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Take your finger off the panic button

Red Alert! Red Alert! The Miami Hurricanes lost a football game!
Red Alert! Red Alert! The Canes got embarrassed in Norman, 51-13!
Red Alert! Red Alert! This is unacceptable!

Do most of you realize how ridiculous that just sounded? Yet, of the 400-plus messages left on this blog and others related to University of Miami football, I'd estimate about 90-percent of them sounded just like that madness above.

Did The U get thrashed yesterday by the fifth-ranked team? Yes.
Did various parts of the team -- namely the quarterback position and secondary get exposed? Yes.
Did Randy Shannon and his assistants make the wrong move by taking Kyle Wright out of the game? Yes.
Did the game plan stink? Yes.
Is it time to collect everything green and orange in your house and burn it? Absolutely not. Listen up Canes fans, it is time to take your finger off the panic button!

University of Miami football fans are passionate about their team. I understand that. I was born and have bled in this city all my life and spent many a Saturday at the OB myself. But this quick jump off a roof mentality has got to stop. The reality is this football team lost to a superior team and the score was lopsided for a few reasons. I'll get into those later. But the reality is this team is better than last year's 7-6 squad. And this team can also end up running the table the rest of the season. It's not out of the question. The ACC, last time I looked, wasn't exactly loaded with great teams.

I know you are wounded. Randy Shannon and the talk got you all excited. Some of you believed this was 2001 all over again (I don't know how). And then, the Canes ego got blasted with a shotgun yesterday. Here's the problem, though. As Canes fans, you need to stop comparing this team right now to anything accomplished in 1983, 87, 89, 91 and 2001 -- or even those other seasons when Miami had superior talent than this team. It's just not fair. Did you honestly expect Randy Shannon to take this team from 0 to 60 -- or 7-6 to national champs -- in less than 3.1 seconds? The University of Miami is not a Ferrari or the suped-up race car today that it once was.

Yesterday proved that again. But what yesterday also proved is that Miami isn't that far away. Did we forget it was 21-13 in the third quarter? All, Oklahoma did was expose Miami's weaknesses. did get out of hand? Yeah. But it was 21-13. Miami was in the fight. Yes, they picked on the secondary, made Miami's quarterbacks look average at best. But isn't that something we already knew was a problem? Didn't we know the secondary got beat several times by Marshall last week? Haven't we known Miami's passing game has done about diddly squat in the last three years? Why did we believe all of a sudden those issues were going to vanish against arguably Miami's toughest opponent in the last three seasons?

The bottomline is this: This team isn't as bad today as the film Randy Shannon poured over last night. It just isn't good enough to beat teams like Oklahoma. Not yet. But it is good enough to thrash the Marshalls and FIUs of the world. The strength of this team -- its defensive line and running game is good enough to not only keep Miami in games, which is what it did all last year, but likely win most of them. The Canes don't have just one star in the backfield anymore. They've got two. Colin McCarthy is growing up everyday. Calais Campbell and Kenny Phillips? They're still here.

Look at the rest of Miami's schedule and honestly ask yourself if there is a game the Canes simply cannot win? Ask yourself if there is another Oklahoma on the schedule?

FIU? They're 0-2. Played Maryland halfway decent yesterday and lost.
Texas A&M? Needed triple OT to pull of a win at home against Fresno State.
Duke? Basically winless in 2-plus seasons.
North Carolina? Butch Davis isn't ready yet to win a big game.
Georgia Tech? The Yellow Jackets are likely the toughest game at home this season.
Florida State? The Seminoles have their own issues and were down 17-3 yesterday to UAB.
North Carolina State? Barely treading water these days.
Virginia? They beat a beaten down Miami team 17-7 last year. They only beat Duke by 11 yesterday.
Virginia Tech? In a game vs. an opponent much like Miami's, they were trailing 24-0 to LSU yesterday at halftime. The final beatdown was 48-7. Need we forget the 17-7 season opening win over (gasp!) East Carolina.
Boston College? The last time Miami lost to them, I was 6.

Feel better yet? Have you thought about taking finger off the panic button?

Randy Shannon and his coaches have to go to work today. They need to figure out who is going to play quarterback the rest of this season. They need to find ways to get the receivers involved in something other than blocking. They need to get their secondary and pass defense to play better. But they don't need to hit the panic button. And neither do you.

UPON FURTHER REVIEW: I realize my comment yesterday saying Kyle Wright was "yukking it up" has caused a bit of a stir. I  want to apologize to Kyle myself. In my quest to pound out my locker room report as quickly as possible yesterday and get the rest of my work done, I used the wrong word. I fumbled. I certainly don't want anybody to get the idea Wright was having his own personal party yesterday in the wake of the team's 51-13 loss to the Sooners. All I was trying to convey, was that Kyle was feeling better than he has most of this fall. He got to play. He moved Miami's offense. He's hopeful it made it a difference with playing time. And yes, while most of his teammates appeared down, he seemed a little happier. Not a lot. Just a little. Good enough to crack a few smiles with his family and friends after the game. It was a bad choice of words on my part. That's all. My bad Kyle. My bad Canes fans.

Comments

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Fire Shannon! I read some comments of his and every UM fan should realize he will always get out coached. He traveled only 4 D-Tackles verse a team with 3 quality running backs and the best O-line in the country. He left the Phillips kid in man to man coverage not after 2 touchdowns but 3 touchdowns.
I know must agree with Rutger's OC on why he didnt except the job. The Miami staff plays the same schemes for years and now that they don't have the best athletes they are getting beat. Bet anyone they win 7 games at the most.

I agree with the earlier post about the offensive coordinator Patrick Nix. That is some of the worst play calling I've seen in years. It truly was offensive!

Patrick Nix is hancuffed in what he can call pass wise with Kirby being the QB. He cannot even get the ball to the sideline for the WR Screen.... It's terrible to watch and if he starts against FIU it is a complete joke and Randy is going against what he said of playing the best player...
Kyle is clearly better and if he does not play and Shannon keeps playing this game we will be lucky to get 6 win...
I feel bad for all that Randy Phillips has gone through this year, but he is not a good corner at all. We need to get some younger guys in there (wiggins or grant) and get them some experience. Stupid penalties have to stop... even though bradford was technically still in bounds gooden has to know if he hits him there it is most likely going to be a penalty. The block in the back by Hankerson was bad too. I just would not put all the blame on Nix just yet. RANDY has the final say on who he wants to be the QB and obviously he has something against Kyle.

busy_cane: 1) surrender; 2) preservation; 3) stubbornness

HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE RANDY TO SWALLOW HIS PRIDE AND ADMIT HE MADE A MISTAKE AND MAKE THE RIGHT CALL AND CONTINUE THE SEARCH FOR AN OC THAT THE "U" NEEDS TO TURN THIS PATHETIC OFFENSE AROUND!

Posted by: NORM4 | September 09, 2007 at 10:57 PM 2009

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/blogs/content/shared-blogs/palmbeach/umblog pbpost's jorge milian (sep 9): "In 11 offensive series, Freeman was able to direct the offense to one first down. ... Do you realize Miami ranks 118th out of 119 Division I-A teams in pass offense? Only Navy, which runs the triple option, is listed behind the Hurricanes." didn't U introduce the forward pass to college football ...

http://www.sptimes.com/2007/09/10/Opinion/Universities_get_the_.shtml sptimes' editorial: "(Gov. Charlie Crist) would cut $10.2-million in first-year startup costs for medical schools at the University of Central Florida and Florida International University while handing over $80-million in startup costs for a medical institute at the private University of Miami." CLOUT

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/sports/college/seminoles/orl-nflinsider0907sep09,0,3208178.column orlandosentinel's chris harry: "The first version of 2007 (NFL) regular-season rosters showed 215 players on the 53-man squads that attended Florida colleges. The University of Miami led the way with 43 players, followed by Florida State (41), Florida (30), UCF (8), South Florida (4), Bethune-Cookman (2), Florida A&M and Florida International (1). Florida Atlantic was shut out." NFL U

Worst play calling I have ever seen. I couldn't believe those calls. My girlfriend who's not into football could have called better playes than an option to the wide side of the field or those QB draws. Who does Nix thinks he has at QB? Are you kidding me?????

Excellent points. This is a team that is making steady improvements. By the way, if James had not fumbled in the first half it is very likely the Canes could have been up 16 - 13 or only down 14 - 13 at the begining of the third quarter. Lastly, I have been going to Hurricanes games since 1975 when we used to "thrashed" by the likes of San Diego State. I also was in the OB for both of our first national championships. A "FAN" supports a team and it's players, staff, etc. as long as there is obvious effort and accountability being put forth. Regardless of wins and losses. Randy Shannon is going to turn this thing around so all the true fans must remain patient. As for the rest of you, I am used to seeing gator and 'noles fans trashing the Hurricanes, but when supposed supporters are doing it...well why don't you take your supposed loyalties and shove them where your brains obviously are!!

since july 23, manny navarro's once-limp blog elicited 2,400+ posts; 800 more posts in the last 7 weeks than ALL of his preceding blogs combined (aug 15 - jul 20 : ) 11 months! UP, UP & AWAY

every month greg cote trumpets his performance in the herald's blog report. conspicuously, he omits august's. I suspect the Canes & dolphins kicked his ass. be a good sport ...

I LOVE HOW EVERYONE BLAMES COKER FOR THE RECRUITING PROBLEMS, RANDY SHANNON WAS THERE AS WELL, HE DIDNT COME IN FROM ANOTHER SCHOOL AND START FRESH WITH MIAMI HE WAS THERE THE WHOLE TIME HE COULD HAVE RECRUITED AS WELL, WHY IS SHANNON TRYING SO HARD NOW?? DID HE SLACK OFF WHIKE COKER WAS THERE, AND NOW HE IS ACTUALLY TRYING??? SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT.......

I LOVE HOW EVERYONE BLAMES COKER FOR THE RECRUITING PROBLEMS, RANDY SHANNON WAS THERE AS WELL Posted by: arealisst | September 10, 2007 at 09:22 AM Larry Coker had final say ...

area...let's not forget that when Coker was here, and to this day, the defence is a gerat to very good at worst defence. Don't make it seem like shannon screwed the defence.

http://canespace.typepad.com/canespace/2007/09/the-short-lis-1.html canespace blog elicited 1,700+ posts; more posts in 1 day than greg cote, ethan skolnick & omar kelly elicited in the last 6 weeks : )

Thanks for this entry Manny - I think a lot of Canes fans are still in shock and, yes, were panicking a bit Saturday (myself included). I attribute this to the mindset hangover the "Coker era" trained us to have. With LC at the helm, games such as yesterday's reality check in Norman, would have had this Hurricanes thinking all was lost and that would have manifested itself on the field the rest of the season. I hope, think and believe RS will not allow that to happen - if you read the SI article on Coach Shannon, he doesn't allow himself, or his players to dwell on the past as there is nothing you can do about that - you can only impact the future.
Look - Miami lost yesterday to a VERY good OU team. Their O-Line is massive, they've got 3-4 VERY GOOD RB's to rotate, their receivers are BIG and don't drop anything, and they've got a defense as quick as UM's. I wouldn't be surprised at all to see them in the Nat'l Championship game in January - OU is a VERY good team and my hat goes off to them.
This was a good learning experience for Miami and I agree that we now have the experience to run the table. I think we're about 1 - 1.5 years out from competing for a NC, but that'll come soon enough.
CANES fans - hang in there...the sky is NOT falling and we have to stay supportive of this YOUNG team.
I'm out - GO CANES!

DelrayCane: valid point but you gloss over the coaching blunders. INEXCUSABLE

There is only a fine line between winning and losing, there is not that much of a difference a few penalties here and there or a couple of plays here and there, we will get there people, there will be some bumps in the road, but U take them, learn from them and move on, RS will get this thing turned around, it is not a question of if just a question of when, slow down and dont be so quick to panic, the sky is not falling in Miami, it is getting brighter, remember when U write something these recruits and family may very well see them and start to 2nd guess this U, so be carefull of what U say or write, I love the way RS holds everyone accountable, I would just hate to be on that practice field this week....IN RANDY WE TRUST...

IN RANDY WE TRUST...

Posted by: DWALK1 | September 10, 2007 at 10:02 AM blind trust? no. in U we trust ...

http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/story/231815.html herald's mike phillips: "(Coach) Shannon appears to be leaning toward (Kirby) Freeman ..."

canes fans hold the head up high ya we got beat up but things will change and that wont always be the case. besides you should have a winning schedule coming up soon FIU (which played maryland tough again!) Duke and UNC should help and get some of the swagger back

I was there at the game, OK was the better team by far. Outcoached?No they had the better deeper team. Canes had 230 lb guys playing DT againest a huge talented OL. Our receivers don't get open and drop balls. And both QBs are limited. We will get better, but let's not be delusional. OK is better and GA Tech is better. The other games we have a chance.
Oh- the fans at OK were great. Very hospitable and polite. Hopefully cane fans will treat there "guests" as well.

I think your comments, Manny, hit it right on the nose about the rest of the season with the exception of Georgia Tech, which is very impressive. My biggest disappointment with the coaching was the fact that they failed to make adjustments at halftime and that they were going to stick with their game plan no matter what. The quarterback draw play should be used maybe once a season, but to continually use it against Oklahoma was unforgiveable. I think the last game of the year is going to be LSU v. Oklahoma if they can get by Texas.

double d from dallas: why are you so charitable to our coaches?

Five thoughts...

1. Miami will get exposed by any elite QB until they fix the secondary. That equals trouble and likely losses to Georgia Tech and Boston College, despite Manny's optimism at running the table.

2. Texas A&M and Virginia Tech do not have any quality QBs to speak of. I think FSU will be a tougher win than those two because Weatherford is at least average. The Canes can win all those games.

3. Neither Kirby or Kyle are average. They are poor. Shannon goes with Kirby, I'm convinced, beacuse he doesn't take sacks (which cripple field position and team mojo) and because he is a junior. Kyle is a better passer but no more able to steer an offense with his passing than Kirby with his scrambling. I can see the logic of saying we already have two running backs, we don't need a third in Kirby, but I think it's too early to give up hope he can develop so that we don't have to throw Marve or the Northwestern QB to the wolves as freshman starters next year. Though hell, if they pass like that OU kid, bring them on!

4. No more shotgun offense please. No more of this snap to Kirby and have him run as though he is Michael Vick or Vince Young. He is a mobile QB, not a running QB.

5. OU was 7-5 two years ago after Jason White graduated. Even with Adrian Peterson. Down years happen. OU was 9-2 last year. Not every year is an elite year. OU will play for the national title as an undefeated team. It's embarassing to give up 51, but not to lose to that sort of team on the road. If you haven't noticed, Michigan and Notre Dame are 0-2. The U could be worse. This isn't their year, try to be patient.

JC: did you watch the game? Kyle > Kirby

True, the Canes had made it a game at 21-13 in the 3rd before totally falling apart. so, the loss, while lopsided, is probably not as bad as it seemed on sat.

Unfortunately, there are some serious issues that need addressing.

Kirby Freeman is not a big-time starting QB. True, Kyle Wright has been a bust but he is clearly the better QB and should be starting. I don't think its a coincidence that Miami's O game plans with Kirby starting are extremely limited. I was at the Maryland game last year and I've never seen such a vanilla offense. Kirby just can't complete passes down the field, looks to run way too quickly and is horribly inaccurate. This leaves Nix calling stupid QB draws, draws to the RBs out of the shot gun and ineffective WR screens. You can't beat a team like OU just running those 3 plays, which Nix inexplicably continued calling. You can throw the ball downfield more with Wright which should open things up a little.

And, there were some serious head-scratchers by the coaching staff: Why put Kirby back in when Wright put up 10 points? Why was Cooper the RB in the goal line package? I love Coop but he cannot power it in like James can. The Offensive play calling was brutal, especially on the goal line. Option pitch to Cooper from 2 yard line? Miami's D unable to stop the quick 3 step drops and quick slants....It just appeared to me that OU had a much better game plan and executed it well. I'm sure a little of that had to do with better personnel, but still.

You can see that Miami is better than last year. This was a tough loss that got out of hand at the end. I fully expect Shannon to right the ship and make a run in the ACC, which as Manny pointed out are all winnable games. I'm looking forward to the Canes correcting some of these mistakes and playing tough, hard football the rest of the way.

http://canespace.typepad.com/./photos/uncategorized/2007/09/09/100_1810.jpg canespace pinup CoCo Durand beseeched by autograph-seeking admirers ...

first of all let me start by saying i`ve been a Hurricane fan since 84.I now we as people don`t like change but change is eminent to success.First of all it`s time to get with the program and go to the spread offense or some sort of variation of it, reason being it will allow us to put or atheletes on the field look around college football that offense gives App St and Oregon the ability to beat Michigan as well as USF to beat Auburn who by the way Both Michigan and Auburn run similar style offense that we do. I formation,predictable we are are going to run it on first and second down then throw on third.Those type teams are no longer winning championship they are 8 games and going to Music City Bowl. Florida,Texas,Nebraska,Oklahoma all have went to the spread which puts athletes and speed on field at all times as well as some misderection. Please on defense can start bringing more pressure even if were not going to blitz lets crowd the line of scrimmage and make it look like a blitz. As soon as we stop being argogant and thinking were the U we`ve won 5 Championship by running I formation on offense and a basic vanilla 4-3 defense we will be ok. One more thing before i go if we don`t change our ways it`s going to be hard to recruit these kids because they all love the spread and blitzing style defense they think it`s fun and cool.

Great comments.....

The game did get out of hand,but then so did the team as a whole the last several years...that is why Larry is gone. That being said. I remember all the National Media saying why Ken Dorsey did not deserve the Heisman, because all he had to was get the ball to Portis or McGahee, or Johnson....In the absence such a leader, where is the U now? I guess they were wrong, just like that Ref at the end of the OSU game.

Mike: persuasive post

It's not the scheme or coaching although Stoops and his crew have way more experience. It's the players. There is nothing wrong with a pro set ( why do they play it on Sundays?) Nor with a 4/3. it's all about blocking , tackleing, throwing and catching. All the coaching Geniuses that are blogging don't get it. Our CBs are a step slow, our D tackles are way undersized or out of shape ( At the OK game Dixon barely made it to the sidelines on a substitution) Our LBs are young and learning. On Offense the QBs are simply not talented or are lazy The receivers are weak, neither Legget or Jenkins has made a play in years, Shileds still learning . And the O line is now only getting it together. yes the tailbacks are above averege, but thats it. And not to be too charitable to the coaching staff, they need to get more seasoned, Blaming Coker is a cop out as many of his top recurits were highly regarded, they just didn't pan out

http://cbs.sportsline.com/collegefootball/story/10340519 second most points allowed since 1980 ... DUBIOUS HONOR

All the coaching Geniuses that are blogging don't get it. Posted by: double d from dallas | September 10, 2007 at 12:51 PM what don't we get?

I say the final score was 31-13 not too bad,

OU was classless at the end running the score up!!!

Blaming Coker is a cop out as many of his top recurits were highly regarded Posted by: double d from dallas | September 10, 2007 at 12:51 PM highly regarded by whom?

perennial doormat wake forest won the 2006 ACC with nobodies. explain that ...

Green, its not the scheme its lack of execution, thats what The geniuses don't get. Total lack of execution, OK plays a simple pro set and a simple 4/3 , and they ran up and down the field and shut down our offense. And Bryan, OK was not classless, Stoops noted that the slant play was a run , but UM put everybody on the line forcing the throw we had no defenders in place We just didn't have the players to defend

double d from dallas: Coach Nix & Kirby Freeman shut down our O ...

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/blogs/content/shared-blogs/palmbeach/umblog pbpost's jorge milian (sep 9): "In 11 offensive series, Freeman was able to direct the offense to one first down." CASE CLOSED

Manny,
Keep up the good work. Real Canes' fans aren't jumping ship. OK was just a painful growing experience. I think the coaches and players will respond.

Green keep believing that if it makes you feel better Oh one of the highly regarded flops was your QB. Wasn't he the Gatorade player of the tear and # 1 by Rivals and scout? What did he do in the third quarter? 16 yards!!He may be better then Freeman but he has not stepped up in 5 years. It's not the scheme, not Nix , not Coker,not even Freeman it's lack of execution and thin Talent. That said, Manny is right, the other ACC teams have issues too, except for GT

Good post Manny - so many people are ready to call Dr. Kavorkian - jeepahs! We are better than last year - if Cer would still have the team we would have beat Marshall by 1 point and gone clinging to in the 4th quarter....or have you all forgotten those clinging to 1 point lead games

Oh one of the highly regarded flops was your QB. Wasn't he the Gatorade player of the tear and # 1 by Rivals and scout? Posted by: double d from dallas | September 10, 2007 at 01:21 PM so what?! sadly, press clippings sway you. how many Butch Davis classes did the schmexperts rank highly? 0 why? he knew better.

I'm sorry but some of you either typed your posts without thinking or you are total morons who embarass me that you are canes fans. First off, this is the canes first year w Shannon (I too got caught up in the hype) but look Nix is figuering out who his playmakers are and who aren't (ex. LL is not a playmaker) They're realizing when to put JJ and when to put Coop in. As far as you know OU might be this years NC and don't worry because next year Marve will most likely be the starting QB. OU had experienced WR's. Our's unfortunately are like the old coach. We have new kids that are going to take time to develop. next year we might look like OU when Shannon's recvrs, backs and line would have had 1 full year of true cane work and experience behind them. so please stop w the Nix negative remarks. The man is not a miracle worker he's learning as he goes to. this is not NCAA 2008 for the XBOX.

so please stop w the Nix negative remarks. Posted by: gnav | September 10, 2007 at 01:40 PM no! no! no!

DOUBLE D.........BS!!!! i dont care , your the #5 team in the country with a 20+ point lead at home and you kept your starters in the game until the last few minute and you keep throwing the ball!!

OKLAHOMA IS CLASSLESS , WAIT TILL 09' PAYBACKS A BITCH!

MANNY, HAVE ANY IDEA WHY WE DID NOT PRESSURE THE QB WITH BLITZES? ANY QB WITH TIME TO THROW WILL TEAR ANY DEFENSE APART.

GNAV you make sense, maybe it will take more then a year ,but it will happen. Canes have no playmakers, ( Jenkins can be added to LL) and need time to develop. And the defense also needs some new and better players. I see 4 to 5 first year freshmen staring next year on defense. DT, corner LB and safety. Beat up all you want on Kirby, but for the bothched snap and fumbles OK could have put up 60 on us. What would have Kyle done differently?

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