Last year your Miami Hurricanes football team lost as many games as they won and finished the 2011 season with a 6-6 record. The final wave of the highly ranked recruiting class of 2008 went out with a thud instead of a bang in Al Golden's first season at Miami.
More often than not Mark D'Onofrio's seemingly passive, bend but don't break defense was called out by Canes fans as the primary culprit behind Miami's mediocre performance in 2011.
But upon closer inspection we found that Jedd Fisch's offense shared an equal amount of the blame for the team's unsatisfactory effort last year.
Now pay attention, stick with me here and let me try to explain why.
In only four of the Hurricanes' 12 games did the team score more than 24 points.
The UM offense notched a season high 49 points against Duke, posted 45 points against Bethune Cookman and managed to score 30 points against North Carolina. All of these scores were accomplished in winning efforts mainly against outmatched opponents.
The only time UM scored more than 24 points and lost in 2011 was against Virginia Tech on the road in Blackburg. The Hurricanes scored 35 points to the Hokies 38 in a losing effort.
Miami failed to score at least 24 points on four occasions last season resulting in three losses and a meek, lowly win over USF in Tampa by the not so impressive score of 6-3. The Hurricanes scored 21 points against Virginia, 19 against FSU and 17 against Boston college all in losing efforts last season.
Four times last year the Hurricanes scored exactly 24 points. Those efforts produced two wins over Ohio State and Georgia Tech and two losses against Maryland and Kansas State.
There is an unwritten rule that I read somewhere that says that most teams expect to win when they score 24 points or more.
Three times last season the UM defense failed to hold their opponent to less than 24 points when UM scored at least 24 points (MD, KSU and VT) and all led to losses including two of three games against ACC teams.
Three times last season Miami failed to score at least 24 points against their opponents (UVA, FSU and BC) with all leading to losses against ACC teams.
The bottom line is that if your team scores 24 points against quality competition you should expect your defense to play well enough to win the game. And if you fail to score 24 points you can usually expect to lose the game when playing against evenly matched opponents.
So looking at it from that perspective we came up with this summary outcome of the 2011 season:
Three times last season the defense failed to live up to their end of the bargain.
Three times last season the offense failed to produce enough points for a victory.
So when you really break it down it is very possible that with two better performances by both the offense and the defense in separate games that Miami wins four more games in 2011 and finishes at a very respectable 10-2. Maybe most importantly that includes very possibly four more ACC wins.
And that is exactly what we hope for in 2012, don't U?