Tyler Van Roosevelt

Tyler Van Roosevelt

The rough rider inspired presidential doctrine of Theodore Roosevelt was “speak softly and carry a big stick.” President Roosevelt ended up getting himself a space on Mount Rushmore by walking it like he talked it when it came to using his Big Stick Diplomacy during his tenure as the 26th president. Tyler Van Dyke is trying to make his early claim to fame as a quarterback who isn’t afraid to talk his talk and carry a big stick while he walks his walk. Now I fully realize that TVD didn’t follow the “speaking quietly” piece of Roosevelt’s model when he came out last week and said that he didn’t think NC State’s #1 ranked defense could stop them; but let’s face it, he’s a Miami Hurricane. Speaking quietly is not something that we are good at.

TVD brought on a lot of criticism for providing the Wolf Pack with extra motivation and poster board material in their locker room. I was amongst those critics, not because I am against cocky braggadocious trash talk. I loved that element of what Tyler had to say. I was critical of Tyler for the fact that he had gotten off to such slow first half starts in his first two games as a starter. Shy passivity early on led to deep a hole against Virginia at home a few weeks ago. Anxiety, nervous footwork, and poor decision making had led to inaccuracy issues and interceptions against North Carolina that put the Canes behind the eight ball on the road. I was very critical of those issues, especially considering the cannon and arm talent that TVD possesses.

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” Those wise words of Teddy Roosevelt play well in the defense of Tyler’s play in his first two starts as he nearly dragged himself and his whole team out of both of those deficits caused by his early mediocre play with brilliant 2nd half performances that came up just barely short of grabbing the win. Those almost comeback wins seemed unlikely at halftime and then suddenly seemed inevitable as the Miami offense ended up driving in both games deep into scoring position right before the conclusion for the go-ahead points thanks to the young QB rapidly growing up before our eyes. Unfortunately, those points to seal the victories for the redshirt freshman didn’t come due to heartbreaking plays at the buzzer, but the adversity of being thrown into the fiery forge did seem to precipitate into a steely resolve in the cauldron of young Van Dyke because he refused to lose to North Carolina State on Saturday night and you could see that from the opening drive this time around. Those black Miami nights jerseys encapsulated the deadly serious competitive disposition of the whole team.

Teddy Roosevelt once famously said, “it is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.” TVD definitely put a target on his back and the rest of his teammates, but his confidence seemed to be contagious as his teammates rallied around him to prove him right. TVD wanted all of the pressure of the moment, but he would rather die trying to succeed rather than being afraid of the difficulty of failing to live up to the unstoppable nature of his words from earlier in the week. It turns out that Van Dyke was right. He asked for all of the smoke and then backed it up because NC State’s top ranked defense couldn’t stop the Canes offense all night. Tyler Van Dyke went 25/33 for 325 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. Charleston Rambo shredded the Wolfpack secondary to the tune of 9 receptions for 127 yards and 2 scores. Jaylon Knighton had himself a night with 166 combined yards from scrimmage and a score. The Canes ran for over 100 rushing yards and scored at least a touchdown in all 4 frames. The Miami offense truly was unstoppable on Saturday night and Tyler Van Roosevelt was the engine that made the whole thing go. Speak loudly young Hurricanes and carry an even bigger stick!

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