The U (May Still Be) Back

*Repost from my article on State of the U*

Photo credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

We all watched it happen. Under the dazzling Dallas lights & stars, with expectations greater than a booster’s wallet, the Hurricanes crashed down 33-17 against the LSU Tigers.

Hoping to wake up this morning thinking it was all a dream, the whole franchise’s fan base awoke with the world’s worst hangover.

From here on out, it might feel like the rest of the season is an uphill battle. Mentally, that is true. Emotionally, the Hurricanes may feel like all hope is lost for this season, that’s false. One game into the season is just too early to predict anything. LSU was our toughest opponent on the schedule. The Hurricanes still have more than a likely chance to go 10-3 like last season, or even better. The ACC championship isn’t out of reach and nor are other top-tier bowl games.

Our notorious “turnover chain” defense was cowardly against the Tigers as they continued to beat us at our own game. Blame it on the early ejection of CB Trajan Bandy, but another key player was absent this game, and its worth more than anyone on the team.

The Chain, a spirit riser and game changer last season has yet to be seen. For the Hurricanes, bringing up defense should be a main focus; as just a little could do a lot for the momentum of our games. That flashy, obnoxious necklace needs to have its prominent place again if the Hurricanes want to succeed this season. Miami defense was far from awful Sunday night, but it needs to be our pride and joy the rest of the season to get back into the game.

We knew Perry being on suspension this game could have been a problem with how mediocre Rosier has been playing. Could Perry have saved this game? Or at least been a good change while Rosier got his head together? Should Weldon have got some snaps? Should we not have a clear back up QB by now? We don’t know, but it seems that the starting QB job should be opening up for grabs. And it seems like everyone but Coach Richt has agreed with that for some time now, are we missing something, or is he just late to the game?

What we did know going into this opener was that our #8 preseason rank was generous, LSU’s 25th rank was the opposite. LSU has the best defense Miami will face in regular season, that Band-Aid has been ripped off, hard. This loss will bump us back to high-teens or low 20’s (as a guess) but should still leave us in the rankings, not that it showed much about us originally.

This first game was an embarrassment. The two last minute touchdowns didn’t change the slap in the face to every fan wearing orange and green in the AT&T arena. I won’t take that away from anyone there, but I believe the Hurricanes have gotten their worst game out of the season early- and now have a fighting, “prove it” mentality for the rest of the year. The next big test will be Florida State on October 6, until then, let’s keep thinking that the U is still back, and we just have to dust off the cobwebs.

See you at Hard Rock this Saturday, Savannah State doesn’t know what’s coming.

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