The Miami Hurricanes won Saturday, but it certainly didn’t feel like it.
Outside of two good drives against the Central Michigan Chippewas, it was a panic-worthy performance for Miami’s offense at Hard Rock Stadium. The offensive line gave up four sacks. The Hurricanes’ running game averaged fewer than a yard per carry. Miami piled up fewer yards against Central Michigan, which won one game in 2018, than it did against the then-No. 8 Florida Gators in the season opener last month.
Heading into a bye week, the Hurricanes seem to have regressed, so is it time to panic about the 2019 season and the job coach Manny Diaz is doing?
David Wilson and Susan Miller Degnan, the Miami Herald’s Hurricanes beat writer, give their immediate reactions to a gruesome win on the latest episode of the Eye on the U podcast,recorded from inside the press box in Miami Gardens after the Hurricanes (2-2, 0-1 Atlantic Coast) eked out a 17-12 win against the Chippewas.
It was a largely unimpressive weekend in all three phases for Miami, but it starts with the offense, inept for all but two and a half drives against a Mid-American Conference opponent. Quarterback Jarren Williams’ stat line was somewhat misleading and his offensive line looked as vulnerable as it has all season. Not even the Hurricanes’ running backs could get going against Central Michigan.
The defense had its worst game of the season, too. Although Miami held the Chippewas to fewer than 300 total yards, the Hurricanes needed a few timely takeaways to end threatening drives in Miami territory. The Hurricanes’ secondary is coughing up long third-down conversions like they never did when Diaz was defensive coordinator and the defensive line isn’t frustrating quarterbacks in the way Miami has gotten used to.
Of course, the special teams isn’t off the hook, either, after kicker Bubba Baxa missed another kick inside 30 yards and didn’t provide Diaz enough faith to attempt a 40-yarder.
Is it too early to panic? Maybe, but it’s also too late for the Hurricanes to be playing like they did Saturday.