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Postscripts, reaction to UM's loss to Duke; Dolphins notes

Notes, quotes and observations from UM’s demoralizing 48-30 loss to Duke, its third consecutive defeat:

### And so a season that started so promisingly has deteriorated into an ugly mess, exposing all the defensive shortcomings this staff thought it had fixed.

And this one was particularly nauseating, not only because Duke bludgeoned UM on the ground, not only because Duke ended the game on a 20-0 stampede, not only because Duke hadn’t beaten UM since 1976 (spanning nine UM wins in the series), but also because Maryland had delivered a huge gift to UM by beating Virginia Tech earlier in the day. That means UM would have gone to the ACC Championship game by winning out. No longer. Now Duke controls its destiny in the ACC Coastal.

Read these numbers and weep: Duke’s 358 rushing yards were its most since 1994. The Hurricanes allowed 543 yards overall and have now permitted 1609 over the past three games. Duke averaged 6.9 yards per carry. And there’s there: UM has allowed more than 500 yards in four of its past five games.

### Al Golden’s take, afterward on WQAM: “We didn’t make enough plays. There are no excuses. We didn’t tackle well enough. We had too many penalties. We gave up too many explosive plays, especially on the ground. There’s enough blame to go around. It’s my responsibility to get it corrected tomorrow. We have to look at every aspect of what we’re doing and what we’re coaching. We’re not getting any takeaways. It’s not just the defense’s issue. It’s everyone on the team’s issue.”

### So what’s the problem defensively? Where do we start?

Curtis Porter and Justin Renfrow, so effective early in the season at defensive tackle, couldn’t unhinge from blocks. (Olsen Pierre and Luther Robinson didn’t exactly distinguish themselves, either.)

Anthony Chickillo and Shayon Green couldn’t seal off the edge on several outside runs and didn't offer much help on runs inside the tackles.

Jimmy Gaines once again lost running backs and tight ends in coverage. Even when UM was rushing only three, backs or tight ends were still wide open on at least two occasions.

The pass rush has disappeared, with Chickillo, Green, Tyriq McCord, Al Quadin Muhammad and others unable to generate any kind of consistent pressure.

Tyrone Cornelius never bothered turning around on a 22-yard TD pass in the first half.

McCord and Cornelius were obliterated on Josh Snead’s 31-yard run.

Porter couldn’t get off a block and AJ Highsmith missed a tackle on Snead’s 56-yard run.

Tackling was again shoddy, with Gaines, Rayshawn Jenkins, Denzel Perryman, Highsmith and others  missing tackles.

UM defenders --– Denyel Peryman, Cornelius, Deon Bush and others --– couldn’t fight off blocks on screen plays in their area.

As Golden said, “We’re losing leverage on runs stunting inside.” (As we noted here Friday, one former UM defensive player said UM is stunting too much.)

Linebackers took poor angles, as Micheal Barrow pointed out to them on the sideline (according to WQAM).

Ladarius Gunter was beaten on a long pass, though his coverage wasn't awful on the play.

Defensive lineman Ufomba Kamalu didn’t read a play correctly, allowing a sizable run early in the game.

We could go on, but you get the picture.

Bottom line: UM has no answers for anything.

By the way, defensive end David Gilbert, who was honorable mention Big 10 and a very good starter on a solid Wisconsin team last season, continues to receive limited playing time. Gilbert, who has a history of foot problems, is healthy enough to play, but UM coaches believe Green is the better player. And in fairness to Green, he had been one of UM’s best defenders before November.

### The offense --– missing four key players in the fourth quarter --- finished with an impressive yardage total (565) but stalled over the final 20 minutes, unable to come away with any points on its final five possessions.

Here’s how the final five series ended: A bad exchange, and fumble by Dallas Crawford on a third and one (UM recovered but the play lost yards); Stephen Morris threw incomplete to Allen Hurns on a 3rd and 7; Morris came up two yards short on a third down (and the Hurricanes regrettably punted, down eight, from their own 43 with 10:18 left); Hurns dropped a pass on fourth and three; and Morris ran for seven yards on a 4th and 10 late in the game. 

By the way, after that questionable decision to punt on the fourth and two, it took Duke only two plays to penetrate the UM 43, where Duke would have gotten the ball if UM had gone for it on fourth down and hadn't gained a yard. 

### Morris closed 30 of 49 for 379 yards and played without two of his best weapons (Duke Johnson, Phillip Dorsett) and well over half the game without Stacy Coley. Herb Waters had nine catches for 116 yards and two touchdowns but missed much of the second half with a groin injury. Hurns had eight catches for 107 yards.

“We are going to do a lot of focusing on ourselves the next couple of weeks, go back to the drawing board,” Morris said. “We’ve got to score more.”

Crawford ran hard, finishing with 115 yards on 19 carries.

### UM lost Coley to concussion-like symptoms not long after his punt return for a touchdown that gave UM a 10-0 lead. Artie Burns (ankle) also missed the second half with an injury.

Please see the last post for Saturday Dolphins notes.           


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You should of gone back to the drawing board last week Morris.... You are a big reason why we have lost the 2 games. I did not mind losing to Fla St, but VT and Duke are unacceptable.


A defensive effort that is staggering. The only question to ask Golden at this point is this: Please explain how this year's defense, 10 games in, could be as bad as last year's defense at the beginning of last year. Whether it's D'Onofrio or not, he needs to do his friend a favor and resign at the end of the year. A true friend does the right thing. Don't leave it up to Golden to do it.


Good bye, Mark Donoffrio!

Rick James

Time to say bye to your friends Golden. You can not keep Mark around after this whooping. The D is not getting better from last year and the play calling on both sides of the ball is horrible. Why would you hire an OC who didn't even call plays at his old job. That there should tell you something. You need to get two aggressive play callers on both sides of the ball. I support Golden but now its time for you to make head coaching decision.


John Tenuta for D coordinator!!!

Wellington Cane

Donofrio must go. Golden needs to grow a pair and fire Donofrio. Worst defense in ACC. Three years under Donofrio's defensive system and two years with Golden's conditioning and weight program and we still are being dominated. Painful to watch.

Mario Gonzalez

This without a doubt has to be the worst defensive performance in a long time. No tackling whatsoever Duke ran all over us. This team could not get up despite the fact that Maryland handed them a gift. We have not beaten a team with a good winning record as of yet and our defensive game plan totally sucked. I see the U finishing 7-5 the way they are playing. This would be laughable if Virginia who is 0-6 in ACC play comes in and beats us because we cannot execute. The focus here should be on recruiting players that are good aggressive pass rushers and are coached well. It is obvious that the defensive coordinator does not have the know how to have a good defensive game plan or the players on defense that can play. None of our defensive players are good enough to start at any of the top schools right now.

Cowboy Cane

Yes, Miami's defense is still amateurish. Donofrio is way over-rated and our offensive plays are often asinine. As much as I had hoped Morris would have a great year he seems lost and defeated without Johnson and Dorsett. Perhaps it's his injured foot but he appears to lack energy and enthusiasm as if he doesn't care...in other words he just seems to be going 'through-the-motions'. With the season where it is why doesn't Big Al let Ryan Williams get some reps as Morris seems asleep. I just don't get it...I'm so exhausted watching this crap.


Are we to by the book? Are we unable to develop players because of the 20 hr a week restriction? Does all of college football comply to this:

I''be always wondered this. It just seems we are guys are underdeveloped compared to the rest of college football. I would love for someone to run a story to see if the top programs only prepare by putting in 20 hrs a week. I think it is evident that we do not prepare or work as hard as the rest of college football . It certainly shows on Saturday.

Get Rich Cane

No need to repeat whats already been said. To Coach Golden, lets move "Full Speed Ahead" on a new Defensive Coordinator.


Did UM play today?


You should of gone back to the drawing board last week Morris.... You are a big reason why we have lost the 2 games. I did not mind losing to Fla St, but VT and Duke are unacceptable.


Are you serious? Ha Ha!!


What a disappointment after such a nice start to the season. DNO has to go, its been 3 years now of poor defensive play. Its embarrassing to watch this defense play. It looks like the JV playing against the varsity. As good as a recruiter as Golden is, if he does not get rid of his girlfriend DNO, then he should go.

Calgallharriet leave this blog

Donofrio has shown he cannot coach these players nor adjust.

Golden must see this, or else he is on the hot seat


Barry -

The past 4 or 5 years the Canes have STUFFED the roster with 3* guys.. mostly on defense. Every time a 3* guy commits you and Manny write them-up as this 3* guy being the greatest of the greatest. Please stop. The "hit" percentage on 3* guys is minuscule compared to 4* and 5* guys. The issue here is there's no talent on that defense.



I hope the defensive players have not quit on the defensive staff. If so, the team will finish 7-5. Today was one of the all-time lows for a UM defense. It's not just the # of yards, it's the unbelievably bad execution and tackling. The players look clueless out there. They can't or refuse to play this scheme the way it's being coached. Changes have to be made. Coaching changes are the only real way to shake things up. D'Onofrio has to be totally embarrassed the way his defense is performing. The buck stops with him and ultimately Golden.


rboud -

Explain.. why doesn't the buck stop with Golden?



Is/was Coach D'Onofrio instrumental with any of the 2014 top Defensive recruits?

NC Cane

I agree about Donofrio and Golden. The entire defensive coaching staff needs to go, including Barrow. Never have I seen a Miami defense play this poorly. I've never been this embarrassed. For the first time in my life I honestly don't care about the outcome of the rest of the season except for that idiot of a DC gone. If Golden does not clean house on defense, he will learn what a hot seat is very quickly.


Marco - read what I said - ultimately Golden


Even Randy didn't lose to Duke. But what can Miami do. Have to give Golden through at least 2015. Golden is a better option at HC than Randy was, but Randy beat FSU n never got drilled by Duke.

Joe Baum

Wishful thinking but Butch Davis will soon be available, along with some assistants like Ken Dorsey and Ray Lewis. The Garden Nome, Shalala would never hire these guys with links to the past so we can only dream and wait for her to leave. One thing's for certain, Penn State South is clueless. Golden is better than Randy with The Media but couldn't carry his jock with respect to coaching. And where do we start with The Defense and Coach DontKnow. This Team has regressed on both sides of the ball. I would suggest Shalala drop the fund-raisers for the facility improvements and direct the money raising toward a buyout of Golden's contract to end this misery. A good coach doesnt't need 3 years. Their impact is felt almost immediately. And don't whine about the NCAA and injuries, Miami still has the talent to play better than this. Duke??????

Randy Shannons' Agent

Marco to put this on talent alone is simply asinine.
Does Navy have better talent than the Canes? I mean they must considering they held Duke to almost 2 yards per play less than we did. Clearly its not the 2001 D out there but we should be able to get off the field once in a while


"We'll get it fixed."

Yeah, right.


RS's Agent - You are right. Teams with lesser talent than UM have defended V Tech and Duke much better than UM has. UM is not especially talented on defense , but there's no reason why they can't perform better. UM stopped Duke a few times the entire game. Duke stopped itself more than UM did. Golden can't let this continue without making significant changes. The kids that aren't mentally tough need to be on the bench. If they want to quit, show them the bench. Let kids who want to play hard do the playing, no matter what there talent level is. Bring in a D Coordinator who will play to his team's strengths, not a coordinator who makes kids adjust to his style.

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