Mark Richt
Mark Richt
Courtesy of University of Miami Athletics Department

Mark Richt's Decision-Making Is Killing the Hurricanes' National Title Dreams

Miami Hurricanes fans and sports pundits are still walking around in a daze following the team's embarrassing loss to the Louisiana State Tigers over Labor Day weekend. They bought into the hype that Miami deserved a Top 10 ranking while ignoring the brutal reality: The same problems the Canes had during the three-game losing streak to end last season were exposed again by LSU.

Even if the Hurricanes somehow win the ACC's Coastal Division again, Miami is nowhere ready to beat the Clemson Tigers, the national powerhouse that destroyed the Hurricanes in last year's ACC title game 38-3. That's on the coaching staff.

Putting aside the turnover-chain mania, defensive coordinator Manny Diaz's inability to make game-time adjustments puts his players in the worst positions. That fact was evident when LSU quarterback Joe Burrow called an audible that resulted in running back Nick Brossette's 50-yard touchdown in the first quarter. UM's defense was lined up wrong for most of the game.

On the offensive side, Canes Nation is piling onto quarterback Malik Rosier, who had another awful performance, missing wide-open receivers and throwing two interceptions. Now Rosier definitely acts like a guy on a coffee break when he throws the ball to the other team. He also lacks passion, playing like a rich kid who doesn't need football to feed his family. Meanwhile, his receivers are playing like their lives depend on it. They are hungry.

Mark Richt's Decision-Making Is Killing the Hurricanes' National Title Dreams
Illustration by Alex Izaguirre

But head coach Mark Richt, who also runs the offense and calls the plays, deserves most of the blame. None of the local sports talk hosts and Canes beat writers such as Joe Rose and Will Manso wants to criticize Richt because it's still the honeymoon period. For some reason, Richt believes Rosier is the best guy to run his offense even if the senior is not the best quarterback on the team. Richt also makes questionable decisions such as waiting until the Hurricanes were down by 30 to start throwing more passes to star receiver Jeff Thomas.

When Richt was coaching at Georgia, he let offensive coordinator Mike Bobo call the plays. With the coordinator's input, the head coach makes the decision as to who starts at quarterback. Because Richt wears both hats and his son is the quarterbacks' coach, it was a family decision to start Rosier. They believed he could do the job of taking the U back to the promised land. Obviously, they made a bad decision.

The frustration is boiling over in the locker room. According to Caneshades Radio, Richt benched Ahmmon Richards after the wide receiver called Rosier out during halftime of the LSU game. Officially, the team said Richards injured his knee. However, sources say the team wants to see Richt give redshirt freshman N'Kosi Perry a shot at the starting spot.

Yet Richt is sticking with Rosier as the starter. Changing quarterbacks would essentially put Richt on the clock, and the honeymoon would be officially over. With a new quarterback, the blame would fall squarely on Richt, because if he's calling the same plays and the offense continues to struggle, it will show his inability to call plays.

Though Richt has done great improving the U's recruiting classes, he is now in his third season. That means players from his first recruiting class are now juniors. But Richt has yet to prove he can win the big games. There is no reason the Canes — with 17 returning starters — aren't ready to compete for the national championship.

Follow Luke on Twitter: @unclelukereal1.

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