The Miami Hurricanes answered a lot of questions in their win over the 17th ranked Ohio State Buckeyes.
The Canes were a heavy underdog after losing their season opener to an inferior Maryland Terrapins squad in a serious upset.
The entire program was in question early in the season because of team violations of NCAA rules that resulted in suspensions of key players.
This game was a must-win for Miami if they wanted to fight for the ACC title and have any hope at a respectable bowl game.
Fortunately, the Hurricanes were able to upset Ohio State, so now things seem to be back on track for this ever high-profile program.
This win, however, was more than just a “W” in the record books for Miami. It was a major turning point in the season and showed them a lot of things about their team.
In their first game of the season, the Canes lost a tough one to Maryland. After a lopsided game, they lost because of deficient defense and too many turnovers.
Because of the many suspensions to defensive starters, all hope looked lost for the Canes, who allowed 311 yards and 19 first downs in the first half alone.
It was good to see the balance of power return as some starters returned to Miami's lineup and were able to minimize turnovers.
The win over Ohio State confirmed that even when they're down some starters on defense, they are still a very capable team and are able to compete even with ranked opponents.
Bouncing back from a tough loss on the road is no easy task for any team, let alone one missing so many key players. This win really speaks to the leadership on this team.
This season's Ohio State is not the same Buckeyes team that we've seen in years past, but that doesn't mean the win is any less of an accomplishment for Miami.
Just like the Hurricanes, Ohio State had many of their key players suspended for the matchup. The win proved much more pivotal for the Hurricanes as this was their best opportunity for a win against a ranked opponent.
Nonetheless, Ohio State still had some very capable players on both sides of the ball that can be challenging opponents for many teams.
Miami showed that through successful game planning, they could overcome the opposition of not having key players in their lineup.
The Hurricanes have four more ranked opponents in their schedule this season, three of which come in-conference. Miami's capability to beat ranked opponents will definitely be necessary as they try to make a run at the ACC title.
After allowing over 500 yards of total offense to Maryland, Miami was able to limit Ohio State to only a couple of field goals.
The Hurricanes returned a few starters to their starting lineup, but are still down some key contributors. Fortunately, the win against Ohio State showed the team that their backups serviceable enough to win them some games.
Along with limiting Ohio State to two field goals in the matchup, Miami only allowed the Buckeyes into the red zone twice—impressive for any defense.
The defense was a great surprise in the game and hopefully the Hurricanes defense will be able to keep their play at that level. They will need to if they want to compete with some of the high-octane offenses in the ACC.
Miami's next two games are against very beatable opponents.
Matchups with unranked Kansas State and Bethune-Cookman University could provide a nice cushion on the Hurricanes' schedule as they try compete in a tough division.
Those two games should be wins and could provide some solid momentum before the Hurricanes' next challenging matchup against 13th ranked conference rival Virginia Tech, the favorite to win the ACC title.
If Miami can use their next two games as stepping stones to build up a win streak, they could break into the AP's top 25 rankings and possibly put themselves into ACC title talks or even a major bowl game.
What do you think? Thanks for reading.