Beat Boston

The Miami Hurricanes need to beat Boston College. Period. Saying that the Black Friday game is a must win is an understatement. After yet another one-score loss to the Louisville Cardinals on Senior Day, the 2023 Canes dropped to a lowly 6-5. That mark is a far cry from the cautious optimism of the offseason and a converse departure from the boisterous feelings in the fanbase and around the program after the 4-0 start.

Where did we go wrong here? It wasn’t that long ago when we were sharing screenshots of Tyler Van Dyke being in all of the top passing categories. It wasn’t that long ago that folks were debating if Van Dyke was better than Penix or Nix and if Miami could make a run to the ACC Championship game. This season truly felt different for a while, at the beginning. The offensive line was dominant and exhibiting every bit of their moniker as the great wall of Mirabal.
The defense was flying around and showed dramatic growth under Guidry. Our linebackers were a strength instead of a liability. Miami had a top 5 run defense in the country and Jaden Davis looked a transfer portal superstar at corner. Jacolby George finally blossomed and became a legit big play receiver. Xavier Restrepo had his best season as a Cane and our running back room looked as deep as it has looked in years with Mark Fletcher looking like a future stud. So, how did we end up at 6-5?
This question has really been rattling around in my brain and there are so many question marks around this program when we anticipated getting good answers during this campaign. TVD showed that he is the best arm in our quarterback room and played a great game against Louisville. He made NFL throws and protected the football. However, not enough red zone opportunities were converted to touchdowns. That gets you beat. Being overly conservative gets you beat, but so does turning the ball over. College is a game of speed and aggression. You have to impose your will and take control of the opponent. If you play to keep it close like they do in the NFL, you often get beat in college. So now we are faced with the prospect of a great exodus of draft eligible players, and we seem to have no answers for who will be our triggerman of the future.

Miami quarterback Tyler Van Dyke (9) passes against Louisville defensive lineman Mason Reiger during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
As important as those questions are, the answer can wait. We will have time to do a deep dive and detailed autopsy of the program.. There will be plenty of blame to go around after the season is over. All that matters at the moment is that the Miami Hurricanes have to beat the Eagles of Boston College on Friday. For all of the folks saying that 7-5 is better than 5-7, that is statistically correct, but the difference in our record can’t be that this year we beat Miami of Ohio (from the MAC) conference and last year we lost to Middle Tennessee State (from the MAC). Most in the fanbase believes they have seen progress, we are what our record says we are and the difference between last season and this season can’t be a MAC win. Miami needs another ACC win. Mario Cristobal needs another ACC. Miami needs another Power 5 win. Coach Cristobal needs another P5 win. It won’t save the season, but it’s a lot more plausible to recruit after ending the season with a win than it will be to sell these future collegiate stars a vision of a winning culture when all you have shown them are losses in the conference.
In order to seal a winning season the Canes players who are still participating will have to be professional and focused. It’s easy to lose your head when the season is basically over, you achieved almost none of your goals you set out to achieve, and guys are already announcing their intentions to leave the program. It’s easy to be unfocused when the game is the day after the holiday and it’s on the road. We have already fallen victim to the Black Friday Blues several times before when we had teams with more to play for than pride, so if anyone out there is thinking that because we are playing Boston College it should be an easy game, I would caution you against that line of thought. Miami can lose this game, but I sincerely believe that for the sake of the program, Miami can’t afford to lose.

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