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Gameday Blog: UM 31, Marshall 3 (F)

Checking in live from the game where the Canes won 31-3 against Marshall. I shared some note/thoughts on the game as it progressed. For those of you now back at home, feel free to give me your thoughts on what happened.

- Miami's offensive line has looked stellar. No pressures on quarterback Kirby Freeman and the running game led by Javarris James and Graig Cooper has looked spectacular.
- Colin McCarthy has been all over the field making tackles. Eric Moncur has two sacks and the defensive line has produced five as unit -- the most in a half since last year's Virginia game. Let's not forget Calais Campbell's big interception.
- Freshman DeMarcus Van Dyke hasn't been heard from once. That means he's doing well.
- Only one penalty for the team for 10 yards. That's a nice showing.

- Tavares Gooden made a spectacular interception to lead to a score, but the middle of the field in UM's secondary has looked suspect at times. Marshall has made some big plays there on the offense.
- Miami's special teams isn't exactly kicking butt. Francesco Zampogna is 1 of 2 on field goal attempts, but both of Matt Bosher's punts were short. Daren Daly had a kickoff roll out of bounds.
- Kirby Freeman didn't look great. He finished 9 of 21 for 81 yards, but he was 2 of 8 for 16 yards after half with an interception.

- It was a struggle, but Marshall finally puts a score up on the board, a 37-yard field goal by Anthony Binswanger with 13:37 left in the game. The drive was 12 plays, 34 yards. It could have ended a play earlier, but Randy Phillips dropped an interception at the UM 2. It was still a nice play by Phillips.
- "COOOOOOOOOOOP!" the crowd kept chanting in the fourth quarter as Miami's new star freshman went over the 100-yard mark in the fourth quarter. He's no joke. Lots of broken tackles and first downs every time he's touched the ball today.
- Miami's two drives stall in this quarter as the passing game continues to struggle. The good news is, Bosher finally has a good punt -- pinning Marshall inside its 5.
- Freshman safety JoJo Nicholas makes his first big play of his UM career, making a diving interception at the Marshall 29.

- Colin McCarthy leaves the game with an apparent injury. Could be the same knee (right) he tweaked in fall practice.
- Miami is forced to punt after picking up just one first down on its first possession of the second half. Khalil Jones becomes the third Canes' receiver to drop a pass, a 15-yard slant. Kayne Farquharson and Darnell Jenkins dropped potential first downs in the first half.
- Marshall punts again, Graig Cooper shows some flash again, but his return is again nullified by a block in the back.
- Miami takes only four plays and 1 minute, 20 seconds to move 70 yards and make it 24-0. The drive is highligthed by a Cooper 56-yard run to the Marshall 18. That came after Javarris' James had a 50-yard run called back by a holding penalty on Orlando Franklin. James capped the drive with an 8-yard touchdown run, stiff-arming the cornerback on the way to the end zone.
- Spencer Adkins steps in front of pass and returns the interception 10 yards to the Marshall 36. But on the very next play, Kirby Freeman makes his first mistake of the season throwing the ball right at Marshall linebacker Maurice Kitchens, which he returned 19 yards to the Marshall 46.

Miami: 11 first downs, 153 yards total offense, 18 carries for 88 rushing yards, 7 of 13 passing for 65 yards, 2 punts for only 21 yard average.
Marshall: 7 first downs, 158 yards total offense, 16 carries for 24 rushing yards, 10 of 16 passing for 134 yards, 2 INTS.

- Rutledge starts over Reggie Youngblood at right tackle. Jason Fox starts at left tackle
- UM's first play: UM lines up in a three-receiver set and Kirby Freeman connects with Lance Leggett on a 10-yard curl pattern. Freeman goes 1 for 2 on his first drive. His other pass, a 30-yarder to Leggett in the end zone, got deflected.
- Javarris James looks good running the football, picking up 36 yards on four carries.
- Francesco Zampogna makes a 35-yard field goal, splitting the up rights to cap the drive.
- The only defensive starters still up in the air before kickoff -- cornerback and safety -- were answer with Randy Phillips at corner at Willie Cooper at safety.
- Defensive end Eric Moncur gets to the quarterback twice for sacks, only one counts (the other was nullified by a penalty).
- Tavares Gooden comes through with his first big play of the season, a 35-yard interception return to setup the game's first touchdown.
- Freeman throws his first touchdown of the season, a beautful playaction pass to tight end Dajleon Farr from 1-yard out on the next play.
- Marshall takes the ensuing possession and moves down the field, picking up on a long pass play in which Randy Phillips gets beat for a 44-yard gain by Darius Passmore. But the drive stalls on fourth and one at the UM 7 on a review.
- Javarris James exits the first quarter with six carries for 50 yards. Kirby is 4 of 6 for 38 yards and a touchdown.

- Graig "Super" Cooper makes his debut and picks up two yards on his first carry -- and a first down.
- Cooper picks up six yards on his second carry, although it looked for a second like he might fly past the Marshall defense. He picks up  a first down on carry No. 3, four yards.
- UM's drive ends up stalling at the Marshall 22-yard line when Cooper fumbles a handoff exchange from Freeman and Reggie Youngblood recovers the ball at the Marshall 32.
- Francesco Zampogna misses a 44-yard field goal wide left.
- Marshall takes over at its own 27, but goes three and out. Colin McCarthy picks up a sack and so does Dwayne Hendricks. UM now has three sacks.
- Cooper handles the punt and shows some nice shake and bake on a 10-yard return. UM is flagged for a block in the back and the ball is moved back.
- Miami's fourth possession ends with a 15-yard punt by Matt Bosher. Yikes! On the drive, Richard Gordon makes his first catch of the season (an 8-yard gain). Freeman's second pass attempt -- longer than 15 yards -- goes incomplete when Lance Leggett can't stretch out far enough to bring down a third down pass inside the Marshall 10. Miami is forced to punt.
- Marshall's fourth drive stalls again. Eric Moncur picks up his second sack on the drive. Can you say big season?
- By the way, got to point out, we haven't heard a peep from the guy DeMarcus Van Dyke is covering. That's good news for Canes fans.
- After another stalled UM offensive drive, the defense sets up the offense again when Calais Campbell makes a tremendous one-handed interception at the Marshall 24. Three plays later, Javarris James scores on a 5-yard run to make it 17-0 UM.


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Yikes - 2 HUUUUGE concerns: (1) the punting game - been dreadful and (2) where is the passing attack (against a very suspect secondary); still seems there is a lot of improvement needed!!

All else looks good but those 2 problems will spell trouble against OU...


How is the crowd? I'm an out-of-towner who couldn't make it - my 3 yr old son's b-day party.

I don't have ESPN U, so I'm listening on WQAM - online stream.


Our QB play is PUTRI - Good God, bring on Marve next season because as much as I think Kirby is better than Kyle Wrong (and he is better)clearly NEITHER ONE is going to get this team to the promised land. Awful...OU is going to crowd the box next week knowing there is NO passing game.

Kirby was let down big time by his wideouts with the dropped passes...also we didnt se much from the offense as we were holding back not to show to much...

Herald is doing a terrible job online regarding keeping readers uodated!If it wern't for he blogs their would be NO covrage. (I live on the west coaast of Florida and no tv coverage here except ESPNU. What the hell is tha??!

Please don't start with the "holding back." I don't think Miami was holding back. What were they afraid to show? That Miami can catch, and the drops were all part of their plan.

Im not worried about the passing game at all it was the first game of the season and when sheilds is in the game (who is kirby's fav target) the passing game will be much more explosive. Plus are running games is going to be rediculous all year long. The only thing I am worried about is those blow coverages in the middle of the field. that has to be fixed fast or we will be in trouble cause there were about 5 or 6 times that people were wide open and the only thing that saved us was the pressure on the qb.

the 82nd season of UM football begins with a W : )

2006 v. 2007 ... NIGHT & DAY

Thunder + Lighting = 215 yards

(typo) Lightning

before you belittle our win, appalachian state upset #5michigan at the big house : ) hahahaha

Herald is doing a terrible job online regarding keeping readers uodated!If it wern't for he blogs their would be NO covrage. Posted by: David | September 01, 2007 at 03:51 PM I disagree. specifically, what's your problem with Miamiherald.com?

Coach Shannon awarded a game ball! DESERVED

no sacks : ) Mario who?

back in black ... shoes & socks : ) SUWEET


I'm not about to throw Kirby under the bus. The majority of his passes were on the money. The receivers let him down big time. Dropped passes killed us again. Kirby's passes don't have Kyle's heat on them, so what's the excuse now? Today Kirby made smart plays with his feet, and only tried to force one pass that I saw (which of course led to an INT). I'd say that's ok for the first game.

The passing game isn't great, but it doesn't need to be. We have a monster growing in the backfield. As long as Kirby and the receivers are servicable, everything will be OK. 9-wins are more than doable.

I was at the game today - what a difference from 2006. This running game looks POWERFUL. O Line looked good, D line looked UNSTOPPABLE. Linebackers looked VERY good. Receivers & secondary...needs some work, but Moncur and 81 had their backs. I was even impressed with the crowd - looked to be about 40K (guess) in the stands and they were groovin' to Sebastian hip hop dancing in the W endzone in the 3rd quarter (funny). For a 12pm game against a Conf USA team - that's pretty good - though it would have been nice to see a PACKED HOUSE to welcome in RS. I have to remark at what a fresh breath it was to see our QB evading the rush and gaining positive yardage when he FELT the pressure rather than caving for a sack or throwing the ball away.
All in all - an encouraging 1st outing for the RS era but they've got a MONSTER test next week.
Goooooo C-A-N-E-S CANES!

I must say I was happy with the play calling of Nix. For the past few years we've forgotten that a fade route even exists. Today it seemed like every time we were 2nd and short Nix put our receivers on long routes...if only we had players in the skill positions to make the plays. At least Nix is putting them in position for big plays.

Sup Manny?
Big props for your coverage of the game!!!
U are the Man!!!
86 and I were at the game and we made a lot of new friends!!!
Check out our great gameday pics @Canespace
They will be posted soon!
We can't wait for your in depth live chat Tue. night at Canespace

Did anyone else at the game notice how much time Kyle Wright was on the sideline chatting away and not paying attention to the game. Toward the end of the 3rd qtr. he was sitting on the bench chatting with a few scrubs while the majority of the team not playing was standing up on the sidelines watching the game. His head and attitude aren't in the game, which is why he isn't starting and Kirby is, no matter how mediocre KF actually is. At least he wants to put it all on the line.

1. Enjoyed the game-made the treck from Orlando. The people of Miami should be ashamed of themselves. All the whining about the team leaving the OB and they respond with <40K in the seats. You deserve to lose this team.

2. Running game was fun to watch-so was the D. Secondary is still suspect but front 7 looks solid. We knew the ends would shine but T Mac showed up too. 44 IS A PLAYER.

3. We still have major problems at receiver, and it starts with LL. Hankerson was impressive and Sheilds will make a difference. The rest have work to do. LL is a ghost by mid-season-he simply is not a competitor.

4. Kirby was disappointing, but he didn't get much help from the receivers. His accuracy was poor, but the ability to extend drives with his legs is huge. He needs to get better.

5. Someone tell Nix that when we get close, give it to JJ. The goal line is not the place to give the ball to a guy who rarely touches the ball all day.

All in all a good start.


Is anyone else worried about our inability to stretch the field? I don't think we had a pass completion longer than 15 yards -- against one of the worst pass defenses in college football. What are we going to do if OU puts 8 in the box?

I don't mean to sound like a pessimist here, but we're dead against real competition if we can't stretch the field -- and one almost-completion to Leggett doesn't count.

Is anyone else worried about our inability to stretch the field? I don't think we had a pass completion longer than 15 yards -- against one of the worst pass defenses in college football. What are we going to do if OU puts 8 in the box?

I don't mean to sound like a pessimist here, but we're dead against real competition if we can't stretch the field -- and one almost-completion to Leggett doesn't count.

Posted by: Displaced Cane in Chi-Town | September 01, 2007 at 11:24 PM
We ran 4 damn plays thats it very plain and simple just to win the game not to show the sooners any plays....don't worry wait until next week then judge...

Wait until next week? Man this is ludicrous. I am not sure why the receivers are not able to catch balls. These butter fingers need immediate fix, otherwise we are going to definitely lost next week if not shut out.

OU offense looked crisp today (79-10 blow out of North Texas). Unlike Marshall, OU has a great OL, so our DL will not be able to do much. Hope it turns out more competitive than the Louisville game of last year.

Well I must say, Not having ESPNU until wednesday when I get DirectTV installed really sucked. I hope comcast goes out of business one day.

At least I got to watch ND get embarrased at home. :)

jonathan: Comcast (CSS) replays our games 1p & 7p tuesdays ...

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/04_47/b3909143_mz016.htm Comcast challenges FOX for regional superiority ...

anyone have a confirmed attendance number?

support Kirby ... no alternative!

Who knows how good Kirby is. His receivers seldom get open. LL never gets any seperation. And when the do get open they drop the ball. Maybe we will see this Sat. I'll be there. The 350 yards OK got passing in the first half were all " runs" on out patterns. But make no mistake OK got some studs, and it's at ther house. THey will make the Canes throw the ball. Should be fun.

too many drops hurt Kirby's stats. MISLEADING

the only stat that matters ... 31 points : )

Sooner 41 Canes 20...That's next weeks score for all you fools!!

Canes beat up on Marshall and now they think they can play with Top 10 school. Get back to reality people!!

Graig Cooper - good day yesterday! Everyone to me looks stronger, faster, leaner. U will prevail against the Sooners!


Does Direct TV have a channel that shows the Canes replay? They don't have CSS as a channel...

pspnsu: no. CSS drawback ... satellite unavailability : (

memo to QAM: less filibustering, more phone calls during the postgame ...

georgia tech creams notre lame : ) chalk one up for the good guys ...

http://www.thestate.com/colleges/story/161796.html thestate's steve wiseman: "ACCselect.com showed 700 events in its first year, attracting 500,000 unique visitors."

Props to the Canes for a good victory, they played with extreem confidence yesterday. I was thoroughly impressed with the OL, DL, RB, LB play. DVD is the real deal, KP needs to step it up a bit for next week. SS will be back so that will help out the KF and the passing game. Good luck with OU next week.

Kirby did really well I thought. The interception was silly, but, unlike under Coker, it happened with the game fairly well set, not on first and goal at the Louisville 5 in the first quarter.

Freeman's final line was 9 of 21 for 81 yards, but Manny said it best. 4 first down passes dropped, 1 the 15 yard slant by Jones for 15 yards that hit him square in the chest. That right there is 13 of 21 final, or over half his passes. And if Leggett comes up with that diving catch, which did hit him in the hands and which most other great UM recievers would have made, Freeman's got a lot of yardage.

These receivers better start catching the ball. Freeman did great.

am i crazy (or colorblind) or were those black stripes on UM's pants? at the very least they were darker green.

I'm not sure what game you guys were watching, but to say anything positive about Kirby's performance other than him not getting sacked is crazy. I will support him, but he needs to improve dramtically. He is very inaccurate and makes very poor decisions. He should have had 3 int's. And talk about staring down his receivers! Holy crap. He should have torched that defense. I'm not sure which I would rather have a qb who doesn't get sacked who makes no plays(Kirby) or a qb who gets sacked, but can actually throw the damn ball (Kyle). I bet you put Kyle behind this OL he would excel. The WR had 3 drops so add 3 completions and Kirby still would have barely passed for 100 yards!

drops skewed Kirby's stats. FORGIVING

georgia SF DeQuan Jones COMMITS to U hoops.

pspnsu: ESPNU (our namesake : ) replays U v. marshall 6a tuesday.

hey manny navarro, 1500+ posts since july 23! more posts in the last 6 weeks than the preceding 10 months (sep 19 - jul 20) combined : ) RAGS TO RICHES

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpXPNtwF9Yk Sebastian shakes his bootay to "crank dat soulja boy" : )

As I read through the comments I am wondering if some of you watched the game... Kirby looked good???????? How can anyone say that?
He was 9-21 and out the nine about 5-6 of them were quick screens to Leggett. He is GARBAGE and as much as I would like to think that we have a shot next week I am a realist as I have said before and Kirby will truly be exposed next week... Terrible.... On a positive note the D Line was amazing and McCarthy is the next great LB at the U.
The thunder and lightning RB's are something to be very excited about but this team cannot win more than 8 games with Kirby at QB.

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