Big Comeback Sets Up Huge Stretch For Canes

Curtis Stevenson
October 12, 2018 - 12:30 pm

Wow! That was the overall feeling on both sides after Miami and Florida State played another thrilling game in their legendary rivalry.

It was clear that FSU was out to prove that their slow start this season was not indicative of the talent that they have on their roster, and they put it on Miami early in that game. The Seminoles stunned the Canes and the sold out crowd with great execution on offense.

Defensively they made the Miami offense work for every yard, and made them look unsettled for most of the first half. Leading 27-7 midway through the third quarter, it looked bleak for the Canes trying to win at home against their rival for the first time since 2004. And then the defense took over. Manny Diaz's group played their best stretch of football all season long. They held Florida State to just 45 total yards in the second half and just 200 for the game. Gerald Willis recovered a fumble and Michael Pinckney intercepted a Deandre Francois pass on consecutive possessions to give the Canes the boost they so desperately needed.  With two touchdowns in less than a minute, Miami was right back in the ball game, and had the Seminoles reeling.

Redshirt freshman quarterback N'kosi Perry shook off a tough first half and made timely plays down the field when it counted most. He finished with just 13 completions, but 4 of those were for touchdowns. One of those was to wide receiver Jeff Thomas who continues to dazzle with his highlight catches and play-making ability. On the ground, Travis Homer ran like a boss. It's great to see him getting stronger as the season progresses, and if he and fellow backfield mate DeeJay Dallas can both hit their stride at the same time, look out.  

Miami has now won two in a row in the series and has set themselves up for another shot at a division title. It will not be easy however. With four of the next five games on the road, the Canes will be tested in those conference venues. Virginia is up first and is well rested coming off their bye week. The Cavaliers have a very stingy defense and want to run the ball in order to get their receivers one on one on the outside. They do not have a signature win yet this season, but be sure they have Miami in their cross-hairs. Just remember last year, where they gave the Hurricanes all they could handle at Hard Rock in a tough UM 44-28 win. To get through this gauntlet unscathed, the Canes will have to rely on their defense.

The old saying "defense travels" will certainly come into play during the next month. Miami is second in the country in total defense and first in tackles for loss per game, with twelve per contest. As Perry becomes more comfortable the defense should lead the way. One area that needs to be cleaned up is special teams. Plain and simple, whoever is out on the field, needs to do their part. Just do your job and everything will be fine. I do not expect the extraordinary. At this point I will take the ordinary. In a close game which Miami surely will be in, it could cost them dearly.

They also need to guard against a possible let down after the euphoric high of coming back and beating their rivals. This is where it gets fun. They are still in the mix for everything that they want to accomplish as a team. We shall see how this team improves and comes together.

Go Canes!

Comments ()