Once again, a plane pulling a banner asking Miami to fire coach Al Golden took to the sky just before a Hurricanes game.
Following Miami's 34-23 loss to Cincinnati on Thursday, the air space might be a little crowded above the stadium hosting the Canes next week, as there could be a few more banners pleading for Golden's dismissal.
What the loss means for Miami: The relationship between Miami and Golden might be getting colder than the “ice” jerseys the Hurricanes wore Thursday. Miami faces a brutal schedule in 2015, but Golden could not afford a loss to a Group of 5 school, especially one it walloped last season and was 2-2 to start this year. The Canes' defense played well in the second half, but the offensive coaches need to reassess their play calling. They didn't put Miami in a position to succeed, and that goes double during critical down-and-distances.
What the win means for Cincinnati: The Bearcats were feeling the sting of two close losses to conference opponents, but now Cincinnati has a signature win with a chance at another in two weeks against BYU. Back-to-back wins would give the Bearcats great momentum to rebound from an 0-2 start in the AAC. Coach Tommy Tuberville might have a tough decision facing him at quarterback. Will he stick with Hayden Moore, who threw for 557 yards last week and won his starting debut Thursday, or go back to Gunner Kiel?
Stat of the game: Miami and Cincinnati combined to score on seven of the first 10 possessions combined. The Bearcats added another 10 points on their last two possessions before halftime. But of the seven combined possessions to start the third quarter, five ended in a three-and-out. Both teams struggled to maintain second-half drives because of the lack of third-down conversions. The teams were a combined 6-of-24 on third downs.
Uh, what?: There were a handful of head-scratching decisions from the Miami staff in the second half. There were questionable play calls. Miami employed a conservative approach throughout most of the game, even punting from the Cincinnati 41-yard line on the Canes' best drive of the third quarter. Miami let 35 seconds bleed off the clock from inside the Cincinnati 10-yard line with less than five minutes left. Trailing by 11 with about 4:45 to play, the Hurricanes went for it on fourth down from the Cincinnati 5. Miami, which was conservative all game, could have kicked the field goal to extend the game. The defense was playing well enough that the Canes could have gotten the ball back.