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9 a.m. update: UM adds opponents to 2014 and 2015 schedules; Dolphins coaches opine

Look for UM to announce later today that it has booked Cincinnati for a home-and-home football series. The Bearcats will visit Sun Life Stadium in 2014 and UM will visit Cincinnati in 2015.

That leaves UM with this non-conference schedule next season: at Nebraska, home against Arkansas State, home against Florida A&M and home against Cincinnati.

The Bearcats are 8-2 this season and have won five in a row. UM had spoken to Southern Mississippi about playing in 2014, but as those talks fizzled, Cincinnati emerged as a realistic option.

The Nebraska and Arkansas State games are both part of home-and-home series. Nebraska will visit UM in 2015, and UM will visit Arkansas State in 2017.

Notre Dame, Toledo and Michigan State are also scheduled for future non-conference series against UM. Check back later today for a lot more UM news.

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A few notes and quotes from today’s Dolphins media briefing and a look at how the schedules stack up among top contenders for the AFC's sixth playoff spot:

### Investigator Ted Wells arrived at the Dolphins’ facility at 7 this morning and began interviews with players and other team personnel as he examines the Dolphins’ bullying scandal. Defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle said “we were told they will do everything they can not to disrupt the flow of the normal week.”

Some coaches, including Mike Sherman, will meet with Wells on Tuesday.

“We’re sticking to the [normal] schedule,” Joe Philbin said. “We’ll be fine.”

### Philbin and Sherman praised the Dolphins’ makeshift offensive line, which was missing three starters Sunday. The Dolphins allowed three sacks but ran for 104 yards and averaged 5.5 yards per carry.

“They hung in there,” Philbin said. “Didn’t have a lot of mental mistakes. There’s still a lot of improvement we can make.”

Undrafted rookie Sam Brenner started at left guard and played 61 of the Dolphins’ 66 offensive snaps. Veteran Danny Watkins played five and rookie third-round pick Dallas Thomas played one.

Why did Brenner get the start over Watkins and Thomas?

“We’ve been keeping our eye on Sam,” Philbin said. “Thomas has been getting most of his work at tackle. Brenner gets the vast majority of his reps at guard. He has been progressing very well.”

Sherman said Brenner played largely because, well, "he there’s every day. We don’t have a lot of numbers in that group. I’ve been watching him since camp. He’s made a lot of improvrement. He did pretty well.”

Nate Garner played well at center in place of Mike Pouncey, who missed the game because of a gall bladder illness. “We’re very fortunate to have a guy like Nate Garner… Garner played well,” Philbin said.

Also key: Right tackle Tyson Clabo has improved after a dreadful start to the season. “His pass sets have been better,” Philbin said. “The guy is a pro. He’s maybe a little more detailed in his preparation" than earlier in the season.

### Sherman said since he has been with the Dolphins, this is the best work he has seen from Daniel Thomas in generating yards after contact. “Daniel ran very physical.” Thomas closed with 57 yards on 10 carries.

### Ryan Tannehill underthrew a deep ball to Mike Wallace and among passes thrown at least 20 yards, Tannehill has now completed only 3 of the 16 intended for Wallace. Overall, Tannehill is 9 for 34 on those passes, having misfired on six in a row over the past two games.

“We underthrew [Wallace] on a touchdown pass that we can’t do,” Sherman said. “We needed those points. We didn’t get them.”

Sherman said Tannehill and Wallace have worked on deep balls after practice, and “we've got to get them on the same page. The two of them have to come to an understanding how it’s going to work.” He said that has been and will continue to be a priority until the problem is fixed.

Though Wallace’s numbers were modest Sunday (4 catches for 39 yards), Sherman said: “Mike had a tremendous game. He ran his routes very disciplined. He was open on a number of occasions. Sometimes there were protection issues. He had a tremendous impact on the game because he [affected] how they played us.” Sherman said Wallace is still dealing with “a leg issue” --– a hamstring specifically.

###  Kevin Coyle, on his defense, which had three sacks in the fourth quarter after none in the first three quarters: “We got good pressure a number of times in the game. We got sacks at critical times.”

### Dimitri Patterson was limited to 18 of 65 defensive snaps because he re-aggravated his groin injury. When Nolan Carroll comes in, “We don’t change much,” Coyle said. “It hasn’t had a major impact.”

### Dion Jordan played 22 snaps and “did a very good job” covering Chargers tight end Antonio Gates a few times, Coyle said.

“Dion is like a power forward in basketball,” Coyle said. “Very smooth athlete, great length. He can run like a deer.”

### Koa Misi played only 15 snaps primarily because Coyle spent much of the game using a two-linebacker package.

PLAYOFF UPDATE

The Dolphins and Jets – who both have 5-5 records -- are the two teams that control their own destiny for the sixth and final AFC wild card spot.

Of the six AFC teams that are 4-6 (Baltimore, Pittsburgh, San Diego, Cleveland, Oakland and Tennessee), the Ravens and Steelers would seem to be the greatest threats to Miami. The Dolphins own head-to-head tiebreakers against the Chargers and Browns, and the Titans --– without starting quarterback Jake Locker --– face three straight road games (Oakland, Indianapolis, Denver). Oakland has a difficult schedule (including road games at Dallas, San Diego and the Jets) and home against Kansas City and Denver.

The Ravens hold the tiebreaker over Miami based on their win against the Dolphins, and the Dolphins and Steelers meet Dec. 8 in Pittsburgh.

Here are the remaining schedules for the Dolphins, Jets, Ravens and Steelers:

### Dolphins: Carolina, at Jets, at Steelers, Patriots, at Bills, Jets

### Jets: at Baltimore, Dolphins, Oakland, at Carolina, Cleveland, Miami

### Ravens: Jets, Pittsburgh, Minnesota, at Detroit, New England, at Cincinnati

### Steelers: at Cleveland, at Baltimore, Miami, Cincinnati, at Green Bay, Cleveland 

             

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