the stadium’s Jumbotron early in the fourth quarter to deliver some videotaped message, boos filled the night.
They were louder boos than in a failed second series to the game. Louder than the boos when Duke scored to take the lead in the third quarter. Boos fell like rain, which came like a monsoon much of the first half, making puddles turn into ponds on the playing field.
Somewhere, Al Golden was giggling.
That’s where we’re at with this program in Year Three with Richt. We’re thumbing through
the ugly losses with Golden and wondering how we’re back in the same questions.
So many odd things happened in this game. Duke’s first play, a simple run, went 75 yards for a touchdown. Miami exchanged quarterbacks early like recyclables. Duke threw two jump passes over the line on one drive – the second for a touchdown. And, yes, that rain out of some horror movie.
Still, the biggest oddity was the final score. This was a mustwin game for Miami. Duke, you might think, should be an always-win game for Miami. But this wasn’t a night about history lessons. It was about survival.
Miami’s season is kaput now. Richt’s honeymoon, if it hadn’t
already ended, is officially over. Some will want his era done after consecutive losses to unranked Virginia, Boston College and now Duke.
Nothing would have been solved in the big picture with a win against Duke. But it would have helped the small picture. Instead, a lot of ugly was on display this night. Three ugly turnovers talked of attention to details. A botched extra point and blocked field goal told of the continued kicking-game woes.
Even when Miami was winning at half, 12-7, it’s not like its offense had solved its most pressing problem. It ran for 235 yards and passed for 33 at that point. The school of Jim Kelly, Bernie Kosar and Steve Walsh
doesn’t have a quarterback.It plays two, though. That’s not a controversy. That’s a void. And if Perry drove them down the field in the final seconds to within sight of a touchdown, and a possible tie, this offense doesn’t get points for effort.
Earlier this week, I wrote a column saying fans had every right to want more from Richt this season but not to be in a frenzy over his job. This night doesn’t change that idea. It just makes the cracks in his building program more obvious to see.
Lose on the road to Virginia and Boston College is bad.
Lose at home to Duke?
That’s a place Miami football should never be.