More experienced Hurricanes offense takes lessons learned from three-game losing streak into showdown vs. LSU


There are always lessons to be learned from a loss. As cliché as it sounds, it’s true.

Just ask the Hurricanes’ offense.

Entering Sunday night’s opener against LSU, the unit insists it learned plenty during the three-game losing streak Miami entered the offseason on. After starting with a perfect 10-0 record, the Hurricanes closed the season with losses to Pittsburgh in the regular-season finale, Clemson in the ACC Championship Game and Wisconsin in the Orange Bowl.

“Learn how to handle success,” offensive coordinator Thomas Brown said when asked what he hoped the unit learned. “I think being able to handle success is harder than being able to handle failure. I think people get motivated when they get down, they’re getting beat up, or they’re losing.

“I think when everyone is patting you on your back, and telling you how good you are and you see your name in the paper, and these highlights, it is easy to kind of get comfortable as the fundamentals go away. So hopefully those guys learned from that.”

The Hurricanes averaged 13.7 points during their three-game skid, which is a big drop-off from the 33.7 points they scored over their 10-0 start last season. The offense was also inefficient in its three losses, as quarterback Malik Rosier completed 44.9 percent of his passes, and threw three touchdowns and five interceptions during that time.

It didn’t help that Miami was without injured playmakers like running back Mark Walton, tight end Chris Herndon and wide receiver Ahmmon Richards. But added depth with the infusion of a talented 2018 recruiting class should help make up for injury issues this season.

“I think the big thing we learned is that 12-game haul is a long haul,” Rosier said of his takeaway from last season’s losing streak. “I think we learned there’s a next man up mentality. We saw guys go down left and right toward the end of the season.”

For left tackle Tyree St. Louis, it’s the loss to a Pittsburgh team that ended the season with an underwhelming 5-7 record that especially bothered him. This defeat was the beginning of Miami’s three-game spiral.

“The Pitt game was the main thing that stopped us,” St. Louis said. “It was a team which we expected to go in and blow them out and win. We had faced bigger and better opponents and we had fought until the last second. In no one’s mind we thought we would lose the Pitt game, but we didn’t prepare like that.”

With seven offensive starters returning from last season, the hope is these lessons carry over as the Hurricanes challenge for a spot in the College Football Playoff this season. 

“We learned to just keep our foot on the gas and take nothing for granted,” senior center Tyler Gauthier said. “We thought we were riding high, we were 10-0. We can’t do that, we got to go out there and play every game like it’s our last game and I think that’s what we’re going to do this year.”

[Hurricanes defensive tackle Gerald Willis ready for fresh start after year-long absence]

[Manny Diaz discusses Miami Hurricanes’ defensive plan vs. LSU]


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