We waited eight months for that? This past Monday, Hurricanes fans got a glimpse of their 2014 squad in a nationally televised 31-13 blowout loss to the Louisville Cardinals. The fans were not impressed. The play was much the same as what we saw all last season, which was incredibly disappointing.
The loss was just the latest flop in the Al Golden era, marking the Hurricanes' fifth loss in their last seven games, all by 18 points or more. After a long summer of talk and hype, the Hurricanes looked screwed, not renewed, against the Cardinals. But now that the game is over and the damage is done, we can focus on a few takeaways.
— Billy Corben (@BillyCorben) September 2, 2014
1. The Hurricanes didn't trust Brad Kaaya as much as they said they did.
Going into the game, Al Golden said Brad Kaaya wasn't a freshman quarterback but a Miami Hurricanes quarterback; then he proceeded to implement a game plan that was akin to those child leashes moms use on their kids at Aventura Mall. Offensive coordinator James Coley's play calls didn't handcuff Kaaya; they hogtied him and made life impossible for Duke Johnson all night because the Cardinals realized Kaaya would never challenge their secondary. Moving forward, the Canes have to stop kidding themselves and realize what this year is all about -- getting Brad Kaaya some game experience.
Mark D'nofrio's base defense. pic.twitter.com/DkDG5uncJF
— Breasut Brözil (@SubstitutePapi) September 2, 2014
2. Mark D'Onofrio still doesn't get it.
Some will tell you the Hurricanes defense looked better, and that is a credit to defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio. I'm here to tell you if he keeps dropping eight and rushing three, Brad Kaaya can blossom into Johnny Football, but it won't matter. The true credit for the decent defensive performance goes to the Hurricanes players -- the unit as a whole looked much stronger and held its own as long as possible. When the Hurricanes blitzed, good things happened, so naturally they did it almost never.
First third down conversion since Nov. 29, 2013. That was 276 days ago. #Canes went 0-for-23 in that span. Now 1-10 tonight.
— Matt Porter (@mattyports) September 2, 2014
3. The Hurricanes third-down efficiency is the worst you've ever witnessed, which is saying a lot because you're probably a Dolphins fan.
During the game, reporters were passing around a stat that the Canes had not converted a third down against the Louisville Cardinals since 2006, and not against anyone since last November. Let that sink in. Converting a third down is something a football team should do at least every quarter. The Hurricanes found themselves in third-and-long often Monday with a QB who was shaken from the start, and it went about as well as you would expect.
Miami Bane is displeased. pic.twitter.com/cAbVLYeDzr
— SB Nation GIF (@SBNationGIF) September 2, 2014
4. Canes fans have gone next-level this season, and possibly completely insane.
I need to know the steps that go into this decision, because there are multiple minichoices that go into this display right here. First, where does one get an orange-and-green Bane mask? I'm assuming this involved Amazon or eBay, which means this guy waited for this in the mail. That's tremendous dedication. Once you get it, you have to wear it, right? At that point there is no going back. On the bright side, Halloween is just around the corner. Canes fans are really only a couple of losing seasons away from being, well, Dolphins fans.
5. Denzel Perryman still wrecks ass.
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Denzel Perryman ain't the problem. The middle linebacker showed once again why he will be one of the first linebackers taken in next year's draft and why the Canes defense isn't a complete shitshow. Perryman ended the game with 12 tackles, three for a loss, and a sack, a bright spot on an otherwise sucky night. With the rest of the defense improving and looking the part, Perryman should continue to flash NFL-level skills this season. For Canes fans, let's hope it translates into more wins.
The Miami Hurricanes (0-1) take on the Florida A&M Rattlers (0-1) Saturday, September 6, at 7 p.m. at Sun Life Stadium.