Jerry at fellow SB Nation blog State of the U reached out to me earlier this week with some questions in advance of this weekend's game against Miami. My answers are here, and it's seemed only fair that I return the favor. So here are a couple of questions to get into the mind of a Hurricane fan. My questions are in italics, and his answers are in the normal font.
Miami is the same position UNC was last year, waiting for the NCAA to deliver its punishments for the football teams' transgressions. How do you feel it's going? Do you think last season's rejection of a bowl bid will be the only ban the Hurricanes will suffer, or could they be denied a postseason this year as well? And if so, how is the team holding up to the possibility the rug could be pulled out from over them by the NCAA in November?
The rumors that are most prevalent (at least that I have heard) are that the NCAA will not come to a decision on UM until March 2013. I also hear it will not be as bad as say USC a few years ago, but scholarships could be lost. If UM misses a bowl this year it will probably be self imposed. I have a feeling it won't happen, but we will see.
The Hurricanes have done admirably in conference, winning three close ACC games, but have been just destroyed in their two big non-conference games. What should people take away from this? Is the ACC weak, does Miami struggle on the road, or is it just a coincidence of the early schedule?
The ACC certainly has a long way to before it overtakes the SEC or even the PAC-12 for that matter, But the very young 'Canes should not be used as a measuring stick. The Georgia Tech game alone was like 3 games in one, where the 'Canes scored the first 19, gave up the next 36, then won the game with 23 unanswered. They are an incredibly talented team but maddeningly inconsistent. Miami won on the road against BC and Ga Tech so I don't think that is it. It's just more a case of a team that is playing 20 true freshman. On any play they can be brilliant or boneheaded. Its growing pains. I know it seems silly in a 41-3 loss, but the 'Canes beat themselves as much as the Irish beat them last week (at least in the 1st half).
Miami lost two very talented individuals in Jacory Harris and Lamar Miller last season, but the offense is still in the top half of the conference and has put 40+ points up against three ACC opponents. How were you guys able to rebuild so quickly, and how does this offense compare to last season's?
SOTU: First and foremost, the O line has been terrific. Sophomores Jonathan Feliciano (guard), Brandon Linder (guard), and Shane McDermott (center) have all been very good this year. Tackle Seantrel Henderson has also come on of late. True freshman Duke Johnson and senior Mike James have combined to match the production lost by Miller's departure. Not to disrespect Jacory but the loss of Harris hasn't been a problem, because Stephen Morris has done things Harris was not capable of (see the 566 yards 2 weeks ago). Morris has a much bigger arm and it has payed dividends so far.
Say one nice thing about your defense, which gives up an average of over 500 yards a game. Anything.
When they gain a little experience, and it he doesn't face double teams constantly, DE Anthony Chickillo will be an all conference performer. MLB Denzel Perryman will remind folks of Jon Vilma before its all said and done. And true freshman S Deon Bush has actually played very well so far. Sorry that what 3!!!
Given the way defenses in the ACC have played this season, UNC and Miami's especially, everyone seems to think this game will be a shootout of WVU-Baylor proportions. Is there any way you can see that not being the case?
The way Bryn Renner throws the ball, and the way Giovani Bernard runs it, hard to see the 'Canes shutting down the Heels. Miami's O line is one of the most underrated in the country. I know it sounds weird considering they lost big, but I thought they handled the vaunted ND front pretty well last week. Don't expect The WRs to drop everything thrown their way this week. This game will be played in the 30's. I see Miami gutting it out 38-35.