Miracle Loss in Miami

The Canes lost to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at home in miraculous fashion! Of course they did. It was the Miami thing to do. Bring out the amazing Miami Night jerseys with the neon numbers and have a house full of recruits just to have TVD have his worst game since the Middle Tennessee State debacle and lose to a team that just lost to Bowling Green. Sounds about right. While everyone was busy planning the undefeated march to Doak Campbell, the Canes were busy cooking up an upset during their bye week…their own upset to be more specific. While next week’s matchup in Chapel Hill is on a 6 day hold with the chance of being moved to a nationally televised primetime game with the GameDay crew on site, the Canes were getting ready to say “no, thanks- we don’t want that kind of free marketing and attention.” Why do we always seem to be so poor after byes? Why does it seem like Miami always loses when they pull out a new alternate uniform?

There’s plenty of blame to go around. I am not one of those people that subscribes to the notion that because the coaches messed up that allows the referees to escape any blame. I am going to start with the referees because they were bad for the entire game. That taunting call on Corey Flagg was ridiculous. Calling back that first half touchdown run by Parrish for a good block by Anez Cooper was a travesty. Holding, where? Then the officials called that Colbie Young bomb a touchdown when it was clear to everyone with eyes that his knee was down short of the goaline. I turned to my wife during the play and told her that the touchdown would be called back because Young’s knee was clearly down short of the goal line. I was about as far from the play as you could be and I saw it clear as day. The official who was right there missed it. They corrected that one upon further review.

The biggest mistake of them all was the fumble call against Don Chaney. It was obvious live in real time and in the video review that Chaney was down and the ball was ripped out afterwards. It was even more clear and obvious on the video review when they zoomed in and slowed down the frame speed. If you stitch together the two angles you can see Chaney’s elbow was clearly down for a whole beat before the defender even attempted to rip the ball out after the fact. The truth is they did not even have to stitch together two different angles because the angles they had showed them all of the information they needed. The refs sucked and they all needed to be fired at halftime but they continued to get progressively worse as the game went on. I understand that you never want to leave the game in the hands of an official, but I firmly believe that refs should not get calls wrong after a video review just like coaches should not get an easy decision wrong in real time.

Beyond the referees there is equal blame to go around for the failure that was the final sequence of this tragic game. Cristobal and Dawson have big black eyes to wear for this farcical finish. Why not take a knee on 3rd down? Was getting Chaney to 100 yards rushing on the day that important? TVD has audible authority in this offense. He has culpability as well considering that he could have changed the play to a victory formation call. He saw the clock. TVD could have been the fail safe to end the game. He didn’t. That’s not even getting into how terribly Van Dyke played all game by staring down Restrepo, making bad reads, missing throws, and throwing 3 bad interceptions. Tyler Van Dyke had a terrible game and he could have helped himself by taking a knee himself. I am not sure if the Hurricanes have an aversion to bending the knee like Jon Snow, but next time bend the knee TVD.

Chaney blew it because he could have gone down on first contact and the game would have been over. Why was he fighting for extra yards? It makes no sense. Why was Matt Lee trying to pull Chaney to get extra yards when he could have just let Chaney go down? GO DOWN AND THE GAME IS OVER!!! These were low football IQ decisions that came back to bite Miami terribly. If Lee does not hold Chaney up and pull him to get extra yards, Chaney goes down sooner and the game is over. The Yellow Jacket defender was literally swiping at the ball in desperation at the end of the play and somehow he was rewarded for it by a series of unintelligent decisions and the cherry on top were the 3 blind referees in the video replay booth.

The Miami defense also has some blame to accept as well. After the silly phantom fumble, the defense just had to make a stop and we win the game. Worst case scenario, GT gets into field goal range and we go to overtime. Odds are, we finish them in OT. The one thing they could absolutely not do was get beat deep. Tell me why Te’Cory Couch was in perfect position to defend the pass prior to the final play and he went for glory instead of defending the play soundly? Couch took himself out of position to try and undercut and intercept the ball. The only problem was Couch forgot that he is not the tallest guy in the world and misjudged the flight of the ball which allowed the big completion over his fingertips that set up the final play in this unbelievable series of unfortunate events.

On the final play, for some odd reason our All-American safety decided to bite on an underneath route. If that underneath completion is made, we rally and tackle. The game is over. The only thing that beats you is letting a receiver get behind you and giving up the big play over the top. It’s football 101. Prevent the big play! Somehow we lost our heads and totally lost all sense of basic fundamental football and got venom struck by a slithering snake in the most heartbreaking way possible. I am sure there are people reading this right now wondering how we lost this game because they left the stadium trying to beat the traffic assuming that Miami would take a knee and the game would be over. If you were one of those people, you assumed wrong. I can still hear the stupid Georgia Tech fans that were still in the stadium screaming and the audible gasps of Hurricane fans around the world getting their hearts stepped on once again.

Then we have the million lateral play at the end of the game that was seemingly working to help extend the game until we made the mistake of throwing the ball to Jacolby George and he obviously didn’t know what to do with it. He stood there lost and indecisive, allowing the defenders to close in on him and knock the ball out of his hands and thereby killing any hopes Miami had for our own magical miraculous ending. Those tears from Chaney and Matt Lee were real tears that told you that these guys truly believed that they had what it took to make a special run this season and they threw it all away in an inexplicable moment of maybe the worst mental lapse in the history of the program.

I had a bad feeling in my stomach when James Willams did not get into the endzone after his amazing interception return. I wanted JW to score so badly because I just knew that the offense would settle for a field goal. Little did I know that not getting a touchdown there would end up being so important because we would end up running a 5 minute offense to milk the clock and then blow it at the end of the game. I understand the pain and anger that Canes nation is feeling right now but the fire Mario calls are asinine and downright silly. Mario is not the best game day coach, we knew that coming in. This is a mistake that he will never live down. The memes and gifs will roast him to the end of time. He deserves that scrutiny along with Dawson. However, I still believe in the program that he is building here and this season can still be a good one if we correct these mistakes and take the rest of the ACC schedule more seriously. The college football playoff hopes are probably out of the window, but there is still a lot to play for. For now, Mario will have to start his FEMA level damage control because blue chip recruits like Jeremiah Smith and company could not have been impressed with what they saw on the field against Georgia Tech.

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