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Game day blog: Virginia 48, UM 0 (F)

They came to say good-bye to the Orange Bowl, but as it stands now, Hurricanes fans might as well say good-bye to the current season. UM has saved the worst for last.

Normally, I'd sit here and take in the final game ever at the Orange Bowl until the 7 minute mark -- when I head down to the field to grab quotes. But seeing how bad things are, I figured I'd let this become a forum for bigger issues you might want to tackle.

For starters, is this the most embarrasing moment for you as a Hurricanes fan?
Are we taking things for granted? I mean that in the sense that Randy Shannon is going to be able to turn this around. I know UM has some talented recruits waiting to come in, but can this program really climb back to the moutaintop? What makes you still have that faith today?

You digest that. I've got the dreadful play-by-play below.

By the way, I was on the field before the game, gathering thoughts from some of the greats -- Bennie Blades, Gino Torretta, Ottis Anderson and Darin Smith. I'll post the audio later tonight.

- Virginia wins the toss and defers to the second half. UM will receive.

UM 1st Drive (1st and 10 at UM 33, 14:53)
- Ryan Hill returns the opening kickoff out to the 33-yard line.
- After a 4-yard run by Javarris James and a 2-yard scramble by Kyle Wright, Darnell Jenkins comes through with the first big play for Miami, hauling a 5-yard catch for a first down to the UM 44.
- On the next set of downs, Wright goes to Lance Leggett on third and 6, but for only 3 yards. UM punts and Matt Bosher gets off a 45-yarder downed by Colin McCarthy at the Virginia 4.

VA 1st Drive (1st and 10 at the UVA 4, 11:33)
- After Kenny Phillips make a nice play in the backfield for a 1-yard loss, Virginia QB Jameel Sewell finds his tight end Tom Santi for a 25-yard gain upfield before he Santi steps out of bounds. On the next play, Virginia runs a screen play to running back Mikell Simpson, who picks up 11 yards and another first down to the UM 38.
- On the next play, Simpson sweeps wide and rumbles all the way down to the UM 34, picking up 38 yards on the play after getting away twice from Tavares Gooden.
- On the very next play, UM has a chance to sack Sewell back for a big loss, but he escapes the grasp of Darryl Sharpton and Vegas Franklin and scrambles forward for a 5-yard gain.
- With 8:35 left Virginia faces 3rd and 5 at the UM 29 and picks up a first down when Sewell moves left and finds receiver Maurice Covington wide open in the middle of the field. And he waltzes past Willie Cooper for a with 8:26 left. Drive: 7 plays, 96 yards, 3:07. UVA 7, UM 0.
- And the Orange Bowl is stunned.

UM 2nd Drive (1st and 10 at UM 25, 8:18)
- On the ensuing kickoff, Shawnbrey McNeal goes down awkwardly after fielding the kick and limps off the field.
- On first down, Darnell Jenkins lines up at quarterback and takes a direct snap forward for short yardage. UM gets flagged for holding. Kyle Wright returns to the game.
- On first and 20, Dajleon Farr gets open over the middle for an 11-yard gain. On second and 9, fullback Jerrell Mabry picks up 3 yards, bringing up a 3rd and 6. On the next play, Virginia brings the safety blitz and Wright's pass to Jerrell Mabry bounces off his hands and into the hands of Virginia cornerback Vic Hall who intercepts the ball at the UM 36.

UV 2nd Drive (1st and 10 at UM 36)
- On the first play, Sewell tries to go deep down the center of the field and is intercepted by Randy Phillips, who returns the ball to the UM 27. The Canes catch a break.

UM 3rd Drive (1st and 10 at UM 27)
- After a 1-yard run by Graig Cooper and incomplete pass by Kyle Wright, he gets picked off again -- this time by linebacker Jon Copper who sits back in zone coverage and catches the ball at the UM 36.

UV 3rd Drive (1st and 10 at UM 36, 5:13 left)
- On first down, after a short run, UM defensive tackle Antonio Dixon limps off the field. Not good news. On third and 11 at the UM 37, UM brings the blitz and sacks Sewell, forcing a fumble that Colin McCarthy scoops up and returns for a touchdown. But the play is called back because Vegas Franklin jumped offsides.
- On the next play, Franklin makes up for his goof -- somewhat -- by sacking Sewell at the UM 35.
- Virginia punter Chris Gould tries to pooch the ball, but it bounces into the end zone.

UM 4th Drive (1st and 10 at UM 20, 2:51 left)
- Despite all the troubles early on, the Canes should feel lucky to only be down 7-0. If I'm Randy Shannon, I'm letting Cooper and James run the football.
- UM goes three and out after Darnell Jenkins and Jarell Mabry drop what would have been first down catches.
- Things get worse when Matt Bosher's punt gets blocked by Josh Zidenberg and it rolls out of bounds at the UM 5.

UV 4th Drive (1st and 10 at UM 4)
- Two plays later, tailback Keith Payne follows his blockers into the end zone to make it 14-0 with 1:08 to play. Drive: 2 plays, 4 yards, :44. UVA 14, UM 0.

UM 5th Drive (1st and 10 at UM 22)
- With all the big-time recruits on the sidelines, you'd think Randy Shannon would get some of them to put on uniforms at halftime.
- Javarris James picks up UM's 2nd first down afer back-to-back runs net 11 yards... END OF THE FIRST QUARTER.

UM 5th Drive (1st and 10 at UM 22)
- UM picks up action here in the second quarter with a 1st and 10 at the UM 33. On first down, Wright fakes a handoff and has Darnell Jenkins open despit double-coverage and the pass falls incomplete.
- UM's drive goes south two plays later when Lance Leggett finds himself open in the middle of the field, falls to the ground and Kyl Wright's pass bounces off his chest and hands and up into the hands off a Virginia safety who returns it to the UM 21.

UV 5th Drive (1st and 10 at UM 21)
- UM's defense is getting pressure on Sewell, but that offsides penalty right now on Vegas Franklin looms large.
- Virginia ends up scoring on a 33-yard field goal by Gould with 13:29 left.

UM 6th Drive (1st and 10 at UM 3)
- The comedy of erros continues. Ryan Hill fields a bouncing ball that would have gone out of bounds. Instead, he steps out of bounds at the 3 yardline giving UM horrible field position. Miami ends up punting.

UV 6th Drive (1st and 10 at UM 38)
- Sewell caps a quick drive with a one-yard plunge into the end zone, making the score 23-0 with 10:02 to play. Do the fans start hitting the exits now? UVA 24, UM 0.

UM 7th Drive (1st and 10 at UM 28)
- On first down, Nate Collins sacks Kyle Wright at the UM 23. On second and 15, Shannon calls time out. On the next play, Graig Cooper explodes for a 25-yard gain upfield to the UM 48.
- UM punts four plays later.

UV 7th Drive (1st and 10 at UV 28, 7:35)
- I'm just going to stop doing play by play. This is amazing. Virginia is just killing UM. Virginia scores again. 31-0.


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I'll point my finger directly at Sonna Shalala. All you Canes beter get out and vote for Hillary next year to get this idiot out of the U. Not only does she insult Miami alumni by sending out that e-mail last week telling us not to rush the field like children, she is entirely to OCD about the image the football program reflects upon the unversity community as a whole. She thinks the football program is the face of the university. Well wake up, because cancer research, marine biology and engineering are hardly influenced by how a football team does each year.

Hey Canester,

FF, II, UU...FIU!!! You can't spell scUM without UM. Don't worry guys, FIU still has three games left at the Orange Bowl. We will give her the winning send off she deserves.

For those of you who think your "boy" Randy Shannon is going to pull some magic out of his ass with his handful of Northwestern prodigies, think again. FIU, with our state of the art, 45,000 capacity ON CAMPUS stadium, will be the dominant college football program in South Florida within a few years.

I love it how you guys always blame things on the past! "Oh, waaaaa, waaaaaaa...this is Dennis Ericson's fault.....oh goooo gooo gaaaa gaaaa this is Jimmy Johnson's fault....wah waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah this is Butch Davis' fault....waaaaaaaaaaaah now its Larry Coker's fault" and three years from now it will be Randy Shannon's fault. Face it, you've had a storied dynasty, but your time is over...figure it out the U SUCKS!!! Look to the future:

FF, II, UU...FIU!!!

FIU couldn't pull out a win against Florida School for the Deaf and Blind. Lools like the last winner in the OB will be North Texas.

101 in offense, lost to wyoming, and blow us out by 48 RS has lost this team, they got beat in all facets of the game.


Posted by: FIUmom | November 10, 2007 at 10:36 PM the joke's on florida international gold-plated patsies ... winless against the likes of louisiana-lafayette, louisiana-monroe, arkansas state, middle tennessee state, north texas state, bad news bears sponsored by chico's bail bonds ...

FIU mom's are easy. Not at hot as FAU moms, though, but respectable.

We beat the crap out of FIU,Take that FIUmom 2 years in a row

hey FIUmom, are you that crazy devinsmom? whose son is sooooooo stupid ... he can't make the grade at tier-4 florida filth international ... get help, bitch ... otherwise, beware of unsmiling men ... in white coats ... with butterfly nets ...

After a 48-0 beatdown, I can't believe some of you still talking a big game.

Admit it, the Canes have lost the swagger and as long as Shannon is the coach...you won't get it back anytime soon.

Good luck the rest of the year...you will need all the luck in the world to beat VT and BC on the road.

One more thing, enjoy the ride to Dolphins Stadium!!!

Look to the future:

FF, II, UU...FIU!!!

Posted by: Roar BABY!!! | November 11, 2007 at 12:21 AM fui small potatoes has no past ... but for strongarming unsuspecting students through astronomic athletic fees, unwanted florida international football would have no future ... NO INTEREST

FIU, with our state of the art, 45,000 capacity ON CAMPUS stadium, will be the dominant college football program in South Florida within a few years.

Posted by: Roar BABY!!! | November 11, 2007 at 12:21 AM you lie about your stadium size to appear larger ... 18,000-seat bare-bones boondoggle

One more thing, enjoy the ride to Dolphins Stadium!!!

Posted by: FIUJM | November 11, 2007 at 01:12 AM closer to broward, palm beach & collier ... University of Miami ... THE University of South Florida

Actually roar baby is correct. Although FIU's on campus stadium will have 18k for phase one, it will have 45,000 after the final phase which is expected to be completed for 2010 or 2011 season. fiu will have a much improved team by then, and will probably be out of the sunbelt as well.

as far as our U is concerned, there is reason to be concerned. we stink.

and we will enjoy our world-class stadium befitting our world-class university ... CAN'T WAIT

Actually roar baby is correct. Although FIU's on campus stadium will have 18k for phase one, it will have 45,000 after the final phase which is expected to be completed for 2010 or 2011 season.

Posted by: shalalasucks | November 11, 2007 at 01:42 AM incorrect ... stadium expansion only if attendance benchmarks are met ... GOOD LUCK

fui small potatoes drew flies to their 17,000-seat on-campus stadium ... then inflated attendance to appear larger ... PHANTOM FAN BASE

fiu will have a much improved team by then, and will probably be out of the sunbelt as well.

Posted by: shalalasucks | November 11, 2007 at 01:42 AM winless florida international forecasted wild success 6 years ago ... hot air

as far as our U is concerned, there is reason to be concerned. we stink.

Posted by: shalalasucks | November 11, 2007 at 01:42 AM we'll be better ... the cavalry's coming : )

I think anyone watching this game has to be very, very concerned about the future of the program. Randy Shannon has lost this team. They don't believe in him anymore. And why should they? His silly rules, no driving after dark? How do they go out on a date? 2.5 GPA during football season, thats hard to do when kids get up early every day to practice and then run to classes, and then practice some more. No names on the uniforms? Where is the fun for the players? I'll bet everyone of these kids are not having any fun playing football anymore. At least Jimmy Johnson would take them to a movie as a team, something to get away from it always being about football. I am sure Randy hasn't done anything like that for his player. He probably has a freaking rule against it. Hell, he has to because they could not drive to any movie after dark now could they?

College is supposed to be a fun experience. These guys played like they no longer have fun doing it. Jimmy Johnson was a great case because he was emotional with his guys but he also understood their emotions. He didn't bench guys because they didn't do well at mid terms, because real football players don't do well at mid terms. They do well at finals because the grind of the football season is mostly over by then.

I remember Jimmy doing post game interviews telling the media how certain players did not come out for the second half because they were getting IV's at half time because they laid it all out on the field in the first half. Do any of these kids play that way for Randy?

Randy doesn't inspire. In ten years, he might be a really good head coach but he isn't anywhere near that now. His choice of defensive coordinator, Walton, was atrocious. Nix benefitted from having a great wide reciever and running back at Georgia Tech, and even then barely won games. Reggie Ball was not the problem there as we are finding out. Special teams for the team are horrendous. If Sam Shield is our fastest player, he should be returning kicks like Devon Hester. There is no breakaway speed on punt or kick returns. Jimmy Johnson emphasized special teams. He put his fastest guys on the coverage teams. Heck, we started the year with a 280 pound guy returning kicks.

Randy Shannon has a great story. He is a phenomenal defensive coordinator. But he ain't running the defense anymore. He chose the guy responsible for 48 points to Virginia.

The 2007 team is a decidedly worse team than 2006. I'll repeat what I said 2 weeks ago. A 1-14 performance by the QB is not the fault of the QB. Last time I checked, screens, flares, shovel passes and tight end throws over the middle are legal in college ball. That is what Virginia ran the whole night tonight but our guys can't do that?

Football is a game of emotion, especially in college. When you have a good crowd, your goal is to make the first first down. Keep the fans into it. During his heyday, Shula stressed the need to get the first down at the start of the game, and to make a first down with the first possession of the second half. Conversely, when the other team gets the ball for the second half, you do something different. You make em think. You put the safety on a tight end instead of playing base defenses.

A superior coach beat the UM coach 48-0. In my opinion, that means the coach needs to be replaced. When you can't score three points for the Orange Bowl, or wherever your home stadium may be, you just aren't the guy for the job...


Well...I'm glad I didn't go to this one. Like I've said all year. 5-7 and no bowl.
Randy Shannon will be run out of Miami in two years after he wins 4 games in the next TWO seasons. This guy is a mental midget.
WAKE UP all of you Canes! He was the cheapest, easiest guy available. What was he the 4th, 5th choice?
I said eariler in this blog that the Canes would stink up the OB and would leave like a silent but deadly dog fart. Was I ever wrong?! They stunk up the place alright but even I didn't expect this. This was more like a guy coming out of a colonoscopy! A 60 minute gigantic flatulation. Nice showing fellas. Thanks for the memories. I've never been more embarrassed with this program and I've been a fan since 1966.
VT and BC...OMG...Just stay home and save us all even further embarrassment.

The last time I looked this year's senior class was considered a Top 15 class 4 or 5 years ago. The senior class of 1984 consisted of a bunch of no names and rejects that nobody else wanted. Yet all they did was take it to Nebraska and win a national championship. You still think coaching doesn't matter? When Michael Irwin, this year's homecoming Grand Marshall, the originator of the "all about the U" phrase, decides to take a pass on the game you know there is a problem. All the top recruits in the world do not mean a thing unless you can coach them AND institute an imaginative game plan. This year's senior class where all top recruits and look what happened to their careers.
Prediction: another year like this one and Randy Shannon is gone. You see it is not really "all about the U" in Coral Gables it is all about the $$$$$$$$$$$$


I think it's time for south Florida to try it's hand at soccer.
Obviously, we can't play football, basketball, hockey or baseball anymore.
Miami has become the laughing stock of the sports world. How the mighty have fallen.
Last anglo out, grab the flag.

This goes to Russel. I too live in Seattle, but I took the leap and made the trip down to the game. I spent MANY a Saturday in the OB growing up in South Florida and knew I had to be there for the finale. Not what I would have wished for an outcome, but I would make the trip again. It was special feeling the electricity and feeling apart of the OB Canes Nation one last time.

It was a great ride that has left me with a lot of great memories.

Raise a pint to the future....

This coaching staff has to be the worst in D-1 football and Saturday night they were exposed on live television. How many time can you call the toss play before you realize it's not working. When you call the direct snap play week-in and week-out, do you not realize the opposing teams view the tape from those games and it would benefit you to maybe change it up a bit - add a HB pass to it or something imaginative. For the second week in a row the UM defense was destroyed by a 1-3 plays in which they were incapable of making adjustments in game. This team is not only bad but they don't know the fundamentals of successful football and it's downright depressing. There has been no player development this year and this team has gotten progressively worse each week which means they're being coached down (not up). We can blame these mediocre players or we can look at the root of the problem which is clearly an inept coaching staff who does not understand big-time college football.

Shannon needs to catch the first flight to Mississippi and beg those coordinators to take their old jobs back. This coaching staff is incapable of returning this team to greatness and Paul Dee has stood by and watched this all transpire. He is ultimately responsible for the demise of this program.

Word, Orange and Green. Word...
If Randy Shannon expects to keep this gig, he had best go find him some guys who know to coach. Let's face it. Shannon's no genius. The hiring of Mix and Walton were about $$$, plain and simple and, you get what you pay for. Can't run a program like this on a shoe string budget.
Shannon's hands are tied. The current admin could care less about athletic programs. What we need is somebody at the top who has the passion the U that Sam Janovitch had. Donna Shalala could care less and she's not about to spend the money necessary to ressurect this program. Until she's gone, it is what it is...

I just got off the phone with a high school buddy. We both now live in different parts of the country. We watch the games together via our Nextels and try and attend a game a year for old time sake. Been doing that since the mid 70's. We've seen just about everything. From wide left, wide right, the 58 game winning streak snapped. We've seen Jim Kelly to Ken Dorsey.
We were going to go to the last game in the OB Saturday night but I couldn't make it as I was on a business trip.
I was in a restaurant in Greenville SC Saturday night and of course they had SC v UF on. I walked out to the lounge and saw the ticker run across the screen which proclaimed the half time score of 31-0.
Needless to say, I'm glad I missed that melt down.
We got together on the radio this morning and talked about what's wrong with this program. Too many things to list really. But the one thing we both agreed on was this feels like the death of a family member. This program has slid so far into medicotrity that we both think we've actually witnessed the rise and fall of a football empire. No OB, no Canes. No fan support spells doom at the box office and this program may disolve into a distant memory. How is it that FIU and UCF can build a state of the art facility and the City Of Miami can turn a deaf ear to the U?
Shame on the City Of Miami. 20 years of success, millions and millions of dollars in revenues and this is the thanks we and the Miami Hurrcanes get.
A big middle finger to the City Of Miami.
You people blew this one.

Why do so many posters give Shannon a free pass? Wasn't he part of last years team? If is such a great recruiter, why didn't he recruit great players in the prior years, he was a coach at UM. Also, isn't this years defense his defense and BTW - they suck. Shannon was a horrible hire! However, we need to face the fact that no one else wanted the job. UM is not a premier program any longer. Next year will be same. What we need is to clean house - starting with Shannon. Let's start the fire Shannon bangwagon and please stop making excuses for him. UM will not win with Shannon as the Head Coach. Coker wasn't the only problem with last year's team. Shannon was part of the problem not the solution!!!

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