Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Da Canes

The Miami Hurricanes put on a show last night in their game against Florida State. I would have to say that without a doubt that game goes down as an instant classic. Don't get me wrong, the Seminoles came to play too and the game could have very well gone the other way. But in the end it was the Canes who made the plays to win the game and the Noles that came up short.

Now here are some random observations from the game.

-Miami is going to have to start blitzing at some point. I had no doubt that FSU would be able to get the ball down the field on the Canes because about 99% of the time last night they just lined up in a 4-3 with a Cover 2 shell and never did anything to attack Florida State. Now I understand that its a risk when you blitz and the Noles have a lot of athletes on offense, but to win a big game like that sometimes you have to take chances. Close to the end of the game Miami finally blitz and they ended up forcing a quick throw from FSU's ponder on a deep ball that fell incomplete. Could that ball have been caught for 6? Absolutely! But the dirty little secret is that deep balls have a low completion percentage and you just have to give a quarterback as good as Christian Ponder some different looks or he will eat you alive. That is one thing I think Miami will have to fix going forward because it is too easy to block people when they line up just like they do in a playbook.

-Jacory Harris is the truth! Unfortunately the commentators were so busy slobbering over Ponder that they didn't seem to notice until right at the end of the game. Had FSU won the game Ponder would have been deified as a potential Heisman candidate. But not only does Miami win, Harris also has a better game than Ponder, 386 yards passing to be exact, and the commentators act like his play was just a footnote. Nothing about how courageous it was for him to come back after getting injured on a blitz and leading his team to victory. Nope, not one single word. I'll leave it up to you as to why the two quarterbacks were treated so differently. I certainly have my own opinion though.

-FSU freshman defensive back Greg Reid is a BALLER. That kid has "it" and barring injury or him losing his mind he is going to make a helluva lot of plays for the Noles and might be one of the best to play there. For a guy that is so small he is certainly fearless and his athletic ability is off the charts.

-Javarris James and Greg Cooper may well be the best running back tandem in College Football right now. However I don't think Cooper should be returning kickoffs. He tries to run them back like its a regular offensive play instead of just hitting it and going.

-Travis Benjamin looks to be a big time playmaker for the Canes. In pregame the announcers said he runs a 4.2 in the 40. Now I am not really sure if that's true but he can definitely pick em up and put em down. I would have to take shots with that guy several times a game. I would also run him on deeper crossing routes too to keep defenses from being able to double team the guy.

-The football gods struck again. When you make stupid calls as a coach the football gods tend to punish you. This happened twice last night towards the end of the game. Miami had just gone up on FSU and their defense had started making plays and forced a punt. There was about 12 minutes left and obviously with such a close game the clock is going to be a factor. Well Miami decided to throw on 1st AND second down and of course both times the pass fell incomplete. Which brought up the third down where Reed hit Harris and forced the fumble/interception that FSU took back for a TD.

But the football gods weren't done. Then FSU is up and all night they have been either rushing 4 or blitzing Harris to various levels of success. But they come up on a 3rd and long on the ensuing drive and what do you know, they decide to rush only 3. And of course Harris got a completion for a first down and went on to lead the Canes down for the winning touchdown.

So for aspiring coaches remember two things. When you have the lead in the 4th quarter of a very close game, you need to run the ball on 1st or 2nd down to get the clock moving. On the other hand if you have the lead in a very close game in the 4th quarter and you are on defense, if you have been agressive all day don't stop being aggressive. If you fail to heed these words of advice, the football gods will be coming for you too!

It was truly one hell of a game and I have to say, while I was all over the Alabama/Virginia Tech game, Miami/FSU won the first weekend last night.

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