Miami’s most recent loss against Middle Tennessee State may be one of the worst losses the program has ever suffered.
When arriving for their press conferences after the loss, guard Jalen Rivers, safety Kamren Kinchens, defensive end Jahfari Harvey, center Jakai Clark and head coach Mario Cristobal had the same look of despair and disappointment.
“Obviously, poor job by me, poor job by our organization and credit to Middle Tennessee for doing what they did,” Cristobal said in his postgame statement.
When Miami hired Mario Cristobal in December, some UM fans believed that the problems in past seasons would vanish.
This has not been true, as the Hurricanes have a 2-2 record. Miami has had the same record through four games in three of the last four years.
Still, there is plenty of time left for UM to compete for Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) glory. The Hurricanes could accomplish this by winning every game left on their schedule.
Miami starts with a matchup against North Carolina (UNC) on Oct. 8. Not only would a win avenge the horror of its previous performance against Middle Tennessee, but it would be the Hurricanes’ first win against the Tar Heels since 2018.
The difference between winning and losing this game is crucial. Winning the contest could give Miami a clean slate in the ACC and ease the team mentally. The players’ confidence is critical to success and a win against UNC would likely improve that confidence.
Losing to the Tar Heels could bring some catastrophic effects for Miami, which would be its third straight loss. Some believed that the Hurricanes would only tack on three losses throughout the entire season. The public’s pressure for a significant change within the team could occur.
Recruiting has been excellent during Cristobal’s time in charge, but his team needs to start winning on the field, as Miami’s recent string of losses has also halted its recruiting momentum.
Key recruiting targets for the Hurricanes had their commitments over the past couple weeks, and Miami came out empty-handed.
Hykeem Williams is among them. The 6-foot-3 receiver from Stranahan (Fla.) High School committed to rival Florida State.
Another four-star receiver from Florida committed elsewhere. Tyler Williams, who plays at Lakeland (Fla.) High School, committed to Georgia.
T. William’s high school teammate and talented defensive back, Cormani McClain, is set to make his commitment in the coming months. He is seriously considering Alabama and Florida, in addition to Miami.
Losing consecutively while pursuing recruits like McClain has put the team a step back in the recruitment department. Earning pledges from top talent in the recruiting pool is essential to the program’s survival and demonstrating a winning attitude.
Another significant part of recruiting is gameday visits and Miami has a quality list of recruits coming to visit soon. Most notably, Malachi Coleman has scheduled a visit to Miami for its matchup against the Tar Heels. The six-foot-five athlete has shown promise at wide receiver, a position of need for the Hurricanes.
Coleman visiting only adds another incentive for Miami to perform against UNC. This next game will create a bend in trajectory for the Hurricanes and the result will determine which direction.