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Forget FSU... yeah right

Went out to UM today (the only day players will be made available to the media before Saturday's FAMU game) and have to say it was funny hearing coach Larry Coker and the Canes say they had moved on from Monday's loss and were no longer going to talk about FSU.

One of CokerCoker's first statements was that he had instructed players not to talk about Florida State anymore. Coker's company policy didn't last long, although I have to give him and his players credit for trying.

Defensive tackle Kareem Brown started his segment with the media strong by answering a question about why UM was unable to sack Drew Weatherford with this response: "I'm on FAMU right now, man. We got a long season left. We got to take it one game at a time. We put Florida State behind us."

Ten minutes later, Brown was asking teammate Baraka Atkins -- albeit playfully with another reporter's recorder -- why UM's defense faded in the second half. To which UM media relations master Mark Pray answered, "I thought you weren't talking about FSU." (To hear the exchange check out Baraka's interview Download sept6_atkins.mp3)

Truth be told, no matter what the company line is, Coker and his players were expecting a lot more from themselves against Florida State. And the fact the entire team underachieved stings, no matter what they say. The Hurricanes knew they had an opportunity to bury that ugly 40-3 sore with a win over Florida State and blew it. Coker himself said Wednesday that Brandon Meriweather's interception before the half was UM's opportunity to put FSU away. Instead, a penalty -- and some weird play-calling -- pushed the Canes back out of field goal range and into Jon Peattie pooch territory.

At the half, FSU made all the adjustments it needed to stop the only thing working for UM -- a short, quick passing game -- and UM failed to make the open field tackles (Glenn Cook on Lorenzo Booker's big 30-yard swing pass) that ultimately doomed them.

But that's history right? Onto FAMU where I think you can expect to see UM pour it on the Rattlers for at least three quarters before pulling back the reigns a bit. The real game Miami is preparing for is next week at Louisville.

That's why you shouldn't expect to see a few key guys to play much if at all -- namely left tackle Reggie Youngblood (who is now wearing a boot after tweaking his ankle) and running back Tyrone Moss (who is coming off his suspension and a season-ending knee injury a year ago).

Expect to see a lot of Javarris James. Coker admitted for the second time this week he (maybe really Rich Olson) erred in not getting James into the FSU game sooner. Jones may not have gotten a lot of help from the offensive line in struggling for 27 yards on 12 carries and 1 touchdown. But I get the sense James' quick ascent through the depth chart is attributed to his ability to do something it appears nobody else in the backfield can -- explode. While some players including Jon Beason and Anthony Wollschlager are excited about Moss' return (likely against Louisville), I get the sense the coaches see James becoming the star in this backfield as the season progresses. Why else would Coker move him up so quickly?

FoxAs for guys moving on up quickly, Jason Fox appears to be the real deal at right tackle. Coker said nobody needed to lend the true freshman a hand against FSU and when Coker was asked if he thought Fox would start against FAMU, Coker responded, "without question
[he'll continue to start]."

The real fear for Canes fans should be Reggie Youngblood's ankle. Chris Rutledge and Cyrim Wimbs are two players who have been part of this team for three years, yet both were surpassed by Fox. Now, they're the guys battling to protect Kyle Wright's blindside against FAMU. The Rattlers are one thing, but what if Youngblood's injury is worse than anticipated? It could prove to be pretty scary.

Coker said there might be a few other lineup changes this week, but it remains to be seen if any of those are drastic. We don't expect any.

As for the defense, which gave up one yard rushing and in all honesty did enough for UM to beat FSU, one interesting point raised Wednesday is the fact the Hurricanes are no longer getting the big defensive plays they used to. Sure, Meriweather got the big pick and it should have produced points, but one look at the stats over the last six seasons and a few numbers jump out at you.

While Randy Shannon's defense has continued to be among the nation's best year in and year out (never falling further than 22nd in points and 8th in pass defense since 2001), the team isn't getting the scoring it used to when UM put together a 35-3 run from 2001-2003. UM scored 17 defensive touchdowns during those years. The Hurricanes have only had three in the last 2+ seasons combined. That's the same number Sean Taylor had himself in 2003.

Obviously, it takes a lot to ask a defense to not only stop the other team and score, but the way this offense looks right now, the defense may have to resort to its old ways of scoring itself for UM to win tough games against Louisville, Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech.

Kbrown_1Kareem Brown and Baraka Atkins are the only current defensive players on the roster to score TDs. Both talked a lot about trying to get to the quarterback and force fumbles. Both missed a few sacks on Drew Weatherford Monday and were still smarting over them. Trouble was Florida State wasn't holding onto the ball too long. Weatherford had a lot of three-step drops and got the ball out quickly. Coker also noted while his team has practiced striping the ball, there weren't too many opportunities against the Noles.

Now, UM's defense just needs to make sure there are the rest of the way. Every little bit of help they can give the offense -- including a few long fumble or interception returns -- will help.

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Excellent post. Thanks.

Excellent post - I second it. Manny, next opportunity you get find out why Coker isn't talking about Kirby Freeman. If you look at everything you wrote above - it says Drew managed his team, his time and his space to avoid sacks and get the ball into the endzone. I can't witness Kyle again. Seriously I'd rather have Kyle on the sidelines without injury and have Kirby out there getting the team down the field and scoring. Too bad he's not starting this week with Javarris they may be the future and I'd rather they both get started this week. Otherwise, GT will destroy Kyle.

Nice info. But the problem doesn't start with any of the players. It starts and ends with the warmed over 1993-1994 offense Olson bragged about so much for the last 6 months.

One would think that after 12 YEARS in the NFL he would've learned how to adjust to a blitz and a delayed blitz, with either play-calling or another RB in the backfield.

We haven't had any real offensive rhtythm since Dorsey left. But again, I don't think it's the players at all.

We'll see Sat and we'll definitely see against L-V.

I guarantee you we'll need more than 14 points to beat them.

Manny & fellow "Canes fans:

I'm on the West Coast & don't have every game available to me, so bear with me. Here's my observations:

1. I would like to have a nice guy like Larry Coker as my neighbor but not as my UM coach.

I have no problem with Randy Shannon as defensive coordinator because even though the pass rush is nowhere as good as it was when Mssrs. Brown & Kennedy were around, he gets the most out of his players. Again, without any real playmakers I thought the defense looked good Monday except for a couple of important missed tackles. Conversely, Mr. Olson seems incapable of figuring out how to put together game plans for quality opponents and since Larry became hc I have seen several games where absolutely no half time adjusments were made to solve offensive problems - Saturday's FSU game was just the latest example. Regretfully, he seems incapable of solving this problem.

2. Since Butch Davis left the recruiting has definitely gone downhill. Players that previously would have committed to UM without second thoughts are now heading elsewhere. I'd like to know where UM's playmakers were on Monday night because I didn't see any on the field - line, receivers, backs - I saw decent but not great players out there. UF & FSU definitely have the recruiting edge over UM right now. Whatever it takes to convince top recruits to attend UM, Larry just doesn't have it.

Finally, I think Larry Coker is a good football coach. I can see him taking another program with decent talent to 8-3 seasons on a regular basis. But this is UM, where 8-3 is not good enough. This program has no excuse for not challenging for the national championship every year, and certainly shouldn't lose to Bozo Bobby & his cast of thugs.

For me the bottom line is that Larry is in over his head as hc at UM & the sooner he goes, the better.

COKER MUST GO !!!...How many times have you heard that? But its the truth. The national championship he won was with another coaches players, not his. Now you are seeing his team, his picks. Its not looking too good. Its simple to see that he doesnt have it in him to coach a Hurricane team. Bring back Jimmy Johnson ! Forget the ethics crap! This is a business no matter what you say. And this store isnt doing too good. Its time to change the manager.

I hear all the Larry must go, Olson cant call games, etc. BUT why does no one talk about the biggest loss to the program over the last few years? Rob Chudzinski. We definitely had the players in his short time as OC but this guy knew who and when to put the ball in the hands of certain players. Under his tutelage UM was also able to start a great tradition of talented tight ends in the mid '90's even when the team was not very good. I loved his play calling and he was always capable of making adjustments, anyone who watched the second half of the 2002 FSU game can see that. I dont blame him for the OSU loss, that i think was lack of focus...UM should have killed that OSU team. Well we cant bring him back but i just thought he should get some credit for all the great things those 2 teams did in '01 and '02.

Coker needs to go coach Golf. Yeah he would be good at that...dont fire him just switch his job. BBB or Shannon would be a good a good change....Coker can't recruit, adjust gameplans, motivate his players, or give a decent post game interview.

I am a longtime Miami fan from West Virginia. I have followed the Hurricanes for many years. The Miami teams of the past always had a killer instinct. Miami used to get up about 30 points on teams and then start to take it easy. The current Miami teams just get up 7 or 10 points on their opponents and start taking it easy. I think that this is a partial reason for a lot of the close games and upsets that Miami has had over the past few years. Bring back the killer instinct and start playing Hurricane football again.

WOULD SOMEBODY PLEASE TELL ME WHY LARRY COKER IS STILL THE HEAD COACH OF OUR HURRICANES FOOTBALL TEAM,HE NEEDS TO BE GONE(ADIOS)RIGHT NOW!

Chud might be an interesting hire as our next HC along with possibly Davis. I wish they would give Kirby a chance to play. He can't be much worse than Wright and is mobile, at least. Considering this OL is just plain AWFUL, we need a qb who can run. Coker MUST GO. We've given him enough chances.

I can see a little improvement with the team from Saturday nights game against FSU. However, I don't understand why we didn't bring more pressure on the quarterback of FSU. We have the talent to go one on one with FSU wideouts, why not send more at the FSU quarterback? FSU didn't hesitate in bringing linebackers and safeties. Also, with Romeo Davis playing so well in the game early on, why did we keep switchying him in and out of the lineup and taking him out the rythem of the game. We need stability in the middle and I believe he can bring that to the team.

Fire Coker?!?!?! Come on, be realistic. Just because the media claims he's on the hot seat doesn't mean he really is. He has the best record of any current college football coach over the same period of time. Seriously, what more can a coach do? HE HAS THE BEST RECORD!! And Butch Davis, the great recruter, wasn't as perfect as everyone seems to remember. The class that included Portis and Vilma wasn't ranked very high on scout or rivals at all. Point is, winning a national championship requires some luck, and one must expect there to be rebuilding years occasionally, even at Miami though less so that at any other program. Back off of Coker, and go 'Canes!!

I agree with Vic: Coker isn't going anywhere. They just signed him to a $6 million contract.
As well, I believe Coker's boss lady, UM President Donna Shalala, likes him. He's the kind of coach she wants.
But I don't think Coker's won-loss record is an accurate reflection of his coaching ability. He didn't lose a game his first two years, until he got to Ohio State, because he had that dynamo of a team that was just rolling over everybody.
I could've coached that team to a national championship just by standing still and being quiet, and if I had, those two defensive hit men Tressel sent in to put the smack down on Dorsey and Portis would be limping around now, wishing they'd never listened to their head coach, Tressel would be my personal b***h, and that crooked ref would never have got the chance to throw the game.

You can't say that Coker hasn't brought in any big recruits. Kenny Phillips was the USA national defensive player of the year his senior year. If thats not a bigtime recruit I don't know what is. Lance Legget is 6'3" with 4.4 speed. He and Ryan Moore were both high prospects out of high school. The problem is right now those high ranked recruits aren't producing. As far as the UM swagger goes, I think that has to come from the players just as mutch the coach. I will say that the most impressive of Davis' recruits are that they were hungry and out to win at all cost. Some of players attitudes come from coaches but most has to be from a drive within the player. When we go back to getting players like that then we'll be fine.

Kirby should start or play at least an entire half. Withour O production we have absolutly nothing to loose. And I feel he will do a better job than Kyle. I realy do.

First thing is Lake worth Canes Portis did not play against OSU Second thing is this team is missing attitude no canes us against the world attitude. just a bunch of compaliners and me first guys like j bryant who wants to be 3rd string lb instead of best fb in the country

if you really look back the past few years, miami's decline has come from the quarterback position and a vanilla play calling system. ryan moore should have been a major part of their offensive game since his redshirt freshman year. i watch and criticize on a regular about his performance: every faze of the game. he doesn't always like it but i don't care. ryan is every bit of the athlete and talent that miami recruited him for. ryan moore and lance leggett should be dominating college football right now, so get someone who can get them the ball because kyle hasn't shown that he capable. verbal leadership belongs in politics and not football. the hurricanes needs someone who can lead them with action. after this set back for my son is over, you'll get to really see what miami hasn't been exploiting. he's the best college reciever in the state and one of the top recievers in the nation. throw the ball to ryan moore and watch him go.

Miami has plenty of big time players, but no leadership. BBB or Chud either one. Hell, give it to Shannon, he's getting something done.
CHOKER'S GOTTA GO...
PLEASE!
BEFORE THERE'S NOTHING LEFT OF OUR PROGRAM.

First of all, coach Coker should not have to take all of this heat. The play calling was not terrible. The thing he needs to do is spend more time getting in players faces and working on adjustments and spend less time being the nice guy and face of the program. The canes will be ok this year. Lets remember that college football is all about the SCHEDULE, not necessarily about who has the most talented team. Our schedule sets up very nicely for a re-match with FL State as long as we survive at Louisville without their star RB, survive at Ga Tech (we are usually very good in revenge games ie Clemson and UNC last year), and Va Tech (they are rebuilding totally this year on both sides of the ball). Relax canes fans, we are gonna be ok. As for the FL. State game, it is all about speed. Ask Ohio State, Texas, and USC. Speed Kills. And FL state has beaten us the past two seasons because they have been the faster and quicker team. Until we get faster and quicker players on the field against FL. State, it doesnt matter who is the QB or coach, we will not win the game. In the 6 wins in a row against the hated Noles, we were quicker. Last year and this year, we are not.

I am in total concert with Cavaleer dated 7sep06. Bottom line up front....Coker MUST GO! He fired or heh heh heh... "released" the 2 most influential coaches that were stallwarts through most if not all of our National Titles. Don Soldinger ..Our Running backs coach Who "Grew UP here in South Florida. Coaching Southridge SR. High to I don't know 2 maybe three state football titles, Oh, and not to mention he recruited and coached Edge, Portis, Gore, and on... . Then Our Offensive line Coach Art Kehoe. He is NFL material. Has anyone checked if he has been hired yet? wait here is a copy and paste from this same web page in the Bio's section.....Now this is home grown!!!!!
The 2005 football season will mark Art Kehoe's 27th season as a part of Miami football. Kehoe, who added the title of assistant head coach in 2002 while keeping his primary job as offensive line coach, is the longest-tenured coach on Larry Coker's staff. A former offensive lineman and the modern day "Mr. Miami Football" to many fans, Kehoe has been with Miami's coaching staff for 25 years.
Kehoe began his coaching career in 1981 as a student assistant at UM. A 1982 graduate of UM, he has been an integral part of the Miami football renaissance since its beginning in the late 1970s and is the only person who has been in the UM football program continuously since then. He came to Miami in 1979 as a transfer from Laney Junior College in Oakland, Calif., and started at guard for the Hurricanes for two seasons under head coach Howard Schnellenberger.
As a coach, Kehoe has been to 20 bowl games with the Hurricanes and has tutored some of the greatest players in Miami history including Searcy, Mike Sullivan, Jones, Mercier, McKinnie, Gonzalez, Bibla, Romberg and Vernon Carey. A contemporary of legendary UM quarterback Jim Kelly, Kehoe has developed offensive lines that have protected many of the Hurricanes' outstanding quarterbacks including Bernie Kosar, Vinny Testaverde, Steve Walsh, Craig Erickson, Gino Torretta and Ken Dorsey.
Oh, if you can't read between the lines that means he coached thru all 5 National Championships. In Summary, I'll keep it short.... Coker you have set the program back to it's darkest days in the mid to late 90's. We have lost the Home field advantage... FSU now comes to the Orange Bowl and does to us what we used to do them at Doak Campbell. 1st opening day loss since 95...You inherited that undefeated season and the National Title ..........COKER YOU ARE NOT FROM HERE!!!! YOU ARE OVER YOUR HEAD!!!! GO HOME!!!!!!

MIAMI WAS OUTCOACHED AGAINST FSU, STRAIGHT UP!! KYLE WRIGHT DOES NOT HAVE THE ATTITUDE OR HEART TO BE A HURRICANE QB. BY THE END OF THE GAME HE WAS SCARED TO GET HIT, HE COULDN'T STAND IN THERE WITH HIS FRONT FOOT AND DELIVER A PASS. COKER DOESN'T KNOW HOW TO DO MUCH BUT PASS THE BLAME ON OTHER PEOPLE AND HELP HIS TEAM COPE WITH THEIR LOSSES. FSU IS GONNA BLITZ, THEY DO EVERY YEAR WHETHER THEY PLAY US OR SOMEBODY ELSE. MICKEY ANDREWS COMES WITH THE BLITZ EVERY SINGLE YEAR... WHERE WERE THE FB AND WR SCREENS? SOMETHING TO COUNTER THE BLITZ? IS IT A MYSTERY? IS IT REALLY THAT HARD TO FIGURE IT OUT? BOWDEN FIGURED IT OUT QUICKLY WITH HIS LITTLE DUMPS TO LORENZO BOOKER THAT RESULTED IN THE MOST EFEECTIVE PLAYS THE WHOLE GAME. ILLEGAL PARTICIPATION? NOT HAVING THE CORRECT AMOUNT OF PLAYERS ON THE FIELD? ONCE CAN BE ACCEPTED, BUT THROUGHTOUT THE GAME? BRING BACK JIMMY JOHNSON, I WISH.. WHY NOT GIVE THE HEAD COACHING JOB TO THE ONLY COACH DOING THEIR JOB? RANDY SHANNON SHOULD RUN THIS TEAM. HE HAS THE HEART, ATTITUDE AND OBVIOUSLY HAS MORE FOOTBALL SMARTS THAN COKER!!! MIAMI WILL BE A GOOD TEAM THIS YEAR... GOOD AIN'T GOOD ENOUGH!!

I have numerous problems with Larry Coker and I think some of us are beginning to miss the big picture. Larry Coker did everything last year following the onslaught to LSU but the right thing, and that was fire himself. He inherited a team in 2001 that was full of play makers and should have won the title again in 2002. The thing is, non of those players were his recruits. Coach Coker is to conservative for a team like Miami and all he is doing is hurting the program. Let me remind you, that Florida is regarded as the number one football state in the nation and many of the op recruits weight their signing until after the FSU/UM game. He has demonstrated time and time again that he is not confident in the offense, choosing to punt the ball on 4th & 1 on midfield and relys to heavily on the defense. Since the departure of Chud, the offensive liine has been horrific as well as the play of Kyle Wright. Wright has played QB his entire life and still doesn't know when to throw the ball away; a Jimmy Johnson or I hate to say it, Bobby Bowden would have benched him. Its simple, if Larry Coker really cared about the program, he would resign and let someone who knows who to utilize the talented players that Miami recruits, example how many people ever heard of Don Soldinger? He was the running backs coach for UM from 96-05, also he had Miami Southridge ranked as a national powerhouse and state 5A champions for years. It is young offensive and aggressive coaches like these that will help UM gain its true swagger back.

Don't be fooled, James is in because Charlie Jones cannot block a blitzing linebacker.

How many times did Ken Dorsey have to run for his life? It is tough to be a great quarter back when you are on your back. I was pleased to see Miami impliment short quick passes against FSU.

I understand that losing and Miami do not belong in the same sentence. I MAKE EXCEPTIONS FOR FLORIDA STATE! For this reason we should avoid Choaker bashing. Lose to Louisville (w/o Micheal Bush) and its on!

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