The effort of the Miami football team was questioned after an epic second-half collapse in a 45-21 loss to Duke. Duke scored the final 28 points on Saturday after Miami took a 21-17 lead less than two minutes into the second half. Mario Cristobal was asked about his team’s effort in the post-game press conference.
Cristobal stated during his Monday morning appearance on the Joe Rose Show that the Miami football players did give effort on Saturday versus Duke. Technique and the 18-play 9:21 drive in the third quarter by Duke took in the words of Cristobal “the wind out of our team.” Figuring out how to be more resilient is critical.
Adversity will happen in almost every game. Miami has a lot of adversity to overcome as it travels to Virginia on Saturday. Miami overcame losses to Middle Tennessee State to win at Virginia Tech earlier this month. Miami now has to look forward and prepare for Virginia. There are five games to turn the season around.
The Miami football team finished 7-5 in 2021 after a 2-4 start. Miami faces a similar challenge with an arguably tougher schedule down the stretch in 2022. The Hurricanes will be underdogs in games versus Clemson and Florida State. Miami has to win three of its remaining five games to become bowl eligible.
"“We’ll see on tape…If someone’s not playing hard, they have to go play somewhere else. What we have to do requires tough people. To turn a program, rebuild it, it requires tough-minded people willing to do the work. If that shows up on tape, they have to find somewhere else [to play]. Some guys have played really well.Some guys have played hard. We’ll go from there…Most importantly, of all the things, is understanding that when you go through something like this, and you’re rebuilding a program, and you get hit in the face like this, you have to be tough enough to look each other in the eye and stick together and go to work.It doesn’t magically get better. You have to go to work and that’s the only focus. That’s the only thing we’re going to do.”"
If any of the above comes to fruition expect changes in the Miami roster during the 2023 offseason. The only way that happens in college is through players leaving through the transfer portal. Miami added 15 transfers to the 2022 roster. Expect Miami to bring in multiple transfers for 2023.
The change from Manny Diaz to Cristobal has been from a players’ coach to one who demands more accountability. Some players might not be suited to play for a demanding coach like Cristobal and choose to transfer. The process of a new staff usually is not turned around in one season.
The focus in the short term is winning each week to help change the culture. Miami has enough talent to compete and certainly should be defeating Middle Tennessee State and Duke. The Hurricanes are 13th in the 247 Sports talent composite rankings. Cristobal and his staff have to figure out who wants to be in Coral Gables.