Well long thought of as being no longer relevant within college football. It’d appear that the University of Miami(Miami Hurricanes) are seemingly back in the saddle and learning how to play once again.
Having dispatched their instate and conference rivals , Florida State (Seminoles) last weekend . They took a second shot at beating another ranked team within the AP Poll. This time around it was the Georgia Tech (Yellow Jackets) on the opposing end of another victory for the Miami Hurricanes. In the first two weeks of the college football season ‘The Canes’ (2-0), have stamped their authority within the Atlantic Coast Conference(ACC). Now two teams within the Top 25 have fallen at the hands of the Miami Hurricanes.
First with their defeat of Florida State , the result being an enthralling 38-34 victory over the then ranked #18 team in the poll rankings. Miami , their coach , Randy Shannon and the fans had every right to feel pleased with the proceedings. But last night it was the icing on the cake in their defeat of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. That has brought a greater stride in the step of Canes’ football. And should we not mention pride as well ? They thoroughly outplayed another conference rival and emphasized that in the resulting in a thoroughly convincing 33-17 victory over the #14 ranked Yellow Jackets.
It’s far too early to suggest that this team resembles the ones of old that brought about a great deal of fear, intimidation , and destruction of their opponents. But it’s a step in the right direction for the program and its players. Albeit , that there are those who feel that the ‘thug mentality’ that went with those teams were warranted. If it got the right results in terms of a victory – then so be it, as far as the Canes were concerned. And they, above all people, weren’t entirely concerned with what anyone else thought about them at the time.
As a five time national champion , the last of which was won in 2001 , under the auspices of then coach Larry Coker. The drought and the lack of prominence on the national stage has hurt the program immensely. And even though it still produces players that are long sought after by franchises across the NFL . When Miami is playing football that is a brand that it is normally associated with the program in terms of national success. Then it becomes a bountiful harvest in terms of the recruiting process. Especially when it’s played out on the national stage in-front of a televised audience.
With last night’s events and the well rounded display of the team on both sides of the ball. Miami has essentially played itself into contention within the ACC and quite possibly in the minds of some as being a BCS contender.
If the thought was that with the departure of Robert Marve, the program would be at a loss when it came to having a quarterback that could play with fluidity and lead the team. They now have no need to worry , as they’ve now found a more than adequate replacement for the often erratic, Marve. In Jacory Harris , the team has found a real quarterback who can play and more than hold his on the field at the position. And Harris shows signs of being a greatly matured player and one who handles pressure well. He’s athletic and at the same time he doesn’t choose to place his team in danger with that all too risky play. But if anything, it has been his leadership qualities and quarterback ability that has come to the fore. And that was very much on display last night for the team. As he led them to victory.
And upon looking at this Canes’ roster, there’s the thought a number of these players may well have a bright future not only at the collegiate level. But also within the NFL as well. Randy Shannon has gone out of his way to go back the roots of what provided the Canes with much of its success. And that was to primarily recruit in the local hotbed of “football talent” . And that is indeed in South Florida .Areas such as Pahokee , Belle Glade, West Palm Beach, Homestead, Miami and areas farther afield. But it was in South Florida where the nucleus of the talent has been borne-with regard to his recruiting drive. That’s not to say that he hasn’t cast his net aside nationally. He’s has players who’ve come from the West Coast and the North East to get a taste of how things are done in the Canes’ tradition.
As of now we can only take the wait and look approach as to how thing will progress so far as the rest of the college season goes for the program. But of Harris’ three touchdown display is anything to go by. And with the play of running backs Graig Cooper, Javarris James adding a much needed running game to go alongside a very inventive and potent air attack. Offensively, this team essentially wants for nothing. Defensively , they held their own, depriving the Yellow Jackets and denying them anything in terms of real yardage on the ground. A miserly 95 yards of rushing was allowed by the Canes’ defense on the night.
Now comes the hard part for the Miami Hurricanes and that’s to maintain the level of consistency shown through these first two games. With their scheduling and the fixtures ahead, they’ve got to maintain that level of consistent play. Awaiting them next is the #13 ranked Virginia Tech , another ACC conference rival. But it may well be their much anticipated game against Oklahoma , that may well tell us how far they’ve progressed. From thereon in , it’s not thought that the rest of the schedule prove to be overly difficult.
At this juncture there are a number of things that could place their season in jeopardy -over confidence. And as usual the fear of a season ending injury to one of the team’s primary starters. But as I alluded to before , consistency in their play , has to be maintained. If they’re to fare well over the course of the season and their title overall aspirations. It has been a long time coming but for the Canes’ fan the ‘U’ may finally have been brought back to prominence .
9/26 @ #13 Virginia Tech
10/3 #12 Oklahoma
10/10 Florida A & M
10/17 @ UCF
10/31 @ Wake Forest
11/14 @ #24 North Carolina
11/28 @ South Florida