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Golden says coaching staff will remain intact, addresses other issues in news conference; Fins

Highlights from Al Golden’s news conference from Monday afternoon:

### He said there won’t be any changes to the coaching staff. As we reported, UM never asked him to dump Mark D’Onofrio, and Golden had no intention of doing it. He said “the answer is not change, the answer is continuity.”

He clearly trusts this staff and wants to see what the staff does with a team that is adding a high-end recruiting class.

“First year without the NCAA cloud,” he said. “There’s a big part of me that wants that, that hasn’t experienced that…. We have an experienced group, mature group coming back. I look at my depth in the spring [with] the first team. We’re a lot deeper. I like the symmetry we have.”

### He dodged questions about Penn State, declining to say if he interviewed or considered the job. “There are universities that have expressed interest the past couple of years. I have not addressed them and I’m not going to start now. It’s flattering… other people express interest in us. I’m excited about where we’re going.”

Did the speculation hurt, considering one player de-committed during the period of uncertainty (Hialeah Champagnat defensive tackle Travonte Valentine)? “No,” Golden said. “Our staff did a great job of communication.” Valentine named LSU as his favorite but hasn't ruled out UM.

### Golden said nobody has left the team and “we don’t foresee anybody leaving.”

### He said eight recruits will enroll this week: running back Joseph Yearby, running back Brandon Powell, offensive tackles Trevor Darling and Shane McDermott, defensive tackle Calvin Heurtelou, defensive end Trent Harris, linebacker Juwon Young and receiver Braxton Berrios. The first four of those, and Berrios, are four-star recruits. And all eight are very well-regarded.

Defensive tackle Michael Wyche, from East Los Angeles JC, has signed with UM but isn't an early enrollee at this point.

### Asked if the defensive philosophy needs to change, Golden suggested he likes the core philosophy “but that doesn’t mean we’re not going to tweak our use of personnel. The team is reborn every year… In terms of schemes and direction we want to go, we’re not where we want to be.”

So UM might use some players differently. But it doesn’t sound like they will dramatically change their approach. Golden said he hopes to generate more pass rush from a four-man rush.

Then, as he did on Jose Rose’s show today, he spoke about “the progress on defense, and how the defense was more explosive this year.  The progress we made, whether it’s the sacks, the fumbles caused, the interceptions, this is the most explosive" defense UM has had in his three years. (But it's clearly not good enough yet, and Golden doesn't dispute that.)

### Asked to assess his linebackers (a unit that needs to play better), he said he feels good with a group including Denzel Perryman (who might turn pro), Tyriq McCord, Al-Quadin Muhammed (can play outside linebacker when UM is in a 3-4), Jermaine Grace, Raphael Kirby, Thurston Armbrister, Alex Figueroa and two incoming players: Juwon Young and Trent Harris (who can also play defensive end).

“We’re getting longer at linebacker. Young and Harris are 6-2, 6-3, have range and length. We’re getting stronger and better at that position and I don’t think we’re giving up the speed. Denzel got a lot bigger last year and didn’t give up speed or anything from a conditioning standpoint.”

### Asked about the fact that among 123 teams, Miami was third-worst in both rushing yards allowed and third-down conversion percentage allowed in the final five weeks of the season, Golden said:

“The reality is we weren’t good enough. It’s my responsibility for us to be better at that time of the year. We have to continue to build our depth. That’s going to be critical. Injuries, the guys we lost, were difficult. That’s no excuse.”

### He stopped short of saying the quarterback job is Ryan Williams’ to lose, but he’s clearly the front-runner.

“Ryan has done a really good job, but you’re not anointed the starting quarterback. Ryan did a good job distinguishing himself as the No. 2 in training camp. Kevin Olsen and Gray Crow [and incoming quarterbacks] will have an opportunity to compete. In terms of his growth, maturity, football intelligence, [Williams] is someone we’re excited about.”

### He said offensively, “we want to be more balanced. We have explosive playmakers but we need to control the ball a little better. We need to do a better job on third down, and that includes first-down efficiency. How can we get in more third and manageable? For how we conduct the offense, our completion percentage needs to be close to 68, 67 percent. We could have helped out the defense a lot more by converting” third downs.

“We were a lot better running the ball, explosive runs, runs over 10 yards. We were a lot better with explosive pass plays. Very excited to say that element is coming back” – with Duke Johnson, Stacy Coley and others.

### Golden said he isn't sure if Duke Johnson will be available for spring football, as he recovers from injury. He hasn't announced the spring schedule.

### Golden confirmed that Kevin Olsen, Rashawn Scott and Ray Lewis were all suspended for the bowl game for “conduct detrimental to the team.” He indicated he expects Scott –as a senior to be – has to speak up more for his actions.

He seemed more forgiving of Olsen and Lewis. All three remain on the team.

### Quick Dolphins note: One potential candidate to replace dismissed offensive coordinator Mike Sherman: Packers quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo, who worked with Philbin in Green Bay and is considered a bright young assistant. His contract is up. Joe Philbin wanted to interview him when he was putting together his initial Dolphins staff, but the Packers wouldn't allow it.

Gary Kubiak and Rob Chudzinski, who lost their NFL head coaching jobs, are among veteran former offensive coordinators available. 


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I walked on campus in 1966. I watched Mira play in the gotham Bowl. But I'm done. His bum couldn't lead a one car funeral. I'm too old to wait for this bum to be Sh't canned and for us to start over. Besides the ACC is a crap conference who cares if we win it. FSU isn't really a ACC school and will continue to kick or ass. Only Clemson will maybe keep up. Oh I so hate that this faker is staying, not that I thought PSU would take him.

Actual UM fan

Bye Bob, no one will miss you.

Hope you live a long and prosperous life as a non-UM fan.

Or that Parkinsons takes away your ability to type.

Both good.


You were good till the Parkinson comment, that turned you into a douche bag.

jonathan davis

i don't care about them haters the um is live and they just mad cause the don't have a m

#haters gonna hate

jonathan davis

my point is the who cares what they, say their terrible.

#don't hate motivate


Penn State was ready to hire Golden, then they watched the last 5 games and said no thanks.

It's A Cane Thing!

Seems like we have to see this Defense thing play out...

Total Defense since Golden has been here

2013 - 89th
2012 - I think 120th
2011 - 45th

The issue with 2011 was we were 70th in Total Offense...

I do not recall what Offense was in 2012 and we were 48th this year...

I do felt out Offense hurt our defense more this year than last year.

I like to score fast, and you have to take what they give you, but we have to slow down the Tempo to run clock and keep our defense off the field...

I would expect a top 30 Offense next year and a top 50 Defense as well.

Go Canes!

Bleeding Orange, Green & White!

BTW WDE! (War Damn Eagle!)


No D in Coral Gables

JT Thomson (Follow on Twitter)

Al Golden went on the Joe Rose Show today on WQAM in Miami, and after giving a completely implausible version of events of what transpired the last few days with Penn State, shifted to a discussion of the play on the field.

He immediately went into a full throated defense of his defense, citing progress and laundry listing statistics. There is a problem with the approach that Golden took, however. This improvement does not take into account the difference in quality of opponents from 1 year to the next. Golden listed out specific, cherry picked statistics where the defense marginally improved, but this ignores the fact that the 2012 Miami Hurricanes played 2 top teams out of conference (Notre Dame and Kansas State), while the 2013 Miami Hurricanes played one of the softest schedules in program history.

For a fair and complete analysis, it is important to compare like to like. In his interview, Golden also brought up the 2011 team, pointing out how good it was by once again cherry picking metrics. But what about a complete analysis of Golden’s defense and the one that preceded his arrival under head coach Randy Shannon, comparing games in the conference so you are comparing apples to apples? Oh, we have you covered.

The statistics are from games against conference opponents only in each year. So it removes the good from the defense against Savannah State, etc… but it also removes the beatdowns from Notre Dame and Kansas State last year.

Essentially, this is about as fair a look, removing statistical noise and talent discrepancies, that you can take at a defense’s performance. And the results?

Conference Rankings

Total yards per game allowed

Dead last by 50 yards this year.
Next to last in 2012.
8th in 2011.
5th in 2010.

Total yards per play allowed

13th this year.
11th (of 12) last year.
10th in 2011.
5th in 2010.

Number of plays

Dead last this year.
Dead last last year.
5th in 2011.
4th in 2010.

Scoring defense in conference play

12th this year.
9th last year.
4th in 2011.
5th in 2010.

Analysis: So the one year they slow down the game, the scoring defense looks good. But in reality, the Canes were still getting gashed at a ridiculous level. Since Al Golden arrived on campus, and right when he arrived on campus, the overall quality of the defense plummeted. Moving from one of the top in the ACC to the bottom.

Sacks in conference play

Tied for last this year.
11th last year.
8th in 2011.
5th in 2010.

Analysis: Golden said they improved on sacks this year. This is only because they ran up numbers against the dregs like Savannah State. Once in conference play, they were tied for worst in the ACC.

Tackles for loss in conference play

Last this year.
11th last year.
7th in 2011.
1st in 2010.

Analysis: Basically, Miami doesn’t make plays behind the line of scrimmage against vaunted ACC O-Lines and Offenses. In 2010, the year prior to Golden’s arrival, they were the best in the conference at this.

Opponent 3rd down conversion % in conference

Last this year.
10th last year.
8th in 2011.
2nd in 2010.

Opponent 3rd down conversions in conference

13th this year.
8th last year.
4th in 2011.
4th in 2010.

Opponent 4th down conversion % in conference

Last (83% ALLOWED!).
5th last year.
5th in 2011.
1st in 2010.

Opponent 4th down conversions in conference

Tied for last this year.
Tied for 4th last year.
T-6 in 2011.
1st in 2010

Analysis: The team doesn’t get off the field on 3rd down. They don’t get off the field on 4th down. Again, in 2011 when they slowed down the game, the number of conversions went down, but they still converted them at a ridiculous rate.

Opponent redzone touchdown conversion % in conference

4th this year.
8th last year.
1st in 2011.
2nd in 2010.

Opponent redzone touchdown conversions

9th this year.
12th last year.
1st in 2011.
2nd in 2010.

Analysis: The good thing about the defense is that when the opponent gets to the redzone, they actually do a good job of keeping the opponent from scoring touchdowns. The bad news is that they let them in there more times than anyone in the conference, so they get scored on one way or another.

Opponent plays of greater than 10 yards in conference

last this year.
last last year.
10th in 2011.
5th in 2010.

Opponent plays of greater than 20 yards in conference

11th this year.
9th last year.
1st in 2011.
5th in 2010.

Analysis: This is pretty remarkable. Not only is the defense not making plays behind the line of scrimmage, but other teams are converting big plays.

Turnovers forced conference play

tied for 6th this year.
tied for 2nd last year.
10th in 2011.
2nd in 2010.

Analysis: The Canes did a good job of forcing turnovers the last 2 years. Interestingly enough, even in this positive metric, it actually trended down this year.


The defensive “progress” and “upward trend” in performance Al Golden referenced in his Joe Rose Show interview are COMPLETELY attributable to the out of conference opponents being weaker. The defense has yet to improve in three years, and there is no statistical justification for continuing under the same defensive staff and/or scheme. We’ll close with this handy little chart showing the real lack of progress.

It's A Cane Thing!

Playthefreshmen...I think you just proved my point and what Golden is saying!

I look at my post before what you just posted!

If we look back to 2010 and 2011 (Goldens and his BFF DC first year)...the issues were Offense!

This year and last year the issues were mostly Defense...as we had enough players with talent in 2010 & 2011 to compete defensively...

If you extapolate this...there was a serious lack of recruiting defensive players after the 2010 & 2011 season...

So I can see why Golden wants to give his BFF a shot with kids they have brought in the last 2 classes along with the quality we have coming in this year...

Either way, even if we do not like it...we are going to see what happens...and we have no control over it...

So...we might have well start to support the Players, the 2014 Class and do what we can to help let the 2015 and beyond kids know we LOVE The U, and we want them to come help!

Go Canes!

Bleeding Orange, Green & White!

Frustrated DolFan

Tired of all the complaining about AG. It is as if everyone has forgotten this staff has coached and recruited under the black cloud of a major NCAA investigation. Sorry to say the brand of the U is no were near where it was in the 80's and 90's so I guess that is AG or NoD's fault. The talent/depth on the field is not there, which is obvious when seldom used DT Renfrow from VA transfers to the U and starts. He couldn't even get on the field in Charlottesville.

I am excited about the future of this team and trust we will have a championship caliber program within 2-3 years. This programs biggest problem is lack of fan support, students included, and having to play in a half empty stadium off campus. Today's athlete is all about the "Me first" team second and because of that I commend this years class that respects tradition and is trying to make the U relevant once again. I thought Saban proved you can't win in SFL without talent and as a Phins fan I would welcome him back with open arms if you promised me they would fire Ireland!!!

If Not Butch; Certainly Petrino

Listening to Golden's WQAM interview with Joe Rose,Rick Scott and Charlie Crist have nothing on the Politician Golden. His tap dancing, salesman pitches, and talking out of both sides of his cheek, he should run for governor. However, he is an Empty Suit, spewing biased statistics, without the most important result: WINNING.

He sounds more like a Boiler Room Salesman reading a script that a coach who needs to have URGENCY in winning. Once again, he talks, process, patience, "we're not yet where we want to be". Can you imagine Saban, Bellichek, or even Urban Meyer saying: "We're not yet where we want to be (after three years)". The fan base and or organizations/adminstration's would eat those guys up with such a complacent comment.

Cut the excuses and have URGENCY TO WIN NOW. UM FANS, Ex Players, Administration. HOLD THIS GUY ACCOUNTABLE!

He is a true salesman, throwing in tie downs like: "Make Sense?", "Are you with me?". Just so he can sell people on his argument. Trying to get Joe off topic. This guy is an EMPTY SUIT SALESMAN. Get rid of this guy.


in the end of it all al and D’Onofrio will both be run out of town by the end of next season the first rule in coaching is to protect your job first.

Georgia Cane

Have you guys looked at next years schedule? We could be 7-5. I don't think Valentine will qualify academically. Golden can only protect Dnafrio for so long, iy will catch up with him eventually. UM is short on Coaches (from uncle Luke) because needed extra $ to pay Golden. Regardless, of what happened with PState Golden has lost credibility with me. Bring "Chud" as a head coach and "Butch" as the DC. I bleed orange & green does Golden?

cool and the gang

Very disappointed that Golden has decided to NOT decide to make any positive changes to further create an improved Coaching staff.His vision as a head coach appears limited and he seems scared to make significant changes.His teams will and currently DO play scared because they get that conservative / tentative weakness from him.It s virtually unimaginable to go through another season accepting mediocrity from the same Hurricane defense and conservative defensive approach that does not help bring about victories.BTW mjcane needs to not denigrate Cane fans because they disagree with him.Grow up.


U idiots DO REALIZE we had 3 years of Sanctions hanging over us while he tried to recruit dont u? Now that its over its easy to Blame Golden, but Many top kids hear""no bowls"" or death penalty, and they go to UF/FSU/Ala louisville, etc. U cant blame the coach for Nevin Shapiro, but that and Shannons HORRIBLE 2009/2010 recruiting classes, along with Golden piecing together his 1st class in 2011 is whats hurt the team.......idiots

keepin it real always

Kermit Whitfield...who ran back the kickoff 100 yards in the second half of the National Championship was a Cane committment until March 2012.Imagine that.I m very positive that the NCAA sanctions helped scare him away.FSU gains most of Miami s undecided committments eventually of late anyway.Golden needs to BEGIN ATTRACTING AND GETTING 5 star players.He s only got 1 from last year now playing in the secondary.FSU gets the majority of their recruits as 5 stars.Golden s philosophy of getting 3 star guys and coaching them up has not worked like it did for Butch,Jimmy,Howard and Dennis.What s up with that Al????????? Oh yeah......that s right ...YOU want same ol same ol...."continuity"....forget about doing things differently.I forgot Al.....sorry.I do love the Cane players but it s not their fault they re not receiving adequate coaching.It s Golden s entirely.

Lone Wolf

(A key UM oral commitment, cornerback Nigel Bethel, wants to see changes in the defensive approach and announced: “I want a new scheme.” He is now considering other schools, as well as UM.)

He may w3ell be a very good player, but it sounds like he is another one of those me first kids, sooooooo bye let him go to a school where HE can dictate what scheme to play.

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