Commentary on the Louisville Game

The pride is gone. The heart is gone. Everything that was the University of Miami is now gone. And it's not coming back any time soon. Forget this year. Forget next year.

A 31-7 butt whipping in Louisville tells the story. 40-3 to LSU in the Peach Bowl tells the story. 6-5 in the last 11 games tells the story. This is 1997 relived, but without the probation. So what's the excuse? Outscored 84-20 in their last three losses tells the story.

Anyone who has eyes can see the story. For the first time in quite some time, Miami simply isn't a good football team. This team isn't even average right now. If somehow, the Associated Press ranks Miami in the Top 25, it will be an NCAA high 109 straight weeks. But it will be a sham because this team isn't Top 50 right now. It's not even RUTGERS. It flat out stinks. It can't run. It can't throw. It can't block. It can't pressure. It can't tackle. It can't place kick. It can't punt. And it surely can't coach.

The ‘Canes have now lost four of their last five games against Division I-A opponents. Maybe they can get some more games against FAMU.

The coaching is bad. The players don't measure up. The program that was on top of the mountain just three yeas ago is tumbling straight down and there's nothing in the way to stop the free fall. Can someone bring us Ken Dorsey again? Ed Reed? Santana Moss? Jonathan Vilma? Willis McGahee? Clinton Portis? Those guys had pride. Those guys had heart. Those guys had pride. Those guys were what the ‘U' is supposed to be about.

How do you put into words what words simply can't explain?

You try and come up with what went wrong. But it's quite obvious what went wrong.

Miami, once again, had a chance to chop its opponent's head off early. Just like when the ‘Canes gagged against Florida State late in the second quarter and couldn't finish off Seminoles and take a 17-3 lead into the half, the same happened in the first quarter Louisville.

After stomping on the Cardinals logo at the center of the field that resulted in a near fight, the Hurricanes came out like fire sacking Brian Brohm twice on the first series. But what gave Miami the right to stomp on Louisville's Cardinals logo? Teams that do that have to have the ability to back something like that up. I don't see any Michael Irvin's on field that get their jobs done.

However, after forcing a punt, the ‘Canes got a break when Louisville roughed Brian Monroe, giving them possession in Cardinals' territory.

But on the next few plays, the left side of the offensive line gashed Louisville's defense finishing it off with a one-yard touchdown run by Tyrone Moss.

The defense didn't stop the pressure when Teraz McCray forced a fumble that Miami got at the 20-yard line.

But this is where Miami showed it's no longer Miami. Rather than go for the jugular and toss one right to the end zone and take a 14-0 lead half way through the first quarter that would have probably ended the game right there, the ‘Canes throw a weak eight-yard pass to Greg Olsen and a couple of plays later Charlie Jones fumbles at the 8-yard line.

The Cardinals came back from the dead at that point.

An 85-yard drive down to the Miami five-yard line set up a field goal to cut the lead to 7-3. Miami came back and finally went downfield when Kyle Wright found Darnell Jenkins for a 52-yard completion that put the ‘Canes in field goal range, but Greg Olsen dropped what would have been a first down and Miami went for a 40-yard field goal from the 23.

Jon Peattie is the reason that fans cringe every time Coker decides to kick a field goal. He simply can't make a kick outside of extra point range anymore. He's a shell of what he was as a freshman when his kicking a field goal from just about anywhere was a guaranteed make. A 40-yard kick straight on, up the middle. He shanks it left and it hits the upright. So instead of being up 10-3 there, it's still 7-3 and Louisville is still feeling good.

The offense goes downfield again a possession later when Wright hits Sam Shields on a 49-yard pass, but after that, Miami stops throwing the ball. It's run, sack, incomplete pass. From the Louisville 36-yard line to punting from midfield because of more bad coaching. More horrendous play calling. More horrendous decision making.

Now at this point, Louisville gets the ball at the 20-yard line and on 3rd and 2 from the 44, Miami bites on a play action and gets burned for a 56-yard touchdown pass that essentially ended the game giving the Cardinals a 10-7 lead.

Which begs the question, why is Miami biting on play action when Louisville has FOURTEEN (14) yards rushing in the first half. 14! And the ‘Canes safeties are biting on play action?

Are you kidding me? Play action passes only work when the other team can run the ball, but again, Randy Shannon had nine in the box all game bringing the safeties up to stop a non-existent running attack to begin with. Newsflash, Michael Bush wasn't playing. Why are you trying to stop the run Randy? Louisville wants to chuck it, not run it.

Miami gets the ball back and some horrific clock management cost the ‘Canes again. There were 50 seconds to play in the half when Wright hit Jenkins on a 5-yard pass to the Louisville 28-yard line. But with two time outs, rather than call a time out and put in a good play, Wright rushes the troops back to the line, burns 20 seconds in the process (he wasn't rushing quickly enough apparently), the offensive line is not in position and Louisville blitzes as it did ALL GAME LONG. Wright gets hit. Incomplete pass.

AND THEN, MIAMI CALLS TIME OUT AFTER THE CLOCK IS STOPPED!

But again, Louisville, blitzes and Wright throws and incomplete pass so rather than go for it, which I would have done after watching Peattie shank his first field goal, Coker elects to kick a 45-yard field goal.

Wasn't even close and neither was Miami as the ‘Canes didn't score again in the second half as it hasn't in its last four losses.

Miami opens the third quarter down 10-7. So what does Rich Olson call, the brilliant offensive coordinator that was supposed to bring credence back to our offense? Run, run, incomplete pass. Punt again. Newsflash! The offense is WORSE than last year.

And Louisville goes right down the field and makes it 17-7.

After Wright fumbles just past mid field, Louisville did what Miami used to do. Go for the jugular.

A 45-yard completion right down the middle of the field put the Cardinals on the Miami three-yard line. Two plays later it was lights out.

And so went the ‘Canes pride, heart and mystique and everything that WAS the University of Miami is now gone and not coming back any time soon.

Rudy Rodriguez-Chomat can be reached at rudy@canestime.com

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