Shortly after a close road win against Virginia Tech, Miami’s season came to a standstill.
On November 16th, it was announced that Miami would reschedule its remaining 3 games due to rising COVID cases within the program. The news surfaced just 2 days after Miami faced Virginia Tech, a game in which Miami missed 13 players.
Thirteen UM players out, mostly due to COVID, including starters Jakai Clark and Harrison Hunte. Jordan is back
— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) November 14, 2020
It has been a whirlwind season for the Hurricanes, they started red hot, blowing out rival Florida State by a score of 52-10, but were embarrassed in Death Valley by Clemson. Since then, the ‘Canes have built a 4-game winning streak, breaking their bye week curse under head coach Manny Diaz against NC State, and barely sneaking by an upset-minded Virginia Tech team in Blacksburg.
While Miami won’t take the playing field for the next 2 weeks, fans will be watching the games of fellow ACC teams intently. Despite their loss to Clemson, Miami could land itself in the conference championship if the Tigers drop another game. Clemson’s next 3 are at Florida State, home against Pitt, and at Virginia Tech for the regular-season finale. Ultimately, it doesn’t seem that Clemson will lose to any of those teams, but there’s always a slim chance of an upset.
#Canes off the next two weeks per COVID-19 situation and 3 games have been rescheduled.
Dec. 5 – at Wake Forest
Dec. 12 – Vs. North Carolina
Dec. 19 – vs. Ga. Tech
— Manny Navarro (@Manny_Navarro) November 16, 2020
The Hurricanes could move to second in the conference while watching from home, practically controlling their own destiny to the ACC Championship Game.
With that said, Miami’s road to the conference championship won’t be a given, even if Clemson loses another matchup. Wake Forest has had a mediocre season thus far, but won’t be a pushover. As we know, Miami gets every team’s best effort, and can’t afford to come out flat or unmotivated—especially on the road. Additionally, the ‘Canes face the high-powered offense of North Carolina the week after, a team that can score 50 points on any given night.
Manny Diaz not disturbed by lack of blowouts, noting only elite teams often do that yet and “We’re obviously not there yet. We’re working our way toward that.” Advice, Canes fans: Be happy with 7-1. Don’t get worked up over margin of victory.
— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) November 16, 2020
If Miami wins their next 2 games, it turns their matchup against Georgia Tech into a wildcard game of sorts. The contest will only be played if it doesn’t have ramifications for the ACC Championship Game, as it’s scheduled to take place on the same day. Given Miami’s loss to Clemson, the only way it’d be insignificant is if Clemson drops 2 more games, or Miami if loses to Wake Forest or North Carolina, essentially eliminating either team from top-2 contention.
The Miami/GT game will be played if Miami is not in the ACC Football Championship Game and if the result of the Georgia Tech at Miami game would not directly impact the determination of which two teams do play in the league championship game.
— Canes Football (@CanesFootball) November 16, 2020
While much of this scenario seems unlikely, 2020 has been nothing but unpredictable. Do we know exactly what will happen? Absolutely not. Regardless, here’s wishing all players affected by COVID good health and a speedy recovery. Hopefully, Miami is able to return to the field without further issues and add to their 4-game winning streak.