Mario Cristobal and the Miami football team hit a new low in the 2022 season with a 45-21 loss to Duke while committing eight turnovers. The national media took notice for the second time in the last five weeks of a Miami loss. After the Miami 45-31 loss to Middle Tennessee State, it didn’t seem like Miami could get lower in 2022.
It seems like the national media is clinging to the past for the Miami football program as much as the fan base. Miami was ranked 13th nationally following season-opening wins over Bethune-Cookman and Southern Mississippi. A 10-7 Miami halftime lead versus Southern Mississippi should have been a future sign.
Miami fell to 3-4 overall and 1-2 in the ACC with the loss to Duke. The Hurricanes now face a challenging schedule to become bowl eligible. Miami will be a big favorite at Virginia on Saturday and at Georgia Tech on November 12, but Miami was a multiple-score favorite versus Middle Tennessee State and Duke.
As expected and warranted, the Miami football program was roasted by several national media outlets after the (lack of) performance on Saturday. The debate if the loss to Middle Tennessee State or Duke was worse will linger for the rest of the season. It’s a position Miami has been in too often. CBS Sports gave their Miami take.
"CBS Sports“Miami pulled off what was regarded by many as the coup of the century by stealing Mario Cristobal from Oregon…When Cristobal landed 11 highly touted transfers to join heralded quarterback Tyler Van Dyke, the hype train was primed and ready. The U was back. Then the season began.Dropping the game against Texas A&M hurt, but losing to Middle Tennessee was inexplicable. In Week 8, things only got worse as Duke stomped Miami 45-21…Van Dyke went out and the Hurricanes responded with eight turnovers. Every week, Cristobal’s program seemingly springs a new leak somehow worse than the week before.A bowl game seems like a pipe dream at this point…Losing against fellow first-year coach Mike Elko, however? That’s unacceptable. Cristobal had every single advantage against Elko, but silly, costly mistakes continue to doom this program. It’s Year 1, but frankly, that’s on coaching.For all the money boosters are paying Cristobal, the performance this season is a total failure."
Everyone knows the stats. Miami has one ACC Coastal division title and no conference championships since becoming a member in 2004. The problems are bigger than the questions that are proposed on message boards and social media. Every new head coach wants to change the culture. 247 Sports gave their take.
"247 Sports LOSER: MIAMI HURRICANESHere’s a quick summary of the disaster that was Miami’s 45-21 loss to Duke:Miami turned the ball over eight times. That’s the most in the Power Five game since 2008.Miami star quarterback Tyler Van Dyke left the game early with a shoulder injury.Miami lost to Duke by 24 points. You knew that. I just wanted to emphasize the total.Afterward, Mario Cristobal called the loss a “regression.” I think Miami fans would use more colorful adjectives to describe the defeat. Miami is 3-4 in Year 1 under Cristobal. The Hurricanes only Power Five win came over Virginia Tech, which is in the running to be the ACC’s worst team.It’s only fair to acknowledge Miami is really injured. Big pieces are missing all over the two deep. But it’s not as if Cristobal inherited a broken product. The Hurricanes rank 13th in the 247Sports Team Talent Composite. The Duke team Mike Elko took over ranks 64th. Duke is 5-3.Truly, there’s no reasonable excuse for Miami to look this bad. It feels like some measure of change is needed at Miami. Perhaps both of the Hurricanes’ highly-paid coordinators could be exchanged. Miami will certainly be aggressive in the transfer portal; few teams have attacked things quite like Miami.Cristobal’s history says this will get better … eventually."
Lack of talent is not the issue with Miami. Development seemed to be the issue before this season. With the coaching staff the Miami football team has, they should be performing better than they have, particularly in the losses to Middle Tennessee State and Duke. Losses to lesser teams have become far too common for Miami.
Injuries should not have prevented Miami from defeating Middle Tennessee State and Duke. Middle Tennessee State is 96th in the 247 talent composite rankings and hasn’t won a game since defeating both. Middle Tennessee State and Texas A&M are both 3-4 this season. Mario Cristobal has preached to aim for 1-0 every week.
That’s the approach Miami has to take. The bad losses are behind them. Miami needs three wins in its final five games to qualify for a bowl game. At 3-4, that’s the best Miami can hope for. Most of the other goals are done for this season. Seven games into the season, Miami fans are becoming too familiar with the outcomes.