Tuck: Miami Hurricanes lack glitter, not Golden
8 games into the 2011 football season and Miami is playing out the string. Actually, they were basically doing that after 5 games. 4 losses is not what Canes fans had in mind for this year, at least not before Halloween. 2011 has definitely been more trick than treat.
I liked the hire of Al Golden. What he did at Temple was almost magical. If nothing else, I figured he'd come in right away and inspire this group of underachievers and leftovers and failures into team that made you feel good about their effort and won games they shouldn't have. Instead, it's felt like they've lost games they should have won.
Last night against Virginia the Canes were not just outplayed, they were outsmarted and outcoached. The Cavs dialed up the right plays at the right times creating huge plays resulting in touchdowns. The loss also continued the disturbing trend of Miami failing in clutch moments.
All four of the Canes losses have been by a touchdown or less, and in every game they had a chance, or a couple of chances to make the play to win the game, and failed athletically and schematically to do so. Extremely worrisome in the short term and long term.
Golden will be granted time and opportunity, and I think he deserves that. The Miami situation is bound to get worse before it gets better with the off-field issues. Golden's challenge will be bringing in players that fit his mold and at the same time have elite talent, because that is what Miami expects.
There is a big part of me that just wants the last couple of years flushed out of the system. This team just appears on the outside to lack fight, killer instinct, and the will to be great, to overcome. I've never got the feeling this year that this team represents who Al Golden is. They haven't adopted his personality.
This season is officially going nowhere. I am curious how the team responds and if Golden can dig it out of them. 4-4 and needing at least 2 wins for a bowl game. Boston College and Duke should be wins, and winning at USF is very possible. Winning in Tallahassee isn't likely, but certainly within the realm of possibility, and would do a lot to win back some fans that have been lost, beating a rival and building towards a bowl game and important offseason.
So far, so bad. It's been the fool's Golden era so far for those of us who believed a quick turnaround was possible. Not repeating last year's collapse is the next thing. A second straight collapse and the Golden era may be a short one.