Captain's Corner - Miami thoughts

After taking in the Miami/VT game, Jerry Rudzinski offers up some thoughts on OSU's Fiesta Bowl opponent.

It is now time for us to get ready. While other teams stressed about winning games these last two weeks, our biggest stress was finding reasonable airfare. The "kick your feet up and wait" period is now a thing of the past. The high-powered Hurricanes will be in Tempe.

First impressions…

The Canes have balance. In my mind, every great offense is two-dimensional. The linemen can run block and pass block. McGahee is McGahee. Dorsey owns about every passing record at Miami. The Hurricanes will come out with two backs, two receivers and a tight end and let the defense feel the strain. That is the scenario coaches want. "Here is our base personnel. Will McGahee run right at you? Will we hit Winslow with that linebacker covering him? Will we play action to Andre Johnson running deep?" Most teams are predictable because they can only do one thing. While some people think shuffling offensive personnel makes the defense struggle, Miami thinks different. The Hurricanes make you struggle because they can do anything with the base package.

The Canes can run. Now, I am not talking about McGahee piling up yardage. I am talking about literally running really fast. This will be the best team speed the Buckeyes have seen all season. The d-linemen can run, the tight end can run, the linebackers can run, the special teamers can run. And by the way, I am not just talking about the starters. I am talking about the back-ups, scout-teamers, water boys, and mascots too. To win 34 straight, you need coaching, luck, health, balance, etc., but you better have a surplus of speed to go with it. The Hurricanes play the game fast. The receivers run by cornerbacks. The linebackers run down tailbacks. The defensive linemen close on a quarterback quickly. The running back pulls away from people. Over the course of a season, those things add up to victories.

The Canes can be beaten. I respect the heck out of Frank Beamer, but his team doesn't field a truly great offense. Although turnovers and penalties and other things contributed, the bottom line is Va Tech put up 45 in the Orange Bowl Stadium. Pitt almost beat them. Rutgers put up a fight. West Virginia made it interesting. Florida State flirted with ending the Hurricanes winning streak. Those teams I just mentioned don't have Doss, Clarett, Gamble, Smith, Wilhelm, Krenzel, etc.

Some early keys to the game…

Don't give up the big plays by Dorsey and McGahee (They are good enough chipping away at you. Don't give them a freebie).
Finish +2 in turnovers.
Avoid Dorsey getting a short field.
Clarett must be healthy.

Miami has swagger, but they may have too much. We seem to have a quiet confidence that blends well with our humble "one bad mistake can cost us" approach. In those big games that Miami has had all eyes on them, they have shown up. The showdown with Florida, the visit to Knoxville, and the Virginia Tech game all showcased a dominant Hurricane squad. This certainly will be another big game with all eyes on Hurricanes. It will be up to OSU to go get this. A national championship is not handed over to you. You need to go earn it. The Buckeyes wouldn't have it any other way. They have earned everything they have gotten up to this point.

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