Miami Comes Into Saturday’s Home Opener With Plenty To Prove

WQAM Radio
September 13, 2019 - 10:44 am
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Even though the University of Miami may be 7-7 in the last 14 games, fans seem to have that mentality like it’s still 2001, and that is always dangerous.

Nobody can ever tell anyone how to be a fan, but there is a bit of reality that should sink in when just showing up is not enough. Not anymore.

What the Hurricanes are – heading into Saturday’s home opener (4:00) at Hard Rock Stadium are just another college football team. They aren’t a Top 25 program and do not send fear into the hearts of the opposition.

This game with Bethune Cookman, while it should be just a formality, is now a game that really means something.

For the first time since 1978, when Miami lost to Colorado in Boulder and rival FSU in the Orange Bowl, they are 0-2 to start the season.

With a number of young players on this team, still learning, head coach Manny Diaz and this team needs to treat every game the same, and use these non-conference matchups to improve and give those inexperienced players more time in game conditions.

Unlike the past when the Hurricanes opened against less than competitive opponents, this season – with Florida in Orlando and Coastal Division foes North Carolina in Chapel Hill, were not cupcakes and put these first year starters and reserves in a position of learning on the job.

 

BREAKING DOWN THE GAME

The Wildcats come into Saturday’s game with a 1-0 record, beating Jackson State to open the season – before last week’s contest with Southeast Louisiana was canceled because of Hurricane Dorian.

In the opener, Akevious Williams passed for a touchdown and ran for another in the MEAC/SWAC Challenge game.

Trevor Merritt’s 50-yard interception return sparked the team to the win.

The Wildcats will be aggressive and are loaded with athletes who have played with and against several member of the Hurricanes.

Forget the intimidation factor, the Hurricanes will prevail because they are better and NOT because Bethune Cookman will come in and fold up.

In the win, the Wildcats yielded over 500 yards of offense, which plays into the Hurricanes’ able hands.

Jarren Williams showed that he is indeed the quarterback for the future, and by cutting down on mistakes, especially penalties, the running game should click and the receivers should be in for a great day.

The offensive line, while still making mistakes, is starting to come around and this game should he a confidence builder.

On defense, the secondary was a major disappointment against North Carolina. Other than a few plays, the linebackers came up short and the defense as a whole, really never made a stop when they truly needed one against a true freshman quarterback.

Even though the competition and talent level drops considerably, mistakes are mistakes, and even making them and executing poorly will only make the job tougher.

What needs to be done is play a complete game and forget who is on the other side of the ball.

 

WHO MIAMI NEEDS TO STEP UP?

Last week, prior to the North Carolina game, we gave you five players to watch – and while many of those came through, there was room for improvement.

This week, we will give you 5 more who need to elevate their game – and this week would be a great time to do it:

Trajan Bandy

Bubba Baxa

Pat Bethel

Romeo Finley

D.J. Scaife

SOUTH FLORIDA CONNECTION

While the Wildcats are stacked with Floridians, we will take a look at the players from south Florida that are on the roster:

Kamal Armstead, DB, Cardinal Gibbons

Eric Barton, DB, Hallandale

Timothy Butler, OL, Chaminade-Madonna

Carlton Cleophat, LB, Blanche Ely

Zeryus Coleman, WR, Central

Steffon Francois, WR, McArthur

Teaki Fuller, OL, Booker T. Washington

Joshua Green, OL, Miami

Reshaad Green, WR, Carol City

Devuntray Hampton, DB, Pahokee

Lamont Harrison, OL, Everglades

Cedrick Jackson, OL, Norland

Jamauri Laguerre, DB, Edison

Sam Marc, DB, Norland

Ritch Noel, DB, North Miami

Damion Powell, OL, McArthur

Darryl Powell, Jr., WR, Blanche Ely

Jamaquis Reeves, DE, ASA Miami

Omar Hill-Robinson, DB, Dillard

Rakeem Terry, DL, Homestead

Shanoyd Whyte, DL, Dillard

Nahjee Young, DL, Fort Lauderdale

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