Manny Diaz on his team’s growing pains
The Miami Hurricanes are off to — technically — their worst start in 41 years.
The last time Miami was winless through two games, it was 1978, and the Hurricanes struggled to even win six games.
After a deflating 28-25 loss to the North Carolina Tar Heels on Saturday, there is undoubtedly plenty to be concerned about with Miami, particularly how its once-vaunted defense looked so vulnerable against a freshman quarterback in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. There are also reasons, as coach Manny Diaz said Monday, to feel confident amid the frustration and disappointment.
On the latest episode of the Eye on the U podcast, David Wilson and Susan Miller Degnan, the Hurricanes beat writer for the Miami Herald, try to figure out what to make of an underwhelming, confusing opening two games to start Diaz’s tenure.
For the first time it what feels like years, the Hurricanes (0-2, 0-1 Atlantic Coast) lost a game because their defense didn’t play up to standard. Quarterback Jarren Williams looked better in his second game than he did in his first and Miami racked up nearly 500 yards of offense in its ACC opener.
It didn’t matter, though. The roles, surprisingly, have been reversed after offensive futility cost the Hurricanes game after game in 2018. Miami’s secondary suddenly looks porous and the Hurricanes have coughed up fourth-quarter leads in back-to-back games.
The outcome of this Hurricanes season will be determined by this vexing dichotomy. Is this improved offense for real? If it is, then things could turn out great for Miami, unless, of course, this is the new reality for this defense.
An upcoming five-game homestand will help determine the course of the Hurricanes’ season and it begins Saturday against the FCS Bethune-Cookman Wildcats. Get prepared for it with another episode of the Herald’s official Miami podcast.