News

Miami Hurricanes: Should They Lock up the Chain?

The Miami Hurricanes suffered a demoralizing defeat at the hands of Virginia Tech Saturday 42-35 in front of a stunned crowd at Hard Rock Stadium.

Should the Hurricanes lock up the “Turnover Chain” and touchdown rings until they start locking up wins?

A furious comeback including 21 points in the final quarter was not enough. Miami fell to 2-3 overall and 0-2 in ACC play and will face an even tougher challenge when Virginia comes calling next weekend.

Jarren Williams came back to earth with a resounding thud against an opportunistic Bud Foster led defense. The long-time defensive coordinator is retiring after 33 seasons on the sidelines, but had one last knife twist for an old foe.

Williams went full Malik Rosier, hitting the bench after throwing three interceptions in the first half. Good news for Williams is that none of his seven pass attempts hit the ground, the other four were completed to the good guys.

For a grand total of 47 yards.

Miami fell down 28-0 early in the first half before N’ Kosi Perry did his best to salvage the game after replacing Williams but it was too little, too late. Perry finished with a career high 422 yards, completing 28 of 47 attempts with four TD and one pick.

Despite this effort Manny Diaz hinted that Williams would return to the starting role next week in his post game press conference.

Once again the Hurricanes running game was underutilized against a vulnerable Virginia Tech run defense.

DeeJay Dallas finished with just 66 yards on six carries, including a 62 yard run to put Miami in a position to take a late lead and steal the victory. Yet Dan Enos refused to call his number early when Williams was throwing the ball to the wrong team.

 

Put Away the Props

 

Manny Diaz brought the Turnover Chain to the program in 2017 and for a time the prop seemed to propel the defense. The Hurricanes added “Touchdown Rings” to the mix this year to balance things out.

Problem is, celebrating a score with prop jewelry when you are getting waxed rings hollow.

The great Miami Hurricanes teams didn’t need gimmicks, they knew they were better and just proved it week after week.

Miami lost the turnover battle 5-0 against Virginia Tech, if they would have snatched a couple chains early perhaps the momentum would swing back to the team in orange.

Virginia Tech has a beat up lunch box on the sidelines with a simple moniker: WIN. They packed a lunch today, and stole our lunch money in the process.

Until this Miami Hurricanes team learns the basics of winning football and stops making constant mental mistakes, the ice needs to be put on ice.

Bubba Baxa failed to make an extra point which would have put Miami up 36-35, another glaring miscue in a close game.

Get that man a platinum pinky ring next time he makes a clutch kick under 30 yards..

The offensive line is an abomination, giving up another seven sacks and allowing some crushing shots to Perry.

Maybe they should get an iced out watch so they know the snap count.

 

Miami Hurricanes beat (?) Central Michigan, 17-12

What is it about this field and the Hurricanes?

After the Miami Dolphins lost their first two games at Hard Rock Stadium by a combined 102-10, the Miami Hurricanes — the team that isn’t tanking — couldn’t possibly do anything that would be more disappointing, right?

Well….

The Hurricanes needed an interception by Al Blades Jr. to beat Central Michigan, 17-12.

Now they’re 2-2. But the record isn’t the point. It’s the way they’re playing. Thirteen penalties. No push in the running game. Few sustained drives. Relying on the defense to save them, even with Jarren Williams continuing to play well.

And after the game, the players seemed oddly happy about it.

Is this where we are as a football town?

Central Michigan?

Here are the tweets of note from the game….

The Miami Hurricanes were probably the only team in Miami with a realistic shot to a National Championship before the season started. But now… Who knows. 

However. Do not sleep on them. They can still make it to a great bowl – or not -, in the first year of the Manny Diaz era. We have the most complete coverage of the team. That is for sure, guys. 

If you want it in Spanish, we can also do that. Follow our Cinco Razones guys. And enjoy… 

There are still eight more games to be played… Go Canes!

Hurricanes Unable to Overcome Slow Start vs UNC

Battle of freshman quarterbacks one for the ages as the Hurricanes fall short on the road to North Carolina 28-25.

Manny Diaz and the Miami Hurricanes had a lot of time to think leading up to the game in Chapel Hill.

After a competitive loss to Florida in week zero, the Canes should have come out with a chip.

Instead the rust showed as Sam Howell led two quick scoring drives to put North Carolina up by 10 less than four minutes in. They would hold the lead most of the night as a late rally by the Hurricanes came up short.

No Doubt who is QB1

Dan Enos put the ball in Jarren Williams hands on the first drive with three straight pass calls.

Despite the aggressive play calling Miami went three-and-out.

Williams settled down midway through the first quarter and led the offense on a solid drive which ended with three points after Bubba Baxa put Miami on the board with a career long from 50 yards.

 

 

The Hurricanes run defense struggled in the first quarter and Howell took advantage of it, picking up a first down with his feet.

To make matter worse Amari Carter got flagged for a late hit and targeting after a shot to Howell went high during his slide.

Carter was disqualified and an already depleted secondary was even thinner for almost the entire game.

Miami seemed on their heels with the uptempo pace of the Carolina offense early.

Combine that with variety in play-calling and a confident team in blue, Miami had all they could handle on the road.

North Carolina would finish another scoring drive with a touchdown and led 17-3 with 4:04 left in the first quarter.

Miami looked uninspired and confused on defense to say the least, the group seemed unprepared for the moment.

The Tar Heels defense was equally as formidable, gang tackling and repeatedly taking advantage of the offensive line.

Finally late in the first quarter the defense found some energy, forcing a three-and-out.

Miami managed ZERO yards rushing and 47 total yards in the first quarter, while Carolina racked up 171 total yards.

Second Quarter Brings Second Wind

The second quarter change seemed to give the Hurricanes a chance to get composed again.

Williams was sharp and decisive to open that frame, and DeeJay Dallas ran with his usual aggression.

Enos took the training wheels off a little with pre-snap motion and jet sweeps, and the offense found some rhythm.

 

Until disaster nearly happened.

Williams put the ball on the ground and after several players had a shot, the freshman quarterback fell on his mistake and recovered the ball.

However the drive would stall and Bubba Baxa would attempt another short field goal for important points.

 

He missed obviously, keeping the score at 17-3.

Blake Baker dialed up the pressure in the second with corner blitzes and the defense settled in.

His colleague Enos started to figure some things out as well, giving help to the offensive line with backs chipping and quick passes.

Brevin Jordan looks like the truth and was a reliable target for Williams.

Cam Harris spelled Dallas late in the first half and picked up right where he left off.

Harris was a force in that crucial drive for the Hurricanes to say the least.

 

Once again the Hurricanes offense could not cash in, they went uptempo which actually seemed to take them out of sync.

Baxa redeemed himself somewhat with a chip shot (for most) to make it 17-6 with just under three minutes left in the first half.

The Hurricanes defense continued to make stops and slowly take over field position as the opening half wound down.

Williams would get the ball back with 98 seconds to go and two timeouts to work with.

Dallas gashed the Carolina defense for 16 to start the drive, followed by a quick 14-yard reception by Jordan.

Another miscue on a botched snap nearly spelled disaster for Miami, luckily Dallas fell on it to save the possession.

Finally the good fortune continued as the Hurricanes found pay-dirt on a beautiful strike from Williams to KJ Osborn on a slant.

 

Miami had to feel good going into the locker room down just four after a tenuous start.

Dallas had eight carries for 55 yards while Harris five for 41 yards in the first half.

Miami finished with 94 yards on the ground as a team. The offensive line as a whole looked much better compared to the Florida game, but Williams was still under pressure quite often.

A big difference was his decision making in terms of holding on to the ball. When things went sideways, he got it out.

Halftime score 17-13 North Carolina

Miami received the second half kickoff and went right to work. Dallas continued to get touches and Williams connected with Jordan to put Miami in business around the North Carolina 30 yard line.

That opening drive stalled after the Hurricanes failed on a fourth and three. Diaz likely lacked confidence in Baxa in what would have been about a 36-yard field goal attempt.

The anticipation for the Miami defense to make a game changing play was palpable.

North Carolina converted a huge third and twelve to get out of the shadow of their goalpost.

Dazz Newsome followed that with a 36-yard catch over the top, the second egregious error on pass defense to that point.

Senior linebacker Michael Pinckney got dinged up on the play but would return shortly after.

North Carolina entered Miami territory for the first time since the opening quarter and broke out a trick play of their own.

Howell hauled in an 18-yard reception on a flee-flicker, and they would cash in with a field goal to make it 20-13 midway through the third quarter.

On their next possession Miami put together their best drive to that point, marching 75 yards on seven plays and finally cashing in from close.

 

Unfortunately that blocked XP was a huge lapse by the offensive line as North Carolina shot into the backfield in an instant.

Can’t blame Baxa for that one, however four special teams points left on the field in a close game hurts.

A pivotal play came in the waning seconds of the third quarter with North Carolina facing a 4th-and-3 from the Miami 44.

Initially it looked like they would go for it, however Mack Brown burned a timeout and North Carolina punted.

Not taking a delay of game and instead taking a timeout seemed like a questionable move which could benefit Miami.

Williams continued to slice up the North Carolina secondary and ended the penultimate quarter with a bang.

 

Osborn has immediately become a key part of the wide receiver group and a favorite target for Williams.

Pass protection started to become an issue in the fourth quarter as Williams was dropped twice to stall another drive.

Special teams stepped up to pin the Tar Heels back but Howell quickly got them out of trouble.

The moment did not seem too big for Howell who looked solid under fire for most of the night.

However the Miami defense hung tough under less than ideal circumstances as multiple players went off the field due to cramping or other not overtly serious injuries.

They gave the ball back to the offense midway through the fourth and Williams kept dealing. He hit nine completions in a row and should have had 10 if not for a drop by Brian Hightower.

Jeff Thomas helped the young quarterback with a tough first down grab over the middle, not something he is always known for.

Dallas kept punishing the North Carolina defense and a perfectly executed run put them in business.

 

Williams would make it count, dropping a dime to Will Mallory to put Miami on top for the first time 25-20 with just under five minutes to go.

Holding a lead on the road late is a critical test for a defense and the North Carolina ground game was working.

Tempers got a little heated as Miami started to gain confidence when Shaq Quarterman picked up a huge sack to force a third and long.

That was followed quickly by another sack courtesy of Gregory Rousseau, forcing a timeout on 4th and 17.

Once again Howell made a play, picking up 20 for the first down and the crowd was back in it.

Howell drew Miami offsides all night with the “Kyler Murray pre-snap clap” and should have had a touchdown that was dropped on a free play.

He didn’t have to wait long as Newsome made a beautiful grab on the boundary to put North Carolina on top 26-25.

They would convert the two-point conversion and regain a 28-25 advantage with 1:01 to play.

Time for Williams

With all three timeouts this was the moment for Williams to show why Diaz chose him as QB1.

An 28-yard run followed by two completions put the Hurricanes in North Carolina territory quickly.

Williams threw incomplete over the middle and Miami was on their last breath, looking to avoid their first 0-2 start since 1978.

That did not happen.

Baxa shanked what would have been a game tying 49-yard field goal and Miami took another heartbreaking loss in another winnable game.

 

The Hurricanes gained 179 yards on the ground and 488 total yards compared to just 97 rushing and 389 for North Carolina.

Yet still lost and played from behind most of the way in a massive early test for Manny Diaz and his coaching staff.

The New Miami?

More like The Same Miami.

It’s a very distraught locker room. You’ve got to learn to finish. We’ve got to learn a little bit of a killer instinct.”

– Manny Diaz on WQAM, via @flasportsbuzz.

Key Stats – Miami

Passing:

Williams: 30/39, 309 yards, 2 TD

Rushing:

Dallas: 14 carries, 107 yards, 37 yard long

Cam Harris: 10 carries, 60 yards, TD

Receiving:

KJ Osborn: 7 receptions, 76 yards, TD

Mike Harley: 5 receptions, 79 yards

Brevin Jordan: 6 receptions, 73 yards

Jeff Thomas: 7 receptions, 51 yards

Will Mallory: 1 reception, 11 yards, TD

Key Stats – UNC

Passing:

Howell: 16/24, 274 yards, 2 TD

Rushing:

Javonte Williams: 10 carries, 76 yards, TD

Receiving:

Dyami Brown: 4 receptions, 80 yards, TD

Dazz Newsome: 2 receptions, 46 yards, TD

Rontavius Groves: 3 receptions, 41 yards

 

 

Claves para que UM derrote a UNC

UM se juega la vida esta noche en North Carolina.

Bueno. Tampoco para tanto.

Sin embargo, los Huracanes de la Universidad de Miami tienen otra gran prueba en el segundo juego de la temporada para ellos, tras caer ante los Florida Gators hace un par de semanas en el debut de Manny Díaz como head coach.

El duelo se asoma como uno interesante, con un par de quarterbacks jóvenes, y dos entrenadores que se graduaron en la misma universidad.

Leandro Soto, de Cinco Razones Deportes Network, estará comentando el duelo para la 990 ESPN Deportes desde Chapel Hill, NC, en medio de un ambiente con mucha música country y un tailgate un tanto aburrido para él, acostumbrado a la locura que se vive en los estacionamientos del Hard Rock Stadium.

En Five Reasons Sports vamos a estar transmitiendo en vivo con mucha mas frecuencia desde los diferentes eventos deportivos a los que asistimos.

Esta vez, les regalamos una pequeña previa del duelo de esta semana, con las claves para que UM pueda vencer a UNC, las fortalezas y debilidades de cada equipo, y las predicciones de cada uno para este importante encuentro.

Tate Martell ‘s transition to receiver going smoothly

When Tate Martell did not win the starting quarterback job at the University of Miami after transferring from Ohio State, he didn’t quit, he adjusted.

All the way to the other side of the field.

Martell began working with the wide receivers since Jarren Williams was named the starting quarterback and he has been welcomed with open arms by senior K.J.Osborn and the rest of the receivers.

“We accepted him. It was no nothing. We accepted him.” Osborn said after Wednesday’s practice.

Tate Martell had the advantage of having a strong grasp of the offense due to having to learn the whole scheme during quarterback competition. The knowledge he brought into his new crew not only helped himself, but his teammates improve.

“Like I said when Tate first got here, he’s very smart,” Osborn said. “He’s very smart. And he helps us out in the room. Like, if there’s a question about something, Tate, he’s got the answer. You know, quarterback reads, or line, or anything. He’s very smart coming from the quarterback position.”

The mental part of the transition may be smooth but the physical part wasn’t. He may have thought himself to be a mobile quarterback but even Michael Vick never ran as much as a wide receiver. The pains from practice served as an inadvertent form of initiation to the group, according to Osborn.

“He’s starting to get those wide receiver pains from running so much,” a laughing Osborn joked. “We trying to tell people on the team it’s different at wide receiver, like you run all day.”

Martell made his Hurricanes debut lined up at wideout against Florida. He’s still listed as a backup quarterback in the depth chart but he’ll be worth taking a look at over the course of the season.

 

Listen to pur podcast 5 Rings Canes clicking here. 

Canes QB Jarren Williams

Coach Diaz and Jarren Williams Discuss Improvements

Coach Manny Diaz and Jarren Williams have a lot to prove.

First-year quarterback Jarren Williams showed us all a few Saturday’s ago why he was chosen to lead this Miami Hurricanes team as its starting quarterback. While it did not ultimately lead to the outcome we wanted(Miami lost to #8 Florida 24-20), most Canes fans believe he is the right choice.

Coach Enos did not mince words when describing Williams and his play against Florida, saying “He did not play well enough for us to win the game.” We understand that those words were more “tough love” than anything else, and Jarren embraced it, but it wasn’t all entirely untrue. Williams had a few opportunities early in that game to break it open and could not find the open man. Although the offensive line did not play well at all, there were times where he either held on to the football too long or put his head down and took a sack.

Today, Cane Maven was at practice and listened in on what Coach Diaz and Jarren Williams had to say on what the redshirt freshman quarterback has worked on improving since his first game and if his progression has changed as a result of the Florida game:

Coach Manny Diaz says, “if we would’ve thrown a touchdown pass on the last drive and won 27-24, we would not have come in here and done anything differently.” Williams later said, regarding what had changed, “my pocket presence, you know, not watching the rush” and “every play you have to keep your eyes down the field and if you have to run, you could run”.

Follow me on twitter @jazzsantana for all the latest Miami Hurricanes news.

 Check out the @5Rings_Canes podcast for your Canes insider news and analysis.

 Go Canes!

Paul Finebaum calls UM a “third world program”

Paul Finebaum opened the floor again.

Um, ESPN, about that no politics thing?

You remember how Dan LeBatard (our Dan LeBatard, of course) got heat internally for calling out the president’s racially-charged rallies?

Well, here’s the flip side of that.

Here is Paul Finebaum, known SEC shill and transparent provocateur, making a racially-loaded comment about the University of Miami, on ESPN’s airwaves:

What exactly do you mean there, Paul?

What would make us third world down here?

Our transportation system sucks. The Miami airport too. And yeah, there’s corruption.

But anyone who is associated with this area knows that “third world” isn’t referencing any of that. It’s referencing the populace…. much of which is brown or black.

That’s not a overly sensitive stretch. Just ask around.

This is a characterization that was all too common during the Heat’s Big 3 years. The national media constantly suggested that Miami didn’t “deserve” that team. Why? Well, sometimes they said it was because we weren’t passionate enough fans, too transient, all out on our boats. (You heard that a lot when national media members were cheering LeBron going back to “working class” Cleveland, i.e. more white).

But the other part of it was that we don’t look like other sports fans around the country, those pure fans from say, Boston.

“It’s a third world program if you ask me.”

Just say what you mean, Paul.

The caller did: “Well, at least no one was shot, I guess?”

Ha ha. That’s hysterical. No one shot. By Miami fans.

You forgot the word “thug.” Do better next time.

So Paul, nothing surprises us from you anymore.

Oh, and I’ve been to some of those SEC towns you love, where the Waffle House is deemed the equivalent of Ruth’s Chris — they both have butter! — and the unpaved roads to nowhere are lined with troopers waiting to pick up anyone who doesn’t answer to Bubba and have “Don’t Tread On Me” on his pickup’s bumper.

That world seems a lot more third than this.

Jarren Williams Miami Hurricanes

Miami Hurricanes: The Good, Bad, and Ugly vs Gators

An early chance to prove they are “back” escapes the Hurricanes.

The Miami Hurricanes kicked off the 2019 season like their nickname implies, with ferocity and chaos.

With an in-state game against the hated Gators, an animal that lurks in the swamp beneath the surface.

Two teams engaged in high drama without aesthetic pleasantry or grace.

On the national stage, just like it should be.

Miami wasn’t expected to win by most or make a game of it by many.

But that is exactly what they did.

We can explore the coulda-woulda-shoulda all day, Canes fans have seen these game slip away too many times.

The Hurricanes had their chances but the game unraveled by their own hand.

There was some good.

Quite a bit of bad.

And holy shit was there a lot of ugly.

The Good

Jarren Williams took control of the starting quarterback position in fall camp and the decision looks like a home run.

The redshirt freshman looked ready and poised under the bright lights and under heavy fire.

He took 10 sacks behind an offensive line that was exploited against a barrage from the Gator front seven.

Time and time again he got up off the canvas, and had the team in position to win.

Williams avoided the big mistake, although he did put the ball on the ground late under duress.

He finished 19 for 30 for 214 yards with one touchdown and looked more calm and collected as the game progressed.

DeeJay Dallas had a solid game (12 carries, 95 yards, one touchdown) and his physical running style brutalized the Florida defense.

Overall however the rushing game struggled, only gaining 87 yards on a measly 2.7 YPC after sack yards on Williams factored in.

Brevin Jordan (five receptions, 88 yards, TD)  also had a breakout night and there are plenty of encouraging pieces on offense.

Cam Harris looks like a perfect compliment to Dallas and had a game changing run called back by penalty.

 

Another bright spot was the run defense which held Florida to just 52 yards on the ground.

Oh, and Turnover Chain 3.0, or 305, made its debut and Miami rocked the new ice on four occasions.

 

The Bad

A lot to cover here.

Mistakes riddled the opening game for Manny Diaz and his new coaching staff.

Delays of game and false starts took the life out of drives that weren’t killed by sacks.

Williams was running for his life against a constant barrage of blitzes.

Both teams were sloppy, combining for over 200 yards in penalties on the night.

Diaz was not pleased.

“There were a couple major blunders on special teams and the short fields right there really ended up being telling in a very low scoring game where everything mattered. I thought our guys played with a lot of courage. I think they played with a lot of effort. But it doesn’t matter because we lost the game. We did not come here to play with courage and effort. We came here to win the game and it’s not OK at the University of Miami ever to lose to the University of Florida. Everybody in that locker room feels the pain of that right now.”

Mistakes should be expected with a mostly new coaching staff and quarterback, but the mental lapses compiled at an alarming rate.

The players were not the only ones making mental mistakes though.

 

Officials cannot be blamed for the result but it definitely was not a stellar night for the zebras.

That being said the calls went for and against both teams so the impact is moot.

The Ugly

The big uglies lived up to that monicker in resounding fashion Saturday night.

Allowing double-digit sacks at this level is uncommon, a performance like this raises many questions.

Florida is an elite defense but the Miami front five looked like matadors out there.

Part of that has to also fall on Dan Enos and the play calling.

In the first half Williams got rid of the ball quickly but in the third quarter is when things started to get sideways.

A fumble by Jeff Thomas on a punt with Miami up 13-1o started to signal the beginning of the end. Florida took it the rest of the way and reclaimed a 17-13 advantage.

Florida outscored Miami 10-0 in that 15 minutes which segued into the fourth quarter from hell.

That quarter started out with a bang for the Hurricanes.

 

The Hurricanes missed their shot at the end

That power move put the Hurricanes back on top 20-17 but was ultimately false hope.

The next three drives ended with a missed field goal and two failures on fourth down,

Miami pulled out some tricks when Bubba Baxa ran for a first down on a fake field goal.

The play had offsetting penalties with a hold by Miami, but an unnecessary roughness penalty on Florida gave the Hurricanes new life.

Which ended quickly.

Baxa missed a chip shot from 27 yards which proved costly as the Gators marched 80 yards in just four plays to retake the lead, one they would not relinquish.

Williams was sacked three times on the final drive, which also included a 15-yard chop block penalty.

Miami was gifted one last opportunity when the Gators were flagged for pass interference on 4th and 34.

How do you get to 4th and 34?

Illegal block penalty for 15 yards makes it 1st and 25

Pass to DeeJay loses one, 2nd and 26.

Williams sacked and fumbles, Dallas picks it up and gains four.

Third and 22, why not take a delay of game for five?

Third and 27, we like even numbers so give us a sack and a seven-yard loss.

There you have it, the night for the Hurricanes in a nutshell.

Follow us on Twitter for more Miami Hurricanes @SportsWaveDave and @5ReasonsSports.

Check out the 5 Rings Canes podcast for exclusive coverage of the Hurricanes.

Three Matchups the Hurricanes can Exploit vs Gators

Week Zero is fast approaching as the Miami Hurricanes prepare to face the Florida Gators Saturday in Orlando.

The oddsmakers don’t love the Hurricanes in a neutral setting, but we all know how in-state rivalry games go.

Hurricanes – Gators: Game of the week

 

Here are three ways the Hurricanes can not only make a game of it, but steal a huge early season win.

The Hurricanes Pass Defense vs Felipe Franks

A once maligned position for the Gators has found some stability finally with Felipe Franks under center.

Franks made huge strides between his freshman and sophomore seasons and is expected to build on that again this year.

Where he has struggled historically is with accuracy, completing less than 57% of his passes for his career.

Franks does take care of the ball, only throwing six interceptions last year against 24 touchdowns.

On the other side of the coin is the Hurricanes pass defense, which last year was a major strength.

Manny Diaz’s defensive group was the best in college football in yards allowed per game in 2018.

They also led the nation in third down defense.

If the Miami defense can have some success on early downs, the pass rush should be able to generate pressure on Franks when it counts.

We all know what that means.

 

Gators Offensive Line is Suspect

That pass rush may have some success against a retooled Gators front five.

Florida lost four starters from last season and they will be put to the test right away.

The Gators only allowed 18 sacks last year, however with a lot of new moving parts there could be some early communication issues.

Miami will give Franks a lot of looks and you can bet there will be pressure on all levels, led by Jonathan Garvin on the defensive line.

Garvin comes off a breakout sophomore season with career bests in tackles (60) and sacks (5.5) along with two fumble recoveries.

We all know about the experienced and talented linebacker group, expect them to cause some confusion among the Gator front five.

Enos has a Plan for Jordan and Mallory

Another matchup the Hurricanes can exploit is the dual threats at tight end in Brevin Jordan and Will Mallory.

Dan Enos has brought in a system that gives the tight end group a lot of opportunities from multiple formations.

Florida has an excellent secondary led by cornerbacks CJ Henderson, Jr. and Marco Wilson, so Williams will have to be careful with the ball on the outside.

Thankfully for a new starting quarterback, the tight end combo of Jordan and Mallory are a nice safety net.

The Hurricanes will have to play a near perfect game to pull of the upset.

If Miami can keep the game close in the first half in a rivalry game, anything can happen.

Follow me on Twitter @SportsWaveDave. Tweet and at me saying who will win. Hurricanes or Gators?

Make sure to check out the 5 Rings Canes Podcast for exclusive Miami Hurricanes content.

 

 

It’s Jarren Williams’ Hurricanes now

Jarren Williams is the chosen one. For now…

For the past couple weeks, Miami Hurricanes head coach Manny Diaz made it seem like picking his first starting quarterback was like picking his first Pokemon.

He’s got three: Tate Martell (Charmander), N’Kosi Perry (Bulbasaur) and Jarren Williams (Squirtle). Each of them have different talents yet each of them can get you eight gym badges an into the Elite Four.

After the second scrimmage of fall camp, Diaz chose Williams and made it public through the team’s social media channel. This in turn vaulted Williams to the top of the pecking order and elevated him into the position of leader of the locker room.

“It’s the natural thing of having the confidence of the coaching staff and the team to know you’re the guy,” Diaz said. “Which is why we made the decision, it’s why we made it public, because we just felt that would far more superseded any value in making it a surprise on Saturday.”

Williams always had the confidence in himself necessary to become a starting quarterback. However being the starting quarterback didn’t automatically make him the leader of the team.

“Jarren has always been a leader,” Donaldson said. “Ever since he came in he’s been a vocal guy, trying to communicate with the whole offense, even the whole team, trying to get us on the same page. That’s what [offensive coordinator Dan Enos]  saw, I guess and he just took that stuff further now.”

“I feel like it’s a gradual process,” Williams said, “because throughout the summer and spring, my thing was I’m gonna show these guys that I’m gonna work and give everything I got for them. I go out there every day and I would give everything I had, empty the tank for them just to show them I’m gonna be a guy that you can rely on. So I feel like doing that time after time gradually built that leadership so that when I had the opportunity to be named starting quarterback, I was already in that leadership role.”

It almost didn’t came to be. Before the 2018 Pinstripe Bowl, Williams nearly transferred out of Miami. He chose to remain and even with extra competition coming in through the transfer portal and recruiting, he rose above it all and has earned his chance to lead the Hurricanes against the No. 8 Florida Gators.

“It’s very rewarding,” Williams said. “That really comes with me trusting God. I prayed about it and I know he would never lead me wrong.”

Williams said the turning point came when the team returned from an embarrassing bowl loss and Diaz quickly became the new head coach after Mark Richt announced his retirement.

“I feel like the whole mindset just started to change for everybody,” Williams said. 

Williams has received texts messages from former Miami quarterbacks Stephen Morris and Brad Kaaya encouraging him going into the biggest matchup of the season.

“They really just told me to be confident and be you,” Williams said. “This is the moment you prepared your whole life for. Don’t let the moment get too big for you.”