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This And That Thursday

One of the biggest questions or gripes I keep encountering is why the Hurricanes use the blitz more often. Today at practice, I put a couple of assistants on the spot and asked them point blank why the Canes are reluctant not to blitz more.

Defensive coordinator Tim Walton danced around the subject a little, but defensive line coach Clint Hurtt may have finally shed some light on the matter: "We can't blitz yet. Not with these young guys," Hurtt told me. "[Carlos] Armour and [DeMarcus] Van Dyke and our young guys aren't ready for that yet. You can go out there blitzing and you get the ball thrown over your head and we can't afford that right now. Right now, these guys got to get really good and accustomed to playing really sound, fundamental football. Not only because it makes it safe for them, but it allows them to get some confidence. Its simpler and easier, one at a time. If you try to let it all on a true freshman, your letting the kid out to dry."

It makes sense to me, now. Miami's secondary, once a strength of this team, has turned out to be pretty average -- especially at corner. North Carolina exposed that Saturday by taking Miami's strenght -- its pass rush -- out of the game. Hurtt told me the Tar Heels used max protection schemes most of the game, taking out Calais Campbell and Eric Moncur with double teams. Sadly, it could prove to be an even bigger problem for the Canes from here on out if Miami can't gets its cornerbacks and linebackers to tackle better.

* Also making matters worse -- the loss of Antonio Dixon at defensive tackle. Dixon, UM's biggest defensive tackle, was finally beginning to play soundly when he suffered a major knee injury against Carolina. Dixon was in low spirits when I saw him today at practice. He was walking slowly with his head down and gingerly in a large boot that covered his entire left leg -- from the thigh down.

"It hurts because he's playing so well," Hurtt said. "It kind of puts you in a predicament. Hopefully, now Teraz [McCray] can continue to elevate his game. That's the best his body felt really the whole season and obviously that showed against North Carolina."

Hurtt said Joe Joseph will now become the team's fourthdefensive tackle. Luqman Abdullah will be the fifth tackle this week. The way Georgia Tech can run the football, a lot of pressure is going to be put on the shoulders of McCray, Josh Holmes and Dwayne Hendricks this week to raise their level of play.

* Speaking of raising their level of play, offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland told me Orlando Franklin is having a phenomenal season. Franklin is second on the team in package blocks, despite playing only 50 percent of the time (an estimated 40 snaps). Also playing better these days, redshirt freshman Joel Figueroa, who has moved into the backup spot at right guard.

* The biggest news from today's practice: No Colin McCarthy Saturday. McCarthy has not practiced all week and is a definite scratch. Look for Daryl Sharpton to move to the middle and Tavares Gooden to move to the weakside. Spencer Adkins will probably keep his starting spot but only because of injury.

* Receiver Lance Leggett could be out too. He's been limping around and not participating in practice too much this week. Shannon said he'll decide Friday.

* As for the kicking job, Shannon said he will also decide that after Friday's closed practice. He said both Francesco Zampogna and Daren Daly have done well in practice this week. Personally, I think Zampogna will keep it for another week. What's disappointing is that Matt Bosher isn't even involved in the competition.

Comments

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From what I gathered Saturday, Randy Shannon isn't only an average coach, he's a cry baby. The guy whined to the refs the whole game. Like it's the refs' fault UM has no talent and an average coaching staff. Word is, a lot of 'Canes want out and wish they'd gone to Florida. Then again, would any of them actually play up there? I guess we could always use an extra long snapper. (www.GatorAlert.com)

i totally disagree with coach hurtt. I think if we can get more pressure on the quaterback that can actually help our young secondary. besides the scheme we`re using now isn`t working just try it and remember pressure bust pipes. Also try using fake blitzes or maybe zone blitzes any thing to confuse the lineman thats what they do to us and guess what it works.

Buck Rodgers you wanna be HURRICANE fan. Have U forgotten about all the whinning URBAN CRYER did to play in the championship game last year. Truth is ya`ll aint any better than us (see record) last i checked we are both 4-2 dumd azz. Besides those were Ron Zooks players URBAN CRYER won with.

i always agreed with the coaches, but not on this one. r u kidding me!!!! a qb has more time when u don't blitz, they get comfortable, they start to get in a rthym, they pick u a part, just to name a few reasons. and our db's are not that young, except for dvd, armour is a redshirt jr. and johnson is a jr., what do we need all seniors to blitz. i could kind of understand if we were playing against veteran qb's but we are playing soph's and redshirt fr. qb's, they can't handle 5-6 defenders coming at em. walton needs a better excuse than that

Hey Manny,

Good info... I was wondering what the status of Lavon Ponder is? Is he still hurt?

It looks like the injuries are starting to pile up, but certain guys need to step up already and make some plays!!

Is it just me or is that this Buck Rogers Gator lover coincidentally chose to blog on here the same weekend that Urban Meyer is comming to S Florida to try and grab some of our recruits?

Sounds like some shenanigans to me Buck. let him come down here he's leaving with nothing! you cant fight whats in your soul. These kids are warriors and bleed orange and green.

it is troubling that the canes continue to be a team that think they can line up and beat anyone playing their game, their way. this is noted by past comments from shannon and from the comments about the blitzing above. i disagree and think blitzing is exactly what this team needs to do now. but, in this changing adjusting world of college football, how can you just continue to expect that miami will just line up and beat every team man on man position on position? That is just not going to happen due to good schemes and good coaching adjustments on the other teams parts. i dont know if anyone knows this, but i have the opinion that UM is pretty easy to prepare for these days from an opposing coaches viewpoint. there is no reason on offense, defense, or special teams to be scared of this MIAMI team.

on another note, it is sad and unacceptable that UM can not find a kicker in a community where there are so many talented young soccer players from high school and out of the country currently attending UM right now.

does anyone know if sam shields will actually play the whole game this week? that would help the offense especially if legget cant go (not that it makes much of a difference if legget plays or not)

if anyone thought that UM's secondary was gonna be good this year, what were they thinking? reddick and ponder are hurt, though ponder is back now. i think randy phillips should give his scholarship back and turn his jersey in...he is a bust and cant cover as a safety or corner...wonder if he can kick. total lack of experience and communication in UM's secondary. for the person who commented above, johnson and armour are really getting the first playing time they have ever gotten and our starters should eventually be chavez grant, dvd, and sharpe at corner with K phillips and ponder at safety...only one of those starting saturday will be k phillips.

LB's...too many injuries and lack of depth. look at the starting line up versus ga tech. then look at ga techs lb's. not even close in talent or experience. good thing that shannon has recruited some linebacker studs for next year.

key for the ga. tech game: CAN UM RUN THE FOOTBALL FOR AT LEAST 150 YARDS AND RUN TO SET UP THE PASS INSTEAD OF PASSING TO SET UP THE RUN? UM RUNS BETTER OUT OF A POWER FORMATION THAN THE SPREAD MR. NIX.

ALSO, CAN THE OFFENSIVE LINE NEUTRALIZE THE BLITZ? I AM DOUBTFUL ON THAT ONE AS THIS MAY BE THE BEST DEFENSE OUTSIDE OF OKLAHOMA THAT MIAMI HAS FACED SO FAR.

FINALLY, CAN THE DEFENSE STOP TASHARD CHOICE? THE GUY IS THE BEST RUNNING BACK UM WILL HAVE FACED THIS YEAR, AND UM HASNT BEEN A GREAT POWER RUN STOPPING TEAM OUTSIDE OF THE TEXAS AM GAME.

i havent missed a game in years...im just bringing a realistic prospective...will keep going to games and supporting UM forever no matter what...8 and 4 will be an excellent job this year if UM can get to that. GO CANES!!!!

canes suck and thats a good thing

canes suck and thats a good thing

canes suck and thats a good thing

http://insidetheu.com/news/viewnews.php?v=46ee01e4c941b
Word is, a lot of 'Canes want out and wish they'd gone to Florida.

Posted by: Buck Rodgers | October 11, 2007 at 09:53 PM word is gaturds want out; wish they went Miami. who wants to live in gainesville?

http://www.miamiherald.com/358/story/268840.html Miami ranks #1 in nightclubs & beautiful people -- travelandleisure.com & CNN

http://canespace.typepad.com/./photos/uncategorized/2007/10/10/unc_012.jpg CanesgirlNC

http://photos-c.ak.facebook.com/photos-ak-sf2p/v142/62/110/10601093/n10601093_33890970_4232.jpg notice our lush campus ...

Hey Gator Alert, don't have enough to deal with on your own Gator blog. Uhhh 4-2...thanks for coming. Nice meltdown at LSU. Five 4th down conversions? You guys choked. Last I checked we still own you fools...0 for what? The last 7?
Stay off our blog ahole. There's already a
"FireMeyer" website. If the Gat's drop one more, look for Foley to be on a plane to Illinois. This just in, Urban can't recruit. Those are Zooks guys out there except for Tebow. And, he was coming to UF no matter who was coaching.

Hey Gator Alert ... Stay off our blog ahole.

Posted by: Dave | October 12, 2007 at 09:14 AM let's welcome the gaturd ; )

since the controversial 2000 national championship, the criminole has lost 29 games! karma nailed the criminole : )

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/football/2007-10-11-pooches_N.htm usatoday's kelly whiteside: "On Fox's NFL pregame show last weekend, former Miami Hurricanes coach Jimmy Johnson said USF doesn't belong in the Top 5. He also said there are several two-loss teams that could wear the Bulls out." celebrating mediocrity ...

In my opinion, Wright's been unfairly criticized. He occassionaly throws to the wrong colored shirt but what qb hasn't. His 2 long passes against NC were things of beauty. I think he will do well in the NFL.
Speaking of the NFL according to USA Today the City of Miami has 37 players in the NFL. Houston is next with 32 and no other city even has 20. I have no doubt that No. 1, nationally, Northwestern will have a huge impact on Miami football. Those kids will not accept losing a football game.

In my opinion, Wright's been unfairly criticized. He occassionaly throws to the wrong colored shirt but what qb hasn't.

Posted by: LGN | October 12, 2007 at 10:20 AM costly

Note to Coach Hurtt: Florida's defense is all true freshman or sophomores. They don't play a safe, passive defense.

His 2 long passes against NC were things of beauty. I think he will do well in the NFL.

Posted by: LGN | October 12, 2007 at 10:20 AM back-up

(typo) backup

http://www.boston.com/sports/articles/2007/10/12/big_east_bunch_packs_punch/?page=2 globe's Mark Blaudschun (UM alum): "(big least commissioner mike tranghese) understood that when Miami left the Big East, there wasn’t a team he could get that would have the Hurricanes’ instant star quality of being a perennial BCS contender." STAR POWER

It's not only this year we don't blitz, when have they ever blitz.As long as we have average D. tackles who never put any pressure on the Q.B. the secondary is going to get ate up. We make no name q.b.'s look like all-americans. If they didn't have any confidence before they sure will have it after they play us. We need somebody that can punt a ball farther than 35 yards. Shannon needs to have a school wide punt off to find somebody.

http://www.collegehoopsnet.com/blog/marchmadness/2007/10/major-conference-sleepers.html Jack McClinton, Brian Asbury, Anthony King, Dwayne Collins, Jimmy Graham & Lance Hurdle. bullish on U basketball ...

http://www.risemag.com/main.cfm?actionId=globalShowStaticContent&screenKey=newsArticle&categoryKey=topStories&articleId=11277 count the Canes in the top 100 ... PATIENCE

http://weblogs.sun-sentinel.com/sports/college/fau/blog/2007/10/arena_to_open_texas_a_done_dea.html sunsentinel's ted hutton: "(Howard Schnellenberger) had talked about how there is enough talent in the state to support not just the current seven I-A teams, but nine, speculating that North Florida and Gulf Coast might eventually have I-A programs." GLUT

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/09/sports/baseball/10boras.html?em&ex=1192248000&en=875b030837ed8604&ei=5087 nytimes' jack curry: "(Scott) Boras would not estimate what (Alex) Rodriguez could make on the open market, but it is believed that Boras could seek a 10-year contract for $300 million for his client." Mark Light Field at Alex Rodriguez Park

http://www.umcategory5.com/photos/2007-10-11.html georgia tech pep rally photos & video. notice our lush campus, hot cheerleaders, awesome mascot ...

http://www.bizjournals.com/southflorida/stories/2007/10/08/daily43.html journal's jack freer: "The Marlins' shift to (790) was rumored and expected -- partly because WQAM had contracts that required it to give priority to University of Miami football games and Miami Dolphin games. In those cases, Marlin games were moved to other AM stations ..." PRIORITY

per Joe Rose, city of Miami could settle tuesday on the Orange Bowl site for the Miami marlins ...

re watch THE olka. game

AND YOU WELL SEE WHY THE cANES DON'T BLITZ

EVERYTIME UM TRY TO BRING A SAFETY OR LB

OLKA SCORE A td

All you RS haters need to go and be south florida Fans, you are a bunch of front runners and it is very obvious you don't have a clue as to what is going to happen at the U under the very capable leadership of Randy Shannon. My statement to you RS haters is good riddance! You don'teserve to be called a hurricane fan and to all you gators out there how does it feel to have two losses in a row and more coming. Before the Auburn game and Lsu games I told you you would have several before the season is over. We are at two and counting, repeat as national champions, not in football and not in Gainesville.

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