|Hurricanes knocked back to reality by Georgia Tech|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 21 November 2008 11:53|
So Miami's next assignment? Maybe it'll be packing for Orlando or Jacksonville, because a trip to the Champs Sports or Gator bowls could be the Hurricanes' most realistic postseason options.
Miami's short time as the Atlantic Coast Conference Coastal Division front-runner ended abruptly Thursday night, when the 23rd-ranked Hurricanes yielded a whopping 472 rushing yards in a 41-23 defeat to the Yellow Jackets. Miami returned to the AP Top 25 this week after a two-year absence, but will almost certainly be unranked again when Sunday's installment is released.
n we come back to practice on Sunday.''
It was ugly from the get-go Thursday. The Hurricanes never led, were in a 27-3 hole early in the third quarter, and only a couple of late touchdowns made the final score seem semi-respectable.
``After the 11th game of the season, the inexperience of this football team finally showed up,'' Shannon said. ``It could have been a number of things. Give credit to Georgia Tech and what they've done, but our players didn't play the way they've been playing the last couple of weeks.''
Georgia Tech completed passes on its first three plays from scrimmage, then had only one more catch the rest of the game, probably because the Yellow Jackets quickly figured out that they could run the ball at will.
Against a Miami run defense that had been one of the nation's best in recent weeks, Georgia Tech had nine carries that went for more than 20 yards - including runs of 58 and 54 yards on consecutive snaps in the second quarter, the first of those going for a touchdown.
``Guys were taking too many chances,'' Shannon said.
During its five-game winning streak, Miami gave up just four runs of 20 more yards, and none in its last 94 rushes defended entering Thursday.
``When one person doesn't do their job against that offense,'' safety Anthony Reddick said, ``then you give up big plays.''
And Miami paid a big price, too.
dn't completely doom Miami's chances for a Bowl Championship Series spot and the title in the wild, wacky ACC.
Georgia Tech finished its ACC schedule at 5-3, meaning the best the Hurricanes can do is finish in a tie for the top spot in the division if they beat North Carolina State next Saturday.
If it's a two-team tie between Miami and Georgia Tech, the Yellow Jackets will go to the ACC title game in Tampa on Dec. 6, based on the head-to-head tiebreaker. So Miami's only chance would be being part of the right three- or four-team logjam atop the Coastal, with Georgia Tech in that mix as well.
If North Carolina loses once and Virginia wins both of its remaining games, Miami could squeak into the Tampa ACC title tilt.
It's complicated, and Shannon isn't spending any time figuring out all the different scenarios. He didn't want his team focusing on anything other than Georgia Tech this past week, and he surely won't change that approach now.
``A lot of people kept saying, 'We're there,''' Shannon said. ``And I kept saying, 'No, we're not where we want to be.' I think this is a big wake-up call for those young players on this football team, to understand that the coach has been preaching it to us all the time, that we're not where we need to be yet as a football team.''