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Countdown to Kickoff

We are only a few hours away before Year No. 2 gets underway for coach Randy Shannon and his team tries to begin cleaning the taste of last year's 5-7 season out of its mouth. Charleston Southern, a Football Championship Subdivsion school (that's fancy for I-AA), awaits at 7:30 tonight at Dolphin Stadium.

There are so many new things with this team this year. New stadium. New defensive coordinator. New starters and players all over the field. In less than an hour, I'll be hosting my weekly live Q&A at a new time and place here at MiamiHerald.com. Normally, we used to hook up on Tuesday nights, but The Herald wants me to do this right after lunch when most of you probably aren't working and surfing the net anyway!

I have few notes and thoughts to share with you. Normally, I'd have a list of Keys to The Game waiting for you before kickoff, but seeing how this is Charleston Southern, I'll give you an abbreviated edition:

> The key to this game for UM is coming out of it healthy and with a decisive margin of victory. Miami only has four healthy defensive ends heading into this game -- three are true freshmen. With Allen Bailey and Eric Moncur battling back from injury and Adewale Ojomo suspended for the opener, a young, inexperienced defensive line cannot afford to be shorthanded moving forward. Especially, with a trip to the Swamp on tap next week.

> So what do the Bucs run? Charleston Southern (5-6 in '06) will run the spread on offense and will look at lot like the Gators -- just without Tim Tebow, Percy Harvin and the rest of the Gators' personnel. Cornerback Chavez Grant told me earlier this week while UM is still getting adjusted to new defensive coordinator Bill Young's aggressive defense, this is almost the perfect game for UM to make mistakes and fix them before facing the real thing in Gainesville. Defensively, Shannon told reporters this week the Bucs' have a new defensive coordinator and they aren't sure what they will run against UM. Offensive tackle Jason Fox told us the line is expecting to see a lot of zone blitzing.

> My prediction: UM 37, Charleston Southern 3 . I'd like to think the Canes could produce more touchdowns against a bad FCS opponent. But we got to remember we're going to see a lot of young guys playing in this game. Fox told us earlier this week, the plan was to come out and pound the ball with the running game. If that happens, the clock will run quickly in this one. I think Jacory Harris finishes with a little over 200 yards passing and 2 TDs -- one to Travis Benjamin and one to Aldarius Johnson -- and Javarris James, Graig Cooper and Derron Thomas each finish with over 75 yards rushing and they collect two touchdowns between them.


One thing I'd like to make a weekly feature on here and didn't get a chance to doing yesterday since I was filming a TV segment for the Dolphins High School Gridiron Report, which is set to run Saturday night at 10:30 p.m. on CBS, is a weekly Stock Report.

This week's report will encompass everything that happened in fall camp.

> Marcus Robinson, defensive end: Even before we knew Allen Bailey and Eric Moncur were going to be out Marcus_robinson
for the opener for sure, Robinson was making moves up the depth chart on the defensive line. Shannon raved about his future after practice and defensive line coach Clint Hurtt said he could become an excellent third-down pass rushing specialist. Now, he's starting the season opener. Not bad for a converted linebacker and true freshman.

> Travis Benjamin, receiver: When Miami signed seven receivers in February, Benjamin wasn't the name Travis_benjamin
everyone was raving about. Yet, this fall, when the lights were on during the scrimmages, he shined, flashing his 4.26-seed in the 40-yard dash and proving he can be a playmaker. I'm interested to see how much Benjamin will be able to help this team right away.

> Leonard Hankerson, receiver: The St. Thomas Aquinas grad disappeared for awhile Leonard_hankerson
and looked like he might get lost among the talented incoming freshmen. But he saved his best performance for last in the fall, catching three touchdowns in the final scrimmage to earn the starting nod at Split End. He might become the most reliable possession receiver on this team.


> Arthur Brown, linebacker: It's tough for me to list a true freshman on here. But Brown Arthur_brown
is a kid who came in with so much hype. The fact he was passed on the depth chart by Jordan Futch, who got here in the fall, after Brown himself arrived in the spring isn't a good sign. Brown, who we know from the spring needed help with his tackling technique, told us Monday he's still learning the playbook. Here's to hoping he gets it soon because when he's on the field he can be a force.

> Adewale Ojomo, defensive end Getting suspended is never a good thing. But the Scout Adewale_ojomo
Team Defensive MVP from a year ago couldn't have done it at a worse time. Next week, Allen Bailey and Eric Moncur are set to return and this week while Ojomo is sitting on the sidelines, guys like Robinson, Steven Wesley and Gavin Hardin will have a chance to shine. Ojomo could find himself back at the end of line not only for disciplinary reasons, but because other guys prove they can do his job.


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Whtz Up Manny...and Dare I say 1st?

More importantly...Do you think the suspensions are more chess moves than actually punishment?

and Brown, is he a redshirt this season you believe?

I'm really psyched about the game tonight. However, there's a foul taste in the air so I'm going to make a bold prediction...and it will probably separate a few people on here. First, let me start by saying I am a REAL Canes fan. I work, but in my time off (lunch and when I get home), I like follow-up on the Canes. I am one of the few who doesnt talk smack to other people and tell them how great our team is and how much their's sucks. I'm realistic in my views, reasoning, and predictions for my favorite teams of each sport. Like I had said on a previous post when Marve was suspended, there ARE many positives to come out of evrything that happens to a program. Now, for my prediction. IF we lose to UF (which is definitely possible given our current reloading) you are going to see at least half the people that are posting good things about Shannon, his recruitng, defensive knowledge, talented freshmen, ect. come out and badmouth this team and their staff. Similar to what Manny had written in an article after last years Seminoles game (I suggest you find and read it), some people need to look at themselves in a mirror and ask if they are a fan of winning, or a fan and constant supporter of this team. The players Shannon is recruiting are TEAM players. Marve, Harris, and all these other talented guys have the "team first" mentality (which is rare in a lot of programs and competitions these days). While we may not have the experience and depth to beat-up on UF the way we'd all like, it's a sad realization that some people who are so excited to sit and watch these games will ultimately turn around and bad mouth the team if/when they lose (look at some of the "old school" UF and FSU fans). Constructive criticism is one thing, and I'm sure the coaches give a lot of it to these young adults in the locker rooms at halftime and afterwards, but for spectators to come on and slam these guys for their hours at practice, scrimmages, and the weightroom it uncalled for. I'm posting this to give reference to when we lose this season. That's right...I can reasonably predict we will not go undefeated this season. If this team continues progressing the way they are, in 2-3 years that may be different. But, when we do lose, there will no doubt be some disappointed and even pissed off people. The worst (in my opinion) are the ones who brag and gloat about wins and prized recruits to other fans, but cant stand it when it gets dished back at us. This team need support right now. The big deal made out of suspensions is one example in itself. If we want to see a team put forth the effort to win a championship, they need to feel supported by their fans no matter what hits them along the way. If anyone agrees or disagrees, please post. I'm just wishing some people who call themselves fans would get the fortitude to be a real canes fan. GO CANES!

Manny...what's good? I like your prediction and "Stock Report" idea.

I am going with Canes 41, CS 13.

Q: How many TDs will Aldarius Johnson score today, 3 or 4? LOL

is goin 52-10...thtz good numbers..

Manny...what's good? I like your prediction and "Stock Report" idea.

I am going with Canes 41, CS 13.

Q: How many TDs will Aldarius Johnson score today, 3 or 4? LOL

Posted by: 86Cane | August 28, 2008 at 01:27 PM

didn't we all agree to ban 86 from this blog? DAU was right on the fact that he's a scumbag!

Manny what good? Who scores the first TD at joe robbie stadium? I say supa coop

sorry if this question has been asked but does anyone know if the game will be able to be seen at all without espn360?

Will bars be able to have the game on TV? Any St Pete specific info?


I say Baby J scores the 1st TD. Who else has a prediction...I am siked Canesfans, I would love to see us drop 50 or 60, but I agree with Manny Power Football tonight and let the young guys get some good experience. The ride begins tonight, everybody hold on tight the season is bound to have some bumps along the way but all and all I see nothing but positive in the future.

Go Canes!!!!!

My understanding is only 360 Ibis

I have Verizone FIOS (fiber the the curb) and I'm still having problems with ESPN360. Tried it last night and today, the voices come and go and the picture skips. Wish this game was on reg. TV.

Miami 42 CS 10

Whats up Manny ? Great stuff as usual, I like the who's up and who's down Stock Report. I gotta agree with BBrinkley on the fan base, we cant go undeafeated every year. The game is on ESPN360.com and radio 760 and 1450 AM, at least where i live, Port Saint Lucie, Fl. I would love to see a shut out, to welcome in the new D.....HURRICANE SEASON HAS BEGUN

Q: Whtz Up Manny...and Dare I say 1st? More importantly...Do you think the suspensions are more chess moves than actually punishment? and Brown, is he a redshirt this season you believe? Posted by: RayChanCaneFan | August 28, 2008 at 01:19 PM

A: Got to be quicker on the trigger finger RayChan... the suspensions are not chess moves. They are punishment. Brown probably will not be redshirted, unless him picking up the playbook becomes a real problem.

Q: Manny what good? Who scores the first TD at joe robbie stadium? I say supa coop. Posted by: Lou of M | August 28, 2008 at 02:12 PM

A: Agreed Lou. Super Coop has to have the best odds. I say he's 3-1. Javarris is 5-1. Jacory Harris 10-1. Travis Benjamin 10-1. Dedrick Epps 15-1. Defensive/Special Teams TD 20-1.

Q: sorry if this question has been asked but does anyone know if the game will be able to be seen at all without espn360? Will bars be able to have the game on TV? Any St Pete specific info? Thanks Posted by: Ibis 13 | August 28, 2008 at 02:22 PM

A: Only ESPN360 my friend. I'll be here to provide live updates throughout the night.

Where you at Manny?? Stadium? I wonder how many people are out there tailgaiting and when they're allowed in. What are they expecting in ticket sales/attendence? Any visits from high school players?

Does anyone know the link or channel that the game is on tonight other than Verizon since it is not offered here in Rhode Island and ESPN 360 which is in not cooperating with me.

Manny! Whats up! We have a group of Canes fans, which include me and Canez1, who are heading to Brother Jimmy's in NYC to watch the game. We are pumped!

My question: What happens if Jacory has a monster game tonight? I know Shannon said the starting job is Marve's and Jacory's performance, good or bad, won't change that but would a huge game against an inferior opponent cast doubt in Shannon's mind? The last thing this young team needs to deal w/ is a QB controversy. Thanks Manny!

Manny, I just wanted to thank you for being an unbiased journalist. You provide us with a good dose of the positives and negatives. While Canes bashing, in the media, seems to be an ESPN-101 way to advance one’s media career these days. You'll get yours by continuing to do it the right way. I enjoy your blog and 'allcanes' very much. God forbid, but if Harris goes down due to some random accident, is Cannon Smith prepared to play?


Manny, you mentioned in your keys to the game that Miami needs to stay healthy. Can these freshmen DEs (who are majorly undersized in the absence of Ojomo, Bailey, and Moncur) get sacks and stop the run?

Let me say that I honestly don't see us destroying these guys... I see us winning something like 31-19. No joke.


Manny, do you think Miami is solidified at the Strong Safety position, or do you think that they're going to try different guys there? Because of all the guys that left, I think Kenny Phillips will be the hardest one to replace. Thanks.

What are these famous rules they have to sign to play football at UM?

manny, please give a play by play tonight

I am livid. I had AT&T DSL, wanted to upgade to high speed with universe to watch the game now I have nothing. AT&T cancelled my DSL and telephone line and I am stressing out how I can see the game. I don't know anyone else that has access to ESPN 360, this sucks big time.
Today is the day I read the Miami Herald and Sun Sentinel online for the football previews and celebrate the return of the Canes and the college football season.
Well at least the UF game will be on ESPN and I will be at the TAMU game.
Let go canes.

I am at the library to surf since I took the day off from work.

Prediction for the game UM 44 - 17.

66-0 baby!! Dem Canes READY!!

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