The Miami football team must put the 45-21 loss to Duke behind them and look forward to Virginia on Saturday. Eight turnovers against Duke have become part of the lore of the Miami football program. It doesn’t define how Miami will play in its final five games of the 2022 season.
Miami began the 2021 season with blowout losses to Alabama and Michigan State wrapped around a tight win over Appalachian State. The blowout losses this season to Middle Tennessee State and Duke have rightfully so received more criticism. Miami has an opportunity to finish the season strong as they did in 2021.
After beginning the 2021 season 2-4, Miami won five of its final six games to finish 7-5. The lone loss was at Florida State which Miami led in the fourth quarter. Social media pundits and the media have questioned the effort of the Miami players in the second-half loss to Duke, that alone should be motivating.
Miami is not good enough to walk onto the field and expect to win. Miami players stated after the loss to Middle Tennessee State they did not take the Blue Raiders seriously. The loss to Duke should have the player’s attention from the coaching staff and each other. Now Miami focuses on Virginia.
The game film from Duke has been analyzed by the Miami coaching staff and worked on with the players. In addition to preparing for Virginia, the entire Miami football program needs to look at larger issues like which players want to remain with the Hurricanes and who is suited to play for Cristobal.
Cristobal and previous head coach Manny Diaz have very different styles of running a program. Cristobal is very demanding and holds the players accountable. Diaz was more of a players’ coach. Both work, but the reality for the players is to make decisions during the offseason if they want to remain in Coral Gables.
Several players Cristobal recruited have made contributions this season. West Virginia transfer defensive lineman Akheem Mesidor earned the national defensive player of the week following the Miami win over Virginia Tech. Henry Parrish leads Miami in rushing this season and defensive tackle Darrell Jackson has been outstanding.
Junior college transfer wide receiver Colbie Young has back-to-back 100-yard games the last two weeks and three straight games with a touchdown reception. The challenge for the Miami passing game gets tougher in the last five games. Miami plays four of the top six pass defenses in the ACC in the final five weeks.
The lone exception is Clemson. Miami is a 2.5-point favorite over Virginia on Saturday per Fan Duel. Miami will likely be favored at Georgia Tech in two weeks. Miami will likely be a slight underdog versus Florida State. Clemson will be a multi-score favorite over Miami and the Pittsburgh game will be a tossup.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
Virginia ended a three-game losing streak with a 16-9 win at Georgia Tech on Thursday. It was the first ACC win for Virginia in the inaugural season under Tony Elliott. Virginia lost 38-17 to Duke last month. Matchups will come later in the week. Miami has five weeks to turn the season around before it unravels further.