On Saturday night Hurricanes fans saw much of the same.
Just like last year Miami had a lead late in the game, only to give it up by the time the clock hit zero.
One thing that wasn’t the same; however, was the ‘Canes’ reaction after the loss.
Almost immediately after Florida State’s final snap, quarterback Brad Kaaya walked up to FSU defensive coordinator, Charles Kelly, and said “I’m gonna see you again.”
Kaaya was referring to meeting FSU in the ACC Championship game. But with Miami beginning division play this upcoming Saturday, there is no doubt that winning the Coastal will be a tough test.
After all, they’ve never suited up in Charlotte for the Championship game, no matter how inevitable it may have seemed in the past.
Two years ago, Miami was in a similar situation. After a loss in Tallahassee, the 2013 Hurricanes had a home game against Virginia Tech. In that matchup, the ‘Canes lost by a final score of 42-24, and thus continued a downward spiral which had begun the prior week.
Now in 2015, the Hurricanes are looking to avoid déjà vu against the Hokies this Saturday at home.
And it starts with Brad Kaaya.
“That’s a good team so we gotta bounce back” Kaaya said. “I gotta push the guys; push the offense, push the defense, push the special teams, push the scout team.”
Kaaya went on to say that he needs to “demand greatness” for the ‘Canes to make a run in the division. Whether his team lives up to his demands or not, there is little doubt that last week Kaaya himself exemplified the greatness he is looking for in his teammates.
The sophomore quarterback overcame a pedestrian running game that only had 20 yards on the ground, with a 405 yard three touchdown performance against one of the top defensive squads in the conference. Kaaya not only had success through the air, but also carried the team on his back for one of the first times in his Miami career.
Down 21 points early, the defense was struggling. Running back Dalvin Cook was running all over Miami and the deficit was increasing. It was in that moment that Brad Kaaya seemed to take the offense, and also the game, upon himself.
After a deep touchdown pass to Rashawn Scott, Miami had gained momentum and was back in the game. Kaaya provided a sense of momentum when the team had none, and moving down the division schedule there is no doubt he must continue asserting himself.
At the end of the day; however, Miami still fell short of the victory.
No matter how well Brad Kaaya played, the bottom line is that the ‘Canes could not bring home the victory for the 6th straight year.
The only question now is, can Brad Kaaya live up to his promise and lead the Hurricanes to Charlotte?
Game Prediction: Miami comes in on a mission. The ‘Canes don’t dominate, but are in control nearly the whole way. Despite the fact that Miami plays well; however, the Hokies keep it close. Virginia Tech has a nice offensive showing, but Joseph Yearby’s bounce back 100+ rushing yard game is to much to handle. Brad Kaaya completes step 1 on the road to fulfilling his promise.
Final Score: Miami: 31 Virginia Tech: 21