South Carolina Football: Future Gamecock opponent loses in stupidest way imaginable

Future South Carolina football opponent Miami lost in stupid fashion on Saturday. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
Future South Carolina football opponent Miami lost in stupid fashion on Saturday. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports /

There are a lot of stupid ways to lose football games. Future South Carolina football opponent Miami might have found the worst, however.

In a game that was all but over, the Hurricanes just needed to kneel out the clock to secure their 5th victory and keep their undefeated record and College Football Playoff hopes intact. Apparently that was too difficult for Miami head coach Mario Cristobal.

Playing with a 20-17 lead and just 34 seconds remaining in the game, Miami had the opportunity to take a knee and win the ball game. Their overmatched Georgia Tech opponents played admirably but had exhausted all of their timeouts. If Miami quarterback Tyler Van Dyke gave himself up, the game would have ended.

For some reason, Cristobal and offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson elected to hand the ball off, something they had gotten away with on 1st down and 2nd down. The broadcast duo of Wes Durham and Tim Hasselbeck chided Cristobal for the lapse in judgment, but even they didn’t really expect disaster to strike.

Watch the video below to see what happened on the 3rd down handoff.

Running back Donald Chaney plunged ahead into the teeth of the Tech defense but lost control of the football. Junior Yellow Jacket Kyle Kennard wound up with the pigskin, giving Brent Key’s squad a sliver of hope when there had been none just moments earlier.

As if part of a script from a made-for-television movie with the theme “Never give up!,” just two plays later, Georgia Tech quarterback Haynes King hit receiver Christian Leary for the 44-yard touchdown to give the Yellow Jackets the huge road upset over the undefeated Hurricanes.

Miami snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

Lots of decisions in football games can be questioned. However, a decision that (literally) moves your team from guaranteed victory to a loss is as stupid as it gets, and Mario Cristobal should be reminded of this brutal mistake for the rest of his career. Surely, he would never do something this dumb again, right?

One would think.

In 2018, when Cristobal was the head coach at Oregon, he made THE SAME EXACT MISTAKE. When the Ducks could have kneeled out the clock for the win, Cristobal elected to run it. Oregon running back CJ Verdell fumbled, Stanford kicked a game-tying field goal, and the Cardinal went on to win the game in overtime.

What should have been an extreme learning experience was not for Mario Cristobal.

For South Carolina football fans, this man was ranked ahead of Gamecock headman Shane Beamer in CBSSports’ preseason coach power rankings.

Gamecocks hope that Cristobal is still making these types of mistakes in 2027 when the South Carolina football team is scheduled to travel to Coral Gables to take on the Hurricanes in an out-of-conference matchup.

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