A Great First Four Games, But Miami Still Needs to Improve.

David MayerCorrespondent IOctober 5, 2009

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL - OCTOBER 03: Wide receiver Travis Benjamin #3 and linebacker Darryl Sharpton #50 of the Miami Hurricanes celebrate after defeating the Oklahoma Sooners at Land Shark Stadium on October 3, 2009 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Miami defeated Oklahoma 21-20. (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

If Miami wants to be known as a great team this year, they need to vastly improve.

I know a lot of you are saying, they just went 3-1 against four top 25 teams. I realize that, and believe me, it was an unbelievable run.

I have noticed a few points that are discouraging and must be resolved or Miami is going to be in trouble.

First are the road games.  Miami barely beat a very inconsistent Florida State team and got pounded against a good Virginia Tech team on the road. 

The problem with that is that this is the same Florida State team that lost to South Florida and a fair Boston College team.  Virginia Tech, on the other hand, struggled against Duke and lost to Alabama.

What does this mean? Miami has played light outs at home, destroying Georgia Tech and beating a very good Oklahoma team  They look composed at home and the energy is lights out.

If they can stay consistent on the road, as they can at home, they will make things a lot easier.

Miami's defense needs to improve.

Once again, Miami's over-pursuing and missed tackles have plagued this young Hurricanes team. Even the great Sean Spence has missed several tackles over the last few games. 

This may not seem like such a big deal, but they have a few games coming up against some teams that have huge game breakers, such as CJ Spiller with Clemson. They need to learn to wrap up and stay within their lanes.

The defensive backs have been the biggest disappointment.  If you have read my articles, you may say I'm a broken record, but the truth of the matter is they need to cover better.

I have personally counted at least eight or nine plays that could have been huge if the opposing quarterbacks made better passes.  Miami has great athletes in their backfield, but they can not rely on just their speed to break up coverages.

They need to limit big plays, and to do that the lineman and linebackers need to start making plays, which will allow the defensive backs to concentrate on coverage, rather than having to make tackles.

And last, but not least, is special teams.

The kick off team has improved since week 1, but still is not going to hold Spiller.  They need to stay in their lanes and attack the returner, they can not let wait for the returner to get to them.

The punt team is also an issue.  It's obvious that when Matt Boscher gets off a punt it is going to be a great punt. The problem is he takes too long to release the ball.  He needs to shorten it up and kick the ball much quicker, it will be better to have a 35-yard punt, than a blocked punt returned for a touchdown, a la Virginia Tech.

Now I know that may seem like a lot of things that need to be addressed before they finish the rest of their schedule, and it is. 

Even though everyone can let out a breath of fresh air after going 3-1 against top 25 teams, there are still eight games left. Five of them in the ACC and one against a top 25 team.

They need to pull together, ignore the first four games, and dominate the remaining eight.

Then and only then, will I say The U is back.