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Dolphins-Bengals reaction, postscripts; Scouts, evaluators examine UM-FSU matchup

A dozen Dolphins postscripts from their dramatic Thursday night win:

### It's highly troubling that Miami has been outscored 67-29 after halftime of the past four games. But give them credit for climbing back to .500 and avoiding becoming the first Dolphins team to lose two straight after leading by at least 14 points.

"I think tonight was our first true team win," Mike Wallace said. "Everyone played great in all three phases."

### Time to tilt the carries even more heavily in Lamar Miller's favor, at least until he proves he can't handle it. Yes, Miller had the fumble, but he also ran for 105 yards on 16 attempts (a 6.6 average). Thomas ran 12 times for 38 yards (3.2).

Joe Philbin, on Miller: "I thought he ran the ball hard. I thought he had good vision and balance and obviously we’d like for him to hold onto the ball better.”

### Tannehill closed with a 92.6 rating, completing 20 of 28 passes for 208 yards, with no turnovers. He entered having completed only 7 of 26 passes thrown at least 20 yards, but he was 1 for 1 on such attempts Thursday, with another drawing the key OT pass interference call.

“I expected to win the whole game," he said. "I told that to the team when we called it up, right before the stretch.  This is a huge win for us.  Losing four straight, coming back and getting a team win.  The defense played great, made some huge plays, getting turnovers.  The offense didn’t score a lot of points, but we moved the ball when we had to there at the end of regulation, to get a field goal.  We kind of righted the ship, we’re back on track a little bit, it gives us a fresh start midway through the season."

### Tannehill, on the deep ball to Wallace that drew a pass interference: "We had several of them called and they kept giving us coverage’s that weren’t friendly for it, so we were getting into runs.  They had good run looks, not good for the deep ball.  We called them pretty much the whole game and they just kept taking it away.  We were running the ball effectively, if we have a good look to run the ball, lets run it.”

Wallace's take? “I’m a little bit upset, because I really wanted to score a touchdown. I’ve never scored in overtime before. It was a big play for our team. We flipped the field with that play, so without that play, we might not have been able to score that safety." Wallace closed with six catches for 82 yards.

### Though Marvin Lewis disputed it, the safety call in overtime was a good one. The entire ball would have had to be outside the end zone for it not be a safety. It was not.

### Great to see Cameron Wake finally back to himself after battling a knee injury. "I'm a pretty stubborn type of guy where I don't care who it is on the field - you can't beat me every play," Wake said after finishing with three sacks, including the game-winning safety.

Olivier Vernon said Wake told teammates last week that "he couldn't stand being on the sideline" and that "it was tearing him apart."

### This was only the third NFL game that ended with an overtime safety, and the second that ended with a safety resulting from a sack (Adewale Ogunleye had the other for the Bears in 2004).

### The Dolphins' defense was on the field for 93 snaps, and Dannell Ellerbe and Reshad Jones were the only two that played every one of them. Ellerbe had the third pick of his career -- his first since last year's AFC Championship.... Wake played 69 snaps, Jared Odrick 65, Vernon 71, Randy Starks 50 and Paul Soliai 46. But Dion Jordan again logged only 24 on defense; he rushed on 17 of them but didn't have a quarterback hurry, hit or sack. Derrick Shelby (25 snaps) again played more than Jordan.

### When Dimitri Patterson was out, the Dolphins opted for RJ Stanford (who played 21 snaps) instead of Jamar Taylor (who played one).... Grimes had several critical plays, none more his 94-yard interception return for a touchdown. But besides the missed tackles, he also allowed 8 of 14 passes thrown against him to be caught, for 111 yards.

### The Dolphins missed an absurd 23 tackles, including six by Grimes (as many as he missed all of 2010, according to PFF.com), four by Wheeler and three by Jones... Vernon didn't have a sack but had five hurries and graded out very well.... Besides Wake's three sacks, Soliai had one and Odrick and Shelby shared another.

### Offensively, Richie Incognito played only 14 of Miami's 63 snaps before leaving with a neck stinger. Nate Garner played 69. PFF charged sacks against Incognito (his fifth permitted) and Garner. Mike Pouncey graded out very well, and Philbin praised Garner's work. Will Yeatman was used for 12 plays when Miami went to an unbalanced line.

### With Dion Sims out, Michael Egnew got more snaps than usual (30) in a tight end/psuedo fullback role.... Rishard Matthews, the new No. 3 receiver after Brandon Gibson's injury, played 35 snaps, and Marcus Thigpen three.



We all know there’s a talent cap between Miami and Florida State. But how big is it? We polled NFL scouts and other evaluators. Some feedback:   

### ESPN NFL Draft and college football analyst Todd McShay: “Florida State has consistently recruited more players of quality talent level. They’re noticeably deeper and little faster along the defensive front seven than Miami.

“This is the best receiver corps Florida State has had going back to the Peter Warrick and Laveranues Coles days, and they have a 6-5 receiver, Kelvin Benjamin, who can go up and adjust to the ball. You’re starting to see some of the depth issues at receiver for Miami. The offensive struggles from Miami, they’re just so inconsistent.

“[But] if Stephen Morris plays as well as he can consistently over four quarters, it’s not as big an edge at quarterback as everyone seems to think. Problem is, with [Phillip Dorsett] out and lack of protection at times and Morris’ own inconsistency, you’re not sure what you’re getting from him. He’s going to have to play the game of his life for Miami to have a chance to pull off the upset.”

McShay said Morris still “has a chance to be a Day two pick [second or third round] but he needs to perform better down the stretch.”

### One NFL scout who has studied both teams said the talent difference between the two is “wide. The size up front weighs in FSU’s favor. Al Golden can balance the scale a bit because of Miami’s toughness and discipline."

(FSU has slightly bigger offensive and defensive lines than Miami's, and FSU's o-line outweighs Miami's d-line by 27 pounds, on average.)

“Here’s how I would put it: Miami has good talent, but it’s not special. Alabama, LSU, Florida State have really good talent and depth. Those schools can tilt the field with size and speed. FSU doesn’t have quite the talent of Alabama, but their quarterback is incredibly special. Jameis Winston will be the No. 1 overall pick when he comes out [2015 draft is the earliest permitted].

“I am disappointed in Stephen Morris. His accuracy was awful against North Carolina. He had streaks like this last year, and I was hoping he would correct it. It looks like he’s launching it rather than throwing it. He’s releasing the ball way too high. That’s why it’s sailing on him.... He is a good deep ball thrower.” (An ankle injury affected his mechanics.)

### A second NFL scout: “Winston has a better feel for the game, better presence in the pocket and better overall precision than Morris. Miami can play with them, but Florida State has better talent at safety and the defensive line,” among other spots.

Even so, “Shayon Green has impressed me; he has really improved. Anthony Chickillo has played well but he needs to stay in school; you can’t come to the NFL at 270 as a try-hard guy. He’s a tweener, an overachiever. He needs to be at 285, 290 and be a base power end.

“When Miami was dominant, it was on the defensive line and receiver. They’re good there, but not great. It’s a solid team but no great players aside from Duke Johnson.” 

### College football recruiting expert Larry Blustein: “The gap is mostly in FSU’s senior class, and mostly on defense. Speed in the secondary and overall linebacker depth is where FSU can get you.

Offensively, the teams are comparable at receiver and running back. FSU has Nick O’Leary at tight end, but UM has enough kids there that can play. Miami is a year away from standing toe to toe with them.”


### With FSU’s exceptional deep passing game, UM’s safety play will be critical Saturday. At times last week, UM used cornerback Ladarius Gunter in a pseudo-safety role alongside Rayshawn Jenkins, allowing UM to play three other natural corners (Tracy Howard, Antonio Crawford, Artie Burns). UM loves Burns’ talent and believes he's worthy of playing time as a freshman, despite his uneven play last week. Because it needs to help its cornerbacks in coverage, UM wants to generate a rush Saturday without blitzing a ton. That's why it's so important Tyriq McCord and Al-Quadin Muhammad generate a rush on the third down package.

### UM couldn't be happier with new offensive coordinator James Coley and a UM official really likes the offensive game plan he has put together Saturday. Don’t be surprised to see some subtle new wrinkles offensively (in pass protection and run blocking) and a good number of two tight end sets.

### Though some NFL people are still intoxicated by the skill set, offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson remains lazy in his technique at times, according to a scout. He hasn’t been able to unseat starters Ereck Flowers or Brandon Linder, who have graded out very well.

### FSU and former Miami Central High running back Devonta Freeman told The Palm Beach Post he loves beating UM because it was a “slap in the face” that

Randy Shannon didn’t recruit him at UM. Al Golden recruited Freeman, but it was too late.

We hear Shannon didn’t believe the 5-9 Freeman, who is averaging 6.4 yards per carry, was big enough. There’s some disappointment inside UM that it hasn’t beaten out FSU for several top targets the past three years. But with the NCAA case resolved, “you’re not a sitting duck anymore,” Golden said.

UM has seven oral commitments in ESPN’s top 200 (led by No. 19 Central running back Joseph Yearby). FSU has eight –-- including two from South Florida: Northwestern receiver JoJo Robinson (No. 140) and Booker T. Washington’s Treon Harris (No. 180), who wants to play quarterback but was offered only as a slot receiver by UM.

ESPN's 2014 recruiting rankings have UM second and FSU third, behind No. 1 Alabama. 

### Linebacker Denzel Perryman exasperated UM coaches last year, with Golden going as far as to call him “lazy” at times. No longer; he’s a Butkus Award semifinalist and leads UM with 52 tackles.

“I agree I was lazy in my drops in practice,” Perryman said. “In games, here and there. Coach said last year, “This is a problem’ and there will be [consequences] if it continues.”

It hasn’t. Conversations with his father, with Golden and with former Canes linebackers Sean Spence and Jonathan Vilma – along with some serious self-evaluation – have made Perryman a more driven player who no longer coasts for a play or two after making a big stop. The junior insists he can become as good as Spence or Vilma “or better than both.”

### UM must hope for FSU overconfidence. A Florida State official (not a coach or player) predicted: “You look at Miami’s schedule. They’re not a top 10 team. We’ll put up 40 points.”   

Check back Friday for tidbits from the aftermath of the Dolphins' win.    


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Georgia Cane

UM can't turn the ball over. Boston College gave Winston the most trouble. We must do the same, disguise blitzes. The good news is we have better athletes than BC. Keep FSU within 14 points. If we can stay close leading to the 4th qtr. I think our O-line can take control. Morris this week has been able to plant his foot properly, finally. Spread FSU and run Duke. Be smarter than you were against Gaytors man to man defense. Use screens and crossing patterns, be patient and burn Joyner when he blitzes. On my way to Tally, tailgate at the Leon county civic center. Go Canes!

Reality Bites

Funny how at the start of the season the cane homers were saying Morris would be a first round pick and a Heisman candidate. Some went as far as sating the canes had the best O line and the best offense in the nation.
How's that working out delusional dopes?
Same dopes that now say the sorry canes will keep it close and win in the 4th by running Duke.
You will be so far behind that Duke won't get many carries at all in the second half.
Delusional Dopes.


Miami hasn't faced any great teams, true, but other than Clemson, FSU's schedule hasn't been that tough either.
Who's the big opponent, Maryland? Only balanced offense they faced was BC and that was close.
Unlike Miami they have won impressively vs lesser opponents, but how will they react in a close game?
FSU hasn't faced an O-Line and RBs like ours either.
Clemson fell behind and had to go 1 dimensional to catch up.
Let's keep it close and see what the Noles are really made of. Our defense can't spot them 200 yds in the 1st quarter as they have done the last few games, we got to come ready and prepared from the kick-off this time.


The Miami OL has protection issues (6 sacks) but FSU's OL (16 sacks) doesn't? There is a size difference up front (Miami's OL averages about 6'5 300 lbs, DL has 4 300 lb DTs)? Denzel Perryman, Brandon Linder, Stacy Coley, Clive Walford, Ereck Flowers aren't great players? What are these guys even talking about?

Life is good!

Whelp, 8 AM on a Friday, time to go on the Miami Herald and troll UM fans!


17 needs to knock out Winston on backside blitz tired of hearing about country boy Jamie fsu like old days lots of talk big chokers. GO CANES!

Sunny Dee

Reality - Canes fans weren't the only ones saying Morris was a potential first round pick. Many analysts had him slated for the first round after his performance at the end of last year and at the Manning passing camp. His season has been a disappointment thus far but the Canes are still undefeated.

Reality Bites

Posted by: Sunny Dee

You are right. So not only were the cane homers dopes, so were those analysts that you mention. Morris has played so far just like he has played every year, inconsistent. He has shown that he cannot win "the big game", so this Saturday why would you expect anything different.
As far as undefeated goes you are correct as well. I would say that last years team would have lost the UNC and Wake games. So there is improvement overall. However it is no big accomplishment to beat teams you are supposed to beat. It is expected.
Let's see how your team performs against their only tough competition so far.


I think the scouts and evaluators have finally put to rest the delusion held by many UM fans that the Canes are as talented as the Noles. It's not even close, but in 2 years UM will be equally talented. I'll take Golden over Jimbo any day. If this game is close, it will be due to how well coached UM is right now and no other reason. There are very few UM players who could start on FSU's offense or defense, especially on defense. UM's only edge, I think, is on the offensive line. Duke is the best back but FSU is deeper at back. I hope the Canes play well. If so, they can hang around for most of the game.

Reality Bites indeed...


Stop trolling UM fans on the internet, go outside you nerd.

Barry Jackson

Yes, Lois. UM's d-line averages 291, FSU's o-line 318. And FSU's nearly two inches taller, too. Thanks.


dolphins got luck. 7-9 team.


Reality bites, just be quite dude. You mouthed off about how serious the NCAA was gonna come down on Miami then you talked garbage about how the unrated Gators was going to beat us. After that you went into the closet and his like a troll boy you are. You have nowhere to talk and NO respect on this blog.

Steve B

Reality Bites needs some serious psychotherapy.UM has invaded his psyche.


This is a genuine test for the 'Canes.

Have they ever since the "Swagger days" ever backed away and ducked from playing top teams?. No

Floriduh not so much. Reality..
Worry about that Georgia game and we will handle our business with FSU.

There is respect there, but this game has to be physical, with a statement made by the 'U' from the first whistle that they are there for business.

These 'Canes are primed because this gives them something to prove. What a motivator!!!

The Coaches may deny it, but they are caught up in the importance of a Statement Game and ALL it encompasses.
Canes in a Close one.
Go 'Canes


I saw a more focused and serious Fins team yesterday.

Hopefully they were embarrassed into realizing that acting like teenagers in the lunchroom in the middle of a losing streak was not too cool.

Maybe this Martin thing acted better than any pregame speech to get them to stop screwing around.


Tanneyhill looks like a much better QB under center than in shotgun.
His play action and roll outs are much better than in shotgun.
West coast offense was not meant to be played with shotgun and when he takes snap under center defense can't rush him right away cause he might hand off, gives him more time and in runs gives QB more time to read blocks.


Barry- Just wanted to thank you for calling out the Fins in the recent sport buzzes. First the one about how all the talent that comes here under produces (and players that leave blossom in other cities) and the most recent one aboout all the false promises and basically lies that this team feeds its fans every year. I can only hope it's articles like these that will finally open Ross' eyes to get rid of this awful Ireland/Philbin trainwreck we're all currently on!
Keep up the excellent work...

Mr. Titman

Philbin said he will not tolerate bullying. Huh? This is football not tennis or golf. These NFL players start out at Pop Warner then junior varsity and varsity. If good enough by then,on to college and then the NFL if they are really good. There is no crying in football,so what is all of this Martin crap about? He is getting paid millions as a 2nd round pick and he left the team because he was bullied. WTF? Many years ago in elementary shool,I had a kid that picked on me every chance he got(I was small and skinny for my age at that time),but over summer vacation I grew a lot and when the new semister started I was almost a head taller than this jerk. I caught him after school and beat the crap out of him,hence ended my bullying days and I have not taken any crap from anyone since. So Jonathon,grow up and grow a pair!

Johngoode@johnnybfit.com sweet1968

Reality bites has reappeared after the Canes spank his team and starts talking smack. Canes weren't supposed to beat Florida but did. Not supposed to beat criminals but will. Not supposed to have better recruits than bama or criminals bit will. Now feel me on this one, Canes win tommorow in a stunner.

Keepin it real always

Oh Barry did I offend your pal Reality Bites?Is that why you removed my post?Thought you were bigger than that.

barry jackson

Keeping it real always, I did not remove your post. If there was a technical problem, please repost whatever you said.
Sick and tired - thanks


everything written in this article is dead on, miami is still not anywhere near the level of florida state. Morris is too inconsistent, he is only effective if the receiver who the play is designed for gets open, even on his best day he will never be at the level of an average jameis winston, that is sad considering morris is the senior and winston a freshman. Miami does not have a chance, we should focus on VT to win the coastal and then deal with FSU again in the ACC championship.

Big Neal

Because of the investigation, allegations, loss of scholorships and negative recruiting, the Canes aren't at Noles level quite yet. But remember, those days are over and the future is BRIGHT! Aside from Winston (who is a stud), the Noles have a ton of seniors. Also, they'll be losing a few underclassmen to the N.F.L. Next year we're back on even grounds and Al will out recruit Jimbo any day of the week! He's already turning some verbal commits while already having the #2 ranked class for 2014! GO CANES!!!!!

Keepin it real always

OK Barry.Apologize for accusing you of removing my post.It was just to put reality bites....in his place.I ll just say today that Canes have a chance(in tonight s game) but FSU looks awful good.Their speed and talent is impressive.Haven t seen yet this season Miami have an awesome game yet but how amazing would it be if tonight the Canes were able to play incredible,put it all together for once?Winston looks like the Heisman for sure but maybe Morris will have a great game and an upset is always possible.That said.....hoping the CANES bring that Miami intensity and play lights out all 4 quarters.It s a big challenge....but Hurricanes rise to the challenge.We ll see soon enough.Best of luck tonight fellas and let s make the U relevant again.GO CANES.

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