If this weekend didn’t get you excited for November 2nd (when the Canes and Noles are set to play in their annual rivalry game) you’re lame and I hate you. The game hasn’t had as much riding on it in at least 10 years, when the two faced off twice: once in the regular season, and then in the Orange Bowl. (Both Canes victories-but who’s counting?)
Anyway, this was easily the most exciting week of this season, and maybe even in the past decade, as five top ten teams-Clemson, UCLA, LSU, Texas A&M, and Louisville-all lost, causing the first BCS rankings of the season to rank FSU #2 and the Canes #7.
The excitement all started with the Canes on Thursday Night. Bottom Line: We survived.
UM was anything but stellar against the blacked-out Tar Heels, and have got me worried. First of all, Stephen Morris’ 35.4 QB rating speaks for itself. In Duke Johnson and Phillip Dorset’s absence, the senior didn’t step up. Four picks and no TDs…..unacceptable. I mean, the Cane’s last drive should embarrass him: 10 rushes for 57 yards and two passes for 25 yards. It’s a scary day when you’d rather have a sophomore runningback (in this case, a gift sent from God: Dallas Crawford) run the ball in crunch time than a seasoned senior.
Fast-forwarding two weeks to the biggest weekend of Al Golden’s coaching career so far, there is no way we will even be able to put up a respectable fight against FSU if Stephen plays like this. We saw what happened to Clemson-an offense which relies on its running game to be explosive. Poor Tigers. FSU will flat-out embarrass us if we play the way we did against UNC. Our offense struggled against UF (who has proven to be a disappointment) and hasn’t shown much improvement.
The Canes have a problem with turnovers and for that reason FSU scares me. Their defense is full of energy, and simply gets the ball to their offense. Jameis Winston is the real deal and capitalizes on every turnover. FSU is a team that doesn’t show weaknesses. It hurts me to say this but they’re just on a different level than the Canes. Can we win? Of course. Will it happen? Depends on how good we look against Wake Forest and how much confidence we have heading into the game. Also, the Canes will need to block out the stadium (a problem we have had on the road) especially the loud Tallanasty crowd that will be as pumped for the game as little youngsters on Christmas eve.
Beyond my doubts, I am still convinced this team is one of the best Canes gangs we’ve seen in a while. Any Randy Shannon team would have lost Thursday night. Even last year’s Baby Canes (if it’s safe to call them that) would have folded after a Stephen Morris interception with 10 minutes left down by three. We have bright spots: Dallas Crawford is shining in the spotlight and will be getting more and more carries even when Duke is healthy. Tracy Howard yet again came up with a big-play INT in the clutch to give the Canes a chance to drive (which of course, we didn’t capitalize on). Lastly, many disagree but I actually liked how the defense played-particularly towards the end, limiting UNC to field goals, punts, and turnovers the whole second half.
Regardless of who wins, this game better live up to the hype.
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.