Mike's Analysis: South Carolina game

Read on for a complete Independence Bowl game analysis from CanesTime's Mike Bakas.

* It was another bad bowl performance for the Hurricanes. South Carolina was not a good football team all season and yet it beat the Canes. There's no other way around it -- this poorly coached team lost again despite having a whole lot more talent than its opponent. That's becoming the norm these days.

* Brad Kaaya made some mistakes and still has a lot to clean up with his game but he turned in another solid performance -- especially for a freshman. His receivers dropped a few passes and his only interception hit Duke Johnson's hands. Kaaya has a lot of areas to improve in but he was solid again in this game.

* Duke was Duke. South Carolina's Mike Davis is often considered the same caliber of prospect as Johnson but Duke showed in this game that he's clearly the better player. He's such a weapon in so many ways. I never expected him to get 29 touches in this game. This was the grand finale of what's been an incredible career for him.

* Joseph Yearby is a talented back and Gus Edwards can provide some short yardage help but I expect one of the incoming freshmen to become the team's leading rusher next season.

* It seemed like James Coley tried several ways to get Stacy Coley the football. That was encouraging to see. Clive Walford didn't play and it was disappointing to see Stan Dobard get just one target all day. Not surprisingly, he caught it for a 32 yard gain. Kaaya threw it 33 times and Dobard had just one target. That was strange.

* Miami's defense came to play. They are stuck playing a soft scheme that doesn't cater to their abilities but the kids were still playing hard, showing positive emotion, and made a lot of plays. They made nine plays behind the line of scrimmage. Their short-yardage stand late in the game was very impressive.

* Denzel Perryman was excellent once again. He led the team with eight tackles. It was a strong finish to what's been an outstanding career. The second best linebacker on the field was South Carolina's Skai Moore, who finished with 11 tackles. The reason that's worth mentioning is because he's a South Florida kid who wanted to come to Miami but Miami's coaches passed on him.

* Miami's safeties played really well. Deon Bush was very physical and making plays. Tambu Fentress came to play and caused two fumbles in this game.

* The Canes are now 7-11 in their last 18 games against FBS opponents. It's become quite clear that Al Golden is not the answer. Especially with a new president coming in for next season, he'll likely get one more year to prove that he can get this thing going in the right direction.

* There's a good chance this team will go down as the most talented sub 500 team in college football history. Only Florida State is expected to have more players drafted in April.

* It's not going to be easy replacing all of those players but a bigger concern is something the program dealt with in Larry Coker's final years. How motivated are the returning players going to be over the next several months? All we hear is how Golden and his staff preach to the players to "trust the process." Well, the kids probably understand by now that the "process" that Golden refers to does not work. It does not produce success.

* It's likely that a staff change or two will be made and that's something we'll likely hear about very soon so that new coaches can be in place for when recruiting kicks back up again.

* The Hurricanes just posted their third losing record since 1980. The other two were in 1997 and 2007. The difference? That '97 team had two players drafted the following April. That '07 team had three. The '14 team will have around 10.

* Even though it's early, I predict the 2015 Canes will win five or six games before.



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