A New Look at UM's Next Four Games

Chris Perkins

It was tough to predict how UM’s first four ACC games would go a couple of weeks ago. We hadn’t seen any team since last season, not in spring or fall. Things are a bit different now. Games have been played.

Now that we’ve seen the University of Miami and each of their next four opponents let’s take a look at the Canes’ next four games starting with Saturday’s game at Louisville, the ACC opener that could be a Top 25 matchup.

UM (1-0) and Louisville (1-0) should crack the AP Top 25 this week because the poll won’t rank the inactive Big Ten and Pac-12 teams that were ranked in the preseason poll. 

Louisville

Opening game: The Cardinals defeated Western Kentucky, 35-21, and showed big-play ability with their passing game. Quarterback Micale Cunningham (19 of 34, career-best 343 yards, three touchdowns) had 63- and 70-yard completions, the latter a touchdown.

The takeaway: Punter Logan Lupo punter dropped one punt near the Cardinals’ goalline and had another blocked deep in Cardinals territory. If not for those miscues, both of which gave the Hilltoppers excellent field position, Louisville might have held Western Kentucky to no more than 10 points. But those are big miscues.

UM game: It’s a toss-up, but I’ll take the Cardinals. Louisville showed vulnerabilities that UM quarterback D’Eriq King could expose but right now the Cardinals seem to be the better team.

Florida State

Opening game: The Seminoles lost to Georgia Tech, 16-13. Yikes. Georgia Tech has been picked to finish last in the ACC in a number of preseason polls. The Seminoles can’t be that bad, can they?

The takeaway: FSU will struggle this season. Defensive tackle Marvin Wilson (two blocked field goals) is a grown man, and so is cornerback Asante Samuel, Jr., who had two interceptions. But still, the Georgia Tech game leaves you shaking your head.

UM game: Take the Canes at home. But forget most of what you saw last week. FSU will play UM tough. It’s a rivalry game.

Clemson

Opening game: Top-ranked Clemson walloped Wake Forest, 37-13, in a ho-hum affair. The Tigers led, 27-0, at halftime and cruised from there. Nothing to see here, keep moving.

The takeaway: Clemson did what it was supposed to do. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence (22 of 28, 351, one touchdown, no interceptions) was sharp, and so was running back Travis Etienne (102 yards rushing, 47 yards receiving).

UM game: This is a UM loss. Yes, it’s a huge opportunity for the Canes to pull a road upset and get some national attention. But right now, let’s all be honest, this is a loss.

Pitt

Opening game: The Panthers defeated Austin Peay, 55-0. Quarterback Kenny Pickett (14 of 20, 277 yards, one touchdown, no interceptions) appeared sharp and so did the Panthers’ defense, which had two interceptions, 3.0 sacks and a recovered fumble.

The takeaway: It’s a tough call because Austin Peay was outclassed. But Pitt, generally picked to finish seventh or eight in ACC preseason polls (UM was generally picked sixth), did about what you expected.

UM game: It’s a tossup. It’s a home game for the Canes so give them the victory. But this figures to be a close game.