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Duke, wild weekend recap

On a weekend in which No. 3 Oklahoma, No. 4 Florida, No. 5 West Virginia, No. 7 Texas and No. 10 Rutgers all lost, I find it funny how some UM fans are jumping off the bandwagon again after the Canes' shaky 24-14 win against Duke at the OB Saturday.

Haven't we realized yet college football -- much like UM -- just isn't the way it used to Duke_celebrationbe? Did we forget Notre Dame is still looking for its first win this season? Have we noticed that South Florida -- that school that didn't have a football team until 1997 -- is ranked sixth in the country? How about Rutgers the former Big East doormat? They were that No. 10 team that lost on Saturday. How about Michigan losing to I-AA Appalachian State earlier this year? Much like the NFL, there is now parity in college football folks. Yes, you'll still have your occasional blowout. But there are no gimmies anymore.

We all remember the days when the Canes would walk onto the field at the OB against Rutgers or Temple and by halftime the only thing we were all thinking about was how many yards and touchdowns Gino Torretta was going to throw for before it was over. That's not going to happen anymore. Yes, Duke is a team that just ended a 22-game losing streak two weeks ago. Yes, FIU has lost 17 straight games. But everyone struggles to win even against bad team these days. No. 1 USC beat Washington 27-24. How many people did you hear bring up the fact the Trojans could barely beat a team that is 2-3 this season and was 5-7 a year ago with one of the worst pass defenses in the country? Or that USC only beat the Huskies 26-20 last year?

Elite teams, in the end, are still going to rise to the top when its all said and done. Boise State isn't ready to win a national title. USF either. But I think its safe to say there are no gimmies anymore in college football, especially when it comes to conference play. And Canes fans ought to realize a hard-fought 24-14 win against may not have been pretty, but it was still a win. And these days that's all that matters.

OK, enough preaching. Let's share some postgame thoughts and play a little Monday morning quarterback. Here's what impressed me Saturday and what I learned:

Kyle_wright_hurt- Kyle Wright is tough. Yeah, he threw two picks, including one in the end zone. But Shannon pointed out the first one was the fault of receiver Leonard Hankerson who ran the wrong route. All in all, Wright completed passes to a season-high eight receivers. He finished 19 of 23 for 230 yards and came back in the fourth quarter after busting his mouth with his own helmet. The reason it took so long for him to get back? The first round of stitching with trainers didn't go right. Wright told me he was listening to what was happening through the crowd and through updates security guards.

It was good he came back, too. Kirby Freeman did OK, but he didn't looked very comfortable and nearly cost Miami what turned out to be the winning score when he heaved an incomplete pass into the end zone that luckily drew a pass interference penalty on Duke. On the next series, Miami didn't move the ball. Shannon said he liked Freeman's pass into the end zone. But I disagree. It looked ugly and forced and was almost picked. When Wright came back in, his first pass to Dajleon Farr capped Miami's scoring. Derrick Morse told me in the locker room Wright's return motivated the offense. "Just seeing Kyle come back all stitched up and barely able to talk motivated the hell out of us," Morse said. "He's a warrior. He knew how important the game was and he came back."

Eric_moncur_sack- Miami's nine sacks were impressive. It didn't seem like it, but when I actually read the final total I was shocked. Eric Moncur had the most important one -- the one on Duke quarterback Thaddeus Lewis on fourth and 5 at the Miami 30 late in the fourth. Without Miami's pass rush Saturday, the Canes might not have come out victorious. The Canes actually rank fourth over all in the country now with 20 sacks, behind No. 1 Indiana (who knew about the Hoosiers), Michigan State and Georgia Tech.

Kayne_farquharson_catch- Here's a shout out to my buddy Kayne Farquharson for enjoying his first career start by leading the Canes with six catches Saturday and scoring a touchdown with a hell of a catch in the back of the end zone. Kayne told me from the first day I met him he was a throwback Cane and wanted to have lots of fun when he was at Miami. Good to see he restrained himself. That's what will probably keep in the starting lineup this week against North Carolina. Unlike Sam Shields and Ryan Hill who appear to have slight problems taking orders, Farquharson is doing what is asked of him.

- For those of you wondering where Calais Campbell had been before Saturday, he came through with some big plays against Duke that Miami needed. He forced the fumble on Thaddeus Lewis that led to Graig Cooper's winning touchdown run. And Campbell finished with 8 tackles and 2.5 sacks. Shannon called his game average Sunday. Last year, Campbell had only one sack after the first four games. It looks like he's heating up. And how about Vegas Franklin? Five sacks to lead the team. Got to be happy for him.

- As good as the defensive line was, the Canes missed what looked like a boatload of tackles, especially in the backfield for losses. And there was another blown coverage on a pass to the fullback out of the backfield. That's twice in three weeks.

- As for Duke's quarterback, Lewis, the local Hialeah-Miami Lakes standout who got away, I spoke to Thaddeus_lewis several players Saturday who told me they would have been more than happy to have Lewis as a teammate. All expressed how good he really is and how they think he could be one of the conference's best QBs by his senior year. I covered Lewis in high school. Although coach Randy Shannon said last Tuesday Miami tried to recruit him, Lewis told me several times when he was at HML the Hurricanes never took him seriously or offered him a scholarship. In fact, he cited worry about the way black quarterbacks didn't play enough at Miami (the whole Derrick Crudup fiasco was going on when he was in high school) and told me several times he thought even if Miami had recruited him harder that he wouldn't have gone there anyway even if he did like Miami growing up.

- Is it me, or is Graig Cooper looking more and more like the go-to back? No knock on Javarris James, but I'd have to say Super Coop has a leg up on JJ right now. He's had longer runs and has provided more explosion than James. And his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield gives UM a dimension James really hasn't been able to provide yet as a Cane.

- I didn't mean to jinx the offensive line. But I can't help but feel kind of responsible for what happened Saturday (I'm just joking of course). As soon as I wrote a story about how they only had two holding penalties through the first four games of the season, they have their worst game of the season and get flagged three times for it. Canes fans, though, should know Duke is a team that is very aggressive. Before the game, Shannon pointed out how the Blue Devils probably blitz more than any team the Canes will face this season. All in all, Wright was sacked just twice. Look for the Canes to get it corrected next week. Morse told me he expected to do a lot of running Sunday after practice. "He seemed kind of pissed off," Morse said when I asked him about line coach Jeff Stoutland. "But we deserve it. The penalties killed us. Even if he doesn't do anything, we got to take it upon ourselves to fix it."

- Kicked Francesco Zampogna booted a career-long 47-yarder but missed a 42-yarder right before the half. But his miss came on the open end of the stadium. Zampogna is 9 of 13 for the season. I want to ask him Tuesday if the misses might be because of the wind or the Canes line up. Both of his last two misses have come on the open end of the stadium from the left hash-mark.

- Here's a cool stat. The Canes have held all four opponents at home scoreless in the opening half. They've outscored visitors 64-0 in the first half. Now, they need to work on that fourth quarter.

- As for the injury front, the Canes got several players back. Linebacker Romeo Davis came back and played a few snaps. Shannon said Sunday Davis needs to get in better football shape. Cornerback Glenn Sharpe and his troublesome hamstring weren't trouble Saturday. He had a fumble recovery and played 35 snaps. And defensive tackle Josh Holmes played some and Shannon said he was productive.

- On the recruiting front, several local players were in attendance Saturday. I saw the usual Northwestern crew of linebacker Sean Spence and defensive tackle Marcus Forston, Booker T. Washington cornerback Brandon Harris and receiver Davon Johnson and Chaminade linebacker Jordan Futch, who was removed from his high school game the night before. Futch told me the incident was blown out of proportion and that he hasn't been kicked off the team. "I haven't talked to my coach yet, I will Monday, but I haven't been kicked off the team. It was just a bad situation. I got frustrated we were losing. My dad got mad and came down and said some things. But it's all good. I'll be back playing soon."

OK, I'm done. Now, its your turn. Fire back at me. Remember, Tuesday I'll be here live from 8 to 9 p.m. to field questions. Have some good ones for me.

Comments

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manny navarro blog (oct 1): "Much like the NFL, there is now parody in college football folks." parity

manny navarro blog (oct 1): "Yes, FIU has lost 16 straight games." 17 consecutive losses

manny navarro blog (oct 1): "But Shannon pointed out the first one was the fault of receiver Leonard Hankerson who ran the wrong rout." route

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - In a major upset, former wrestler Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (UM alum) pummeled the box office competition with his new family comedy "The Game Plan," which beat presumed victor "The Kingdom" for top honors.

http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/columnists/greg_cote/story/255615.html herald's greg cote: "FAU approved funding for a 30,000-seat on-campus football stadium. The university is now in the process of seeking volunteers to serve as fans." easier building a bare-bones boondoggle than a rabid fan base ... GOOD LUCK

Good morning all , as manny said there is never a given game anymore , and a win is a win , Unless your USC or Miami , as the poll shows , the drop from 1 for USC after a win and the fact UM and VT have the same records both with 1 blowout Loss and some unimpressive victories yet they are ranked in top 15---- Oh and did you read that the Drop from #1 for USC after a win was the first time the AP poll has done that to a #1 since Miami was droped from #1 in 2002 after a win. This country loves to hold the Canes down unlike any other program as I have seen it for many many years, and build up every other team in florida in hopes to make us look worse. I mean look at USF , yes they had some nice wins but move them to #6 from #18 after the team they beat still had a chance to tie at the end even after 7 turn overs?? yes they deserved 6-8 spot jumps but a 12 rank jump? after 7 oppisition turn overs the Canes would have to win by 60 or they would lose in rank. My point is just this , Miami needs to win , and needs to win with some style or they will never have a chance to climb back into National prominance. To many people out their love to see us lose much like I always love to see a "always" over-rated Notre Dame lose.... Love the CANES !!!!

http://www.chroniclet.com/2007/09/29/browns-winslow-hurting-still-wants-to-play-sunday/ chronicle-telegram's scott petrak: "University of Miami Hurricanes, especially those in the NFL ... call Miami 'The U' and stick together like a band of brothers."

http://media.www.thehurricaneonline.com/media/storage/paper479/news/2007/10/01/News/Contruction.Plan.Paves.Way.For.New.Road.In.2010-3002083.shtml thehurricane's padma sarvepalli: "The University of Miami recently revealed a construction project for a new road planned to run through the interior of the Coral Gables campus. The road will connect all of the university's major parking lots ... Other projects for UM include the University Village townhomes, construction of which will begin in October, and an addition to the Lowe Museum to house the 130-piece Palley glass collection." PARDON OUR DUST


http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/colleges/um/story/255347.html COOP: "I prayed to God, Please don't let us lose to this team because I know we're a better team."

http://blogs.trb.com/sports/custom/business/blog/2007/09/dolphins_vip_parking.html sunsentinel's sarah talalay: "The renovation of Dolphin Stadium has created another perk for the well-heeled: VIP Parking. The stadium has added 48 new parking spots that if they were any closer would be inside the stadium."

http://blogs.sun-sentinel.com/sports_college_hurricanes/2007/09/shields-and-hil.html shun(del): "Not really digging the altered version of 'Crank That'. The school altered the song because of the lyrics. Sebastian the Ibis still does the same dance, but it's not the same." cowered by political correctness ...

http://canespace.com/_wsn/page9.html canespace pinup for october: canechic aka Tammy Flores

http://canespace.com/db1/00006/canespace.com/_uimages/canechicsolo forsaking that magnificent Orange Bowl view ...

It's Parity, not Parody.

"Much like the NFL, there is now parody in college football folks."

U won 6 of the last 7 ... ON A ROLL

Please ban green from posting on this blog. His spammin make it virtually unreadable.

Optimus Cane: you contribute nothing. go read your comic books ...

Optimus Cane, Spamming is for the fans by the Fans. Here is to Kyle Wright winning the Heisman and being the number one pick.

whatdoyaknow ... even the sunsentinel stragglers read the herald's blog. had your fill of shun(del), JoeCanes22?

LOL, Hi Green. Just checking in on what is being said over here.

I follow my Canes anywhere I can get them since I am up here in Raleigh. Manny is good.

JoeCanes22: what happens at the herald, stays at the herald ; )

Yeh, it did become a "Bitter Blog" battle lol! I admit my share of being a smart a** as well. I am in a good mood because I have everything ready to go for my tail gate up here in Carolina. Great parking and great seats thanks to my employer having all but one Carolina Grads in the office. That one being me.

Manny I understand where you coming from when you say there is parody in CFB much like the NFL.
I agree, but if RS has been preaching all week long that Duke was going to play for all 60 minutes and not give up, why do we still lose focus? Why does it come down to the 4th quarter for our D to come up with a huge play to SOA against Duke?
It seems like this team much like our fan base if they taste any little bit of success starts feeling themselves a little bit too much.
We are not LSU where we can sleep walk the first half and just turn it on and put a tema away we dont have that type of talent.

You talk about USC playing a close game against UW. But if you watched that game USC made alot of mistakes and was playing in a tough environment, thats why that game was even as close as it was, look at the stats. They have enuff talent to overcome those mistakes. We dont, so we need to stay focus. UNC is potential disaster waiting to happen for us.

http://miamiherald.typepad.com/images/manny_navarro.jpg why is manny navarro smiling? 1/2 of his 22 september blogs elicited 100+ responses : )

I just hope we can all stop talking now about the great Big East and all of their wonderful teams. This is a conference who's only marquis wins are against each other and some bowl games against mediocre teams. Louisville beat Miami last year in what was thought to be an impressive win, but that turned out to be fairly easy to do. There is NO WAY South Florida should be anywhere near the top 10. West Virginia has been the media's favorite team for years and they never do anything. Beating them doesn't mean anything. You put Rutgers in the top ten because they went 11-2 against NOBODY last year, with a signature win against Louisville, who also beat nobody (no offense to us, but we weren't that hard to beat last year), and because they dominate NOBODY this year. They get crushed (essentially...Maryland tried to give it back) by a middle of the pack ACC team at home in their first real game.

These Big East teams keep beating each other and we presume that, since one of them was thought to be good, all of them must be good. This is a conference with 3 teams that should be ranked 15 or worse but keep getting ranked in the top 5 because everyone thinks they can go undefeated. The fact of the matter is, the Canes would demolish South Florida. Yes, demolish, despite the Duke and FIU scores. I'm really tired of hearing about it.

Sorry for the rant. I'm just so tired of hearing about how great these teams are. I agree with the guy above...the media are artificially inflating how good these other Florida squads are to make recruiting tougher for the Canes. Maybe I'm just a pessimist.

maryland undressed runtgers. uva annihilated pitt. f$u shamed bama. ACC! ACC! ACC!

media bias necessitates a playoff ...

Good insight and perspective.

Parody vs Parity...I like parody better but I have to break out my dictionary to lay out the logic of the word. But it is a weird world when upstarts are beating the big boys regularly -- almost dialectical in a funny way...

I agree with this media bias D ridin towards the Big East. Rutgers was way overrated how in the hell does a team who's wins came aginst 1aa teams be top 10? The OOC schedule of these Big East teams is a joke.
USF while is a nice team, will end up being the Rutgers of 07. I want to see how they do next year when they have media expectations. I dont think their a top 10 team.

USF might be over rated in the polls, however there is no one else in the big least, they could go undefeated

http://sportsevents.net/ncaa/football/miami_hurricanes_tickets.htm wake me when usf approaches our recent streak of 106 consecutive AP polls ... LONGEVITY

"The renovation of Dolphin Stadium has created another perk for the well-heeled: VIP Parking. The stadium has added 48 new parking spots that if they were any closer would be inside the stadium."

Posted by: green | October 01, 2007 at 08:03 AM

GREEN...Not good move for stadium security in a post 9/11 world.

Joey...what you doing over here? SS getting too boring for you and looking for a little more action here at the MH? Good choice, Manny brings it!

"Spamming is for the fans by the Fans."
Posted by: JoeCanes22 | October 01, 2007 at 08:49 AM

Joseph...that's uncalled for, the blog wars ended months ago. Green has nothing to do with Canespace so don't take it out on us if you don't like his repeated posts.

Plus Manny and Canespace are good friends in case you haven't noticed with the LIVE chat on Tuesdays from 8-9 PM. That's right REAL LIVE chat that starts on time with 100s of questions and responses by over 50 bloggers all on LIVE for interactive Canes chat with the Man, Manny Navarro!

Yeh, it did become a "Bitter Blog" battle lol! I admit my share of being a smart a** as well.That one being me.

Posted by: JoeCanes22 | October 01, 2007 at 09:29 AM

Joey...Now that the blog wars are over, let it go man. It's all about the Canes. U are welcome over at Canespace anytime, but we expect U to come here first to get the news from the source.

See you here Tuesday night from 8-9 PM for the LIVE chat on this same Canes channel...

Thanks green for putting up a link to my layout!!

As far as cane fans being upset about the duke game, I am quite sure that UF,TX,OK, Rutgers, Penn State, all would trade spots with us and saying at least we won!!

The Canes just need to win the rest of their games and the rest will take care of itself!! Just WIN!!! Just WIN!!!

I will SOUP, I got my parking pass for the game up here in Carolina and will be looking for all of the Canes Fans while I fire up the grill early with my Carolina Tar Heel Co-Workers. Hey, I would rather be undefeated in my division and not ranked then ranked 10th and 0-1. Go Canes! It will not be weird to see Coach Davis in Sky Blue, I got to see him earlier this year and he does care about Miami and Loves Coach Shannon.

Well said Oldcane. There's a ton of resentment aimed at the U. Just look at past games, where referees obviously aided the the more "traditional" teams.
Nebraska, who was also blown out--but at home--and a lackluster win over Ball St. A Ball St. squad that hasn't won a game over a BSC team-- EVER. A one point victory--again at home--doesn't deter certain pollsters from their biased votes. To top that off.. At least the Canes have a victory over a top 20 team.
The same argument can be said about top 20 Rutgers. Norfolk St.? Buffalo? Navy? and an embarrassing loss to a 2-2 Maryland team? All at home. I think they're ready to schedule HML next year. Of course it will have to be in NJ though.

Joe...peace bro! U gotta check out the live chat on Tuesday nights from 8-9 PM here and at Canespace. It totally ROCKS!

U can post your questions here during the day today or tomorrow and the MAN(ny) will answer them faster than U can say Randy Shannon on Tuesday night!

At Carolina, look for some Orange and Green Canespace shirts in the crowd. SolarCane and CanesGirlNC among others will be there somewhere covering the game and taking pix for the Canespace blog.

Email me your contact info (cell #) to host@canespace.com and I will connect you guys and get your photo up on our blog after the Canes beat the Tar Heels!

Green any chance I can hire you to be an editor at The Herald? You caught more mistakes I've made than anyone has inside the building since I've been there.

Just joking. I am a sloppy writer. Susan Miller Degnan is always getting on me for stupid mistakes. I should know better.

Manny, while I agree with you about parity to an extent, this is still Duke, and while any given season a down-trodden program may make a sudden leap, you have to look at what other teams do as well. FIU gets repeatedly blown out by Kansas, Penn State and now Middle Tennessee and the Canes only score 23. Duke got 41 hung on them by UConn and 46 by option-offense Navy and 30 plus by Northwestern. That's not an issue of a team having a bad game, that's an issue of two bad defenses our offense has still not managed to score against. Now in both the FIU and Duke games we had 450 yards of offense to go along with the solid Texas A&M game, but in the past three games we've left a minimum of 14 points on the field, generally much more. Football shouldn't be confused with soccer but like soccer it's really important that you finish. Soccer games can be dominated and lost because teams can't finish and put the ball in the net. The Canes need to learn a killer instict and finish.

If I have to suffer through another string of 14-9, 16-10, 20-17 losses, our M.O. under post-Dorsey Coker, I may go insane. I'll be asking you tomorrow how a coach teaches that, but that's definitely my #1 concern moving forward.

Just sent contact information SOUP. Going to bring out the good stuff to eat on Saturday.

I do not think there is parity at all in college football, the big boys get the good recruits, the best atheletic players. Saw butch davis's interview about the U , sure he is build us up some, but is correct in saying we have faster players the va tech, good backs, experienced players and so forth. We are struggling some with , meshing new coaches with mix of player, it is mostly errors and bad judgement that is hurting us and a lot of teams, ex west va. against s fla. they killed themselves in that game, Take away wright's two interceptions a couple of other plays we win by 25-30 points. We have the players , shannon is working on building the chemistry and decision making, we are progressing some. But actually parity no, will never happen not even close and thank God for that as the U tends to get the best and the fastest players.

I will add that with training, advances average players can compete better than they used to against better players, and advances int tech, and analysis give teams a chance to see and adjust better that narrow the gap some.

It's all about playing as a team. USF dosen't have the top rated guys but they play as a team. Miami will do the same.

canechic: you're welcome

Green any chance I can hire you to be an editor at The Herald? You caught more mistakes I've made than anyone has inside the building since I've been there.

Posted by: Manny | October 01, 2007 at 02:32 PM you couldn't afford me ; )


Just joking. I am a sloppy writer. Susan Miller Degnan is always getting on me for stupid mistakes. I should know better.

Posted by: Manny | October 01, 2007 at 02:32 PM the Miami herald entrusted you with the prestigious University of Miami beat. you worked too hard to let it slip away ... HANDLE WITH CARE

Joe22...OK, will check into it and get U guys connected at the UNC game!

dlu...I agree, strength training, speed and agility drills, diet and nutrition advances and nutritional supplemlents have all equaled the playing field to some degree.

Before you had only your three fastest 3 guys on the team (WR/RB) running 4.5 and under, now you have 280 pound DLs and 230 pound LBs doing that.

I know "milk does a body good" but c'mon it's more than drinking more milk I tell ya'!

unequal schedules necessitate a playoff ...

My seats are lower level in Section 111 near the goal post on the visitors side. Boss had to pull strings for me.

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