Miami football criticized by national media following FSU loss

Nov 13, 2021; Tallahassee, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 13, 2021; Tallahassee, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports /

The heat has turned up on Manny Diaz following the late collapse by the Miami football team in a 31-28 loss at Florida State on Saturday. Florida State scored 11 points in the last five minutes after Miami extended their lead to 28-20 early in the fourth quarter. The Seminoles ended the Hurricanes’ three-game winning streak.

After Miami began the 2021 season 2-4 there was a lot of question if Diaz would last until the end of the season. Wins over North Carolina State, Pittsburgh and Georgia Tech gained Diaz temporary amnesty. That amnesty evaporated when Miami lost because of a plethora of problems on Saturday in Tallahassee.

The Hurricanes had 14 penalties for 105 yards, three turnovers in the first quarter, fell behind 17-0 in the first half and had poor clock management late. Now Miami has to win one of its last two games to become bowl eligible. The Hurricanes need to win their last two games to secure a winning regular season.

The Miami football team hosts Virginia Tech on Senior Day and travels to Duke the final week of the regular season. The Hurricanes won 25-24 at Virginia Tech last season and at Duke 48-0 in 2020. Miami will be favored in those games but lost this season when favored against Michigan State, Virginia and Florida State.

"Miami (Fla.) Paul Myerberg-USA Today“The good vibes and optimism around this program and coach Manny Diaz in the wake of a three-game winning streak were erased with a 31-28 loss to rival Florida State, which scored the game-winning touchdown with 26 seconds left to cap the Hurricanes’ late-game meltdown.Between the penalties, the turnovers and a clown show of a final drive, this loss exhausts any goodwill developed over the previous three weeks and places Diaz right back on the hot seat.”"

The Miami meltdown on the final drive included allowing a 59-yard pass on the first Florida State play from scrimmage on the last drive, a 25-yard completion on third and 14 and poor clock management in the final minute. Miami did not close out how they were able to during the three-game winning streak.

"Chris Hummer 247“You might not think Florida State versus Miami matters this year. You’d be wrong. It matters in recruiting and it might matter for Manny Diaz long-term after his Hurricanes lost 31-28 loss. The Seminoles were down 28-20 early in the fourth quarter and produced two 60-plus-yard scoring drives to win.The victory keeps Florida State’s (4-6) bowl hopes alive and stalls momentum for Diaz to keep his job after the Hurricanes had won three straight.”"

The Miami football team had the edge on Florida State in recent seasons during their four-game winning streak against the Seminoles and off the field. In their second season under Mike Norvell, Florida State has the 13th ranked recruiting class for 2022. Miami has the 61st ranked class for 2022 in the third season for Diaz.

Miami defeated Florida State 52-10 in 2020. Norvell missed the game after testing positive for COVID. In their first direct matchup, several comments from the media have stated that Norvell and his staff outcoached Miami. The poor start and finish by Miami were the third time that has happened this season.

Miami has not been able to get beyond being a mostly mediocre football program through two University Presidents, several athletic directors and five head coaches prove the point by Fornelli. Miami upgraded facilities under Richt and have brought in different styles of head coaches but the mediocrity persists.

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Miami has two regular-season games and a bowl game if they win one of their two final games to finish 2021 strong. It is difficult to see Diaz surviving after this season if Miami doesn’t win at least two of their final three games. Miami is favored against Virginia Tech and Duke. This season has been disappointing by any measure.