zLAST UPDATE: Ok guys. I'm going to blog about this tomorrow, but please check out our audio pages if you'd like to hear some postgame interviews. Obviously, a very happy UM lockerroom. I spoke with Northwestern High's Jacory Harris, Sean Spence, Marcus Forston and Tommy Streeter who were on the sidelines for the game. Streeter, the only non-UM commitment, received cheers from the West End Zone and plenty of encouragement from fans who kept telling him to commit to the Canes. Streeter said he's not ready to commit yet, but I've got plenty of good stuff to share once I get a chance.
I'm heading out of the OB. Check out the audio and pound your chest Canes fans. It's been awhile!
Here are some quotes...
Tommy Streeter, Northwestern receiver: ‘‘I'm not ready. A lot of people are asking me to throw up the U. I didn't even know I was known like that. A lot people are talking to me. I feel love, kind of like a family the way guys talk about. But my decision still isn't made up yet."
Sean Spence, Northwestern linebacker: "Hopefully this will make other recruits feel good. He's coming. He's just playing hard to get. I'm going to keep bringing him to the game, keep showing him how the fans like him."
Marcus Forston, Northwestern defensive tackle on Streeter's commitment and UM's win: ‘‘I can see the University of Miami getting back on top and once we get here, its going to be about getting a national championship. Tommy knows where he's going deep down. But I guess he wants to win the last man trophy of the year. The winner gets a big article by Manny Navarro or Andre Fernandez."
Colin McCarthy, UM linebacker: ‘‘We feel great. They were a ranked team, playing here in the OB with the support we had. Our coaches, the way they prepared us for the game, we couldn't have asked for more. I feel like we made a statement. But we didn't go nowhere. We're here, playing, preparing every game. We just had some communication problems that hurt us. But we played some sound football today and when we do that you can see we're a good team."
Calais Campbell, UM defensive end: "It felt real good to see every clicking. We got all the talent in the world, we got the best coaches. It's just about executing. If we just execute, a lot of games will be like this one."
I'm was here at the OB for the Canes and 20th-ranked Aggies. As usual, I blogged this game live up until the 7-minute mark in the fourth quarter when reporters head down to the field for postgame interviews. I'll make sure to come back with some locker room quotes following the game. For now, enjoy the game and feel free to come on here if you're at home watching to tell me what your thinking as the game rolls along.
A&M'S 10TH DRIVE
- Aggies will have a 1st and 10 at the UM 41 to start the drive. The Aggies are on the verge of scoring. Mike Goodson comes through with a big catch and gain down the sideline. A&M has the ball 1st and goal at the Canes 4.
- The Canes eventually force a field goal when Spencer Adkins pummels Stephen McGee on third down. UM 31, A&M 3.
- I had to start writing my story after this and had to leave soon after.
UM'S 7TH DRIVE (1st and 10 at the UM 17, 14:53 left)
- On first down, Kyle Wright completes a 40-yard pass to a wide open Lance Leggett. The Empire Strikes right away to the A&M 43. On second down, Javarris James runs up the middle for 5 yards. On third and 3 from the A&M 36, Wright throws it to Leggett. But it falls incomplete. Miami is forced to punt.
A&M'S 7TH DRIVE (1st and 10 at the A&M 14, 13:00 left)
- The Aggies went three and out.
UM'S 8TH DRIVE (1st and 10 at the UM 41)
- On third down, Wright completes a pass short of the first down to Javarris James. Miami is forced to punt. A&M's Jordan Peterson muffs the punt, but A&M falls on it at the A&M 35.
A&M'S 8TH DRIVE (1st and 10 at the A&M 35, 9:15 left)
- After a first down incompletion, UM linebacker Tavares Gooden has limped off the field clutching his left inner thigh. A&M is eventually forced to punt.
UM'S 9TH DRIVE (1st and 10 at the UM 13)
- Cooper takes the handoff on first down and explodes for 30 yards down to the UM 43. Three plays later, Kyle Wright escapes the pocket and fumbles. A&M recovers at their own 36 with 4:20 left. Wright limped a little walking off the field.
A&M'S 9TH DRIVE (1st and 10 at the A&M 36)
- On second and five, Mike Goodson finally shows up. He takes a pitch and busts a 29-yard gain. A&M had 39 total yards of offense in the first half. The Aggies have their deepest penetration, they''re at the UM 30. But the drive ends with yet another fizzle. Vegas Franklin gets a sack on second down and McGee throws the ball way ahead of his intended receiver in the end zone. A&M's offense is simply rattled.
UM's 10TH DRIVE (1st and 10 at UM 36, 1:14 left)
- Graig Cooper again showing his speed, picking up 11 yards on the first play. Sam Shields catches a wide-receiver screen on first down and explodes up field. UM's speed is taking over. The Canes get an extra 15 yards when Michael Bennett gets flagged for a late hit on Kyle Wright.
- UM has a 1st and goal at the A&M 7. Chris Zellner caps the drive with a touchdown. UM 31, A&M 0.
HALFTIME THOUGHTS: It's halftime. And I'm in total shock. Did Jonathan Vilma and several other 2001 national championship teammates return and suit up for the Canes tonight? Wow. 24-0 at the half. For fans, it's great to be a Miami Hurricane again!
UM's 2ND DRIVE (1st and 10 at the UM 23 with 13:36 left)
- Before the drive gets underway, Sebastian The Ibis, UM's mascot, rocks the West End Zone with his performance of the Soulja Boy.
- On first down, Graig Cooper takes the carry off tackle left to the UM 25. On second down, Wright tosses an incomplete pass down field. Chris Zellner limps off the field favoring his right ankle. Dedrick Epps comes in and replaces him and right away makes a catch in the flat, turns up field and breaks two tackles for a 14-yard gain and first down.
- On first down, Wright gets sacked back at the UM 28. On second and long he completes a short pass to Cooper that goes nowhere. It is now 3rd and 19 at the UM 30, Cooper takes a short pass but gets hit and fumbles at the UM 40. Alton Dixon recovers at the UM 39 where A&M takes over.
A&M's 3RD DRIVE (1st and 10 at the UM 39)
- On first down, Goodson takes a swing pass. DeMarcus Van Dyke had a chance to hit him for a loss, but missed the tackle. He gained four yards. On second down, Goodson runs for two. On third and four at the UM 33, McGee calls timeout. A&M has one left. On third down, McGee runs play action, but his pass is incomplete. Vegas Franklin provided heat on the play to help the incompletion.
- A&M now lines up for a 50-yard field goal. But Matt Szymanski's kick it is short and to the right.
UM'S 3RD DRIVE (1st and 10 at the UM 33 with 9:11 left)
- On first down, Sam Shields catches a wide receiver screen which picks up only three yards. No worries, on the very next play, Shields is on the receiving end of a beautiful playaction pass which picks up 51 yards to the A&M 13.
- On first and 10, James gets hit by Misi Tupe at the line of scrimmage. A&M's run defense has been stingy. Looks like Miami can win through the air. Wow! Did I just say that?
- On second down, Darnell Jenkins makes an amazing catch down to the 5-yard line. Maybe too amazing. A&M is reviewing it. Wow. Looks like a catch. Ball bounced off of Darnell Jenkins' left knee, into the chest of A&M's linebacker and into the lap of Jenkins. It's a catch.
- On third and 2 at the A&M 5, Wright goes to receiver, James takes a direct snap, but picks up only one yard. UM is going for it. On fourth and 1, another direct snap to Javarris James. he follows Jason Fox and Andrew Bain with a wide open hole. First down!
- On first and goal the 3, James runs up the middle for 1 yard. On the next play, Javarris James up the middle for a touchdown. Canes go up 14-0 with 4:53 left in the game. 8 plays, 67 yards, 4:18 on the drive. UM 14, A&M 0.
A&M's 4TH DRIVE (1st and 10 at the A&M 37)
- On first down, McGee runs the playaction again, but has no one to throw to. UM's DBs are doing a tremendous job. The defensive line though is taking the cake. On second down, Goodson runs for two. Again, the front seven is dominating.
- On third and 7 from the A&M 40, McGee tries to throw the slant. But Carlos Armour deflects up and into the waiting arms of Colin McCarthy at the A&M 48. McCarthy returns it to the A&M 22 before getting pushed out of bounds.
UM'S 4TH DRIVE (1st and 10 at the A&M 22)
- On first down, Wright threw to Shields for 6 yards. On second down, Cooper gets hit in the backfield for a loss. On third down and 9, Wright scrambles ahead for 3 yards. A&M's defense holds this time. Francesco Zampogna steps up and sends a 35-yard field goal wide right. Too bad. A missed opportunity to take a commanding 17-0 lead.
A&M'S 5TH DRIVE (1st and 10 at the UM 20 late in the half)
- On first down, McGee picks up four yards. On second down, A&M gets flagged. On second and 11, Goodson gets hit, fumbles and Calais Campbell recovers at the A&M 12. He came out of the pile with the ball. We believe Spencer Adkins caused the fumble.
UM'S 5TH DRIVE (1st and 10 at the A&M 12 with 33 seconds left)
- One play, its 21-zilch. Wright tosses a short screen, Graig Cooper catches it, follows his blockers into the end zone. Zampogna's extra point. Is this really happening? Canes fans have to be going bananas right now. Pinch me. Pinch everyone in the OB. UM 21, A&M 0.
UM's 6TH DRIVE (1st and 10 at the UM 39 with 24 seconds left)
- UM kicks off again to an A&M lineman who runs forward and gets lit up by Richard Gordon. He fumbles and freshman Damien Berry recovers at the A&M 39.
- Two plays later, Francesco Zampogna kicks a 45-yard field goal to end the half. UM 24, TEXAS A&M 0.
A&M's 1ST DRIVE (1st and 10 at the A&M 37)
- Antonio Dixon starts at defensive tackle for UM. DeMarcus Van Dyke at corner.
- On first down, Mike Goodson is dropped by Eric Moncur in the backfield for a 5-yard loss. On second down, Stephen McGee gets hit by Colin McCarthy for a 2-yard gain. On third down, McGee scrambles and fumbles but A&M recovers. The Aggies punt and Miami's Graig Cooper returns it 2 yards to the 20.
UM's 1ST DRIVE (1st and 10 at the UM 20)
- Leggett starts with Jenkins at receiver. Dajleon Farr at tight end.
- On first down, Javarris James loses three yards on the first carry. On third and 13, Kyle Wright completes a first down pass to Darnell Jenkins, who lays out to make a beautiful catch at the first down marker.
- On first down at the 30, Sam Shields run a curl pattern 14-yards down field for another first down to the Aggies 44.
- On first down, Javarris James makes his way up the middle to the 48 for a 4-yard gain. On second down, James gets in the backfield for a 3-yard loss. On third down and 9, Shields match a catch near the A&M sideline, but just short of the first down marker. On fourth down, Kyle Wright sneaks ahead for a first down to the Aggies 46.
- Is this the same UM team I saw in Oklahoma? Not so far.
- On first down, James runs up the middle for 5. On second down, Sam Shields gets open at the 25, but he drops it bounces off his chest incomplete. On third and 5, Darnell Jenkins makes a tough catch over the middle against Alton Dixon for a 7-yard gain and a first down at the A&M 32.
- On first down, James busts ahead for 2 yards. On second down, James sneaks ahead for another yard and a half. On third and 6, there's that man again -- Darnell Jenkins makes another tough catch in traffic for another first down at the A&M 20.
- On first down, Kyle Wright scrambles outside before Alton Dixon is credited with a sack at the UM 21. On second down and 11 at the 21, James runs right and out to the 18 for a 3-yard gain. A&M's run defense isn't too bad. Another third down, another third down coverion. Canes are moving the chains. Javarris James takes a short pass to the A&M 7. It's first and goal.
- How about this for trickery? On first and goal, Kyle Wright goes to the bench, Craig Cooper takes a direct snap, runs left, and follows his blocker into the end zone with 3:29 left. Miami takes a 7-0 lead. 18 plays, 80 yards, 8:51 off the clock. UM 7, AGGIES 0.
- WOW! Where was this offense all year?
A&M's 2ND DRIVE (1st and 10 at the A&M 24)
- On first down, A&M comes out throwing and McGee connects with Kerry Franks for an 8-yard gain. On second down, McGee runs ahead for a 5-yard gain and a first down. UM safety Kenny Phillips got up close to A&M running back Mike Goodson to remind him he's going to be in his face all night.
- Ooh. On first down, McGee runs playaction and runs for a 14-yard gain to the UM 49. Calais Campbell takes a huge hit from A&M tight end Joey Thomas. Payback coming?
- On first down at the UM 49, A&M gains nothing. On second down, Goodson takes the pitch from his quarterback McGee and gets five yards along the right. On third down, McGee calls timeout with :18 left in the quarter. On third down, Martellus Bennett picks up four tough yards, dragging UM linebacker Colin McCarthy and another Cane on his back. But he's short. Will A&M go for it? They do.
SECOND QUARTER BEGINS. On fourth and 1, McGee keeps and picks up 3 yards to the UM 35.
- On first down, Antonio Dixon hits Goodson in the backfield for a 3-yard loss. On second down, McGee throws an incomplete pass. The Canes are getting physical. On third and 13 at the UM 38, Vegas Franklin gets to McGee as he was passing to knock the pass incomplete. Franklin runs to the sideline and gives defensive line coach Clint Hurtt, who got about 8 inches off the ground, a huge chest bump.
- UM takes over at it's own 23 with 13:36 left in the half -- a fast first half.
PREGAME UPDATE: Pat Richter, who is conducting the search for Miami's next athletic director, just met with the media before the game to give us an update. I'll be posting the audio for you to listen to in the next half hour.
Here's some initial questions you might want to chew on.
- Is this a must win in your mind for UM's football progam?
- If Kyle Wright struggles -- he usually does against Top 25 teams -- should the Canes make another switch at QB?
- What do you feel is the most important thing the Canes need to do to win this game?