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Postscripts, reaction to Notre Dame's rout of Miami

Postscripts and reaction to Notre Dame's 41-3 drubbing of the Hurricanes Saturday night:

### It wasn’t surprising, but that doesn’t make it any less demoralizing to watch this UM defensive line – especially the defensive tackles – once again manhandled.

Down just 13-3 at the half, UM then watched Notre Dame bludgeon the Hurricanes defense, while UM's offense could generate nothing.

Notre Dame finished with 376 yards rushing, on an absurd 7.4 per carry. UM entered in the bottom six in rush defense among 120 major college football programs. The Hurricanes could be in the bottom three after Saturday. Overall, Notre Dame outgained the Canes, 586-285. The 586 yards represented the fourth-most ever by a Hurricanes opponent.

Notre Dame's 34 first downs were the most ever by a Canes opponent.

More dismal numbers: UM is allowing 39.6 points and 541 yards per game in its five games against FBS schools. The Hurricanes already have allowed more points in six games (208) than it allowed all of 2000, 2001 or 2002. 

There was Bob Golic Jr. wiping out Luther Robinson, Notre Dame’s center pushing Earl Moore literally seven yards off the line of scrimmage (no joke), Darius Smith and Corey King simply unable to get off blocks before Notre Dame’s running backs rumbled by. Even defensive end Anthony Chickillo was pushed around on a few runs.

Consider that Notre Dame's offensive line outweighs UM's defensive line by about 20 pounds, on average. But this is a talent issue as much as it's a size issue.

Face it: It won’t matter how much offensive talent this team assembles if UM can’t find better defensive tackles. Perhaps Moore, who got a lot of playing time Saturday, becomes one. Perhaps freshman DeQuan Ivery does. Perhaps oral commitment Keith Bryant will pan out. Perhaps Olsen Pierre, who was out with an injury Saturday, will develop.

But that's a lot riding on words like if and perhaps. Finding dominant defensive linemen remains Al Golden's biggest challenge in returning this program to greatness.

What a shame that two players UM was counting on this season aren't around: Marcus Forston turned pro and is now on New England's practice squad; and Curtis Porter remains out after an appendectomy.

### Of course, the defensive problems extended well beyond the line, as usual. When runs bounced outside Saturday, the linebackers and defensive backs usually were neither strong enough nor fast enough to deal with it.

Vaughn Telemaque and Gionni Paul had responsibility on one run that bounced outside for a 55-yard burst. Both looked helpless on the play. On one short third-down pass, Thurston Armbrister simply couldn’t break free from a block.

The secondary play was shaky, aside from Deon Bush’s well-defended play on a pass in the end zone. Bush also forced two fumbles. Brandon McGee had nine tackles but didn't have a great night by any stretch. Beyond Notre Dame's dominance on the group, UM couldn't do much to slow quarterback Everett Goldson, who completed 17 of 22 passes for 186 yards. UM's pass-rush was largely non-existent.

### UM also made foolish mistakes. After stopping Notre Dame on third down in the red zone, Darius Smith's personal foul penalty gave the Fighting Irish a first down, and a touchdown followed soon after. You can blame Gabe Terry for a personal foul on the punter early in the game, but he appeared to have been blocked into the punter by a Notre Dame player. 

### Stephen Morris closed 18 for 35 for 201 yards, but his receivers gave him no help, failing to latch onto eight catchable balls, including Phillip Dorsett's two dropped would-be touchdowns early in the game.

Dorsett finished with just one catch for six yards, and Allen Hurns one for seven. Davon Johnson was the only UM receiver who had a particularly good night, with four catches for 68 yards. Rashawn Scott caught four balls for 33 yards.

### UM's running game numbers: Mike James had 28 yards on six carries, Duke Johnson had 22 on eight attempts, and Eduardo Clements 20 on two carries.

### The good news? At least this doesn't hurt UM's chances of winning the ACC's Coastal Division. UM is 3-0 in conference entering next Saturday's home game against North Carolina (2:30 p.m., ESPNU).

And at least a bunch of UM freshmen got substantial playing time, which should only help them down the line. That group included Tracy Howard, Tyriq McCord, Terry, Herb Waters, Moore, Johnson, Bush and linebacker Raphael Kirby, who made his Hurricanes debut. "Kirby looked like he was making some plays," Golden said. 

### Golden on WQAM, bemoaned the squandered early opportunities on offense and the inability to capitalize on good field position late in the first half (a drive went nowhere, and Jake Wieclaw missed a 47-yard field goal): "We didn't play with a lot of poise. It's disappointing. We couldn't get enough going on offense.... Some of the penalties are selfish. It's important we just stay positive. We've got to stay together now. We lost to two top 10 teams. We can't point fingers. We just have to move forward. There's going to be a day when we're ready for this challenge. You can't have selfish penalties and drops."

 

Comments

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rboud

I notice that you didn't point the finger at D'Onofrio, Barry, and neither do I. The one legitimate, experienced D-tackle has yet to see the field yet(Porter). I listen to hotheads like Dan Sileo point the finger at everybody. This guy has no business being on the radio. I appreciate your level head.

Justin28

Sileo is on the radio saying Miami should never throw the ball to Dorsett again. You're an idiot, Sileo.

FreddieMac

This will go down as the worst UM defense in history.

Dacanes29

if you think the U is back, the worst is yet to come. you got bernard and UNC next, then a pissed off FSU after that. an inexperienced v tech with l thomas at the helm that will give us trouble with his legs. the U always underachieves against the likes of virginia on the road. s florida scrambling quarterback, does anybody remember that eventful 3-0 win. and then they go to the hardest place to play in the ACC at duke, as per randy shannon. which by the way are no push overs this year. miami will be lucky if they finish 3-3 the rest of the way. i had them going 4-8. and it's still possible. the bottom line is if this regime doesnt find a front 4 that can put pressure in the backfield you will be seeing the same for years to come. d'onofrio will not be fired or demoted. so if you think golden is the savior you better hope that this incoming class has 10 DL if not your loyalty to the U will be tested for years to come.

Ba

This ND game serves as the blueprint for the rest of Miami's opponents.

How do you attack the worst defense in the country? How do you keep Morris and the offense on the sideline? Just watch the ND game and you can beat Miami.

Last season, several UM people complained that the defense let down in losses to Virginia Tech, Kansas State and Virginia, while the offense saved them from almost losing the UNC game. This season the offense came to the rescue in 3 ACC games. This defense showed dubious signs last season, and this season it's been exposed in EVERY game.

No wonder Vaughn Telemaque and Tracy Howard have issues with the coaches.

Georgeh'

Knee-jerk Sunday here in Miami huh?

Listen, the U is extremely talented. Anyone watching the game yesterday could see that on the offensive side of the ball, there is talent, and in the LB and secondary there is some stellar young talent (I note guys like Bush who made a TD saving play in the first half; Gionni Paul being all over the field, etc.)

THe issue is that they are horrifically young. It's absurd how young these dudes are. Just noticing their starting lineup, it's rare to even see a Junior starting anywhere.

They are young and inexperienced. Dorsett dropped two TD passes which I knew would be the turning point from the beginning. If Dorsett catches that damn TD pass right off the gate, we may not win but we would've at least been competitive for most of the game.

The only issue for this young Canes team (OTHER than mental lapses, which is understandable given their overall experience in college football which is about half a season to a season)is that their D-Line is HORRIBLE.

Unfortunately, a weak secondary can be masked with fantastic pass rush. The opposite is not true. Especially when you are facing these dumb gimmicky offenses that ND was rolling out there with that 'QB' they threw out there after Reese. Bottomline, they DO HAVE TALENT on the defensive side of the ball; the issue is that they have ZERO talent on the D-Line which makes the entire defense go to sh*t. No pressure means the LB's and secondary have to be more warry of the run and they have to pay even more attention to their coverage. It's so damn difficult to be doing both when you have to constantly be worrying about the D-Line applying literally no pressure whatsoever.

costabear

The defensive gameplan against Notre Dame was a complete joke. I don't have the exact stats, but I was at the game and in the second half I counted less than 5 passing plays run by Notre Dame. Yet, we were trotting out our nickel defense, playing 10 yards off receivers, and having two safeties deep the entire half. This is even when we are down 34-3 with 5 minutes left in the 4th quarter. Was Miami really scared of Notre Dame throwing deeping on us at this point? We hardly ever blitzed, and the times we did, it seemed like they were corner blitzes which took long too develop and Notre Dame was able to make a play anyway. The D Coordinator gave these kids zero chance to succeed on Saturday and it was a shame. Notre Dame proved all game they were perfectly content with dinking and dunking on us and getting 8 yards per play and moving right down the field. How could we not even attempt to adjust and try to things differently? It was the most frustrating game I've ever seen and I hope to God we learn from this and start making adjustments.

Ready To Fly A Banner

What must be done eventually should be done immediately. Fire the Tie.

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