For coaches, players, and fans the season has been disappointing and trying. Following a head coaching change and an infusion of talented newcomers, expectations were high before the team's kickoff. However, after a few weeks of play, they had tempered despite seeing opportunity around every corner.
Hurricanes head coach Randy Shannon admits that the process of developing an underachieving team into a winner has been more difficult then he expected prior to this season.
"It is a learning process for everybody and I take responsibility for that," Shannon said. "Our coaching staff needs to do a better job and it is my responsibility. I am not blaming anyone but myself, because I need those guys to take a stand out there."
Shannon acknowledges that the learning curve has been more difficult then he predicted.
"It has been (a difficult learning curve), to be honest," Shannon said. "It has been steeper then I thought it would've been."
Shannon told the media on Sunday that what the Hurricanes need is to come together and understand what he calls "his mentality."
So, what is this mentality that Shannon wants everyone to buy into?
"I can't accept losing," Shannon said sternly. "Every time I lose at anything, I just can't accept it. I am a competitor. I am always going to try to do something better then you. No matter what you are or how good you are at it. That is just how I am."
Shannon, who is the product from a hard knock's childhood, credits his stubborn approach to coming up short to where he has been.
"I am the type of guy that doesn't quit, that doesn't give up," Shannon said. "I've been through too much in my life to give up and quit on anything. When things get rough, I know I just have to press on."
With the talk of fans clamoring for the coaches to take accountability for the shortcomings of the team, Shannon didn't hesitate.
"I have to do a good job at getting them to understand my mentality," Shannon said. "(When they do) it is going to be a turning point."
In recent weeks, Shannon and the coaching staff had made several references to the future and a potential influx of new players in the team's currently highly touted recruiting class (currently rated #9 by SuperPrep). It is all apart of changing the team's culture and giving this program a solid foundation, something it has lacked in recent seasons.
"(The culture needs to change) and it comes from me as the head coach," Shannon said. "I need to change the culture and the mentality of it. Put all of the responsibility on me because that is my job. I am responsible."
Shannon also spoke for his fellow coaches to the media and said candidly they have been very hard on themselves this season.
He cites offensive coordinator Patrick Nix, who this weekend took responsibility for not having starting quarterback Kyle Wright ready for the blitzes he saw against the Hokies.
"It isn't the kids," Shannon said. "If we are teaching it in practice and if it isn't getting done on the field that is on us."
How does he remedy this issue?
"We have to keep coaching and stressing the little things on and off the field. Having them understand what it takes to win games, all of the time."
One of the most difficult aspects of getting his players to get to conform to his mentality is changing the practice methods and routine.
"A lot of players have this mentality that they can just show up and play," Shannon said. "It take s a lot to win games, a lot of preparation. (You need to) watch film when the coach isn't around. The best players I've been around are the ones that do things when the coaches aren't around. That is what makes good football players."