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Hurricanes Plummet In Polls - Look To Get On Track Against Savannah State

Alex Donno
September 06, 2018 - 10:57 am

The AP voters were not impressed by Miami's performance. 

Following the Hurricanes' 33-17 loss to LSU on Sunday, they took a nose dive in the updated rankings. The Hurricanes have dropped from Number 8 to Number 22

It's a tough pill to swallow after beginning the season in the top 10, but can anyone say this isn't completely justified? In fact, Miami might be fortunate. The South Florida Sun Sentinel's Christy Chirinos made a good point on my Wednesday radio show. "If you watched that game, would you have ranked (Miami) in your top 25? Remember, a lot of voters maybe looked at the score, and the box score in itself ended up looking not so bad, because of what they did in the fourth quarter." 

She's absolutely right. There's no way all of the AP Voters watched the game from start to finish, even if it was nationally televised. While Miami trailed 33-3 in the crucial stages of the football game, their two late touchdowns made it look closer than it really was. 

After an ugly loss, Miami has a chance to put an easy winning streak together. It starts Saturday in the home opener against the Savannah State Tigers. 

The Tigers fell to UAB 52-0 in their opener. Miami's chances of losing to them are less than zero percent. Consider this a tune-up game or a "get right" game after the debacle in Dallas.

What would I like to see? I'm glad you asked. 

1- Accuracy and poise from the quarterbacks.  Malik Rosier is still the starting QB, as Mark Richt confirmed throughout the week, but he surely won't be the only quarterback to play in this one. He'll likely play most if not all of the first half, though. From Rosier, we need to see accuracy most of all. After completing just 54 percent of his passes last season, he connected on just 42.8 percent of his attempts against LSU. His receivers should be wide open against the Tigers' secondary, so he MUST hit on the majority of his attempts. Meanwhile, you can expect to see most, if not all, of N'Kosi Perry, Cade Weldon, and Jarren Williams play throughout the second half. None of them have taken a collegiate snap, so I cannot wait to see what they each bring to the table. 

2- Dominate with the running game. I know I listed quarterback play right at the top, but in reality, you'll see the running game established early and often in a game like this. Miami's O-line looked shaky against LSU, but this matchup should give them a chance to physically man-handle the opposition. It's time to get a look at what Travis Homer, Deejay Dallas, Trayone Gray, Lorenzo Lingard and Cam Davis can do in space. If you're familiar with Mark Richt coach teams through the years, you know how important a mutli-headed backfield is to his offense. 

3- Turnovers, Turnovers, Turnovers. Miami failed to force a takeaway against LSU, so they'll try to open up the floodgates against Savannah State. But here's a sincere question: Is this the right game to debut the 2018 (reportedly revamped) turnover chain? After seeing it collect dust against LSU, should Miami wait for a tougher matchup before they bust out the chain. Would it look a tad silly to put on some bling against an FCS opponent? I think they should at least wait for Toledo. 

4- Stay healthy. Ahmmon Richards left the LSU game with a minor knee injury and is day to day. Given how imporant he is to this team, there's no reason to risk him against Savannah State. Hopefully, no one else comes away hurt this week. You'd hate to lose anyone in a glorified preseason game. 

You can listen to Savannah State - Miami this Saturday on 560 WQAM. Our pregame gets underway at 2:00pm, with kickoff at 6:00.