After a day of my Fantasy Football team getting obliterated, my excitement has waned from Tuesday’s big games (Yep, Columbus did beat Belen 37-0), and I can now properly assess Saturday afternoon’s defeat of Florida. However, to the surprise of many, a closer look at the game and schedule ahead will show why Canes fans should be a little weary as we move to Week 3.
Don’t get me wrong– in retrospect, Saturday’s game was a big win for the Canes.
Yeah, they did play that good- beating an in-state rival while facing a seemingly perpetual NCAA investigation, actually having packed Sun-Life Stadium for a Canes home game, and being only one of six teams to ever go from unranked to #15 or better in the nation– but UF did play that bad.
The Gators came into the game ranked 12th in the nation; the Canes, unranked. Florida won the possession battle, scored over 200 total yards more, and converted 6 out of 15 third downs compared to the Canes 1 outta 11. So where did the Gators go wrong? Execution. The Gators turned the ball over a total of five times, and only forced one turnover: a terrible Stephen Morris INT. The Gators made six trips to the redzone and came up with only one field goal, and one TD. Yet, the Gators were still in the game until Sophomore Tracy Howard made the big play by intercepting Driskel’s overthrown pass.
Give the Miami defense credit. Aside from a few Driskel option plays, they were solid. On the field for 38 minutes, the impressive defense held the Gator’s offense to only 16 points, and created plenty of opportunities for the offense to capitalize.
And…that’s why I can’t feel totally confident about this game.
The Canes failed to score at all the third quarter. On top of that, after the first quarter, Duke Johnson and the running game was shut down, as Stephen Morris only threw for 162 yards and rushed a disastrous interception. Overall though, the offense came out firing, Punter Pat O’Donnell has earned himself the honor of being the wallpaper on my phone, and the offensive unit produced when it needed to– just don’t like seeing them put on the brakes….
Saturday, as my dad gave me the biggest hug he’s ever given me, I went back to October 3,2009 when the Canes beat Oklahoma, who was then ranked 8th. The Sooners finished that season unranked. Looking at the Canes’ schedule, there is no margin for error. One big game left: FSU on Saturday November 2nd. We can’t give away our annual not-FSU ACC meltdown loss like we always do. Our schedule is too easy. We can’t afford that. I’m not worried about Savannah St., South Florida, Wake Forest, Duke, Virginia, or Pittsburgh. The way our defense showed weakness toward Driskel’s option play has me worried about Georgia Tech. North Carolina and Virginia Tech are two teams who year in and year out have a strong team that gives us trouble. Canes fans can celebrate this week-this was a big win. However, hold your horses, we have a ways ahead of us.
As Al Golden said in his on-field post-game interview, the players grew up a lot and should be able to take a lot from this huge game. In the end, as the two teams won’t play each other in the near future, the Canes did come out of the game with what matters most: the last laugh.
Editor’s note: Joseph Piscitelli is the chief executive producer for CCNN Live. He is also an opinion writer for Adolecent Press where this was originally published. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of CCNN Live, or of Christopher Columbus High School.