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7 p.m. update: Golden addresses issues; Fins' playoff scenarios; Barkley rips Heat fans

Please see the last post, from this morning, with updates on Dolphins' playoff scenarios in the wake of San Diego's upset of Denver last night. Here are some UM notes from Al Golden's press briefing today:

Golden, on the road recruiting the past week, hasn’t had time yet to do intensive analysis of Louisville, UM’s opponent in the Russell Athletic Bowl Dec. 28 in Orlando.

But this UM staff is fully aware that the Cardinals thrive in a few areas where UM has struggled at times. Consider:

### Louisville (11-1) is second in the country in third-down conversion, behind only LSU, at 56 percent. Conversely, Miami (9-3) is 75th of 123 FBS school in third-down defense, allowing opponents to convert at a 40 percent clip. 

In the final five games, UM allowed FSU to convert 11 of 15 third downs, Virginia Tech 8 of 14, Duke 5 of 13, Virginia 11 of 20 and Pittsburgh 6 of 14.

### Also worrisome from a Hurricanes perspective: Louisville is 18th in passing offense, at 302 yards per game, whereas Miami is 71st in passing defense, allowing 233 yards per game.

And there's this: Cardinals quarterback Teddy Bridgewater ranks second nationally in completion percentage and has 28 touchdown passes and just four interceptions.

“We have to play really well,” Golden said before Friday’s on-campus practice, which was open to the public. “[Bridgewater] is a very talented young man. He has great command of the offense. He has speed, good corps of receivers, knows how to distribute the football, doesn’t make many mistakes, can move in the pocket. It’s going to be a great challenge for our corners and safeties…. Certainly we’re not where we want to be yet.”

Golden admitted his safeties didn’t show the level of physicality that coaches wanted at times this year. Deon Bush “has been hampered all year,” Golden said. Bush had hernia surgery during the summer and a hamstring injury recently. And Golden said safety Rayshawn Jenkins has to be “consistent.”

### Golden said injured linebacker Alex Figueroa will miss the bowl game, but he expects Anthony Chickillo (toe) and Phillip Dorsett (knee) will be able to play.

### Golden said several underclassmen have impressed in practices, including offensive linemen Taylor Gadbois and Alex Gall, linebacker Raphael Kirby (“he took charge – he needs to do that”) and safety Jamal Carter.

### Golden, on impressive UM freshman receiver Stacy Coley: “He’s very loud and proud in the meetings. He tells [offensive coordinator] James Coley or [receivers coach] Brennan Carroll or the offense exactly what he’s going to do on a play. That leads to a lot of trust. There is a preparation element in there that really exceeds his age.”

### Recruiting this past week was a lot easier with the NCAA investigation now resolved. Also, UM –-- which self imposed bowl bans the previous two years –-- was expecting as many as 40 high school juniors to attend Friday night’s practice, Golden said.

The past two years, “almost every high school we left, we left answering 20 questions about something we didn’t have any answers about,” Golden said. “We did that for 28 months. It’s very difficult to recruit under those circumstances.

“It feels totally different. You’re not going to get them all. But we feel like we’re on a level playing field for the first time. It’s unfortunate it comes at the tail end of our third class, but nonetheless, it gives us a chance to finish this one and start the 2015 class with a fresh slate.”

### Golden said “it’s not a secret we need help on the defensive line and front seven. Everyone understands that and it is reflected in numbers we have committed in those positions.

“We were not given the opportunity to recruit the type of full class we wanted to recruit last year. We’re making up for it right now. We were looking at 16 commitments going into Signing Day a year ago.

"If you’re on a regular ‘Year Two’ schedule, that number probably would have been 23, 24 or 25. Here we are the following year trying to make up for that. It’s been a challenge. There were a lot of places we would have loved to fortify our positions a year ago, and we weren’t given that opportunity.”

### Several players have signed financial aid agreements with UM, including one (Central High running back Dalvin Cook) who is orally committed to UF and also has signed financial aid paperwork with FSU.

Though unlimited contact is permitted with those players now, Golden said the rule is being changed so that contact with those players cannot happen during dead recruiting periods. Also, Golden said college coaches will not be able to attend all-star games this winter.

BARKLEY'S TAKE

### In an interview airing on CNN at 10:30 p.m. Friday night, Charles Barkley said "it'd be great for [LeBron James] to go back to Cleveland" next summer, when he can opt out of his Heat contract. "I don't think they are great fans in Miami. Listen, those were the same fans who were leaving when they thought they had lost to the Spurs. So let's don't act like they're super fans. I thought they were great fans in Cleveland....  I thought LeBron shoulda stayed in Cleveland.  Just 'cause he got them rings now, he ain't no better."

 

Comments

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rboud

Barkley loves to stir it up. He thrives on controversy. It's hard to argue what he's saying about Miami fans. They are front runners.

ceon

I see a billion excuses by this coach. I'm already seeing the bs he's trying to sell now. The NCAA findings were in the middle of the season. If you're recruiting and doing what youre supposed to do, the NCAA investigation would have no bearing on your current class.

ceon

Also, the lack of depth on the DL is on this current staff. The fact that the numbers aren't there is sad. Totally inexcusable now. Games are won and lost in the trenches and Miami is working with minimal numbers at the position? Sad.

And what's worse is that the OL has been stacked very well during the same period. It's not like the staff CAN'T get the numbers - it's that they haven't.

lloydfarmer

You Golden bashers are ridiculous. You need to wake up to reality. Miami suuuuuuucked for the last 5-6 years. They have been on a downward spiral since about 11pm on January 3rd, 2003. They became a weak team whose identity became finding a way to make the big mistake, to NOT make the play, to find some unique and utterly amazing new way to lose week-to-week.

It will take time to change this, and it is changing. That losing mentality began changing last year and it's continued this year. Improvement is needed, and this staff has NOT been perfect. But, there are reasons that no big time coaches wanted to come here--one being that any realistic person knows this wasn't a quick fix. There are reasons our two previous head coaches were out of work for years (they sucked). And, there are reasons why you should support this coach and this team.

We will rule college football, again.

Georgia Cane

Yeah, Barkley, the same fans in Cleveland that burned publicly all of Lebron's jerseys after 7 yrs wasted. Barkley needs to retire already. Bridgewater will kill us, we have no pass rush, LB's that are lost in pass coverage. Telegraphed blitzes, DE's that don't contain the corners. Do I have to go on.

Next Man []_[]p aka Mahoney-Pearson

Posted by: rboud | 12/13/2013 at 08:16 PM

To much to do in Miami. I was raised in the area and have recently moved to Akron. I can see why these folk are super fans. This place is bereft of anything remotely interesting to do on a regular basis outside of their sports teams, especially in the winter months.

Furthermore the people are rather homogeneous. Miami has an eclectic mix of people that have interests outside cheering for pro sports teams.

Lebron isn't coming back to jersey-burning Cleveland to play for that clown of an owner. He's from AKRON y'all, not Cleveland, and now he's all about the 305.

Ulysses

Miami fans are among the worst in the country in all sports, professional and college.

You could make this a subjective conversation and talk about why that is, but the bottom line is that the rest of the country defines "good fans" by whether or not they "support" teams by buying tickets and going to the games even if the team isn't winning.

Whatever the reason, by that measure Miami fans are quantifiably among the worst in the country.

duh

I have always hated the "Miami has the worst fans" argument. If being a "good fan" means spending hundreds of dollars to watch a consistently bad team, then fine, other cities can have that title. Only in sports are consumers expected to pay top dollar for a substandard product. Just like I won't spend big money on bad food, bad clothing, or bad service, I refuse to spend money on a bad team. I'm still a Heat fan, but I will show up when they are winning. If that doesn't fit someone's narrow version of what a "fan" is then whatever.

Penguin

Barkley needs to talk about a different team, but that doesn't mean that he's wrong. Let's forget the game against the Spurs. Instead, let's consider how Oklahoma City gave their team a standing ovation when their season was over. We would never do that for a team that didn't go the distance, no matter how many thrilling plays they made throughout a long regular season.

Ulysses

Right, that's exactly the perception of south Florida fans.

But in the rest of the country, and I mean literally everywhere but south Florida, paying too much to watch a consistently bad team does mean being a "good fan".

Not right or wrong, just the way it is. Miami fans are considered among the worst in the country because their fans don't go to games unless the teams are winning big.

Marios

I am glad I am a terrible fan who watches games at home on TIVO if I decided to do any of the many entertaining things I can do in Miami, like eating dinner outdoors in shorts in december on Lincoln Road or the beach.
Only watch live or go to big games.

Problem for Cleveland is that is Lebron loves Miami too.

it's  more  than,  just   issues

7 p.m. update: Golden addresses issues;

can we just play some fu@king Defense ?

it's  more  than,  just   issues

it'll be 6am soon

time to practice right ?


how do oui pressure T.B. ?

swag

duh, your right on!! maybe we're just smarter then most of the fans across the country who will support crappy teams..

R. Incognito

To Charles Barkley,

Shut up nigga.

Sincerely, Ritchie

mike

I see we got another cb commit yesterday to the u any updates on him.

C-DOGG

@lloydfarmer: They have been a weak team since after they beat FSU in the Orange bowl, not after the OSU game.

jmike

duh, your answer reflects exactly why Miami has the worst fans in the world. I support ALL the local teams. And if you think it cost hundreds of dollar for a family to go to a game, you're an idiot. Panthers good seats for $20.00, Marlons, good seats on Tues and Wed for $10.00 (2 for Tuesday, 1/2 price Wed), Fins $40.00 for an OK ticket, now the Heat maybe $40.00 for a an OK seat. Get off that $100.00 of dollars pathetic excuse.

Marco

=========
That losing mentality began changing last year and it's continued this year.
=========
It's so sad Canes fans are beating their chest over a 13-8 record -vs- BCS Conference teams record over the past 2 years.. and next years looks bleak.

Go Canes

Marco you have the perspective of an 8 year old child.

Md0216

It took Butch 7 years to fix the Hurricanes in the late 90's, so what lets start to bash Golden after year 4. GTFOH! and those crying about the fan base down here, have you not watched some NBA games or NFL games half empty stadiums in a lot of markets. Barkley is winning by having us keep talking about his ass. Guy says things to just piss people off.

duh

LOL @jmike, who says that I'm an idiot for saying that it costs hundreds of dollars for a family to go to a game, but then follows that up by giving prices for ONE ticket. Multiply that cost by four (if you have a family of four) and tell me how much it costs now. Oh, and that's just the fee to get in. What about parking? What about food? What if your kids want a t-shirt? And that's just for ONE GAME. "Real fans" go to more than one game, so that means you will have to repeat this cost several times throughout the year to meet the qualifications of a "real fan's" consistent support. Forgive me for being more willing to pay this cost on a good team than I would be for a bad team. But whatever, you win the "real fan" award. Congratulations! Now tell me, what have you won???

Gary

At first he was cute, open etc. Turns out Charles is just is a typical ex-jock on TV. Big mouth, bad habits, no role model, NO RINGS!!!!!!!!!!! The only thing he is an expert in is not knowing how to win a title or a ring. See Dan Marino!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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