University of Miami football on hurricane Dorian
Everyone warned K.J. Osborn about maybe the most frustrating side effect of a looming hurricane threat: Those pesky gas lines.
Osborn, who is originally from Michigan and spent his first four years of college with the Buffalo Bulls, kept putting it off, though. The wide receiver, who joined the Miami Hurricanes as a graduate transfer in January, was excited about the possibility of seeing his first hurricane up close in person. He was not excited about how long he waited to fill up his tank.
“It was kind of a learning experience. I was actually asking a lot of questions. People were telling me to get gas,” Osborn said. “When I did, it took me like 45 minutes.”
Hurricane Dorian, of course, wound up taking a sharp turn north up the coast after initial projections forecasted a direct impact in Florida somewhere in Palm Beach County. Still, the university canceled classes from noon Friday through Tuesday and Miami had to contend with changing practice times throughout the end of last week and the start of this one. It was impossible not to think at least a little bit about what Dorian might do even as the Hurricanes began preparations to face the North Carolina Tar Heels on Saturday.
It was especially difficult Friday when Diaz opened Miami’s team meeting by pulling up a map with the hurricane’s projected path. At the time, Dorian seemed headed for landfall in Palm Beach County — the home county of four Miami players, including star defensive end Jonathan Garvin, and starting safeties Amari Carter and Gurvan Hall Jr.
“Obviously, it was on everyone’s minds and all of our players’ minds as we were preparing for this game,” Diaz said.
The Hurricanes, however, didn’t miss a single day of practice, even if the actual times were being changed on relatively short notice.
They also don’t expect any changes to their plans for their trip up to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, this weekend. Miami is still slated to travel Friday ahead of an 8 p.m. game Saturday, and even though the hurricane could hit North Carolina on Friday, Kenan Memorial Stadium is west of where the storm could make landfall. Dorian is then projected to be north of the Carolinas by kickoff.
“It was an up-and-down time for the team. We didn’t really know what was going to happen,” cornerback Trajan Bandy said. “One day, they were telling us we were going to practice at this time. The next day, they were telling us we were practicing this time, so it was up and down.”
Ultimately, dealing with the hurricane is about preparation. In a weird way, it was a good test for Miami to handle uncertainty.
“We just had to prepare, going to get your gas, going to get your snacks,” linebacker Shaquille Quarterman said, “then you have to go to meetings. I think the team did a tremendous job with that, though, because it’s really hard. Like you said, it’s really uncertainty.”