Three Times In A Row


The Canes are finally streaking in a good way and like the great 90s R&B singing group Tony! Toni! Toné! once famously said “it feels good!” Actually, let’s stop trying to play this modestly cool, it feels great! The only thing I wish is that it would have started sooner. Because in hindsight, with the way Tyler Van Dyke is playing right now and with proper preparation- the games against Virginia and North Carolina seem even more winnable now. The Miami Hurricanes have finally solved their Rubik’s Cube problem that has plagued them for 30 years in finally finding a quarterback with NFL level arm talent that also has shown rapid development in the mental aspects of the game. This is evidenced by the fact that TVD is the 1st Miami Hurricanes QB since Bernie Kosar in 1984 to have 3 consecutive games of 325 yards passing or more. Let that wash over you and settle in for a moment. The Canes have not had a trigger man do what this kid is doing since before I was born, and I am not a young lad by any stretch of the imagination. The kid does not make mistakes in his reads, the ball is always out on time and on target, and he protects the football and rarely turns it over. I am excited to watch his continued evolution over the next couple of seasons in Coral Gables.

The Miami Hurricanes offense is humming right now. When I say humming don’t think of an old folk’s church ensemble mass choir humming, but more like how Drag-On was humming before he spit all that rapid fire and flame on the Ruff Ryder compilation album classic song “Down Bottom.” The offense is humming like a turbo boosted lawn mower with no idle gear! They are all gas and go right from the jump bro! Rhett Lashlee has the running and passing game clicking at the same time and it’s hard to defend and even more fun to watch. Knighton ran for 162 yards and a touchdown on Saturday, albeit on 32 carries. That’s good for over 5 yards a carry, which is a significant improvement from where this team was earlier in the season. However, the Rooster is a smaller speedy skat back with home run to the house potential and running him over 30 times in a game especially from the shotgun on third or fourth and short yard and a cloud of dust type downs is not something Miami should be doing if we want this kid to last the whole season or have our best chance of converting those crucial downs to first downs.

The Hurricanes have a bigger back in Thad Franklin who can spell Knighton in those spots and can use his size and momentum on those carries that he would get from us running plays from under center for him. If pass blocking is an issue for Thad, as it is for most freshman running backs, then bring him on to run it on short yardage downs or as a decoy for play action quick passes in those situations. Rhett Lashlee forcing the issue over and over with Knighton on those short yardage situations was frustrating to watch on Saturday and could have cost Miami the game because he did not setup Knighton or the team for success with those play calls. It made it easier for the Ga Tech defensive line to get a push against our offensive line and stone Knighton on multiple occasions where we couldn’t pick up the first down conversion.

Charleston Rambo is having himself an amazing season! Is he in the conversation for one of the best UM transfers of all-time? If not, he should be. I am hereby officially starting that conversation right now if it has not commenced already. Rambo has been amazing for the Canes since coming from Oklahoma and is having one of the best Hurricane wide receiver seasons of all-time. Rambo is already at 860 yards receiving on the season, which is good enough to put him at #10 all-time on the UMiami list. He is only 8 yards behind Hurricane’s legend Michael Irvin and is on pace to possibly end up being #1 on the list by season’s end with three more regular season games and a bowl game to go. Defenses have no clue how to defend this guy because his route running is exceptional. He is good down the boundary, he is great at getting inside leverage for over the middle routes, and he is not afraid to go up and make a contested catch on a jump ball. Rambo is a sudden movement twitchy type of receiver with decent top end speed that defenses often drop back to respect and he still gets behind on them more than people who do their own taxes. He had 7 catches for 210 yards and a touchdown on Saturday and if not for a couple of uncharacteristic drops or a slightly underthrown flea flicker pass from TVD, he would have easily broken Eddie Brown’s single game record of 220 yards that was set in the infamous Flutie Hail Mary game against Boston College in 1984. I like the challenge of Rambo trying to go for the record against Duke on their senior night in the last regular season game of the season.

All these amazing numbers being put up by the offense would not be possible if not for the amazing play of the offensive line. The big uglies up front have really come together and gelled well as the season has gone on. The Ga Tech pass rush could not get a whiff of Tyler Van Dyke’s cologne for most of the game and the rare times when they did, the line did a good job of giving TVD an escape route so that he could either pick up the 1st down with his legs or avoid getting the big hit. His jersey was clean enough to wear to dinner at Prime 112 after the game if he wanted to. The Hurricane left and right tackles made the Yellow Jacket edge rushers look like mere spectators. There was a lot of good to celebrate in Saturday’s homecoming game, but the three lost fumbles and big plays the defense gave up because of poor tackling, improper gap filling, and bad tracking angles taken were not becoming of a Miami Hurricanes team on the comeback trail. Against better competition those mistakes really could have come back to haunt us. We don’t want to make those mistakes this coming Saturday in Tallahassee at Doak Campbell because the Seminoles have the athletes to make us pay. Win-loss records be damned when it’s FSU rivalry week! We know they will bring their A-game. Now let’s go beat some Seminoles!!!

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