Details of the first incident report that led to Kevin Olsen's arrest affidavit

   An incident report from Sunday night (Sept. 14) that led to the DUI and stolen/fictitious driver's license arrest-affidavit regarding former University of Miami quarterback Kevin Olsen, indicated that Olsen and other friends were at the apartment of walk-on receiver Greg Golden -- the nephew of UM football coach Al Golden -- but that Golden said he was unaware of what happened.

  According to the incident report from South Miami police, police were responding to two victims who said "that unknown subject(s) were seen urinating on their bicycles'' from the fourth floor balcony of Golden's apartment.

  The report said the victims told police the "unknown subject(s) threw a can of 'Four Lokos' beer from the balcony at them and shouted a racial slur stating 'We're going to piss on your [expletive] Arabic asses.'''

      Golden, the nephew of Hurricanes coach Al Golden, told police, according to the incident report, that "he was unaware of what occurred but knew his friends were in the apartment earlier that evening.''

    After police advised Golden of what happened, the report states Golden said "he'd call his friends back" to the apartment "for further investigation."

   According to the incident report, while police were speaking with the victims, Olsen arrived at the apartment location.

   The two victims told police they recogized Olsen, but were unable to identify if he was the person involved in the incident.

   No charges were filed. Victims were advised to take the case to the state attorney if they chose to press charges at a later time.

   Olsen, though, was arrested for the DUI and other charge.

   Olsen is no longer a student at UM.

   SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

 

 

  

September 18, 2014

UM Sports Hall of Famer Bill Diaz, 89, died today.

I did not know this man, but I've heard he was really special. UM just sent this out. Married 66 years and a member of the UM Sports Hall of Fame. Check out his accomplishments. This was written by Camron Ghorbi, UM assistant director of communications for athletics. Coach Diaz was 89 years old.

Susan Miller Degnan.

 

UM MOURNS LOSS OF LONGTIME COACH BILL DIAZ
Legendary figure helped establish swimming & diving programs at Miami


MIAMI –
 Bill Diaz, who served as the University of Miami swimming & diving coach for 14 illustrious seasons, passed away Thursday morning at his Palmetto Bay home.

    “I was saddened to learn of the passing of Bill Diaz,” Athletics Director Blake James said. “Bill established our swimming & diving program as a model for others to follow, and turned the University of Miami into an epicenter for national and international swimming.”

Diaz, who was tapped into Iron Arrow – the highest honor attained at the University of Miami – in 1995, coached the Hurricanes to four top 10 NCAA Championships finishes and ended in the top 20 at the NCAA Championships 11 times. His men’s teams won three national independent championships (1974, 1977, 1982), while his 1975 women’s squad won six individual national titles – the most ever by a Hurricanes team in a single year.

Under Diaz’ direction in 1973, Miami became the first college in the United States to offer women swimming scholarships. Two years later, the Hurricanes women’s swimming & diving team won the first of back-to-back AIAW National Championships.

The UM Sports Hall of Fame inductee coached 55 collegiate All-Americans during his time with the Hurricanes. In 2007, the University of Miami and the City of Coral Gables recognized him with the installation of an electronic scoreboard at UM’s Norman Whitten Student Union Pool and named it in his honor.

Diaz’ accomplishments on the international scene were equally as impressive. He served on staff or managed five USA National swimming teams, including the USA team that took first at the World Aquatic Championships in 1982.

Prior to his years as head coach of the Hurricanes, Bill had a very successful career as a high school coach.  Between 1953 and 1970, Bill guided first Miami Jackson High and then Miami Springs High to a total of nine state titles. 

“On behalf of the University of Miami family, I extend our thought and prayers to the Diaz family.  Bill was and always will be a member of the Hurricanes family and his legacy will live on through the young men and women who represent our great institution.“

Bill is survived by Martha, his wife of 66 years, his three sons Bill, John and Rick, their wives Rosana, Tracey and Chrissy, his sister Alice Elmore, five grandchildren, five great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held Sunday, Nov. 16 at 1 p.m. at Oak Lawn Memorial North, located at Caballero Rivero Woodlawn, 3344 SW 8th Street, Miami, FL.

In lieu of flowers, the family is request contributions in Coach Diaz’ honor be directed to the UM Sports Hall of Fame, in care of Executive Director John Routh:

UM Sports Hall of Fame
5821 San Amaro Drive
Coral Gables, FL 33146

 

 



Emptying my Canes notebook: D'Onofrio, Coley see improvements; why Berrios is good; o-line

Time to empty this week's reporter's notebook: 

After three games what is defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio most proud of in terms of his unit's overall growth?

"I think they have really good leadership and unity," he said. "Those are things that we've been looking for. You can go a long way with that. They have taken ownership in the defense." 

What would he like to see his unit do better? "I would have liked to see us be better on third down," he said. "I would like to see us better on balls down the field that we didn't come up with. Those are some of the things -- and some tackling. Those are some of the things that I know if we don't improve on will cost us here moving forward. My urgency is here everyday. Let's talk about what we're doing well, but let's always keep inside what we have to improve on and let's have a plan for it."

> Offensive coordinator James Coley said something clicked for Brad Kaaya in the Thursday practice leading up to last Saturday's win over Arkansas State. The two were discussing concepts where Coley said Kaaya turned to him and said 'I've got it.'

"He just didn't miss after that," Coley said. "His feet were very calm."

Coley said Kaaya (29 of 51 passing, 356 yards, 3 TDs, 4 INTs versus Louisville and Florida A&M) made faster reads and better decisions against Arkansas State. He also had more time to throw and nearly all of his throws were on the money. Only two of his incompletions were the product of being hurried and the other was a pass interference penalty on Arkansas State.

"He was just lighting it up," Coley said. "Whether it was a 70-yard throw or a 35-yard over route or seeing that corner blitz. He hits Phil [Dorsett] in stride. With a hard blitz, corner off the edge, that's tough and he spotted it, he banged it. He didn't rush it. You watch it on film. He sped up his process and it's six points instead of a first down."

> Freshman receiver Braxton Berrios has turned into Hurricanes' money man.

He's been targeted a team-leading 17 times and the ball has been thrown his way on money downs (third and fourth down) eight times. He's produced five first downs (one on a pass interference call). He's currently tied for the team lead with 10 catches for 106 yards and a touchdown.

Why is he so good on third down? "No. 1 the reads take the quarterback there on third down," Coley said. "He's a good player. He knows how to run his routes with the right tempo where he gets open. I learned early in this profession there's two things a receiver has to do. He has to get open and he has to catch the ball. He came in here and those are the two things he does."

Golden had more nice things to say about Berrios. "He's smart, he's nifty, has got good body control," he said. "And he knows how to sit down versus man and uncover himself. He's caught two corner routes already so he has vertical speed and he's precise with his depth. The ball is thrown on time and the quarterback can throw to the corner too -- away from coverage. He's been effective, and he's a competitor. He wants the ball, which is great, and hopefully he'll continue to improve there."

> Even though he's graded out the highest among Miami's offensive lineman over the last two games, Hurricanes right tackle Taylor Gadbois hasn't forgotten about his rough night in the opener at Louisville.

"I had a lot of good plays and I had three really bad plays that were just uncharacteristic of me," said Gadbois, a 6-3, 316-pound redshirt sophomore who will make his fourth straight start Saturday night at 24th-ranked Nebraska (3-0).

"I kind of let the game get to me a little bit. I like going out there being a warrior and setting the tone for the O-line. I think I was just trying to do too much the first game."

Among his mistakes at Louisville, Gadbois said he called a protection the wrong way and it got quarterback Brad Kaaya hit. He said he missed a block near the goal which led to a tackle for loss because of poor communication. And, Gadbois said he got "beat across [his] face" on an inside zone run because of poor footwork.

What did Gadbois do better over his last two games? "He really finished better and he's just getting more confidence," offensive line coach Art Kehoe said. "He is a really talented guy, really smart but he's a guy that's hard to push sometimes. And he's starting to figure it out. He had his best game [against Arkansas State] and that team was tough the guy he was working on was tough. He missed a couple, but over the long haul of 60-some plays he held up good and he graded out the best of all our linemen."

Kehoe said right guard Danny Isidora has also made strides. "Danny, you can be a good player but until you get games under your belt in live action against different looks - it takes time," Kehoe said. "Now he's starting to feel confident, because he's a smart guy. He's starting to get the reps. I think he's going to be really good. He's going to be a good player."

September 17, 2014

Al Golden talks Gray Crow, Ryan Williams, injuries

From post-practice of Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014

AND this first note came from the ACC Teleconference after practice today: Golden said Justin Vogel will be doing the punting, either Vogel or Michael Badgley will be kicking off and Badgley will be doing the placekicking Saturday at Nebraska.

Here's what Coach Al Golden said this morning about Gray Crow's move back to quarterback:

"The idea behind the move [to fullback/H-back] back in July was to give him an opportunity to play, based on our depth at quarterback. We were hoping he could help us at H-back, at fullback, at long-snapper or in some way on special teams. He talked to us yesterday and we moved him back."

When Ryan Williams plays, does he become the backup?

"He was better today and he took more reps today than he has since the injury. Again, you go from rehabilitation to recovery and then ultimately to a competition because everyone else around him has been going and getting a lot of reps. He did a good job competing today and we’ll see where he goes. He’s one of the three quarterbacks going this weekend so we believe that if there was an issue this weekend, we could use him."

 Can you assess the competition between Ryan Williams and Jake Heaps?

 "It’s just too early. He’s only been out there yesterday and today. It’s too early to assess it to be honest with you. Again, we’re just trying to help Ryan everyday to improve and get better and put him in every situation. We’re no longer trying to protect him or call certain things when he’s in there or allow him to do some drills but not the other ones. He’s starting to really get integrated and he did a good job today. We’ll just evaluate day to day."

 At one point do you weigh playing him a quarter here or a quarter there vs. applying for a medical waiver?

 "That’s a discussion we’ll have with Ryan. Right now we’re just trying to get him integrated and get him back. That’s the next step."

How is Stacy Coley (shoulder)?

"Good. He’s doing good. His wind is good. He worked hard last week on his conditioning so that’s not an issue. We protected him so he’ll be ready to go."

How is OG Alex Gall (unspecified)?

 "It looks like we’re going to have to hold him. Sunny Odogwu has been taking all his reps this week. I don’t see that changes but if it does it does."

How is Walter Tucker (ankle)?

 "That’s going to be closer to game time. A little bit better today so we’ll see how it goes. The good news about practicing in the morning is we’re still 3 ½ days out. that’s a long time. That’s about as much time as we had between the first and second game so we’ll see how guys recover."

 SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

September 16, 2014

Gray Crow moved back to quarterback for Miami Hurricanes

Even with Kevin Olsen having departed the University of Miami football program, the Hurricanes are still at five scholarship quarterbacks.

That's because UM coach Al Golden moved fullback Gray Crow back to quarterback Tuesday evening. Crow was recruited as a quarterback and played quarterback for the Hurricanes until this season.

Two sources close to the situation verified the information.

The scholarship quarterbacks at UM: true freshman Brad Kaaya, graduate transfer Jake Heaps, fifth-year senior Ryan Williams, true freshman Malik Rosier, and now, Crow.

Crow, a 6-3 and 224 pound redshirt sophomore, played high school ball at Countryside in Clearwater.

Last season, Crow played in two games at quarterback and completed six of eight passes for 55 yards and a touchdown, with an interception.

 He was a three-star prospect when he was recruited, and threw for 1,601 yards and 12 touchdowns as a senior, leading Countryside to 22 wins in two seasons, including a berth in the state title game when he was a junior.

My take is this is a positive move for everyone involved. Gray is very intelligent and hard-working and he has mastered the playbook. He can be of use to the team and younger quarterbacks/offensive players on and off the practice field much more as a fifth-string QB than he could ever help them as an H-back who was never going to see the field anyway.

Probably nothing changes as far as seeing the field or traveling, but if team is what's most important, Golden made the right decision -- not to mention Crow has done everything right and is a really good kid.

 SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

Miami Hurricanes QB Kevin Olsen "no longer a student at UM.''

That's it.

We just found out, per the university, that UM quarterback Kevin Olsen "is no longer a student at UM.''

I'll be back with more, as UM coach Al Golden is about to address the media in his weekly news conference.

UM's official statement: 

Kevin Olsen is no longer a student at the University of Miami. We wish him the very best in the future.

 Here's what I wrote:

Kevin Olsen is no longer a student at the University of Miami.

   A day after Hurricanes quarterback Olsen was arrested and charged with possessing a stolen/fictitious driver’s license and driving under the influence, the university announced Olsen was no longer there.

       “Kevin Olsen is no longer a student at the University of Miami,’’ UM released in a written statement. “We wish him the very best in the future.”

    Olsen, 19, was a redshirt freshman who never got into a football game at Miami. He was suspended the first two games of this season, and dressed in uniform for the first time this season Saturday against Arkansas State.

    He is from Wayne, N.J., and was a four-star recruit when he arrived at UM in the summer of 2013.

   UM coach Al Golden was asked during his weekly news conference how much Olsen’s situation saddened and sickened him.

   “It’s not the end,’’ said Golden, who noted Monday night that he spoke with Olsen’s dad, Chris Olsen, and Kevin for a long time earlier Monday. “It’s not going to be the end.’’

   Chris Olsen coached Kevin at Wayne Hills High, and Golden said he first got to know Kevin when he was recruiting his older brothers Christian and Greg “in the late ’90s, when Kevin was 9 years old and 10 years old – so I watched him grow up. From that standpoint, that was tough for all of us.

   “But right now this is about Kevin and his family and we need to respect that and I have no doubt that he’ll be back. He needs this time to look at himself and move forward. I have no doubt that with the support of his family, his brothers, his mom and dad and obviously those of us that know him really well, there’s no question that he’s going to have the right ending at the end of this.’’

    Golden said Olsen won’t be back at Miami, but that “he’s going to win in the end. He’ll come out on top.”

    Golden wouldn’t talk specifically about what the next step is for Olsen. “That’s personal,’’ he said. “The next step is to look forward and get on the right track and be successful – and he will.’’ 

  SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

 

September 15, 2014

Olsen's indefinite suspension won't change redshirt status of Rosier because Williams continues to progress

Hurricanes followers, starting tomorrow, things will change in the way you have to post to our blog.

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Starting Tuesday, to comment on this blog you’ll need to log in with a Facebook account.

We encourage lively discussion on the blog, but also believe that respect and civility must be part of good debate.  

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Now, the news...

Hurricanes coach Al Golden said the indefinite suspension of third-string quarterback Kevin Olsen following his arrest early Monday morning won't change the status of true freshman quarterback Malik Rosier, who the team intends to redshirt.

That's because fifth-year senior Ryan Williams is nearing a return from his ACL injury back in April.

"Ryan is getting ready to go," Golden said Monday after practice. "He had a good today and we're getting ready to play Nebraska. Ryan has been cleared for the last two weeks to progress as he can. He looked good out there today, took some reps with the ones and twos. That was positive."

Will Ryan play Saturday? "said “I don’t know that yet. It’s Monday and no helmets, no pads. We’ll watch the tape and see where he’s at.’’

What does he have to show the staff? "

“Just the ability to evade without premeditation – just instinctively,’’ Golden said, “and protect himself and then obviously go through all the movements.’’

  > Golden said he held out backup guard Alex Gall from practice Monday and that the sophomore will see a doctor later in the day Monday. Same with kicker Matt Goudis.

Receiver Stacy Coley was back at practice in a limited role Monday in a yellow jersey. He missed the Arkansas State game with a shoulder injury and Golden said he's hopeful Coley will "climb into the high 90s range percentage wise" come Saturday's game at Nebraska.

"[Fullback/linebacker Walter Tucker] did a little bit today," Golden said. "We're just going to be careful with him over the next 48 hours. I think I told you guys his x-rays [on his knee] were negative... [Receiver] Rashawn [Scott] I don't know if he's going to make it [for Nebraska]. But he's looking better. [Cornerback Ladarius] Gunter is good."

Golden said he could wait until later in the week than he does with other position players to decide if Goudis will play Saturday at Nebraska.

"It was just one of those deals where Matt was just in a lot of pain [last Saturday]," Golden said. "You can't foresee that until you're out there striking it. So I had to make the call then. But [Michael] Badgley is a mentally tough kid. He's a multiple sport kid. He's not just one of these guys that all he did was kick. He's a competitor. He got better today and excited about his opportunity if Matt can't make it."

DORSETT HONORED

Receiver Phillip Dorsett was recognized for his standout performance against Arkansas State Monday afternoon with ACC Receiver of the Week honors.

Dorsett, a Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas grad, hauled in four passes for 201 yards and two touchdowns in Miami’s 41-20 win over the Red Wolves. He became only the third receiver in UM history to have more than 200 yards receiving in a game.

Here are some of the details of the arrest of Canes QB Kevin Olsen

Here are some of the details of the Kevin Olsen arrest:

According to the arrest affidavit, South Miami Police went to investigate an incident at 6610 SW 57 Avenue late Sunday night when Olsen pulled up to the house in a black 2014 Dodge Challenger.

"[Olsen] stepped out of the driver's side of the vehicle and approached me asking what the issue was," the police report said. "While explaining to [Olsen] what was occurring, I noticed [Olsen] had blood shot watery eyes, and an odor of alcoholic beverage emitting from his breathe as he spoke in a slurred speech."

Police then asked Olsen to stand up and perform multiple field sobriety tests. According to police, Olsen was unable to maintain his balance. 

Olsen had multiple IDs in his possession: two from Maryland, one from North Carolina, one from Florida and one from New Jersey. He also had the ID of fullback Ronald Regula.

Olsen told police his New Jersey and North Carolina IDs were good, "but the Maryland one is a fake." Olsen took a breathalyzer test and had a .04 rating. Olsen declined to provide police with a urine sample when he was booked at around 4 a.m.

Miami athletic director Blake James said Olsen has been suspended from the team indefinitely pending further investigation.

"Disappointed from my standpoint," coach Al Golden said Monday morning when asked about the incident. "But really what's of paramount concern right now is just his well being, helping him through this. I think the AD addressed everything else. In terms of his well being as a student athlete and a member of our team, his well being.

"I want to make sure that he's getting the help that he needs and that he's safe and his well being is what we're thinking about."

Golden said it won't be a distraction for the team. "Our team is tough," he said. "Our team is mentally tough. We have a lot of kids doing it the right way everyday. It won't be a distraction."

Here's a photo of Olsen after bonding out of jail this afternoon.

Canes quarterback Kevin Olsen arrested for DUI, possession of stolen license

Welcome to Nebraska week!

Hurricanes third-string quarterback Kevin Olsen, suspended for the first two games of the season, got himself in trouble again over the weekend. And this could be the last straw.

September 14, 2014

Canes Progress Report post Arkansas State

 

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Starting Tuesday, to comment on this blog you’ll need to log in with a Facebook account.

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Some thoughts and observations after Miami's 41-20 win over Arkansas State Saturday:

> After playing two games in five days last week and looking mediocre at best (29 of 51, 356 yards, 3 TDs, 4 INTs), quarterback Brad Kaaya and the Miami offense put up a much more encouraging effort against the Red Wolves. Kaaya set a Canes true freshman record with 342 yards and four touchdown passes on 16 of 24 passing with only one interception. Kaaya had more time to throw and nearly all of his throws were on the money. Only two of his incompletions were the product of being hurried and the other was a pass interference penalty on Arkansas State. Kaaya ranks 33rd nationally in quarterback rating (155.09). Only two other freshmen are better: Ohio State's J.T. Barrett (16th, 172.01) and Arizona's Anu Solomon (23rd, 163.59). Stephen Morris' QB rating last year was 144.67.

> Duke Johnson ranks 35th nationally in rushing with 277 yards and 68th with a 6.44 average. But that's hardly disappointing. The truth is he's hardly been put to work in 2014. He's averaging 14.33 attempts this season (tied for 62nd nationally). Last year, Johnson averaged 18 carries a game. Odds are he'll be put to work plenty against Nebraska next week. Nebraska ranks 50th against the run in yards per game and is surrendering 3.77 yards per carry (62nd out of 128 teams). The Canes are averaging 4.66 yards a carry.

> Phillip Dorsett's 201-yard day Saturday elevated his average per catch to 35.5 yards. That ranks third nationally. Nebraksa has already surrendered eight pass plays of 20 yards or more this season. Where the Cornhuskers have been good on defense is opposing quarterback rating (9th, 86.32) and they've only given up two passing touchdowns all year. They've also produced just one interception. A healthy Dorsett will help Miami stretch that defense out. If Stacy Coley can return healthy -- and Golden thinks he will -- that will also help.

> Call freshman receiver Braxton Berrios the Canes' money man. He's been targeted a team-leading 17 times and the ball has been thrown his way on money downs (third and fourth down) eight times. He's produced five first downs (one on a pass interference call). He's currently tied for the team lead with 10 catches for 106 yards and a touchdown.

> FYI, here are your team leaders in targets: Berrios 17, Dorsett 14, Clive Walford 12, Herb Waters 11,  Coley 8, Duke Johnson 7, Malcolm Lewis 7.

> Sure, the Hurricanes rank eighth in total defense (259.7 yards per game) and 35th in scoring defense (19.3), but where they've really made the most improvement is against the run. They rank fourth nationally (2.02 yards per attempt) against the run. Last year Miami ranked 78th against the run (4.4) in yards per attempt. The Canes have give up just seven runs of 10 yards or more this year. Last year they gave up 70 runs of 10 yards or more (tied for 73rd).

> Of course, Nebraska will be an entirely different animal. The Cornhuskers rank third nationally with a 7.37 yard per carry average. They're also averaging 324 yards per game on the ground. Tailback Ameer Abdullah, an NFL-caliber tailback, has run for 396 yards and three touchdowns on 57 attempts.

> The Hurricanes were better on third down Saturday offensively (5 of 12), but still aren't doing a great job overall. A little research shows the team has been flat out terrible on third and long (seven yards or more) on both sides of the ball. Offensively, the Canes have been in third down and seven yards or longer 18 times already this season and have produced just one first down (5 of 13 passing, two interceptions). On the flip side, the defense has been in third and long situations 15 times and has allowed seven first downs on 8-of-15 passing.

> Overall on third down, Miami's defense has given up a first down half the time opponents have decided to throw (12 of 24) against them. That's where Miami fans are frustrated with defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio. Defensive backs seem lost in coverage at times and receivers far too wide open. Miami has produced just one interception (Raphael Kirby picked off the punter against Arkansas State) and although the Hurricanes have produced 11 sacks they've only produced five quarterback hurries. They averaged only two QB hurries a game last year. 

> The Hurricanes have surrendered six sacks through their first three games. Miami gave up all of 17 last season. Not all of the blame should fall on the offense line. Duke Johnson whiffed on a block Saturday against Arkansas State and Kaaya was sacked. Kaaya was also called for intentional grounding (that counts as a sack) and has been guilty of holding onto the ball a little too long according to offensive coordinator James Coley.

> Miami was flagged 11 times for 93 yards Saturday against Arkansas State. The 11 flags were tied for the most in the Golden era (UM had 11 penalties for 84 yards vs. Duke back in 2012). Golden wasn't happy with Ufomba Kamalu's body slam penalty and the two pass interference penalties Miami drew against Arkansas State (Artie Burns, Tracy Howard were guilty). 

> Left tackle Ereck Flowers was flagged three times Saturday against Arkansas State. He's actually tied for the team lead in penalties with right guard Danny Isidora, who has been flagged four times including three for false starts. Flowers has been hit with two holding penalties and two false starts. 

> Miami's special teams play thus far has been horrendous and Saturday provided the latest example of continued poor play on kickoff coverage. Golden, who coaches the special team, said he played more freshmen on the coverage and return teams Saturday so his regular defensive players could better deal with the up-tempo style of Arkansas State's offense. Kickoff specialist Justin Vogel also didn't get a lot of hang time on his kicks Golden said. 

"The one they hit for us big [before the half] was 3.77 [seconds in the air]," Golden said. "That's not good enough. We had nobody inside the 30 when he caught it. That's a disaster."

> Walk-on freshman Michael Badgley missed an extra point Saturday and finished 5-of-6 on PATs. Miami didn't have to attempt a field goal against Arkansas State, but it's going to be important Matt Goudis (back) healthy and ready to go next week at Nebraska. Golden said he wasn't sure Goudis would be. Nebraska, by the way, has been mediocre on kickoff returns with a 19.78 average. Miami is averaging 19.43 yards per kick return.

> The Hurricanes continue to get stellar production from former no-star recruit Thurston Armbrister. He had a sack and a team-leading nine tackles Saturday. 

September 13, 2014

VIDEO: Kaaya, Dorsett and Perryman wrap up Miami's 41-20 win over Arkansas State

Miami Hurricanes vs. Arkansas State: Sep. 13, 2014

The Canes (1-1) will take on Arkansas State (1-1) Saturday afternoon at Sun Life Stadium with kickoff set for 3:30 p.m.

As usual feel free to participate in our Cover-It-Live discussion while Susan Miller Degnan and I cover the game. We'll pull in Tweets and provide you with updates throughout the game.

Live Blog Miami Hurricanes vs. Arkansas State: Sep. 13, 2014

Breaking it down: Miami Hurricanes vs. Arkansas State Red Wolves

BREAKING IT DOWN

> Records: Miami (1-1) vs. Arkansas State (1-1)

> Kickoff, TV: 3:30 p.m., Sun Life Stadium, ESPNU 

> History: Canes beat the Red Wolves 42-10 in their only meeting back in 1997

> Spread: Miami favored by 16 points

> Counting stars - Miami: Canes have 3 five-star recruits (two on defense), 18 four-star recruits (nine on each side), 27 three-star recruits (14 on offense), 1 two-star recruit (defense) and 2 no-star recruits (defense) on their depth chart. Among that group, nine of those players are projected to be taken in next year's draft according to NFLDraftScout.com. Those are: RB Duke Johnson (2nd RD), MLB Denzel Perryman (2nd RD), LT Ereck Flowers (2nd RD), CB Ladarius Gunter (4th RD), WR Phillip Dorsett (4th-5th RD), DE Anthony Chickillo (4th-5th RD), TE Clive Walford (5th RD), LG Jon Feliciano (6th-7th RD) and DL Olsen Pierre (6th-7th). 

> Counting stars - Arkansas State: Red Wolves have 9 three-star recruits (five on defense), 31 two-star recruits (16 on offense) and five no-star recruits (3 on defense) on their depth chart. The only player on the NFL radar for next year's draft is LB Qushaun Lee.

> Injuries: Miami will be without one of its top receivers and returnmen in Stacy Coley (shoulder). Arkansas State is more banged up. Leading rusher Michael Gordon (bruised ribs) is doubtful and starting strong safety Chris Humes is out with a torn bicep. Lee, who led the Sun Belt with 2013 tackles in 2013, is questionable with bruised ribs. 

> Who are these guys?: The Red Wolves are three-time consecutive Sun Belt Conference Champions and have a track record of going on the road and playing BCS caliber teams competitively. In 2008, they actually opened their season with an 18-14 win at Texas A&M. But that's been their only win in 16 games against BCS conference programs since 2007. Last week they lost at Tennessee 34-19. In 2013 they they lost at Auburn 38-9 and Missouri 41-19. In 2012, they lost a shootout at Oregon 57-34 and were crushed at Nebraska 42-13. In 2011, they lost 33-15 at Illinois and got beaten at Virginia Tech 26-7. In 2010, they opened with a 52-26 loss at Auburn and were beaten by Louisville at home 34-24. In 2009, they lost at Nebraska 38-9 and nearly pulled off an upset at 13th-ranked Iowa dropping a 24-21 heartbreaker. Three weeks later they lost at Louisville 21-13. In 2008, they lost 35-0 at second-ranked Alabama after opening the season with an 18-14 win at Texas A&M. And in 2007 they lost at then fourth-ranked Texas 21-13 in the opener before losing 48-27 three weeks later at Tennessee.

> Arkansas State offense versus Miami defense: Junior quarterback Fredi Knighton (5-11, 189) will have added pressure on his shoulders with his number one option in the backfield in Gordon out. One of his top receivers J.D. McKissic is battling a shoulder injury. Coach Al Golden called Knighton "the best quarterback runner we've faced." Miami's defense, which appears improved over last year, will have the challenge of trying to stop an uptempo offense. Still, Miami should win this battle up front. Arkansas State’s collective offensive line entered the season with the nation’s third fewest combined starts in the nation.  The Red Wolves returned just two offensive lineman with starting experience: sophomore right tackle Colton Jackson and senior right guard Alan Wright.

> Miami offense versus Arkansas State defense: True freshman quarterback Brad Kaaya has struggled and his offensive line didn't look very good in the opener against Louisville. Still, Miami's talent up front should be better than Arkansas State's, which has one lineman to watch in former LSU defensive tackle Dexter Blackmon (6-4, 268). Where the Red Wolves have talent and experience is the secondary. The defensive backfield has combined to start 106 career games, which is among the sixth highest in the nation. The Wolves have allowed only two touchdown passes and have three interceptions this season. Expect Miami to run plenty. Tenneesee had success on the ground against Arkansas State with 168 yards and two scores on 45 carries. Lee is their do-it-all cleanup man.

> Special teams: It will be an important week for kicker Matt Goudis to bounce back. He was 2-of-4 on field goals against Florida A&M. The rest of Miami's special teams units have also had blunders in each of their first two games, surrendering a kickoff return for a score at Louisville and an errant snap on a punt that led to FAMU's only touchdown. Arkansas State kicker Luke Ferguson is a perfect 3-of-3 on field goals, 5-of-6 on extra points and is averaging 45 yards a punt. McKissic is their explosive return guy.

> Prediction: Miami 42-17

September 12, 2014

Canes defensive end Quan Muhammad suspended for season by university

Sophomore defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad will not play football for the Miami Hurricanes in 2014 and his future with the program is cloudy.

UM's top recruit in its 2013 signing class has been suspended from the university for the fall semester after he got into an altercation with another student last spring. According to our Barry Jackson, Hurricanes coaches aren't happy with the decision made above the athletic department and hopes Muhammad will choose to return next semester.

Coach Al Golden held Muhammad out of the team's first two games and thus Muhammad will not lose a year of eligibility. Muhammad cannot attend classes until the suspension is lifted after the fall term. 

Muhammad, who had two sacks last season and played in all 13 games, posted the following photo and message on his Instagram account on Thursday night.

Photo

UM Hurricanes DE Muhammad suspended for season -- no longer enrolled

University of Miami defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad is no longer enrolled at Miami, as he has been suspended for the season and will not be allowed to play football  or attend classes for the fall semester of 2014, a UM spokesperson said Friday afternoon.

UM will allow him to return to school next semester, if he chooses, but it is not yet known if Muhammad will do that or transfer to another school.

     “Al-Quadin Muhammad is not currently enrolled for the fall semester and will not be participating in athletics,’’ UM spokesperson Margot Winick said.

 Muhammad is being punished for a confrontation with a roommate that left the roommate with a broken nose, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the situation. The incident happened several months ago, and the former roommate has since graduated.

The UM football staff isn't happy with this decision, according to two sources. 

 The decision was made by the UM administration, not the athletic department. 

Muhammad told UM that he hit the roommate in self-defense, according to a UM athletic department employee, who said there were conflicting statements when witnesses were interviewed.

UM coach Al Golden held Muhammad out of UM's first two games.

"He's sorely missed,'' Golden said Tuesday. "He's a great kid. He's one of our leaders. He's a competitor. So, again, it's a difficult situation and we're all just letting it run the proper course or proper channels if you will.''

  On Wednesday, Golden added that he would not play Muhammad until there was a resolution of the situation.

Muhammad, 6-4 and 242 pounds, was a four-star prospect coming out of Don Bosco High in New Jersey, rated the nation's No. 3 weakside linebacker prospect. He played in all 13 games and had eight tackles and two sacks as a freshman.

If Muhammad chooses to return to UM, he would have three seasons of NCAAA eligibility remaining. The 2014 season would count as a redshirt year. 

He's the second four-star prospect UM has lost this week (with Muhammad, at least for a semester). Safety Kiy Hester transferred to Rutgers because of a family medical issue.

 

BARRY JACKSON AND SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

 

September 11, 2014

Receiver Stacy Coley to miss Saturday's game against Arkansas State

The Miami Hurricanes offense will be without one of its most dangerous weapons Saturday when Arkansas State (1-1) visits Sun Life Stadium for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff.

Sophomore receiver Stacy Coley, battling a right shoulder injury, has been ruled out for the game according to UM's injury report which was released Thursday afternoon. He had been in a red non-contact jersey at practice all week.

A dangerous return man, Coley led the team with 1,491 all-purpose yards last season and finished with 33 catches for 591 yards and seven touchdowns. Coley had three catches for nine yards in the opener against Louisville, but didn't start against Florida A&M Saturday or make any catches the Rattlers. Coley did return three punts against Florida A&M -- his last was a 16-yard return late in the first half.

Receiver Rashawn Scott (clavicle) was the only other player listed on UM's injury report. Scott has yet to play this season, but coach Al Golden said Scott could be close to a return soon. 

September 10, 2014

UM Hurricanes kicker Matt Goudis was hurting, & more news

  Matt Goudis came into the FAMU game having connected on nine consecutive field goals – until he missed two of four attempts against the Rattlers, a 45-yarder short of the goal posts and a 32-yarder.

   He connected on 20- and 23-yard attempts.

   Goudis has been recovering from an offseason back injury, and it turns out the misses were connected to a physical ailment, Hurricanes coach Al Golden said. He didn’t say whether that ailment was the original issue with Goudis’ back, but he does believe the problem was corrected earlier this week with the help of a doctor.

    The coach said he is hoping he doesn’t have to play freshman kicker Michael Badgley this season. He said Badgley, a 5-10, 180-pound freshman from Summit, N.J., is “doing a really good job’’ and he hopes to redshirt him.

    “Matt encountered some issues on Saturday that I think have been resolved,’’ Golden said. “He’s gone to the doctor…and we think we have the discomfort part of that resolved and he’s been kicking really well. Lord willing he’ll be able to get past that. He needs a little luck here.

   “As you know, Matt is a real good kicker. He just had some discomfort that was hard to deal Saturday night.”

 ***Stacey Coley still out

  Wide receiver Stacy Coley (shoulder) attended practice Wednesday, but did not participate, Golden said. The coach said he’ll “make a determination’’ Thursday as to whether he’ll play Saturday. Usually players do not compete if they haven’t practiced by Wednesday.

   “We’re just being really careful with it,’’ Golden said. “He is starting to do some running and things of that nature."

***Muhammad issue still unresolved

   Sounds like defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad might miss his third consecutive game Saturday. Golden indicated that the off-field issue with Muhammad was not resolved as of late morning Wednesday. “It’s a private issue right now…,’’ Golden said. “s soon as we get resolution we’ll pass it on to you guys. We don’t have that right now. Until that time I’m going to hold him out.’’

   Muhammad has been practicing.

 ***Are you big enough?

  A reporter told Golden that “the Arkansas State coach said you’re the biggest team that they’re going to face all year. I know that’s something you’ve strived to get to, to be the physical, dominating presence. Are you there yet?”

  Replied the coach, “No, we’re not. You guys know.”

  Golden noted with a laugh that media members “throw lines in the water all the time.’’   

            “We’ve just got to keep building,’’ he said. “Do I like our depth in certain positions?  “Yeah, our safeties are rotating in freely right now; defensive line, we’re rotating more guys than we have been. But we’re not where we want to be yet in terms of size and strength at every position.’’

*** Any depth chart changes Golden knows are coming?

“I don’t know,'' he said. "The corners are still battling. [LB Jermaine] Grace is still battling there for a little bit more time. I don’t know how that’s going to end up tomorrow.”

    The coach said Taylor Gadbois is still battling with Kc McDermott at right tackle, and Alex Gall and Danny Isidora are still battling at right guard. He said wide receivers Herb Waters, Braxton Berrios and Malcolm Lewis are still battling with Phillip Dorsett.

  “We’ve got to have another practice to see who’s sharp and see who’s on it and try to eliminate any defects, any mental errors and then we’ll select a team for Saturday."

 SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

September 09, 2014

News, notes and quotes from Al Golden's press conference regarding Canes QBs, Muhammad and more

Hurricanes coach Al Golden hosted his weekly press conference Tuesday and discussed many topics.

His thoughts on Saturday's opponent Arkansas State: "This is a three-time conference champ. Really good, very active team. Very aggressive team. Special teams are excellent right now. Got a couple blocks. Their net punting is excellent. Field goal kicker [Luke] Ferguson is doing a great job. They'll throw some exotics in there. They'll make you work on the special teams. We're working very hard on that.

"On offense, everything starts with [quarterback Fredi] Knighton for them. The best quarterback, runner we've faced. We're going to have to be disciplined in the pull game, read option game. But he can throw it. He does do a good job throwing it. He'll get the ball on the perimeter. They'll move the pocket with him. That's what makes him difficult. They have a good running back in [Michael] Gordon. And this [J.D.] McKissic is just catching a ton of balls. They want to score. They want to go high-tempo. They make you want to cover sideline to sideline with the perimeter game and move the pocket. Getting the screen game to the perimeter, make you run. It's going to be a great challenge on that side of that ball. We're going to have to be disciplined in our ability to tackle the quarterback inside. Also, set good edges and tackle them in space. When they get in space they're very difficult."

"On defense, top 20 in a lot of different categories. I think they're number three in turnovers and sixth in sacks. Everything for me starts up the middle. Safeties all veterans, all starters, very active. Very good tacklers. Number 48 [Qushaun] Lee all the accolades precede him as we enter the game. You see why. Body strong just like Denzel [Perryman]. Strong, physical inside, yet fast enough to run on the perimeter. I really like what they're doing in the front. [Defensive lineman Dexter Blackmon] is really strong. He does a good job for them. Just a good active defense. I think eight returning starters. It's going to be a great challenge for us. Obviously they went into Knoxville and gave them everything they can handle [last Saturday]."

> Golden was asked if he will stick with Brad Kaaya at quarterback when Ryan Williams comes back.

"I'm not really going there," he said. "Right now Ryan is really doing well. He's really getting into shape. His movements are progressing. Separate deal right now. When that time comes then we'll deal with that competition and the reps and all that. Right now it's Brad and Jake until that time. We're just talking about something that's not part of the equation right now."

Golden said there are no thoughts at the moment for having Williams seek a medical redshirt. 

"That's not part of the discussion right now with him. His job is to get back," Golden said. "He's been working his tail off. Let's just see where that goes. But as of right now, Tuesday that's not part of the equation right now. As soon as we cross that next hump and we feel he can protect himself from a blitz, from all different angles and not have to premeditate where he's going and just react to it. And we all feel good about it. He feels good. The doctor feels good. [Offensive coordinator] James [Coley] feels good. Then we'll take that next step. But that's not in the discussion right now for sure. It's not on the table."

> Where does Golden think Kaaya needs to improve most? "There's a lot of different areas," Golden said. "For me to go into his deal would be like giving the game plan away. There's certain things we need to see him do a better job on. His poise is really good. His line of scrimmage demeanor is really good. We snapped the ball three times -- maybe four -- on them last week to get them offsides and I think only one time we got them offsides. That was the one we completed to Herb [Waters]. The other ones weren't very good. One resulted in a holding pattern. One resulted in an incomplete. The other in an interception, which kind of got him off track a little bit.

"We all have to do a better job. We have to protect better, catch the ball better. But there's certain things in terms of his mechanics and just trusting his feet. That's probably our biggest focus that I can share with you."

Is Kaaya holding onto the ball too long as offensive coordinator James Coley suggested Monday?  

"Again, James and I watch it all together," Golden said. "To me it's just what I said in terms of trusting his feet. So when his feet say it's time to get rid of it that means we got to go. From the second to third or third to fourth progression. A couple times the other night was really the first time we saw it. He started to scramble laterally rather than just trusting his feet and get it to his outlet whether it was his tight end or his back."

> Golden said it's been his decision to hold defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad out of UM's first two games. "Again, he's sorely missed," Golden said. "He's a great kid. He's one of our leaders. He's a competitor. So, again, it's a difficult situation and we're all just letting it run the proper course or proper channels if you will."

> Quarterback Kevin Olsen, suspended for the first two games, is third on the team's depth chart Golden said. Golden wanted to make it clear Olsen was "just paying for his sins awhile back."

"The suspension did not -- because it happened now -- doesn't reflect all the growth that he had," Golden said. "I just want to make sure we're clear on that. He's had a lot of growth here in the last half year, certainly the last four months. He's making a lot of progress and hopefully Kevin can continue to do that for us."

> Golden said he will redshirt freshman quarterback Malik Rosier. As for other players who will redshirt, he's not ready to tie anybody else down because injuries can happen. 

"For a lot of the other guys it's too early," Golden said. "It's such a long season. I think you guys know there are some that haven't participated. The inference there is coach is leading toward redshirting. But for all those guys for me to come and say wholesale you're all redshirted, it's just too early. We got so much. We haven't even started the ACC Coastal yet in terms of that. So we have a long way to go from that standpoint."

> Receiver Stacy Coley was held out of Tuesday's practice to get treatment on his right shoulder. Coley wasn't targeted with any passes Saturday against Florida A&M and Golden said he would have a better idea Wednesday if Coley will play against Arkansas State.

> The Hurricanes have netted seven sacks, but no interceptions. Golden, though, isn't concerned. "We got to catch the ones they throw us," he said. "If we had a bunch of drops I would be worried. I'd like to have some interceptions. I just don't want to blow it out of proportion because we haven't had a lot of opportunities and we haven't dropped any or things of that nature. Certainly there's a couple in there we have to have a better break and make a play on the ball for sure."

> The right side of Miami's offensive line continues to be a work in progress. Golden said starters Danny Isidora and Taylor Gadbois are splitting reps with Alex Gall and freshman Kc McDermott at right guard and right tackle respectively this week in practice.

"I'm seeing a good competition," Golden said. "It will resolve itself. They will all get better in the process. We'll see who the starters are come Thursday. We'll have a good idea. Felt like Shane and Jon and Ereck had a good practice today and we got to keep developing Hunter Wells, Trevor and Nick. We got a good group. They're getting a lot of reps. We just got to keep moving him forward."

> Junior college transfer Michael Wyche is getting in better shape according to Golden. He played against Florida A&M and is pushing starter Calvin Heurtelou and freshman Courtel Jenkins for playing time at defensive tackle.

"For all that he was behind he's starting to catch up," Golden said of Wyche. "The good news there is that position looks a lot different. There's a lot more depth and we're getting a lot more factors, a lot more plays than we have been. That's positive. But there's no question the three of them are fighting like crazy for playing time right now."

> Golden said long-snapper Ronnie Regula has not lost his starting job after his bad snap led to a touchdown against FAMU Saturday. "I have a lot of confidence in him," he said. "Hadn't seen it before, hadn't seen it since. He went back into the game and to his credit  fired one back after that. It happens. Disappointing. But, Ronnie's doing great with it and has been doing great."

> Did anybody earn more playing time after Saturday's performance against FAMU?

"Stan Dobard for sure," Golden said. "Stan is really doing a good job especially at the point of attack. Braxton [Berrios], Joe Yearby for sure. I think Kc McDermott and Alex Gall both did a nice job. Herb [Waters] continues to do a good job. We got to get him to push Phillip [Dorsett] and Malcolm [Lewis] for playing time. On the defensive side, [Jermaine] Grace for sure. Grace prepared really well and deserves more playing time. Jamal Carter played better. So again, I think he'll be fighting even more now with Dallas [Crawford], Nantambu [Fentress], Deon [Bush at safety]. Darrion Owens did some really good things. That was good to see. Somebody mentioned Chad earlier. For sure, Chad. Grace really prepared hard for that game. Really prepared hard and it showed on game day. That's good."

> Not many kids in high school play in a 3-4 scheme. Has adjusting to UM's defense been difficult for some young guys?

"I wouldn't say it's complex," Golden said. "I think we're playing cohesively right now. We're unified. As I look around college football, every week whether it's Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina or just go around everybody is playing the same defense right now. Everybody is playing a 3-4 - whether it's a 4-3 playing odd fronts or a 3-4 playing even fronts. We've kind of morphed into 3-4 personnel that's playing a lot kick down fronts throughout the game as far as zone pressures and things of that nature. The way it is in college football anymore with the read option or the pull game, a lot of people are playing odd fronts. The NFL is doing that as well versus those quarterbacks they're seeing. In terms of it being difficult. It's not difficult. Everybody has to communicate and be on the same page. And we got a great challenge this week for our defense. We better be on the same page. We better have two quarterback players. We better leverage the scheme game and perimeter game. And we better make tackles in the open field."

> What did Golden have to say about UM President Donna Shalala's impending resignation at the end of the 2014-15 school year?

"It's a sad day," Golden said. "Donna has been nothing but embracing for me and my family since we've been here. You kind of grow close with somebody when you go through the adversity we went through together. That was not an easy time for her or for me. I said during that time I don't know how you can have a better leader in your corner during that adversity. What she has done here speaks for itself. It's amazing. It's an amazing University. The campus is incredible. That's her legacy. Her legacy is all around us. We should all be so lucky to leave that kind of legacy. Just watch out whoever she's going up against next. Whether it's in politics or whatever. She's a competitor. She's brilliant. She can cut through it, makes things simple. Obviously somebody that will be missed here."

September 08, 2014

Safety Kiy Hester is given his release from Miami Hurricanes

  UM football coach Al Golden announced after Monday’s practice that freshman safety Kiy

Hester was released from the football team.

 “He’s got a personal issue at home,” Golden said. “In fairness to the kid, I want to leave it at that.

Kiy is a great kid. He’s got an issue at home that he’s dealing with and we released him.”

Hester was a 4-star recruit out of DePaul Catholic High in Wayne, N.J. before enrolling at UM in

May. The release now allows him to transfer to another school closer to his home.

*** Sophomore defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad, who has not participated in either of the

team’s first two games, was seen at practice on Monday as a full participant.

*** Also a full participant in practice Monday was Denzel Perryman (shoulder), who left Saturday’s

game against Florida A&M early. Receiver Stacy Coley, also dealing with shoulder issues, was wearing a

red no-contact jersey.

*** Golden said that receivert Rashawn Scot (clavicle) is making progress in recovery from an injury

in camp.

“I don’t think it’s going to be this week, but he’s got a chance moving forward,” he said.

*** Braxton Berrios earned an orange jersey – worn by team leaders on offense – for practice

Monday after his six-catch, 63-yard game on Saturday. Also wearing orange was Duke Johnson,

Jon Feliciano, Ereck Flowers and Shane McDermott.

*** The defenders wearing black jerseys at Mondays practice were Denzel Perryman, Thurston

Armbrister, Anthony Chickillo, Deon Bush, Dallas Crawford and punter Justin Vogel.

DAVID FURONES

September 06, 2014

Notes, quotes and observations following Miami's 41-7 win over FAMU

In the five days since the Louisville loss, Hurricanes fans and former players  unleashed quite a bit of venom. The complaints: poor offensive play-calling, shaky offensive line play, and scheme adjustments that have long been needed on defense.

It’s hard to tell if Saturday night’s 41-7 win over Florida A&M will get them off the coaching staff’s back considering there was a mixed bag of results against a Football Championship Subdivision team.  

But some observations and reactions nonetheless:

> The Hurricanes started the same offensive line Saturday they did at Louisville, but right tackle Taylor Gadbois was replaced on the third series by freshman Kc McDermott. The two split series the rest of the way before the second and third team made its way into the game to end the third quarter.

UM, which ran for only 90 yards at Louisville, finished with 198 yards on the ground and Joe Yearby shined in the second half (95 yards on 14 carries).

The Canes had their best success running the ball in the first half behind its veteran left side of the offensive line. Duke Johnson ran behind left tackle Ereck Flowers and left guard Jonathan Feliciano when he broke free on a 55-yard run. Gus Edwards later scored on a 15-yard run behind that same side. It looks like when the Canes to run it will be behind those guys.

> Freshman quarterback Brad Kaaya took deeper shots downfield than he did at Louisville, but wasn’t always sharp. He threw two interceptions and finished 12-of-22 for 177 yards and two touchdowns. He is building some nice chemistry though with freshman receiver Braxton Berrios. The two connected on a big fourth down conversion in the second half.

“I thought Brad made some really nice throws,” coach Al Golden said. “I think it's unfortunate we snapped the ball three times thinking we had them offsides. One was incomplete. The other was an interception. That wasn't good there.

“We like to keep the ball outside the numbers there on the go route [on the interception intended for Herb Waters]. He brought it inside, brought the corner into the play. But there were some heck of a throws there too. I thought we did a pretty job protecting him versus all the zone pressure. Brad is going to continue to make progress and grow.”

Kaaya loves throwing to Berrios. Even though Berrios was still recovering from his ACL injury when Kaaya arrived in late May and the two didn't start working together until July, Kaaya said of Berrios: "Braxton is a really good man-to-man receiver. He's a good route runner. He's a guy that I look for on third down if it's man coverage. This is a guy I can really rely on."

> Junior cornerback Tracy Howard and senior Ladarius Gunter were beaten in coverage in the secondary. It wasn’t the result of playing far off the line of scrimmage. Both simply lost their receivers downfield. Miami fans won’t be happy to know linebacker Raphael Kirby was lined up against a slot receiver on third down early in the game (a constant complaint). UM didn’t get burned though on the play.

Coach Al Golden seemed pleased with the defensive effort overall. UM held FAMU to only five first downs, 25 yards rushing and 89 passing. 

“Last week we had 72 plays,” Golden said. “That's probably 800 reps. Out of those reps on defense we only had 15 mental errors. They challenged each other this week to have less than that. They're cohesive right now. Everybody is fitting in the right gaps. We let up a couple deep ones we got to do a better job of playing the ball down the field. But we're keeping the quarterback in the pocket. We're tackling better. The defensive line -- we're playing more of those guys and getting more production for sure.”

> Receiver Phillip Dorsett was impressive. He had three catches for 44 yards and scored twice. He caught Kaaya’s first touchdown pass from four yards out and then split two defenders in the back of the end zone to make a diving 32-yard touchdown catch late in the first half.

"I know I had a post [route], and I thought because of the look they gave, I thought the play was dead," Dorsett said. "I wasn’t supposed to get the ball on that play. When I saw the ball go up in the air, the only thing I thought was I was going to catch it. No matter where I am, no matter who hits me, just catch the ball.”

What did Dorsett think stood out for Kaaya Saturday? “I would say his poise," he said. "He looked like he was ready this game. We made a pact as an offense…to not let the defensive players touch him this game. He looked a lot more comfortable back there. We said we were going to rally around him, because he’s our quarterback, and that’s what we have to do.”

> Sophomore Walter Tucker became the first Hurricane since Devin Hester (2005) to play on both offense and defense in a game. Tucker saw action at middle linebacker when Denzel Perryman left the game in the third quarter.

> Golden said Perryman, receiver Stacy Coley and Duke Johnson were all held out. He doesn't think there are any injuries. Perryman was standing on the sideline with ice on his right shoulder.

> Golden said quarterback Kevin Olsen, the starter leaving the spring after the Ryan Williams injury, is done serving his suspension.

> Defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad did not play, but was on the sideline in uniform.

Gameday blog: Miami Hurricanes vs. FAMU Rattlers

The Canes (0-1, 0-1 ACC) are set to kickoff their home opener against the Florida A&M Rattlers (0-1) at 7 p.m. at Sun Life Stadium. The game will be televised on ESPN3.

Feel free to participate in our cover it live discussion.

Live Blog Miami Hurricanes vs. FAMU: Sep. 6, 2014
 


Can't see the live blog? Click here

September 05, 2014

UM & FIU's first game back together at Sun Life Sept. 22, 2018

 The Hurricanes and Golden Panthers are officially back to being buddies.

UM and FIU's second post-brawl football game (and first since 2007) is set for Sept. 22, 2018 at Sun Life Stadium, where the Hurricanes will be the host.

The second game, in which the Panthers will be host, is at a site to be determined in November of 2019 -- possibly Marlins Park.

Athletic directors Blake James (UM) and Pete Garcia (FIU) joined their school's presidents -- Donna Shalala (UM) and Mark Rosenberg (FIU) -- at the press conference this morning at the Schwartz Center for Athletic Excellence on UM's campus.

No other sports have renewed competition between the schools, but James and Shalala said the schools intend to initiate that as soon as possible. James called it "a partnership in all of our sports going forward scheduling competitions.

"While we don't have other dates to announce in other sports today, Pete [Garcia] and I have agreed that in all of our programs, we will continue to work to schedule each other, because of our belief in the great things it brings to the student-athletes at both Florida International University and the University of Miami."

  No UM teams currently play FIU teams.

  Garcia said the 2019 game site is still open. He said Sun Life Stadium and Marlins Park are options. 

"...To schedule a crosstown rival is something that makes sense for us,'' James said. "In a day and age where expenses in college athletics continue to escalate, one of those big expenses being the cost of travel, from a financial perspective, this was a relationship that I thought made a lot of sense on many different levels."

   Garcia noted that the financial arrangement between the two schools is "basically reciprocal. I know for football it's $500,000 when we play at their place and $500,00 when they play at our home place. Basically, the financial arrangements are going to be a wash. But the benefit is all the travel and getting on a plane and hotel rooms, and everything else, which is hundreds of thousands of dollars of savings for each institution, where we could better utilize that money on our student athletes.''

     Said Shalala: "President Rosenberg and I have spent a lot of time selling Miami as a great college town and this is just another step in that direction. We already cooperate on community health care initiatives with Jackson Memorial Hospital and we collaborate on the study of Latin America and the Caribbean and the European Union among other things. ...Our community expects this of us.

  "This is a great college town but the colleges and universities working together is important to our community and therefore I'm absolutely delighted that our crosstown sister institution and the University of Miami will be playing each other, not just in football but in other sports.

  "I want the whole community to embrace the pride that we have in intercollegiate athletics in doing the right thing in our communities. And we hope that the community and the fans and the alumni will attend the matchups. We expect to be able to fill the stadiums..."

  Rosenberg echoed those sentiments.

  "President Shalala and I both know this is what the community wanted. We're universities that are family oriented and community centered and there's nothing better than to renew this incredible rivalry, this incredible relationship in this way. Everywhere you look in this community you'll see evidence of the presence of the University of Miami and FIU, and there's no reason we shouldn't have this collaboration in this form."

   Garcia, who graduated from UM and worked there as a senior associate athletic director and recruiting coordinator, said the two schools will also  "partner up and talk and try to bring events down to South Florida, whether it be an NCAA basketball regional, or whatever it is, we'll work together to bring more events that this community can be proud of. This will be for all our sports.'' 

  The last time and second time the two football teams ever faced each other, in 2007, UM defeated FIU 23-9 in the orange Bowl.

 The first time they played each other, in October of 2006, UM won 35-0. The story, however, was a massive brawl that eupted with nine minutes to go in the third quarter. The game resulted in the dismissal of two FIU players, indefinite suspensions of 16 FIU players, one-game suspensions for 12 UM players and one indefinite UM suspension.  

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

September 04, 2014

Live Canes chat today at 1 p.m.

LINK TO CHAT PAGE

September 03, 2014

Canes defensive effort at Louisville "a floor" and "a good place to start" but not elite

Denzel Perryman gave me a look like he had seen an alien.

Was this the best defensive effort you guys have put forth in a while?

"It was pretty impressive, but I don't think it's the best we've ever played," Perryman said giving me that look. "Last year when we played Florida we had errors in that game as well, but we got the ball back a lot. This game, I was impressed with the defense. We just have to improve in our pass coverage."

Impressive is probably the right word to use, but only because we're comparing it to the nightmarish defense the Canes have played over the last two seasons.

On Tuesday, the day after Miami's 31-13 loss to Louisville, coach Al Golden threw the word "elite" around after he said the defense forced three-and-outs on half of the dozen series they were in on. Truth is it was five three-and-outs (two count were first play turnovers). But we got his point. It was elite for the Hurricanes. They don't usually get off the field quickly.

Coach Mark D'Onofrio's group gave up 24 points, 336 yards (206 passing, 130 rushing) and 21 first downs on 71 plays. Louisville piled up 17 points and 157 of those yards on their final three possessions. Miami's offense controlled the clock for only 14 plays and 5 minutes and 59 seconds during that stretch.

Last year, against seven FBS winning programs (and we're assuming Louisville will be one this year to make the comparison), UM's defense gave up an average of 35.9 points, 509.3 yards (295 passing, 214.9 rushing) and average of 25.2 first downs.

So, by the numbers alone the Canes were vastly better (11 points, 173 yards and four first downs fewer) against Louisville than they were against winning teams last year. Miami never produced more than two sacks against those aforementioned winning teams last year. They had four Monday night. 

UM also forced two fumbles deep in Louisville territory. UM didn't force any turnovers against Virginia Tech, Duke and Louisville -- their last three losses of the season.

What did Mark D'Onofrio think of his defense at Louisville? He called it "a floor" and "a good place to start." And I agree.

"The first game there's always positives and things you could have done better," he said. "At the end of the day we didn't do enough to win the game and that's really what my assessment is.

"But from a positive standpoint obviously [five] three-and-outs out of 12 series is really good. And two of them one-and-outs, you know. That's what we want, take the ball away. So that part was good. 

"I thought the tackling was good... especially for an opener. That's a good place to start. Again, those things should be improving every week. I thought the defensive line played well. Things that have to improve, the third down defense and red zone defense, giving up touchdowns. We want to give up field goals down there, get takeaways. That has to improve. And we had an opportunity in the fourth quarter we had them second and long, let them off the hook, didn't get the ball back. That's kind of a rough overall assessment."

D'Onofrio said he played nine defensive backs, nine defensive linemen and five linebackers. He saw fewer mental errors.

Among the first timers to see real playing time were defensive tackles Courtel Jenkins and Calvin Heurtelou, defensive ends Chad Thomas and Trent Harris and linebacker Darrion Owens.

"To get those guys in in that environment is a real plus for us moving forward," D'Onofrio said. "[Anthony] Chickillo I thought played a really nice game, really did a nice job. [Ufomba) Kamalu I thought played the best he played this year including the scrimmages. I thought the nose tackles really gave us some good play - Calvin and Courtel were kind of a two-man deal in there. Calvin got 36 snaps and Courtel had 26 in his first game. And I thought they showed up, you know. They were physical at the point of attack, pushed the pocket in the pass game and made some plays. Courtel split a double team on the first play of his career, made a play. So as far as the D line goes, those are the guys that stood out.

"And then Perryman and [Thurston] Armbrister at linebacker. And [Deon] Bush and Dallas Crawford in the secondary. Antonio Crawford I thought played a good game as well. Those are the guys that stand out to me."

 > So why are guys like Tyriq McCord at the rush linebacker spot still dropping into coverage? 

"Those guys have certain drops but they're never the deep player," D'Onofrio said. "It just all depends on the coverage and what the receivers do. Sometimes they have a responsibility where they have to take a wheel route, those sort of things. But they're always an underneath defender if we're dropping in zone."

> How close is Mike Wyche to getting on the field to provide more depth at defensive tackle? Not close enough for D'Onofrio's taste. "At the end of the day, he's on the clock," D'Onofrio said. "He got here and his weight has come down and he's got himself in a better position. But he's got to continue to learn and continue to get in shape."

> Golden said Wednesday Miami's offense was "22 points below where we want to be at a minimum."

If Brad Kaaya and Duke Johnson and the rest of Miami's offense can put up 35 points a game they should win a lot of games with this better version of a defense. Remember I said better. Not great or elite.

Practice after opening loss: "Good,'' but "disappointment" & "a lot of regret''

University of Miami football practice was affected because of a lightning delay Wednesday, so reporters did not have the customary 15 minutes of viewing.

However, UM did try to get us out there, and while we were waiting to see if we could get through the gates to Greentree Field, I did notice that as far as I could see, there were no Hurricanes in the orange jerseys that are given to players on offense who are doing well or considered first-teamers.

Please note that we were standing very far away, but I did not notice anyone in orange.

I did notice a few players in the coveted black jerseys given to outstanding defensive players. The few I noticed included safety Dallas Crawford, defensive end Anthony Chickillo, safety Deon Bush, linebacker Thurston Armbrister and tackle Calvin Heurtelou. There might have been more.

 After practice, Al Golden spoke to us for about five minutes.

InsidetheU reported Tuesday that freshman safety Kiy Hester, who had to go back home to Wayne, NJ to tend to a family matter that apparently involves an illness, would be seeking a release from UM to transfer somewhere closer to home -- possibly Rutgers. 

When asked about the situation, Golden said, "Kiy Hester is working through a personal problem and I’ll release that when…it’s a personal family deal. When we have resolution there, I’ll release that.”

Golden was then asked, Is there a chance he could leave the program?

“He’s got a personal issue,'' the coach said. "In deference to him and his family, and respect that, and that’s it. I can’t say it enough. I know you guys have to chase down rumors. I don’t like to deal in the rumor world. When it’s official one way or the other, we’ll make an announcement or go from there.”

As for defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad, who did not play Monday, I saw him in uniform at practice speaking with defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio.

Golden has not elaborated on the talk about Muhammad possibly being suspended for Louisville. The coach was asked Tuesday in the day-after teleconference if a report that said Muhammad did not play against Louisville "because of a conduct issue that needs to be resolved" was accurate. 

Replied Golden: “That was my decision not to play him last night. As I say, with all these instances, if a young man is going to be suspended or is suspended from the University or athletic department it will come from [the sports information office] or it will come from [athletic director] Blake James. … I have a responsibility that we handle everything the right way. It was my decision not to play him. If there’s anything from a suspension standpoint we will release it to you guys.’’

I asked D'Onofrio today if he expected Muhammad to play this Saturday.

 “I’m not going to comment on that,” D’Onofrio said.

 I asked the coach how Muhammad is doing in practice.

 “He’s doing great.”

 Golden said the Canes' first practice Wednesday since the game was "good,'' but there was plenty of regret.

  "You know they left plays out there, so however that manifests itself – whether it’s  regret, disappointment, not discouragement, but there’s disappointment; there’s a lot of regret... Duke’s long catch, first-and-goal there; so, that’s three first-and-goals inside the 10, right, and I think we got three points out of that; kickoff returns – one guy out of the lane and a safety go back door on us; there are other plays, obviously, but those ones bring the most regret, for sure.’’

   Talk about regret, we talked to senior defensive linemen Shane McDermott (center) and Jon Feliciano (left guard) about the deficient play of the offenseive line. They were not happy about it.

   "We just didn't execute,'' McDermott said. "They played a great game against us. We just had to execute better.''

   Feliciano: "They just beat us. They did better than we did. We lost the game for our team. That's the first time since I've been here that I feel like we were the reason we lost.''

  SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

 

 

September 02, 2014

Canes freshman QB Brad Kaaya talks about his first college start

Canes freshman quarterback Brad Kaaya finished 17 of 29 for 174 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions in Miami's 31-13 loss to Louisville on Monday night.

Here is what he talked about when it was over...

Q: What was it like?

A: "I felt that the first few series they were pretty good series. We just didn’t execute as a whole. I felt like there are a lot of places to get better at just in every position."

Q: Did you feel overwhelmed at any time?

"No, not at all. I was in the game." 

Q: How do you rate your performance?

A: "There are always things to get better at. I did some good things. I did some bad things. But I just feel like there are always places to improve." 

Q: How did it feel to play a college football game?

A: "It felt good. I mean, it’s what I’ve been dreaming about since I was 5 years old. It felt pretty awesome. Win or lose, it still felt good to get out there."

Q: What is the next step for you?

A: "Just go back and watch film and see what we all need to get better at, myself included." 

Q: What did it mean for you to win starting job?

A: "For me, all the other quarterbacks I competed with, they’re all great quarterbacks. It felt good that coach was confident in me and my ability to help us win and I thank him for that." 

Q: Was it more than you dreamed of when you arrived or you wanted to be starter?

A: "I always planned to be the starting quarterback. I never really second-guessed myself. That was my goal."

Q: What did Louisville do well against you guys?

A: "They just played hard. They just played physical. They brought some late blitzes on us. But outside of that they just played as hard as possible." 

Q: Talk about the pass to Stacy he fumbled and lost inside the 20?

A: "All I saw was they were still moving guys on and off the field. They had, I don’t know how many guys were on the field. But there was one guy out there. We tagged a quick hitch pass. It was a little low and that killed the momentum right there." 

Q: Did you think you’d get the flag? Is that why you rushed it?

A: "Yeah, I mean I just wanted to get the ball out. they were shuffling guys on and off the field. There were still guys running on and running off. I just wanted to get out there. There was one cornerback standing there and no one else."

Q: Did anyone say anything to officials that they had too many guys on field?

A: "I don’t know." 

Q: Your first touchdown pass -- how did it feel?

A: "It felt good to get the first one out of the way. Of course I wanted to score many more, throw many more touchdowns. That’s my plan."

Q: You had success with the play action pass with Clive Walford and Phillip Dorsett

A: "I just feel like after awhile they keyed on Duke a little bit and I felt like that opened up some guys downfield. He’s such a good athlete that a lot of guys attract to him."

Q: The eight, nine guys in box for a lot of the game, how tough did it make it?

A: "It was pretty hard. They came out with some funky coverages and alignments. They game-planned well."

Q: Was there a lot they did you didn’t expect?

A: "No. We came in with our gameplan. It was all what we expected but we just had to execute."

Q: Any former Canes reach out during the week? 

A: "No one really. I just talked to my parents and friends of the family."

Q: Coach said he expects you to progress. How does it go for you now preparing?

A: "I think just playing my first game I feel like it’s good to get the feeling. I’ve never played a college football game before. Just good to get that feeling. Game day is a lot different from practice. There are a lot of things you learn in the game that you can’t really experience in practice because you haven’t played yet. I feel like over the next couple days and the next couple of weeks that will help me."

Q: Does anything change with your preparation?

A: "Nope. There’s a plan, coach got it and we all stick to it."

Post-game audio, quotes from Canes coach Al Golden following the Louisville loss

AUDIO: AL GOLDEN RECAPS MONDAY NIGHT'S 31-13 LOSS AT LOUISVILLE

Q: What do you make of the way Brad Kaaya played tonight?

A: "He's a tough kid. He's courageous. Tough environment for him to open up his career. I don't think we did a good enough job protecting him. Obviously, he made some good throws, and some that, clearly, he would want back. So again, it's a tough position for him to be in, but I think he's going to make a lot of progress in the next four or five days. He's going to learn a lot from that -- being in that environment, being in that experience. Again, we didn't do a good enough job protecting him. We did not do a good enough job protecting a first start quarterback." 

Q: With the veterans on the offensive line are you surprised that they didn't protect Brad enough?

A: "Again we go right to the offensive line. There's more to it than that. There's a multitude of reasons. Whether its running backs, the offensive line, maybe just a couple different times calling a different play. Secure protection a little bit better. As I just told the team, too many errors in that game against a good team in a tough environment to win. That starts with me. Everyone has to be accountable. We all have to look in the mirror, take care of business, watch film and take care of business." 

Q: They were putting eight, sometimes nine guys in the box. That had to make a difference correct?

A: "We knew it was coming. Obviously, they were going to go after Brad with that. We were starting to find some cracks in there. We just didn't finish good enough. And  then they started to get the lead and move ahead. Defense got us the ball twice within the ten. We didn't convert there. Then we had an illegal man downfield on the play that Duke gets us inside the five. Then they return a kick. So it's tough to overcome those errors, plus some of the other penalties. Plus we weren't good enough on offense." 

Q: How much did the coaching staff have to squeeze the playbook because Kaaya was young?

A: "There are no excuses. They played better than we did. We didn't execute and the thing that's disturbing as the head coach are just errors that we haven't seen -- like the illegal man down field on the Duke pass. On Brad's lateral throw. Again, he's a very bright kid. So he just saw man uncovered out there and he kind of rushed the pass and ended up throwing it backwards. Again, really bright kid. Sees it. Just made an error on the throw. Obviously we had a chance to score points there and we did not do that. That was tough."

Q: Third down conversions continue to be a problem.

A: "It's just a totally different scenario and a different team now so I think we need to focus on what we are doing now with Brad. Again, I thought that they did an excellent job of stopping the run early in the game and forcing us into some third and longs. Then we got behind and you're playing catch-up. It's hard to convert in those situations. We didn't convert in the short yardage play. That was disappointing. Again, no excuses. We have a lot of things we need to fix starting with me and the coaches. We'll start on that here tonight on the way back and get with the guys on Wednesday. We don't have a lot of time to sit around. We have to get better."

Q: Duke and the running game got better in the fourth quarter.

A: "There were stretches on defense too. Again, when you talk too much after a loss like that you end up saying the wrong things. That's the truth. There's a lot things in here we can build on. But, just too many errors to overcome in an environment I don't think they've lost but once in the last couple years."

Q: How is Denzel Perryman doing?

A: "It was a cramp. He should be okay. I think right now we're healthy. But we'll see."

September 01, 2014

Gameday blog: Miami Hurricanes at Louisville Cardinals

LOUISVILLE -- It's Game Day!

The Canes are 3 1/2 point underdogs against Louisville, who shredded them 36-9 in the Russell Athletic Bowl last December. But things have changed quite a bit in the nine months since.

Please feel free to participate in our Cover It Live discussion when it starts at 7 p.m. here on the blog. Kickoff is at 8 p.m.

 

Live Blog Miami Hurricanes at Louisville Cardinals
 

August 31, 2014

Breaking down Monday night's Canes opener at Louisville on paper

A look at Monday night's showdown between Miami and Louisville on paper.

> WHEN THE CANES RUN THE BALL: The Cardinals led the nation in rushing defense last season (80.69 yards) and held the Hurricanes to a season-low 14 rushing yards on 28 attempts in a 36-9 blowout in the Russell Athletic Bowl. Part of those abysmal numbers were attributed to four sacks on Canes quarterback Stephen Morris. Monday night's matchup will be a little different for a pair of reasons: Duke Johnson will get a crack at the Cardinals (he was injured for the bowl game) and Louisville is replacing seven starters on defense. UM returns three starters on its offensive line -- left tackle Ereck Flowers, left guard Jon Feliciano and center Shane McDermott. In addition to only having two returning starters in the front seven, Louisville has switched from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4. Homestead High graduate James Burgess Jr., whose father played for the Hurricanes, and Miami Norland grad Keith Brown, a former teammate of Johnson's state championship team in 2011, are the two returning starters at inside linebacker for Louisville. Former defensive ends Deiontrez Mount (6-5, 243) and Lorenzo Mauldin (6-4, 252) are starting at outside linebacker. If UM wins this battle they’ve got a chance to win the game. Edge: Even.

> WHEN MIAMI THROWS THE BALL: Brad Kaaya will become only the second true freshman quarterback in the last 35 years to start for the Hurricanes in a season opener. The good news for Miami: he's got a strong cast of receivers loaded with experience including the speedy Phillip Dorsett, who didn't play in last year's bowl game. Louisville has to replace two starters at safety including Jets first round pick Calvin Pryor. But there is speed and plenty of talent from South Florida around including former Miami Central standout Charles Gaines (22 tackles, 5 INTs in 2013), senior Andew Johnson (Miami Southridge), junior Gerod Holliman (Southridge) and freshman Trumaine Washington (Killian). In the bowl game, Louisville held UM to a season-low 160 yards passing. I expect a better game for the Canes throwing the ball because of Johnson's presence in the backfield alone. But this is still a tough spot for Kaaya. Edge: Even.

> WHEN LOUISVILLE RUNS THE BALL: The Cardinals bring back four starters on the offensive line: 6-4, 304-pound right guard Jake Smith (38 career starts), 6-2, 312-pound left guard John Miller (34 starts), 6-6, 326-pound left tackle Jamon Brown (27 starts) and 6-5, 305-pound right tackle Ryan Mack (12 starts). With Teddy Bridgewater scorching the Canes for 447 yards and three scores in the bowl game, bruising tailback Dominique Brown (6-2, 241) didn't have much of the workload on his shoulders. He was still limited to 42 yards on 16 carries as the Hurricanes held Louisville to only 107 yards on the ground, one of their better performances of the 2013 season. Leading tackler Denzel Perryman has moved to  middle linebacker for the Hurricanes, who will rely upon him plenty to anchor a run defense which hasn't been very good for awhile. If new Louisville running back Michael Dyer (5-9, 212) is healthy enough to play he probably tips the scale the Cardinals way. Edge: Even.

> WHEN LOUISVILLE THROWS THE BALL: New sophomore starting quarterback Will Gardner threw for 542 yards and four touchdowns in Louisville's spring game and with offensive guru Bobby Petrino now in charge the feeling is the Cardinals won't skip a beat without Bridgewater. As ESPN analyst Lee Corso says -- not so fast my friend. Leading receiver DeVante Parker, who scorched Miami for nine catches, 142 yards and a touchdown, will miss the first six to eight weeks of the season with a broken bone in his left foot. That puts the onus on senior Eli Rogers (Miami Northwestern graduate) and tight end Gerald Christian to step up against the Hurricanes, who finished 59th in opposing quarterback rating last season. Except for injured safety Rayshawn Jenkins, UM returns its entire starting secondary and is hungry to make up for last year's bowl embarrassment. Edge: Even.

> SPECIAL TEAMS: Both teams have plenty of explosiveness in the return game. Cardinals punter Ryan Johnson, a three-year starter, averaged 41.2 yards a punt and had 11 land inside the 20 in 2013. Kicker John Wallace connected on 20-of-24 field goal attempts and was a perfect 9-for-9 from 30-39 yards. He is a perfect 16-of-16 for his career from that distance. UM's new punter is sophomore walk-on transfer Justin Vogel, who has yet to punt in a college game. Kicker Matt Goudis is back after going 13-of-17 on field goals in 2013, but he's not 100 percent healthy. Edge: Louisville.

> COACHING: Whether he's been at Louisville, Arkansas or Western Kentucky, Petrino's offenses have always been among the nation's best. He's 83-30 in nine seasons as a college head coach and inherits a program for the first time in his career that is already good. Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham spent his last four years at Georgia where the Bulldogs averaged 33 sacks a season over the last three years and ranked in the Top 36 in scoring defense every season but last. Canes coach Al Golden (58-53 in nine seasons) brings back all but one coach from last season and finally has the NCAA cloud in the rear view mirror for the first time in his tenure in Coral Gables. In the end, Petrino's track record is better than Golden's and defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio. Edge: Louisville.

PREDICTION: Louisville 34, UM 27

August 30, 2014

UM finally says QB Kevin Olsen suspended for Louisville -- and some "extremity" information.

The Hurricanes sent reporters this email a little bit ago:

Good morning,

Here is the University of Miami football injury report heading into Monday’s game against the University of Louisville.

Out:

Rashawn Scott - Upper Extremity 

NOTE FROM SMD: Translation: shoulder/clavicle.

-----

ADDITIONAL NOTE:

Kevin Olsen – Suspended for Violation of Team Standards.

NOTE FROM SMD: We've known this for several weeks now, but I'm glad UM finally announced it. The "Team Standards'' part is a new phrase. Also, we reported that this suspension is for "at least'' one game. The next couple of games (Florida A&M and Arkansas State) are at home and should be a lot easier, before the Canes travel for Sept. 20 game at Nebraska.

 Also, I find it curious that quarterback Ryan Williams is not on the injury report. I know he's traveling, and I guess he'll dress out, but wouldn't they say he's "Out?'' if he absolutely, positively could not see any action. At this point I have no idea. I do not think Ryan Williams will play, or is ready to play. 

 Coach Al Golden told us yesterday that Ryan was going "for leadership, and he knows the offense better than anybody so he’s good to have on gameday.''

 And we had this conversation with Ryan earlier in the week, when a reporter asked him if any games were ruled out by the doctors. 

Williams: “I mean, I tried my hardest to be ready for this game. I guess it wasn’t physically possible. I’m just going to take it week by week and when I can come back, I will.”

No specific date then?

Williams: “No specific date, no.”

Stay tuned.

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

 

The freshman QB experience and where Brad Kaaya fits into college football and UM history

ATLANTA -- The average college football fan hears the term "freshman starting quarterback" and hardly flinches anymore.

After all, look at what Johnny Manziel and Jameis Winston did in their first years under center. They  won the Heisman, and Winston led Florida State to the national title in January.

But lumping every freshman starting quarterback into the same category is a mistake. And that certainly applies for University of Miami freshman Brad Kaaya, who will make his debut Monday night at Louisville and join Jacory Harris (2008) as the only the true freshmen over the last 35 years to start the season opener for the Hurricanes.

Ken Dorsey didn't do it (he started the last three regular season games as a true freshman). Jim Kelly didn't do it (he made his first career start in the eighth game of the season at Penn State). And Bernie Kosar didn't do it. He, like Winston and Manziel, had the benefit of a redshirt season to learn Miami's offense before leading UM to its first national title in 1983.

Kaaya obviously won't have a year of apprenticeship under his belt. And unlike a bunch of other true freshmen who have found their way under center recently throughout college football, Kaaya doesn't even have the added experience of having enrolled early and participated in spring football.

He's only been at UM since the end of May when the first session of summer classes began in Coral Gables.

Over the last five years, a total of 34 true freshmen have started a game and attempted at least 100 passes for a school in a major conference (FootballStudyHall.com did the research from 2008-2012 and I looked up last year's numbers). Of that group, only nine started the season opener. The majority of those true freshmen enrolled in college early including two of the three who did it last year -- former Texas Tech walk-on Baker Mayfield (who has since transferred to Oklahoma) and Cal's Jared Goff.

Penn State's Christian Hackenberg, who started all 12 games for the Nittany Lions last year as a true freshman and went 7-5 as a starter before being named Big Ten Freshman of the Year, enrolled in college in late June. He might be the only example of someone who got into school later than Kaaya and started right away.

While Winston, Manziel, Stanford's Andrew Luck, Boise State's Kellen Moore, Nebraska's Taylor Martinez, Georgia's Aaron Murray, UCLA's Brett Hundley and Oregon's Marcus Mariota all had tremendous success as redshirt freshmen, most true freshmen have endured growing pains.

The good news for Kaaya -- and Miami fans -- there is some history of true freshmen having success.

Back in 1985, Jamelle Holieway became the first and only true freshman quarterback to lead his team to a national title after being pressed into duty when Troy Aikman was lost for the season in a 27-14 loss to the Hurricanes in Norman.

More recent examples include:

> Ohio State's Terrelle Pryor took over as the starter three games into the 2008 season and went 8-2, completing 60.2 percent of his passes for 1,942 yards and 18 touchdowns. He finished with a quarterback rating of 145.6. Pryor was not an early enrollee.

> Baylor's Robert Griffin III enrolled early in college and put up a quarterback rating of 142.0 after coming off the bench four drives into his first season and taking the starting job from there. Baylor went 4-7 with Griffin, who threw for 2,394 yards and 28 touchdowns and eventually went on to win the Heisman a couple years later.

> USC's Matt Barkley led a top five-ranked team in 2009 from the start to a 9-3 record. He completed 54.7 percent of his passes for 17 touchdowns and 2,697 yards finishing with a QB rating of 131.3. Barkley was an early enrollee. 

> Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater started the final 10 games of his true freshman season and went 5-5, completing 64.5 percent of his passes for 2,129 yards, 14 TDs and 12 picks. Bridgewater was an early enrollee.

> In 2009, Rutgers' Tom Savage started 11 games and went 8-3, completing 52.3 percent of his passes for 2,106 yards and 15 touchdowns. Savage was an early enrollee.

> And just this past year, Texas Tech started a pair of true freshman -- Baker Mayfield and Davis Webb -- and went 8-5. Both were early enrollees. 

> Houston's John O'Korn, a former St. Thomas Aquinas standout, meanwhile, took over as a starter three games into the 2013 season and went 6-5. He was the named the American Athletic Conference's Rookie of the Year after setting the Houston freshman record for touchdowns (28) and completions (259). O'Korn was a summer enrollee.

Something else for Kaaya can lean on aside from history: his backups.

Seniors Jake Heaps and Ryan Williams both started as true freshman for BYU and Memphis, respectively. Heaps became the starter the fourth game of the season and went 6-4. Williams became the starter the third game of the season and went 1-9.

What has coach Al Golden told Kaaya to do with all the hype surrounding his start opening night?

"Just keep ignoring, keep blocking it all out," Golden said. "I think he's mature in that sense. He'll do it. Again, expectations are just like what they sound -- external.

"He's playing to a standard right now and not really worried about anybody's expectations. He competed everyday for the starting job. He won it outright. I think that's all he's worried about it -- performing and taking care of all the little things as we get closer to the game. We need the whole offense to rally around him and keep him poised, keep him relaxed and not worry about the outside."