Tuesday, September 8, 2009 at 7:30 a.m.
Forget Montu, the Incredible Hulk, and Space Mountain. Last night's football game between the Miami Hurricanes and the Florida State Seminoles might have been the best roller coaster the state of Florida has ever had to offer. By the end of it, I wasn't sure if I was more happy that the Canes won or that my heart rate had a chance to return to normal.
The Canes triumphed 38 to 34 after an astounding back-and-forth series of lead changes involving a wild interception on the Noles part, a weird almost-injury to Canes QB Jacory Harris that had the announcers prematurely making a Sam Bradford analogy, and, just for good measure, a review on the final play that saw the Noles almost pull out the win.
Despite the fact that the Canes face one of the toughest opening months in recent NCAA history, things are looking slightly up after the win. For one, the aforementioned Bradford is out for Oklahoma. Only the sunniest predictions have him coming back in time to play the Canes in week five. While a Bradford-less Oklahoma far from guarantees a Canes win, it makes their chances, previously pretty minuscule, a hell of a lot better. Even if he is back, it's no guarantee he'll be in top form. Virginia Tech, meanwhile, also dropped its opener. The Canes' next opponent, Georgia Tech, pulled a win over a lowly Jacksonville State.
More important, though, the Canes held it together throughout the game, even after some tough breaks. All too often in the Randy Shannon era have we seen the team completely fall apart in the later half, but the Canes returned to their glory as a fourth-quarter team (a tip of the hat to the even-keeled Jacory Harris). And that has implications that reach far past the next month.