucks for the best two years and he gets fired. I would love to be wrong but my money is on the second option.
 

Hurricane4lyfe

recruit
Joined
Jul 19, 2016
Messages
226
Cold hard facts at that stefan.. I guess it's for us fans to right this ship . Gotta get to work fans in a big way 💯🙌
 

NicKane

5 Star Blue chip
Joined
May 11, 2017
Messages
1,517

juanky212

Freshman
Joined
Dec 30, 2013
Messages
343
Very nice article. Do you see any changes being made with this staff?
 

Novacane32000

Sophomore
Joined
Aug 10, 2014
Messages
1,301
There is still hope for the U as long as respectable recruiting classes continue filing in. When that stops .........it's all over.
 

2020 Commits

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195
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330
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WR
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195
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QB
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210
Glastonbury, CT
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290
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205
Miami, FL
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180
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265
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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
L 28 - 21
10/26
Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA
W 16 - 12
11/02
Florida State
Tallahassee, FL
W 27 - 10
11/09
Louisville
Miami Gardens, FL
W 52 - 27
11/23
FIU
Miami, FL
L 30 - 24
11/30
Duke
Durham, NC
L 27 - 17
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