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Should Kyle start vs. OU?

I'm just going to raise the question because I know I'm not the only one who has thought about it since Saturday: Should Kyle Wright start against Oklahoma?

Look, I'm not trying to start a quarterback controversy. That's the God honest Randyshannon_pointstruth. God knows the last thing I want to ask Randy Shannon every week is 'Who You Starting this week, Coach?' But I've  got to ask the question. Did Kirby Freeman play poorly enough in Saturday's 31-3 rout of Marshall for Shannon to give the starting job back to Kyle Wright this week? Shannon said last week that Freeman "gives his team the best opportunity to win." But after seeing Freeman on Saturday do you still agree with him? Freeman, who made his fifth career start, technically did what was asked of him. The Canes won and he made just one real mistake (one bad interception). But is this the guy who can lead Miami to a win in Norman?

As many of you in the on Eye on The U crew have pointed out, Freeman's 9 for 21 effort for 81 yards with 1 TD (a 1-yard pass) and 1 INT against Marshall wasn't exactly the kind of stuff you wanted to  Kirby_freeman_passes see against a team whose pass defense ranked 114th out of 119 last season. Granted, Freeman didn't get a lot of help from his receivers. Kayne Farquharson, Darnell Jenkins and Khalil Jones all dropped passes. But how much better would 12 for 21 for say 115 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT really be than what Freeman did accomplish? By my count, Freeman was 0-for-4 when attempting passes longer than 15 yards downfield. And of his nine completions, seven came in the first half (a few of which I'll point out were quick outlets to Lance Leggett. The kind of passes my coworker Susan Miller Degnan probably would have been able to complete too). Freeman was also just 2 for 8 in the second half with that real ugly INT.

Look, Shannon has said all along that all he wants his quarterback to do is get the ball in the hands of his playmakers and not lose games. And for most of this season, the Canes can probably get Kylewalkoffaway with its usual winning formula -- a solid front seven and some ball control behind the legs of Graig Cooper and Javarris James. But after seeing what the Top-10 ranked Sooners did on Saturday (a 79-10 thrashing of North Texas), I think we can all agree that at least this game calls for someone who can do more than just manage an offense. As good and as improved UM's offensive line is, the Canes will see a much stiffer defensive challenge from the Sooners, who have the personnel to make sure James and Cooper don't escape as easily as they did against Marshall.

Now, I know there is the thought out there that maybe Miami and new offensive coordinator Patrick Nix were holding back a little against Marshall. Maybe, they didn't want to show OU "the real passing game" Nix and Miami's coaches have said throughout camp has looked solid. But don't you think last Saturday would have been a good time to at least work on that passing game a little bit?

If we go with what's happened on Saturdays before, Wright is the better candidate. Freeman's career numbers (51.8 completion percentage, 10 TDs, 11 INTs) pale in comparison to Wright's (59.5 career passing percentage with 26 TDs and 17 INTs). Like I said, it's just a question, feel free to chime in.

LOCKER ROOM TALK: Every week I plan to give you a little nugget of something I collect in the postgame locker room in this portion of the blog. This week, it relates to Miami's offensive line, which impressed me most of any group in Saturday's game. I spoke with Reggie Youngblood, Jason Fox and John Rochford after the game, who all said they were pleased with coach Jeff Stoutland's rotation of lineman in the game. Youngblood told me he didn't mind coming in off the bench behind Chris Rutledge. Rochford told me he played most of the game before being spelled by A.J. Trump late in the second half and said his one muffed snap was just a rare case of "human error." To hear what they said, click on audio link.

GAME BALLS -- Offense: Normally, I'd give it to Graig Cooper and Javarris James, who combined for over 200 yards. But they'll get plenty as the year progresses. I'm giving it to the offensive line for picking up just one penalty and not giving up a sack. That -- playing an entire game without giving up a sack -- only happened twice last year (Houston and Virginia). Defense: Tavares Gooden. He led the team with nine tackles, returned an INT to the one-yard line and played his best game as a Cane in my mind. UM needs him to be a star this season at middle linebacker. Special teams: Kick Francesco Zampogna. Tough to give it to anybody else considering the rough day Matt Bosher had punting and the kickoff Daren Daly knocked out of bounds.

LIVE Q&A Tonight: Just a reminder for you guys to leave me some questions this afternoon. I'll be answering questions live from 8 to 9 p.m. at Canespace this week and will hopefully have Northwestern defensive tackle and UM recruit Marcus Forston available to answer some questions at some point. See you tonight.


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Let's give Freeman a few more starts before we really start jumping on him. While I'd like to think the coaching staff played it "coy," I think that is unlikely. If anything, the coaching staff has an incentive to test out the fundamentals of what they plan to unleash on Oklahoma. It seems to me wholly unwise to launch an offensive untested game plan for the first time against one of the best teams in the country. So, I don't think we'll see much of anything new from the QB position this Saturday from Freeman that results from coaching changes.

However, we must bear in mind that Freeman has more upside than Wright. Sure, his numbers look worse when compared to Wright's. But he's played much fewer games, and has been slated as "starter" in much fewer practices. So if we do see any change in Freeman's play against the Sooners, I believe it will be because he is realizing his potential and not from any coaching changes. So I'll close by reiterating what I opened with: let's give KB a few more starts to realize his potential before we start considering whether to start Wright.

Does it not matter that OU's QB is gonna be making his 2nd start, EVER?

While I truly believe that Kyle is the better QB, you can't pull the person who you say won the competition without injury or unless he plays so badly that he gives you no choice. If you keep going back and forth you will eventually lose the team. You have to pick and stick.

While I believe Wright is a better passer, the only way I would play Wright is if this game ends up looking like that last one against LSU. If our receivers play a solid game, especially with Shields back in the line-up, then I would be suprised if Kirby's numbers aren't better against OU.

As long is the OL plays as good as they did last weekend then anything is possible. Now to comment on FSU losing tonight, HAHAHAHAHAHA!

Of course it matters that OU's starting QB has as much experience as UM's, a whole 1 game.

However, OU's offensive line is not as inexperienced. Nor is OU's coaching staff. Nor the defensive line. Nor the receivers. Nor the special teams.

I see Freeman playing into the third quarter, and then Wright being inserted as a hope to spark the offense. OU's secondary is going to make either UM QB's day not a very happy one. Personally, I'd keep Freeman in to give him more game experience, so that he'll be able to play even better over the patsy ACC opponents.

I let Shannon make the decision. I have not idea. It's a not win situation with these two kids. However, I think Freeman will manage the game better since he has more football experience because of his dad. If I'm not mistaken, his dad used to coach him. Hopefully he can get some tips from his dad.

Manny, I really think Miami will win this game. Besides the LSU win, when was the last time Miami lost to a rookie qb starter?
Miami defense will be too much for OU's qb.
Go Canes!!!!!!!

The QB performance and capability IS the greatest unknown on the Sooner roster, without a doubt.

Yet, the same is true for UM.

Fortunately for the Sooners, not only did their QB step up and perform well, so did the very experienced supporting cast. Linemen that block, receivers and backs that catch and make extensive YAC.

I think you need to worry LESS about the Sooner's QB, and worry more about how your own QB or tandem will bear against the Sooner defense. Miami won't get 100 yards passing, and if the UM running game could muster a meager 200 yards against MARSHALL, they'll be lucky to get 100 on the road in Norman.

If you truly have a delusion of a UM victory, then Saturday afternoon will have you curled up in the fetal position trying to block out the memories of your Sooner nightmare-

I will take the experience that Kirby has and start him before I take somebody that has only started one game.
I don't care how well he did against
NT. He will not come even close to do the same thing against UM.
Miami defense will suffocate not only the qb, but also the sorry running backs OU has. The receivers will not be able to get the ball because their qb will be on the ground most of the day. The U will comeback from Norman Oklahoma undefeated.

I'm sorry, but I think you dropped your coke spoon.

Even if you presume that the Miami line will be able to consistently, nay make that occasionally get past the biggest, strongest, and most experienced OL they'll face this year, and somehow disrupt Oklahoma from continuously making play after play... Presuming that's true....

Then how do you propose your inept QB and receivers are going to be able to score? Certainly not by using the same skills shown last year or this year.

Oh, and those 'pathetic' running backs got the same amount of yardage as your 'oh so heavenly' saviors. In between the 400 yards total passing the team also had. And, the STARTING running back did not even play. Nor did the 3rd string one. Both of whom will be in the rotation against UM.

Your hallucinations are really quite sad. Hopefully the trip you take to escape the pain of the loss after the crushing defeat to Oklahoma will enable you to get the help you really need.

We will see on game day who the pathetic loser is. We have the answer to your fatazz OL, and his name is C. CAMPBELL along with his camaradas. Just comeback and apologize when OU lose to Miami.

Sooners OL is beyond overrated.... Calais gonna beat that ass

I hope I'm wrong but I see the QB controversy blowing up by halftime of the game when we may only have been able to run the ball.

I hope we held back agaisnt Marshall and Nix and the offense has something in store for OU. Just lining up and ramming it down their throats isnt going to cut it. Canes will have to open it up with or without Freeman.

Kyle looks the part but can't act the part. SETTLED

manny navarro blog (sep 3): "Freeman's career numbers pale in comparison to Wright's ..." how do you measure leadership?

MANNY!!! Start Kyle against OU?!! Kyle would have looked better than Kirby did against overmatched Marshall. But we could have won with Jorge Fernandez at QB. The QB battle wasn't to see who can lead us to a win over the Marshall's and Duke's on the schedule. It's about who can lead us to wins against the good teams on our schedule. It's about who will stay tough when facing adversity. Look at each QB and see how they've reacted to adversity on the field and off the field. One guy kept fighting, kept his head up and kept at it. The other guy puts his head down, sulks, disappears. I want the guy who's going to keep fighting leading us into enemy territory.

Just listen to that Texasooner, I told U it was gud OU tagged N Tex, They are Sooooooooo cocky. Miami 42 OU 13

Kirby looked fine. I've rewatched the game twice now. His performance was nowhere near as bad as his stats suggest.

It's funny how people are suggesting we should have worked on our passing game against Marshall. Yet you wouldn't know how good our running game is if we hadn't been working on that.

Kyle should not even be a thought for Oklahoma. Not even a thought.

Has it been confirmed that Sam Shields is going to start on Saturday? And I agree let’s give Freeman a chance, I though he looked good rolling out of the pocket and making happen, now if he could just complete the passes, and not have so many drops. And let’s not forget he did put points on the board something that Kyle always had a hard time doing no matter the field position.
Regards Da U.

I would love to see Freeman have a break out type game in norman, say 300+ yards passing with 2-3 touchdowns. God I hate the sooners, and the rest of the crap 12.

Regards Da U.

Oh and I agree with Green...Kyle looks the part but can't act the part. SETTLED
Posted by: green | September 04, 2007 at 08:28 AM

Da U

since the controversial 2000 national championship, f$u lost 28 games! karma nailed the criminole : )

i'd be happy with Kirby having a Craig Krenzel 2002 type year. Stats that are underwhelming but can be counted on to make a play when needed either with his feet or arm and not to fold under the pressure. He doesn't need to tear it up at QB. It would be nice though.

That was a completely thoughtless statement. Why the hell would you put Kyle in the game against OU. We all have seen what he has done in big games, why see that sad story again. One game and you are already questioning the coaches decisions,unbelievable!!!

Jason...yes it has been confirmed that SS will start against OU. Shannon already stated this in an interview.

Manny...I know what you are up to and it may just work! My answer is NO to Kyle! I have said it a thousand times...let Kirby play the whole season and then judge not just the opening game.

I am predicting that you will see a COMPLETELY different team and offense against OU. I have gone on record and predicted an OU win and I am not sure the Canes can pull of the upset (ouch!). The Canes CAN win but they will have to be flawless in all three phases of the game to win in Norman. It will be interesting to see how the game plays out.

Here are my best guesses for the game:

1. Don't be surprised if you see a completely offense against OU that will include different personnel groupings and formations than the Canes used against The Herd:

A. Look for Coop and JJ to both line up in the backfield at the same time.
B. Watch for Kyle and Kirby to both be in the game at the same time.
C. Look for Coop to line up in the backfield and then split out wide for a four wide set.
D. Look for JJ or Coop to take a direct snap with Kirby split out wide.
E. Look for one WR with two TE's and a FB/RB set.

2. You will see a lot more play action and passes to the RB's and TEs. Look for a lot of misdirection, draws, screens and throw backs to the weak side to take advantage of OU's (over)pursuit and to counter their team speed.

3. Look for Kirby to throw DEEP early and often. Look for LL, DJ and SS to actually catch the ball and score on a 40+ yard play.

LIVE Q&A Tonight: Just a reminder for you guys to leave me some questions this afternoon. I'll be answering questions live from 8 to 9 p.m. at Canespace this week and will hopefully have Northwestern defensive tackle and UM recruit Marcus Forston available to answer some questions at some point. See you tonight.

Here is the link for the live chat tonight:


HHHMMM - Miami's win and FSU's loss should put the U ahead of FSU in the next poll!!!!

Coach Shannon on Sam Shields: "He'll play this game." start?

Start Kirby. First run the ball. If we can't run the ball then it doesn't matter who starts but... in a scenario where they can key on the QB then Kirby still gives us a chance. 21 points for U probably is a guaranteed win. 17 points will probably do the job. Our D will dictate a lot of the QB choice along the game.

memo to QAM: I want to hear Big Dog Joe Rose (UM fan) NOT jivin' jason jackson! DILUTE

memo to 790: boot boog; he blows.

GREEN...why don't U join us for the LIVE chat tonight at Canespace?

boog is good. sid sucks. jason jackson is alright too, but definitely no jose rose.

Ryan Braun's gaudy numbers (MLB.com): .332 batting average, 119 hits, 26 homers! ROOKIE OF THE YEAR?

boog blows! jivin' jason jackson sucks! Sid (UM alum) rocks!

http://790theticket.com/ sedano (UM fan) returns! 790 middays. oh, happy day ...

Freeman must have Wright beat on the intangibles, such as leadership, because Wright throws an obviously better ball. Freeman, in addition to not being very accurate, seems to have that Berlin-like knack for throwing the worst possible ball at the worst possible time. You get the sense that Freeman would play special teams if called upon to do so, while Wright would not.

I was surprised by the choice of QB, given Wright's numbers and the fact that he is a senior. Also, Wright had the misfortune of playing under Coker, who might be the nicest guy in the world, but he is not a very good head coach -- again, the intangibles.

I hope Freeman gets the job done, but if he continues to throw the ball all over the place, I hope Shannon won't hesitate to give Wright another crack. Perhaps being benched might put a fire under Wright's gut.

Manny, you can't say that if the recievers dont drop those passes Freeman would have been 12-21 foe 115 yards becasue those dropped passes were 3rd and shorts and would have extended drives. He may have been 19-30 for 180 yards and 2 touchdowns. Those dropped passes killed drives and made his states look worse thatn how he actually played. Freeman wasn't a world beater but he was effective in what the coaches asked him to do. I think the plan should be to start Freeman and see how the game goes. If the game is close and he's doing a dencent job then let him finish the game. If the Canes are down by more than 8 points late in the third quarter and the offense is stagnant then insert Kyle and see if he can spark the offense. If he can then it's Wright's job to lose, if not then Kirby should have the job the rest of the year.

As far as what to expect from UM's offense I don't think they will run a bunch of different plays (in fact I think they will run the same plays they ran against Marshall). what I think will be different is that they are going o run the same plays out of multiple formations and do a lot of motion and shifts to create mismatches. That's what G-Tech did last year and over the past couple of years. I think the offense was vanilla in not utilizing motions and shifts, but not in the play calling. It will be an interesting matchup.

I here ya Green-Lloyd Braun (sienfeld reference) is a stud. He will bring home the rookie hardware.

Relax a little folks. Don't you think that UM has been working JJ and Coop into the passing game? They didn't need to reveal that v Marshall. I also would not be surprised to see Coop line up as QB (ie: Arkansas) for a direct snap. We had no imagination v Marshall because we didn't need any. Don't judge until Saturday night. If it still looks vanilla, then we've got problems. And Kirby's scrambling can extend drives-that can be key in a big game. If we bottle up their ground attack, UM can win this game.

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You can't be serious about starting Kyle this game. Its really simple. Mobile qb's against OU are what has given them fits over the years. Being able to elude the rush and create along the way or just knowing that their Dline has to play more of a contain, will slow the rush. If you start Kyle, they will basically rush to his drop point every play, and we both know he cant throw on the run for crap. Freeman is still your best bet. We are going to win this game with ball control, running game and good D. We wont win with a 300 yd passing game and quick scores. POISE is a huge factor of why kirby is a better selection. He does not try to do to much or force passess like kyle does. KF does not get down on himself either, he keeps fighting and the players respond to that.

Texassooner - You have not beat Texas last couple of years, we bring a better D, nuff said. Kinda funny how playing an unranked team and your only favored by 10?!?! I would be scared.

is atlanta-based CSS best for U? sec favoritism, shoddy production, satellite unavailability ...

Does anybody know the "breaking news" on Justin Thompson the recruit for Miami ????

Manny...please!! What are you thinking? Kirby has already shown (BC and Nevada) he's capable of much better numbers than we saw against Marshall. We worked hard on the running game since we now have two backs that can open things up. Plus, it was the first game of the year and the drops weren't on Kirby. He'll be fine. The guy is a true leader; if Kyle was starting against the Terd, we probably would have won 17-10 or something like that...

http://bioactive-skincare.com/ our kicker Francesco Zampogna moonlights as a sunscreen businessman ...

http://www6.miami.edu/UMH/CDA/UMH_Main/1,1770,2593-1;57195-3,00.html "University of Miami Named 'Company of the Year' by South Florida CEO Magazine"

Kyle needs to start against OU he is are oly bet. he throws a better ball than kirby none of you know kyle how he is with the team and he actually did an interview an canesport he knows hes going to get a chnace and he is going to surprise alot of people you watch

http://www6.miami.edu/campaign/home.html MOMENTUM: University of Miami's $1B campaign. as of sep 6, $1.325 BILLION had been raised. CHA-CHING

Why do people believe Kyle is a good qb. He started for two years and never locked down the job. Do you not remember LSU and Louisville? He doesn't make any plays. Give up on Kyle call for Marve or wait for next years batch of recruits but give up on Kyle saving anything. He had a chance to win the job and he lost. Anyone who read the reports from this spring to fall could see Kirby won the job. Kyle Wright can't play qb. He doesn't gives the team a better chance to win. He never makes big plays. He can't win big games. For everyone that wants him to play they are basically giving the job to someone and not asking him to earn it. I am sure RS and Nix would have liked Kyle to step up and win the job but you can't give any job to a guy who doesn't deserve it.

"Kyle needs to start against OU he is are oly bet. he throws a better ball than kirby none of you know kyle how he is with the team and he actually did an interview an canesport he knows hes going to get a chnace and he is going to surprise alot of people you watch"

No, seriously. The last 2 years is proof enough.

i know kirby wasnt that good... i was at the game...but he's not fully to blame..LL keeps dropping passes...but i like that he scrambles and gets away from sacks unlike KW.... we dont need a 300yd passer just no mistakes and manage the game...we have two studs in the backfield!!!!!!!

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