Hurricanes Can Only Stop Themselves

Right around 10:02 p.m. Thursday night, September 28, Cincinnati Reds closer Danny Graves was delivering a knee-buckling curveball to the plate that would strikeout Pat Burrell to end the game and throw another dart at the Philadephia Phillies chances of winning the National League East.

Almost simultaneously, Jeremy Shockey was being flagged for a illegal procedure during the third quarter of a spanking being administered to the Pittsburgh Panthers by the No. 1 college football team in America.

It would only be fitting on a night that the University of Miami would return to the football field after a 19-day layoff caused by the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11-The Miami Hurricanes are the only ones that can stop the Miami Hurricanes.

When the game clock expired to 0:00 at Heinz Field in Downtown Pittsburgh, the scoreboard showed what was expected even before the first whistle.

Miami 43, Pittsburgh 21.

It was in the manner that the final result was reached that signifies the worth of this particular gang in orange and green. Even in a three-touchdown triumph the mighty Hurricanes should a couple leaks, here and there. Thing is their opponent hardly had anything to do with the Hurricanes stumbling.

Miami stumbled on their own.

Yes, the numbers of quarterback Ken Dorsey (19-of-33, 223 yards, 1 TD pass and 1 Int) were modest by the standards he has accustomed us to-though most QBs in the nation would take them-. But except for a great play on his only picked off pass of the evening, the Panthers did nothing that contributed to his struggles. For most of the evening, Dorsey was either long, short or just simply misfiring passes all over the field.

Contrary to prior belief, the Panthers defense wasn't good. Dorsey was just bad. Besides, remember the junior from Orinda, California was working in a game for the first time in close to three weeks. Can't think of anybody who would go away for 19 days and come back with the same accuracy at his job. I don't care what line of work it is.

And Dorsey agreed. "We weren't great tonight. We just have to keep working and learning to get better as a team. There are a lot of things we need to improve to get where we want to go," Dorsey said.

What a luxury to have after beating a team by 22 points and declaring it a bad night. Most of the night, Miami was stopped by dropped passes, missed assignment and not finishing several drives. Their own.

Hey, what about all those penalties you say? 13 for 120 yards, to be exact.

Again, the Panthers had nothing to do with those. Those were self inflicted wounds the Hurricanes brought upon themselves. Illegal procedures; offsides; roughing the passer. The Hurricanes have been called for plenty of penalties in their first three games and have coasted in all three.

Can it a problem down the road? Troy State? Nope. Florida State? The troops in Tallahassee didn't look very disciplined last week as they were getting hammered by North Carolina.

Some will say Miami slipped on special teams? They had a punt blocked and gave up a long kickoff return-all by the same player from Miami Northwestern graduate Torrie Cox. Should have known Cox was from the South Florida area.

So much for Pittsburgh closing that gap in the Big East conference.

Supposed star receiver Antonio Bryant really made the Hurricanes secondary foolish with his three receptions for 39 yards. That David Priestley guy behind center was so good last night he was taken out of the game on almost every third down in favor of a sophomore quarterback. Whatever happened to that rugged Pitt defensive-front?

Miami showed plenty of rust on this night because of being away from a meaningful field for 19 days. Not because Pitt is any good and the Hurricanes have dropped a notch or two.

Miami 43, Pittsburgh 21; Scary thought considering the Hurricanes were stopped-by themselves.

Canes Time Top Stories