Canes Show Signs of Life

Well, what do you know? It appears this Miami Hurricane program is showing some signs of life after all. After the debacle at Hard Rock the week before it felt like the program was on life support. A late flip by the triggerman centerpiece to the 2023 recruiting class to the Florida Gators just compounded the negative feelings around the program. The FSU fans have been taking an extended victory lap after such an embarrassing defeat by our beloved Canes and I am a fan with pride. I must be honest; I have not been enjoying this season or the Seminole fans trash talking in my mentions at all. Alumni are upset. Boosters seem to have been throwing money into the program ineffectively. Players seemed to be ready to move on and it looked like this highly paid coaching staff was ready to let go of the rope on this season as well. Mario Cristobal was starting to sound like a broken record at his press conferences. He was running out of ways to take responsibility while also trying to have his players accept some accountability. The lowest of lows in the buildup made this win on Saturday feel like the highest of highs. It was sweeter because of just how beaten down we were the week prior.

In Summary

This complimentary football game and 21-point victory over Georgia Tech was desperately needed and it could not have come at a better time. We needed an elixir to cleanse our palates and try to rekindle the same positive vibes we all had at the press conference last year when Coach Cristobal was introduced with the extra small baby jersey. Now I am under no delusional machinations here and my belief in our prospects for the rest of this season are not aspirational or optimistic at all. I am fully aware that Georgia Tech is not a well-run program, and they fired their coach earlier this season. I am fully aware that this upcoming matchup with Clemson is likely to be almost as embarrassing as the FSU game if not worse. I am also aware that beating the Pitt Panthers in the regular season finale is likely to be a very heavy lift and that game will likely end up being the season finale. Odds are, we don’t finish this campaign as bowl eligible, but nevertheless, it was still great to see signs of growth and progression in the coaches and players.

True Freshman QB

Miami decided to go with the mobile true freshman quarterback Jacurri Brown and were handsomely rewarded with a competent looking offense that ran the ball well, passed efficiently when we needed to, and actually scored some touchdowns in the red zone! This is a signal that Jake Garcia’s collegiate career is all but over in Miami and the changing of the guard to the young guns is well under way. Nyjalik Kelly and Wesley Bissainthe also got many snaps during the game on defense and rewarded their coaches with great play. Especially in coverage, Wes was exceptional when dropping back into coverage and the true freshman showcased his range that made him a highly sought-after blue-chip recruit. Jaleel Skinner also caught a touchdown pass as well.


The sophomore safety Kam Kinchens from the mighty Miami Northwestern program had himself a game! Three interceptions including a 99-yard pick six to seal the deal and tie school records. The Miami defense acquitted itself well after a rough season of way too many big plays given up and a thorough thrashing by hated rival Florida State. If that 45-2 beatdown was the illness, then the 35-14 win in Atlanta was the life-saving medicine that was desperately needed to abate the symptoms and break the fever. Mario Cristobal needed some on field success to show his current and future players what his vision for the program could be and Saturday was a good start to that.

The offense finally switched to a full spread with zone read options and play designs that got our playmakers in space; it only took them nine horrible games to figure it out. Also, due to absolute necessity because of the absence of Henry Parrish, Jaylan Knighton was finally given a meaningful number of touches in this game, and he did not disappoint. He carried the ball 16 times for 119 yards and a touchdown. Rooster has had a rough season full of fumbles and injuries, but he is the type of player that you don’t give up on. He’s too good to not get touches in this offense and he reminded everyone in Miami that he is still that dude. Knighton’s two best games in his collegiate career have both come at the hands of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Hopefully, Rooster decides to stay with the program after the season but after the way this coaching staff handled his playing time or lack thereof, I would be very surprised to not see him hit the portal.

In Conclusion

It felt good to win again. It felt good to dominate again. It would be nice if Miami can build on the momentum they generated on Saturday into this weekend’s game with Clemson. Being competitive for at least a half sounds like asking too much, but it would be nice if we could pull that off. Our defensive line can create havoc on defense, but Clemson’s defensive line will probably destroy our protection. Jacurri is a big guy and his youthful body seemed to take the physicality of carrying the ball 19 times for 87 yards very well but he took some very big hits while doing so. Even though he is big and young and kept popping up after every big hit, we still need to protect the kid and not let him take unnecessary punishment from the Clemson defense. Jacurri’s mobility will be a major feature in the offense and trying to keep him as healthy as possible. So much for Gary Ferman saying that Jacurri would never play quarterback from Miami and that he should change positions. Looks like the kid is already proving a lot of people wrong. Three touchdowns and no turnovers in a win is a hell of a debut for a true freshman. Go Canes!

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