Canes Early Season Success a Surprise in College Football
By David A Lane of Predictem.com
Though the season is just under way, the Miami Hurricanes are an early season surprise, one group that wasnt quite forecasted for success quite this soon. Two very large tests will come in the next two weeks but who can argue with the results thus far? Coach Randy Shannon as predicted here last year, has his team playing like ACC Champions so far into the 2009 college football season.
A home-grown Miami kid himself, sophomore quarterback Jacory Harris has played super well in the Canes two games- both played in front of a national audience on Thursday nights- averaging over 300 yards a game (656 yards for the season) and so far performing as good as many noted Miami QBs from yesteryear ever have.
His continued success is extremely important to the schools success this season as his 69.5% completion percentage, 5TDs, and 2 INTs, have led the Canes to a 2-0 record outright and ATS. Whether the story continues depends largely and squarely on this young mans arm and shoulders.
Since their rank so far is largely due to their success passing, they better keep having success throwing the ball as the rushing game has had its problems early on. The key to improvement rests on the shoulders of featured back Graig Cooper (126 yards). It’s very possible and even likely that the rushing numbers will open up somewhat when teams make an adjustment and begin respecting the Miami passing game.
Miami’s two wins have both come against what were considered talented programs- one at Florida State (38-34) which is a very difficult place to win, not to mention as a six point dog, and the other at home against Georgia Tech (33-17) as a four point favorite which have led many to speculate that the school will crack the top 10 this week.
The next two weeks will play a huge part in the success or failure of their season as they go to Blacksburg to take on the Virginia Tech Hokies this weekend followed by a home date in which they’ll host the Oklahoma Sooners in a game that just might live up to its hype this year. Not an easy schedule for a young team to start the season.
For a school that used to be so dominant and successful, this is an excellent start. If the U is really being restored to power, the defense is going to have to “step up” and “stiffen up” as they have given up an average of 25.5 points a game. That number is going to be hard to improve upon in the next couple of weeks against very good and talented offensive squads.
If the Canes can win the next couple of games, the schedule will lighten up a bit until a tilt with Clemson on October 24th. After that, they should be able to sail through the rest of their ACC schedule until they go to try and avenge last years home loss to the Tar Heels at North Carolina on November 14th.
Schedules are on paper so who really knows what can happen until they play the game, but one thing is for sure- the Canes confidence is really soaring high at the moment. If they keep focus on the program and keep giving the effort theyve been giving, they seem to have the tools to go further than many thought they would this soon into Coach Shannons reign.
Either way, the swagger appears to be back at a program thats been as controversial as it has been successful.
Although this isnt Jimmy Johnsons team anymore and odds are these Canes wont arrive to the game in army fatigues, being cocky is not Coach Shannons style. He wont have it and the U doesnt need it. Performance on the field must happen first anyhow for them to deserve to be the overly proud unit we remembered them as.
What is evident is that Harris is the one who must lead the team and he knows it, claiming before the season openly that hed be at the Heisman Trophy ceremony. Certainly a brash and a typically U sort of statement from a young and fairly inexperienced athlete who often times looks so fluid on the field that it appears like everything is coming easy for him. He almost seems to be a natural and doesnt let things go to his head. Continued performance such as this could very well land him at that very ceremony that most gave him no chance of attending before the season.
Yes, were only talking about a couple games already played, giving us no reason to be overly giddy about getting aboard the Jacory train just yet.
Covering wagers being most important, they do seem to be a value pick at least for the moment- it’s very likely theyll be underdogs the next two weeks. Should this be the case, taking a shot on them in both games makes perfect sense to me until a different result rears its ugly head-and it just might. Thats why they call it gambling, however, backing a hot team whose confidence is this high and whose play on the field displays their hunger for victory, makes them a good pick in my book!
Get behind them now before the line on them is as inflated as the Florida Gators who gave away 30 points to Tennessee but didnt come even close to covering that spread. This Hurricane team is not an imposter and they will soon prove it- do you have the guts to get behind them now? I sure the heck do.
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