For the second time in as many weeks, Miami needed a final-drive touchdown against an inferior ACC opponent to keep its perfect record in tact.
The Hurricanes’ narrow escapes against North Carolina and Wake Forest are much different than the path of destruction rival Florida State is leaving. Next week’s showdown of unbeaten, Top 10 foes looks like it won’t exactly be a classic entry in the series.
Miami doesn’t look like a legitimate contender for the BCS or ACC championship in 2013, but the Hurricanes are headed in the right direction for becoming one soon.
With the NCAA no longer lingering over Al Golden’s program, he can more effectively steer it in a winning direction. The restrictions with which he has to deal are clear—three lost scholarships over the next seasons—and no more sacrificed postseason appearances.
The recruiting limitations narrow the margin for error on the recruiting trail, but thus far Miami’s current staff is clicking.
Prospects from Golden’s first three signing class, including the ninth-ranked 2012 and last year’s No. 20 crop are already playing important roles.
Running backs Duke Johnson and Dallas Crawford were the Hurricanes heroes each of the last two weeks. Both are underclassmen, each in his second season.
Saturday’s win was punctuated with numerous glimpses into Miami’s future. Wide receivers Herb Waters and Stacy Coley, a sophomore and freshman, led the Hurricanes aerial attack.
Defensively, Antonio Crawford (sophomore) and Artie Burns (freshman) were key. Youth is all around the Miami roster, and the experience it’s gaining now is setting the foundation for the coming seasons.
With Florida State regaining its standing over the last few weeks, Miami’s resurgence is a boon for the ACC. It may not be evident next week, but it will shine through in the immediate future.