The Miami Hurricanes established a new rock bottom after an embarrassment in the Independence Bowl.
Nine completions from their starting quarterback.
These are some of the numbers that defy logic from the Hurricanes performance in the Independence Bowl Thursday.
Somehow, Miami was a favorite going into the game.
That optimism was quickly thwarted by an offense that simply did not want to be there.
Coached by a man who wasn’t expected to be much longer.
There was not a significant change in plans.
The departure of Enos was a welcome inevitability, but it is a drop of water in an ocean of bad decisions.
A Game to Forget
Miami had their share of forgettable (unforgettable?) games this year.
All with a common theme.
On paper the Hurricanes could be perceived as playing down to the competition.
In the real world, between the lines, they were simply outclassed.
Louisiana Tech did not play a great game either, thanks in part to an inspired Miami defense.
Shaq Quarterman left it all on the field over four seasons and did not take this one off either.
Meanwhile for some of his teammates, it was pretty obvious that the offense checked out after the news about Enos leaked.
That leak in itself is also a problem, the timing of which reeks of internal discord.
Which in turn seeped into the product on the field in Shriveport.
Miami managed 227 yards of total offense while being kept off the scoreboard.
Those results against a Louisiana Tech defense that surrendered over three touchdowns per game this season.
Pick a quarterback, any quarterback, and the results were the same.
Cue the Benny Hill music.
The three-headed monster of Martell, Jarren Williams, and N’Kosi Perry completed less than half their passes (15/34).
Both Williams and Perry gave the ball away, while Martell played just one series and completed his only attempt.
The indecision regarding who should be under center this entire year was a glaring indictment on the coaching staff.
Running on Fumes
A quarterback’s best friend is a solid running game.
Miami’s QB group has no friends, not even an acquaintance in the backfield.
Without DeeJay Dallas there was no rushing attack for the Hurricanes.
Cam Harris (12 carries, 31 yards, 2.6YPC) could not get anything going, Miami loses the battle up front too much which throws the whole thing into shambles.
Harris filled in admirably at times for Dallas, he was simply a part of an offense lacking identity or cohesion in any phase.
On the day the Hurricanes would manage just 74 meaningless yards on the ground.
The Hurricanes lack of any running game throughout the season (122nd nationally) exposed the deficiencies at quarterback.
To be fair, no signal caller was granted reprieve from pressure by their offensive line.
Louisiana Tech had four more sacks against a front five who allowed 51 on the season, 127th in the nation.
Down and distance killed a dysfunctional offense with a methodical cadence, the script never changed.
The 2019 Walk-Ons Independence Bowl was simply a culminating effort, an unnecessary curtain call for an apathetic tragedy of a season.
A regression of this magnitude unfolding in the final month of the season is cause for much speculation.
Is Manny Diaz the right coach for a rebuild that he was not intended to steward?
What other organizational changes are in store?
You could call a game with the stature and allure of the Independence Bowl meaningless.
Yet that designation would only apply to the illusion of the current Miami Hurricanes football team.
There is no standard any more in Coral Gables.
Blake James has continually accepted mediocrity over his tenure, what will be the cause for change now?
Supporters of the Hurricanes program need to reset expectations.
In his first season as CEO, Diaz could not have expected this much turmoil.
Much of which he manifested himself.
From the yachts- to the very wishful it turns out – 7-5 tackling dummies, Diaz spoke of culture and a return to a bygone age of dominance.
Turnover Chains and touchdown rings were tools of engineered swag deployment lacking substance.
A futile attempt in recreating an era so cherished by those who were a part of it.
“The New Miami” was just a recycled attempt to be the old Miami.
The good Miami.
All this pomp and circumstance created to capture the essence of days gone by.
Yet those days were defined by one element.
A glaring failure to adapt, particularly on the offensive side of the ball, put the entire team in disarray.
That must be fixed immediately with an offensive system that puts skill position players in position to succeed.
Nothing less can be accepted.
Lack of preparation defined the 2019 Miami Hurricanes.
Diaz must prepare for career altering decisions in order to survive another year.
There is light at the end of the tunnel, such as another solid recruiting class.
The running back group in particular is loaded with talent – the ground game can rebound with an improved scheme and offensive line.
Hopefully it is not impacted by this year’s performance.
In a mediocre ACC Coastal a quick turnaround is possible.
Until next season however, fans need to be prepared for the inevitable fallout of a lost 2019 campaign.