Tuesday, September 5, 2006

The Morning After

So I'm back from the game and I've even had a couple hours worth of sleep. From my perspective at least, it still feels like I just woke up from a bad dream. But on the other hand, I've realized that I don't care as much anymore. I didn't tailgate yesterday... for like the first time ever. And I'm not that wrapped up in the outcome of the game. It is disappointing to see how much Miami has fallen off from just a few years ago. It's not back to probation era levels, but it's the lowest level the Canes have been at without sanctions in my lifetime. Sad, but true.

Anyway, some thoughts about the game:

  • Early on, I thought FSU would end up regretting only getting 3 points on their first two possessions. They had great field position both times.
  • After Meriweather's interception in the second quarter, I thought the Canes were going to put the game away. Miami should have gone into the half up 17-3 or 24-3.
  • The other thing that made me think the Noles were done was that the defense walked around between snaps and most guys had their hands on their hips. They seemed winded and it was only the first half. FSU's offense showed the same lack of concern in getting to the huddle and the line. In 2000, 2002, and 2004 I'm convinced the Canes won because of better conditioning. I still think Miami is in better shape than FSU but it didn't matter last night. Time will tell if it catches up to FSU.
  • Looking back at it now though, Miami was really just a mental lapse by Buster Davis away from going into the half at 3-3. Davis made some great plays last night, but taking off his helmet almost cost the Noles the game.
  • At least that's what I think happened. Watching a big game like this at the OB is a pain. There were a bunch of calls and penalties that we couldn't discern. The speaker system is horrible and there are no replays. Why were there those two non-plays at the end of the third quarter when the Noles were on the 1? We couldn't tell.
  • I'm not sure who the Nole was who went down for a while on the last kickoff return, but I hope he's ok. He was down for so long that it seemed serious. But he got up on and walked off on his own, so that was good.
  • The rain this weekend was relentless. It really poured at times. In person though, it seemed like the field held up well. I was surprised, as it rained hard on Monday afternoon and reasonably hard at times throughout the game. Most of the excitement in the stands revolved around taking on and putting off your poncho. Fun.
  • I was glad that Antone Smith didn't do anything signficant. I cheered against him the whole game.
  • I was surprised that we didn't see Myron Rolle. I've heard so much about him that I figured he'd see some action. Maybe he did but I missed him. Or maybe I just expect freshman to play since it seems that's all Miami has.
  • I fear I was right about Kyle Wright. I think he's a blend of Jeff George and Dan Marino. He's George in the sense that he has all the physical "skills" in the world. He's a practice all-american by all accounts. But when the lights are on, he doesn't show up. I know the line was atrocious and there were lots of other issues. But it's how Wright carries himself that bothers me. He sulks on the sidelines and usually stays away from his teammates (Dorsey and Berlin used to rally the troops in games like last night's). The big skill that Wright hasn't shown yet is leadership. I'll be convinced until he proves otherwise that he doesn't have it. That's where the Marino comparison comes in. Like Marino, Wright has never won a big game. Wright also is Marino-esque in his tendency to tell teammates what they did wrong and to berate them. This strategy doesn't seem to work.
  • Miami fans are convinced that Wright has more "tools" than Weatherford, but who really cares? Who was the last Canes or Noles QB to lose to the other team twice in his career and then amount to any level of significance? I can't recall any. Wright now is 0-2 vs. the Noles and Weatherford is 2-0 against the Canes. Drew has heart and eludes the rush and picks up blitzes before the snap. Wright, despite his alleged speed, does neither.
  • It feels like the script has flipped in this series. In 2000, 2002, and 2004 Miami trailed and looked out of it early (missing all sorts of opportunities) but eventually came back. The Canes have lost the ability to make those comebacks (or so it seems -- based on their 0 total points in their last four losses, which includes three of the past four games). And it appears that comeback ability has switched to the Noles.
  • FSU's game deciding field goal came a little early, but it has to feel like a little bit of redemption for FSU kickers past and present. There were 8 minutes left, but it was the 4th quarter. I don't remember now, but it was probably raining and the kick was into the closed (West) endzone, where it's always louder and tougher to make any sort of a play late in the game.
  • Miami fans like to make a derogatory chop and related chant when the FSU faithful and band are doing their thing. While that's fun at the stadium, I'm sure it makes it look like the whole stadium is doing the chop to those watching on TV. Bummer.

8 comments:

wiggins said...

Wow. Quite the magnum opus...

A couple quick notes -

Rolle did get on the field for a bit, but I don't think for long and didn't make much of an impact, obviously.

The third quarter confusion was that they stopped it once to review the play before (whether the catch before had made it into the endzone perhaps) and then they started the game clock after the reset and they said they didn't get the next play off before the quarter ended. Even though, supposedly they were supposed to put 19 seconds on the clock or some such, and they only put two. It was weird. No one really cared, though, on the FSU side, since they got two free shots to realize that the QB sneak was NOT going to work and then handed it off to the FB instead.

Mike said...

I couldn't believe they stood up the QB sneak twice from that distance. Weatherford probably took almost as much punishment on those two snaps as Wright did on that play at the other end.

Also, I couldn't believe how many times Weatherford eluded the rush. Miami didn't get great pressure last night, but there was one guy in the backfield pretty often and Drew always got away.

wiggins said...

Yeah... Drew looked OKAY. If they could have gotten ANY running game, they might have been able to do something offensively. They were, in that sense, definitely a smidge better than UM. Wright made some dumb mistakes... and looked flustered at times. UM also got lucky getting that one sack called back on their own penalty. Although Wright still had to take the hit...

Mike said...

That sack/penalty play was weird. It looked like the UM guy who moved early was the guy who got beat... but there were at least two Noles in the backfield.

The other frustrating thing about the Canes was how often the offense didn't know the play. The center not knowing it was a shotgun formation, receivers having to move around when they broke the huddle the wrong way, too many/not enough men on the field. I know the offense is new and a lot of guys were young, but that's pretty poor and that's on the coaches.

wiggins said...

Yeah - but FSU tried to match you guys. Howe about Drew just flat-out missing two perfectly good shotgun snaps? What was up with that? He just took his eye off it at the last second, it looked like...

I guess I might be a bit distracted, too, if I knew THAT defense was coming after me, but still...

Mike said...

Maybe the rain or wet turf/wet ball came into play on those snaps. James had that odd fumble too (on a clean handoff). All of that was weird.

wiggins said...

Oh yeah...

That is true - for all of the rain, etc., it was an amazingly cleanly played game. I guess we can forgive a missed bit or two here and there...

Mike said...

I wonder if it was the rain/wet field that affected the ball handling or if there were mini-mini-Ditkas involved in those miscues. They could have been too small for the naked eye to see. And they could have been causing the fumbles in order to make a point about something.