Hard to say what I feel after UM's recent loss at Maryland 14-13. Mixed emotions is probably about right. The Hurricanes fell behind 14-0 on two bad defensive plays by a weakened secondary, rallied behind Kirby Freeman and doomed themselves with the usual two turnovers in the game's final five minutes syndrome.
UM should have won this game. But considering how the season has gotten away from them and the focus over the last few days have been on Bryan Pata's murder, I'm not going to place blame on anybody here. I thought UM's coaches actually had the right game plan for once on offense. Coach Rich Olson took pressure off Freeman and his injured offensive line by establishing long, ground-driven drives that let Freeman make the plays he could.
I think the reason the Canes lost is ultimately why this team hasn't been very good this season -- they lack of play makers on offense and the team is so depleted on they have to depend on young guys like freshman Ryan Hill to win games. Hill should have caught that ball. But then again, how many other things this season should other UM players have done wrong -- like call a fair catch (Bruce Johnson). I'll say this: had UM employed this ball-control, running offense against Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech, I think they would have won both of those games. But this recent loss was simply the result of a beaten, battered, injured and heart-broken team trying to salvage something for a fallen teammate.
Canes fans can take solace in this: at least UM isn't getting blasted the way Florida State is these days. 30-0 to Wake Forest at home? Yikes.
UM has two games left. I think they'll beat Virginia and become bowl eligible. Boston College? Not likely. But considering it will be the last home game of the season and the fact this team has been close in defeat in all of its last three games, don't rule out a 7-5 finish.
OK, I'm through with my football thoughts. Here is what's up for debate:
A) I think regardless of whether or not Kyle Wright is healthy to play, UM should give Freeman the rest of the season. Right now, I think he's the better quarterback and gives this team its best chance to win because he can run and create on the run. Do you agree?
B) Will UM win another game this season? Give an explanation on how you think they'll finish.
C) With Butch Davis apparently off the board (North Carolina) and Greg Schiano likely to stay at Rutgers, I think the type of coach UM needs to replace Coker with is somebody young and energetic -- an Urban Meyer clone, who would help recruiting and bring energy to the program. Do you agree? And who do you think now UM would consider if and when it makes a change.
Everything else is worth discussion, too. But I'd like to try and give you a few topics to digest. Chew, chew some more and then spew.