In the 1980s and 1990s, the Miami Hurricanes were a force to be reckoned with on the football field. Ask any Florida State Seminole fan about that.
The success of the Hurricanes football program continued into the early 2000’s and they won a National Championship in 2001. Some people consider that 2001 Miami Hurricane team the best and most talented team in history.
In 2002, the Hurricanes lost a controversial game against Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl for the National Championship.
The following season, 2003, the Hurricanes went 11-2. Then, they moved to the ACC before the 2004 season and they went 9-3 the next two years.
2006 was the year it all fell apart for the Canes.
The Hurricanes lost their first game to arch rival Florida State, 13-10. In game three, the Canes lost to Louisville, 31-7. There was talk of Head Coach Larry Coker who had led them to a national title in 2001 and almost another in 2002, and now people were wanting to fire him.
The Canes won 4 in a row and then they lost 4 in a row.
Miami won it’s last game against ranked Boston College to finish 6-6 and eligible for a bowl game which they also won. Miami Defensive Tackle Bryan Mata was murdered on November 7, 2006. Head football coach Larry Coker was fired on November 24, 2006.
The Hurricanes replaced Coker with his Defensive Coordinator, Randy Shannon, a former Linebacker for them back in the 1980s.
The Miami Hurricanes went 28-25 in 4 seasons and was let go after the 2010 season.
The next coach given a shot was present coach Al Golden. Golden went 6-6, 7-6 his first 2 seasons. In 2013, the Miami Hurricanes opened the season at 7-0 and dropped to #7 in the polls.
They beat one of their chief rivals, Florida, 21-17 in their second game and the nation was impressed. Could the Canes be back? The Canes of the 1980s and 1990s that everyone either loved or they hated with a passion.
In their 8th game, they ran into their main arch rival for all of those years, Florida State. Two undefeated powerhouses of yesteryear met again and the game got plenty of hype.
Well, Florida State was truly back and won going away and very convincingly, 41-14. The game was probably not even that close. It was a blowout.
Miami began to reel like in the last few years. Maryland came to Miami and gave the Hurricanes a beating, 42-24. Then, they lost to what would become a pretty good Duke team, 48-30.
The Hurricanes won their last two games, but then got embarrassed by Louisville and Teddy Bridgewater in what would be Head Coach Charley Strong’s last game before leaving for the Texas job.
The promising start to the 2013 season ended in flames, but they were still 9-4. It was a step up for the Canes.
Optimism ran high in Coral Gables. The Canes lost Senior Stephen Morris, but he was inconsistent as a starter and maybe Ryan Williams would even be an upgrade.
Ryan Williams hurt his knee in the Spring. No problem, redshirt freshman Kevin Olsen was the son of a New Jersey High School football coach. His older brother had played Tight End for the Canes and now plays for the Carolina Panthers.
Olsen looked good in the Spring. Olsen then got arrested for DUI and was suspended and is no longer with the team.
The Miami Hurricanes had an excellent recruiting class. South Florida is one of the premier recruiting areas in all the land, if not the very best.
But, the Canes signed Quarterback Brad Kaaya, a 4 star recruit out of West Hills, California. Who knew at the time of his signing that Kaaya would be pressed into duty during his very first official college game.
Unfortunately, for Brad Kaaya and the Hurricanes they would have long time nemesis Louisville on the schedule first. It was not a pretty sight as the Canes were beaten soundly, 31-13.
The Hurricanes had a couple easy games on the schedule next, but then had a road trip to historical powerhouse Nebraska.
The Nebraska Cornhuskers have been a college football forever and the two schools have a very interesting history together. The most famous game was the Hurricanes win over the Huskers in the 1984 Orange Bowl with the Canes first National Championship.
But, this is not your father’s Nebraska Cornhuskers. The Huskers were fortunate to survive a game against McNeese State in their second game and didn’t look very good winning.
Nebraska and Miami met weekend before last in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Nebraska won 41- 31.
Nebraska does have a couple of special players in Ameer Abdullah at Running Back and Randy Gregory at Defensive End.
Late in the game, Miami Quarterback Brad Kaaya threw an interception. As Nebraska defenders became offensive blockers Nebraska super Defensive End Randy Gregory went after Brad Kaaya. Gregory threw a block, but then he threw a punch while Kaaya was going down.
That didn’t sit well with Miami Center Shane McDermott who came and pushed Gregory. Gregory had started the fiasco, but pushed back at McDermott and then Miami Offensive Tackle Taylor Gadbois pushed Gregory back.
Ereck Flowers, an Offensive Guard and another player came over in support of their teammates.
Miami still lost the game, but according to the media this brought the Miami Hurricanes together as a team on their way back to Miami.
They stood up for their own and came together as a team.
Saturday night would prove whether this was truth or just something made up by some media guys looking for a story.
Time will tell, but this past Saturday the undefeated Duke Blue Devils came into Miami to play the Hurricanes.
Duke, with Head Coach David Cutcliffe, after many years of struggles has finally put together a pretty good football team.
Duke won the Coastal Division of the ACC last season and came into Miami with a 4-0 record and a lot of confidence.
The Miami Hurricanes pretty much dominated the Duke Blue Devils from start to finish. Duke’s seasoned Quarterback, Anthony Boone, was held in check and only allowed 179 yards and was picked off twice. The Duke running game only produced 85 yards.
It was the best game of the year for the Miami defense.
On the other side of the ball, Brad Kaaya had his best game and threw 0 interceptions. Duke Johnson ran for 155 yards and a touchdown. True freshman and future star Joseph Yearby ran for 61 yards and caught 3 passes for 59 yards and 1 Touchdown.
So, is Miami back to the Miami of old? Probably not, but they have a chance at being much better this season.
Be concerned ACC.