Watching Miami’s eight-lateral, nine-minute review, three-point win over Duke leaves one with a couple of thoughts:
1. Good thing this wasn’t a basketball game or coach K would’ve found a way for the play to be overturned. He has a way of strong-arming officials (full disclosure: I’m a Wisconsin fan).
2. I know plays can be reviewed. But penalties, too?
3. How does a team go from dead men walking one week to having so much scrap the next?
4. Is this the break Miami needs to win the rest of its conference games and make that first, elusive ACC Championship game?
5. Is this is the game that helps turn around Miami’s program?
Watching the ball go from Dallas Crawford to Corn Elder to Jaquan Johnson almost was like watching the past 15 seasons as it went from Larry Coker to Randy Shannon to Al Golden.
Two steps forward, one step back. One step forward, two steps back.
The promise of better days turning into mediocrity.
A nine-win season followed by a six- or seven-win seasons.
It wasn’t until Miami stuck with the laterals and executed the last two did it turn the impossible into the improbable.
Yes, it did take officials nine minutes to uphold the call and rule that no, Mark Walton’s knee wasn’t down; and no there weren’t any illegal blocks.
If it takes athletic director Blake James nine weeks to decide on his new coach, that’s fine.
But he needs to make a hire, stick with it and not listen to the bitching and complaining of fans who remember the days when Miami could name its score against Temple – the same program, which now can take Notre Dame to the final minutes.
Al Golden made people at Temple believe winning could happen there. He couldn’t do it at Miami quick enough. “I believe in what we are doing and how we are doing it and we have some outstanding young men in our football program,” he said.
Those players overcame what would’ve been a back-breaking loss – Miami led 24-12 with less than 3 minutes left – as well as 23 penalties for 194 yards.
Despite the turmoil, Miami is one win from postseason eligibility.
The next four games – Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia Tech and Pittsburgh – are winnable. If Miami runs the table and someone else beats the Tar Heels, we could see the Hurricanes play Clemson again.
Wouldn’t that be something?