Did The Hurricanes Learn From Opening Loss To The Gators?

WQAM Radio
September 06, 2019 - 11:48 am
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It’s been nearly two weeks since the University of Miami’s 24-20 setback in Orlando against the Florida Gators – and tomorrow night – the 0-1 Hurricanes open ACC Coastal Division play in Chapel Hill.

Over the past 13 days, the loss to Florida has been dissected from just about every direction. But what is going to prevent the Hurricanes from going 0-2 – and more importantly – 0-1 in ACC Coastal play?

While some egos have been bruised and mistakes have been corrected, nothing is going to replace the emotions and reality of strapping it up for an 8:00 kickoff on the ACC Network and 560 The Joe – WQAM.

All the talk, film sessions and finger pointing will be replaced by raw emotion as head coach Mack Brown and the Tar Heels look to show that last week’s win against SEC South Carolina was no fluke – while head coach Manny Diaz and his staff are out to stop the bleeding and mistakes that cost Miami a win at Camping World Stadium.

While Offensive Coordinator Dan Enos ripped into his redshirt freshman quarterback Jarren Williams after the loss is fine, and everyone acknowledging what went wrong, there are no guarantees that recent history will not repeat itself.

Unlike last year when the Hurricanes trounced UNC at Hard Rock Stadium on a Thursday night, this game is not at home – and Miami is still young on the offensive line and does not have a receiver that wants to be that difference maker among other things.

The problems on offense are real – and whether 14 days can make sacks go away along with missed opportunities, only time will tell.

The defense is sound – and senior leadership exists like it doesn’t on offense. There are playmakers ready to turn the tide of the game, but there are also questions that were not answered against the Gators.

BREAKING DOWN THE GAME

From the offensive side of things, running the ball will be huge. While the line is inexperienced, this team needs to play on the positives and redshirt sophomore center Corey Gaynor was one of players that graded out very high in the opener.

The line, which played better than most felt, and was NOT totally responsible for many of the sacks, still has miles to go before it can stand up to a solid defensive front.

Williams needs to execute and understand that just because you corrected what went wrong against Florida, that North Carolina will present new problems and will most certainly attack in new and different ways. Coach Enos, instead of handing out all the blame, will need to make adjustments and prevent much of what Gators’ DC Todd Grantham threw at him, from repeating itself.

Miami needs to utilize mismatches with tight ends Brevin Jordan and Will Mallory, who can carve up any defense in the country.

Understand that if the receiving corps is not ready to make a statement, you have other quality ways to attack an aggressive UNC defense.

On defense, Miami needs to attack freshman quarterback Sam Howell from everywhere. Blitz packages have to be DC Blake Baker’s best friend. Miami has to stop the run and put all the pressure on a signal caller that has one start under his belt.

Understand that this will be a four quarter game, and kicker Bubba Baxa and first year punter Louis Hedley will be huge.

Special teams will be a major focus in a game like this – and field position will be paramount.

 

WHO MIAMI NEEDS TO STEP UP?

Obviously you would love to say that everyone needs to have a solid game for the Hurricanes to even things up at 1-1, but that is not going to be a reality. Here are 5 players who MUST step up to another level:

Al Blades Jr.

John Campbell

Gurvan Hall

Louis Hedley

Jeff Thomas

FLORIDA CONNECTION

Through the years, the Tar Heels have boasted some outstanding players from the state of Florida – and this year is certainly no exception.

Here is a look at the boys from the Sunshine State who are out make the Hurricanes trip to UNC one not to remember:

Jake Bargas, TE, Boca Raton St. Andrews

Michael Carter, RB, Navarre

Nolan DeFranco, DL, Winter Garden West Orange

Antoine Green, WR, Rockledge

DeAndre Hollins, DB, Tampa Jefferson

Khadry Jackson, LB, Windermere

Ed Montilus, OL, Apopka

Kamari Morales, TE, Tallahassee Lincoln

Noah Ruggles, PK, Lutz Steinbrenner

Ben Stobaugh, DB, Fort Myers

Jason Strowbridge, DE, Deerfield Beach

 

PHOTO COURTESY OF 247 SPORTS

Don’t Forget To Check Out Hurricane Hotline each Tuesday evening from 6-8 on 560 THE JOE – WQAM with “The Voice Hurricane Sports” Joe Zagacki and UM legend Don Bailey Jr. https://player.radio.com/listen/station/560-wqam-sports-radio