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Progress report: North Carolina

One of things I've shied away from on this blog is grading this team on a week-to-week basis. I never liked getting my report card when I was in school because it usually meant I was going to be grounded (my parents weren't happy when they saw anything less than B).

So, when I got to high school, I made a decision that paid off. I decided to sign up for weekly progress reports, thinking at the very least the whole shock factor on report card day wouldn't be as strong. Instead of receiving grades, my parents received comments from my teachers like 'He's trying hard and he's doing good' or 'He missed an assignment this week and needs to focus more.' It somehow made the blow of when I did get a C a little less hard to take.

Anyway, that's my long-winded explanation as to why I've decided to begin giving you weekly progress reports instead of report cards after each game. My grading system system, in honor of the Canes, is simple: National championship material (excellent), BCS worthy (good), MicronPC Bowl here we come (average), Coker-esque (poor) and Scout Team reserve (the bottom of the barrel).

Robert_marveQuarterbacks: Say what you want about Robert Marve's two fourth quarter interceptions, he still was only making his third career start. He finished 18 of 27 for 135 yards and two touchdowns and nearly led the Canes to a thrilling come-from-behind victory with :46 seconds left and the ball on his own 31-yard line. He threw an absolute bullet to Kayne Farquharson to bring the Canes within the red zone and then just missed on the winning touchdown pass. Jacory Harris, who played a series, also moved the team down the field after getting new life on a running into the punter penalty. He didn't make any mistakes and led UM to a field goal for the second week in a row. This week's Progress Report says: BCS Worthy effort. Stay clear of making a few silly mistakes and get some better coaching and you can move up to the next level.

CooperRunning backs: Before North Carolina quarterback Cameron Sexton stole the show and brought UNC back from a 24-14 deficit, Graig Cooper was en route to MVP honors. He had 19 carries for 110 yards and caught 3 passes for 29 yards and scored twice. Without Javarris James and not a lot of help from the rest of Miami's backfield (Derron Thomas carried the ball 3 times), Cooper moved the pile plenty and made plenty of special plays on his own. My worry is, if Coop goes down, how much trouble are the Canes going to be in? How about big? This week's Progress Report: BCS Worthy effort. With Coop making the plays he's making, he's making UM's backfield look amazing. But when you consider nobody else is getting involved right now you worry this unit can go back to being MicronPC material should Cooper stutter or get hurt.

FarquharsonReceivers/tight ends: Kayne Farquharson didn't make the big catch. But he's quietly becoming the go-to receiver for Marve. The 29-yard pass he hauled in before taking a licking from Darius Williams was Terrell Owens-esque. He also caught a touchdown for the second consecutive week. Also starring for the Canes, tight end Dedrick Epps, who picked up a crucial first down on third and long to set up Aldarius Johnson's first career touchdown reception. While there were some bright spots, UM's receivers still are dropping passes. Richard Gordon had two. Thearon Collier had another that would have kept a drive alive in the first half. Laron Byrd only seems to get short, quick out passes. It's not entirely the units fault. Offensive coordinator Patrick Nix has to give these guys some room to work. This week's Progress Report: MicronPC Bowl Here We Come. A few different, more aggressive pass patterns and less drops and you'll be flying into the BCS level in no time.

Offensive line: Jason Fox provided the first sign Saturday UM's offensive line came out meaning business when he absolutely flattened a Tar Heel lineman on the second play of the game. The Canes offensive line did its job for the most part facing a tough defensive front. But two holding penalties -- one on Fox and another on center Xavier Shannon -- hurt UM in the fourth quarter badly. This week's Progress Report: MicronPC Bowl Here We Come. A BCS-worthy effort became wasted with those penalties late.

The Front Seven: For yet another week, Miami's front line of defense had a stellar day. Colin McCarthy, Sean Spence, Glenn Cook, Steven Wesley and Eric Moncur helped shut down North Carolina's running game, limiting the Tar Heels to 35 yards on 33 carries. Moncur notched a sack for the second consecutive week. But unfortunately for UM, he was the only guy in the front seven to get a sack. Freshman defensive back Brandon Harris had one, too. But it certainly wasn't enough pressure to stop Sexton from mounting a comeback. This week's Progress Report: MicronPC Bowl Here We Come. Another BCS-worthy effort stopping the run was wasted because UM simply couldn't get to Sexton when it mattered.

Missed_tackles The Secondary: For two series, Miami's secondary looked like a national championship contender. Then, Mike Paulus went out and Cameron Sexton came in. He torched the Canes secondary to the tune of 242 yards and two scores. A lot of it was because of the play-calling by Bill Young, who tried to bring in extra blitzers to create pressure. It left guys like Bruce Johnson and DeMarcus Van Dyke on an island to make plays. They didn't. Johnson missed two tackles. Van Dyke failed to cover Brooks Foster on the game-winning touchdown pass. Shannon lamented on blown coverages after the game. How about just very poor secondary play? UM still doesn't have an INT on defense. Chavez Grant said some guys might be pressing to make plays. If Miami doesn't find a remedy, good teams will continue to exploit. Even teams with guys like Cameron Sexton at quarterback. This week's Progress Report: Coker-esque. This was really the only unit who still resembled last year's 5-7 team. And you saw how much it hurt Miami late.

Special Teams: There were big hits and big returns on the Canes' special teams again this week. Colin McCarthy had a big block. Grant had the biggest. It sparked freshman Travis Benjamin on a 37-yard punt return. Matt Bosher, meanwhile, connected on 1-of-2 field goal attempts (he missed off the infield dirt) and had three of his four punts downed inside 20 (including one at the one by Sam Shields who finally made an appearance). But it's his last punt everyone will remember, the one that was partially blocked and gave UNC good field position on its final scoring drive. It wasn't Bosher's fault, another blown assignment by a blocker according to Shannon. But it still hurt. So, did a few long returns by Brandon Tate. This week's Progress Report: MicronPC Bowl Here We Come. The missed assignment on Bosher's last punt was the killer.

Shannon_defeated Coaching: Tough not get on Canes coaches here considering they had a 24-14 lead with nine minutes to play and blew it. It wasn't all their fault. But Shannon and his assistants obviously needed to make some adjustments and didn't. I thought the offense shutdown after Aldarius Johnon's touchdown catch and simply tried to run out the clock instead of giving Marve a chance to win the game with his arm. Instead, they gave a tired, beat up Graig Cooper the ball. Defensively, Young gambled with the blitz today and lost. He left his corners on an island far too much. This week's progress report: When you lose a game you should have won, you don't get to the BCS or play for it all. MicronPC Bowl Here We Come.

Comments

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I had the privilege to have my football stadium on campus and there’s nothing like it.

Posted by: Kurt | September 29, 2008 at 01:13 PM
not enough land, access or students to justify an on-campus eyesore ...

NIMBY

moving to Dolphin Stadium will generate profit. Everything you see is short term. What happens at the end of the contract and Miami has no where to go afterward?

Posted by: Kurt | September 29, 2008 at 01:48 PM
$weetheart lease lasts 25 years ...

TENANCY IN PERPETUITY

L'shana tova

My man, MANNY! This is a misprint:

"UM still doesn't have an INT on defense."

It is the secondary that doesn't have an INT. The defense does. Eric Moncur against aTm.

I hope Nix considers opening up the playbook against the noles. I'm tired of watching the same plays over and over. Let Marve unleash his gun. I enjoyed watching him throw at the end of the game. He almost pulled it off.

I am going to probably tick off Manny but I saw this article in my local paper and thought you guys would like to see how one of our RB commits was doing. I hope my link works.

http://www.theledger.com/article/20080926/NEWS/809260406/1008/SPORTS01?Title=Ridge_Community_14__Bartow_0

BTW, Bartow High is where Steven Wesley went to high school.

Go Canes!

i must add i don't like the rotating quarterbacks. Although either guy can and will be good, there is a momentun loss when we make the change.
It's unfair to Harris, coming in cold, and it slows down what we had going. Pick Marve and stay with him until the outcome is determined. Then Harris or anyone else can get their experience

Marvin I think you are refering to Rob Chudzinski? If that's the case, tons of people would have loved to see him come back but I think he would have only come back only if he was offered the Head Coaching position. I totally agree with everything you said. Like I said before not too many coaches were running at the chance to be the HC or the OC (feel free to tell me who when Shannon was the 4th or 5th option.)I can't defend nix too much but Marve will make him look good because unlike Ball (the QB from Ga Tech.) Marve is much more talented. I want to see a RB develop behind Cooper until JJ comes back. Nation love each other and value the statements and opinions of one another. I learn from all of you in here !! Go Canes !

DEAR HATER,

Can I please get a summary of the education level I'm speaking with?
NO... IRRELEVANT...

What really lit my fire today is seriously the immaturity of people on here.
THE ONLY THING U BROUGHT TO THIS BLOG HAS BEEN MISJUDGMENT... TAKE YOUR UNDERDEVELOPED ANTICS ELSEWHERE...

I don't understand how you people don't realize when he opens his mouth and others around the country listen to him speak, it looks horrible upon the university!
DONT CARE WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK. THE U WILL ALWAYS BE HATED AROUND THE NATION, BUT WE SHOULDN'T BE HATED BY CANE FANS, KURT...
I just want to keep everyone in check...
CHECK YOURSELF...

I'M DONE WITH U AND YOUR UNDERDEVELOPED ARGUMENTS... U ARE NOT THE TYPE OF CANE FAN THE CANE NATION WANTS... GO ROOT FOR THE SPARTANS, CAUSE U HATE THE U, U HATE THE CITY, THE COUNTY, U HATE THE PEOPLE...

SIGNED,
A PROUD TOUGH GUY...

Kurt,

If you respond to the last post, PLEASE try to do it in 50 words or less!

Go 'canes!

Randy Shannon is our Ron Zook. Let him recruit another year or 2, bring in an up-and-coming offensively minded guy from a lesser-known school (not Schiano) to take over with a loaded inventory of talent. Go to games, support your team, and stay patient for our next NC in 2010 or 2011.

F$U = Republicans

UM = Democrats

IF YOU GUYS WANT TO KNOW WHAT THE "U" IS MISSING PLEASE CLICK ON THIS LINK.

ENOUGH OF THESE CUP CAKE DB'S AND SAFETIES!!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LG_f1GzmwHo

F$U = Republicans

UM = Democrats

Posted by: M.H.

YES SIR... MORE DEMOCRATS NEEDED...

Herbal minded did you click the link I posted?

Everyone is complaining about the coaching. I worked with the ESPN crew and during breaks the announcers when not on air said the CANES were over coached.
here is what else I found and made alot of sence !!!!! It does !!!!!
So read and think.

Rudy′s Rant

By: Rudy Rodriguez-Chomat

79


NEW - Feeling Heartbroken is Becoming Normal at The U
Sat Sep 27, 2008

You want to feel like the University of Miami is back. You really do. The ‘Canes blast through Texas A&M 41-23 and then get a home game against North Carolina, a team it should want to beat so badly after getting embarrassed in Chapel Hill last year 33-27 who also happens to be playing a third string quarterback after falling behind 14-0 in the first quarter.

You want that feeling so badly. You feel like it’s there and that these ‘Canes might actually have a shot at winning the ACC in what is clearly a really bad year for the conference.

You look up and down the schedule and say to yourself, this team could arguably win every single game and finish the regular season at 11-1. The talent is there. It’s evident. It’s obvious.

And when you see a 14-0 lead, a 17-7 lead and a 24-14 lead with nine minutes to go in the game, you think, man they really could win this conference.

Then they break your heart again as they have done so many times over the past three seasons.

Then reality sets in as the defensive secondary gets smoked, not once, not twice, but three times over the final nine minutes of the game.

Reality sets in as the defensive line fails to get any push or pressure on third string quarterback Cameron Sexton, who until Saturday afternoon at Dolphin Stadium, had completed ONE pass since the Tar Heels season opener of 2007.

Saturday afternoon, Sexton entered the game trailing 14-0 and immediately led the Tar Heels right down the field cutting the lead in half. He finished 11 for 19 for 242 yards and two touchdowns. Imagine what UNC starter T.J. Yates could have done to this Hurricanes team if he had been in the line up.

But what really angers you as a Hurricanes fan is that at one point Robert Marve had completely 16 of 21 passes for 100 yards. That’s right, 100 yards. It’s only 100 yards because offensive coordinator Patrick Nix simply refuses to call any plays downfield because he clearly doesn’t trust Marve. The ‘Canes don’t even try to throw the ball deep while UNC’s offensive coordinator John Shoop trusts his third string quarterback to throw it deep even though the kid has only thrown one freaking pass under Butch Davis.

And then you watch Marve drive the ‘Canes straight down the field in the final 46 seconds with a chance to actually win the game for no other reason than because Nix has no choice but to call vertical routes to have a chance to win. And guess what? He does it. He drives the offense right down the field. Although his final pass slipped through Kayne Farquharson’s hands in the end zone, the ball was there. Albeit, it would have been a great catch, it’s a catch Kayne has made in the past and it’s a catch Kayne will make in the future.

It leaves you wondering how this could happen, why does this happen. It leaves you looking at the personnel decisions that are made throughout the game. It leaves you asking why Marve is taken out of the game in the second quarter for Jacory Harris (who I love as a QB, but you don't keep switching QB's) following two touchdown drives only to see UNC cut the lead in half. Yes, Harris led Miami to a field goal, but the result was that it killed Marve’s groove no matter what Randy Shannon said in his post game press conference.

It leaves you wondering how there are continuous missed assignments in the secondary and how the same blown punt blocking in the final three minutes that happened at Florida could happen again in such a crucial situation.

The fact of the matter is you try so hard to feel good about this team because you know the talent is there to win. You really want to feel good about it, but when it comes down to it, what you have is a team that is staring down the barrel of another 6-6 season if it doesn’t start finishing games.

And that starts at the top with coaching. And it’s the reason we lost at Florida and the exact same reason we lost today. How about this one, Florida lost 31-30 at home to Ole Miss today. We scored 3 points against that same Gators defense.

But yet again, our hearts are left broken because our coaches don’t trust the players they put on the field.

Here’s a question – Do you think Butch Davis would have lost a 14-0, 17-7 and 24-14 lead if Cannon Smith had been our quarterback today? Even better, do you think he would have lost a 14-0, 17-7 and 24-14 if he had been our coach facing North Carolina's third string quarterback?

A Realisst, YA LOVED IT.. POSTED IT ON THE PLAYERS MYSPACE PAGE... REED GETS ME PUMPED..

PEOPLE STOP CRYING AND WRITING THESE LONG WINEY ESSAYS!

THE CANES ARE MISSING THIS:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LG_f1GzmwHo

AND UNTIL WE GET PLAYERS WITH HEART LIKE THIS ITS GONNA BE A LONG ROAD!

HERBAL, TELL ME A PLAYER ON THE TEAM RIGHT NOW THAT PLAYS WITH THAT DRIVE? I CANT THINK OF ONE!

NO1,,, THE CLOSEST TO BEING REAL LEADERS ARE COOP, FOX, AND MARVE?? BUT THEY AREN'T ON THAT LEVEL YET... NO1 ON DEFENSE IS EVEN CLOSE..

WE R NOT GOING NOWHERE WITH DIS DINK N DUNK STYLE OF OFFENSE!! WE HAVENT HAD A QB THROW OVER 200 YDS ALL SEASON! WE DONT STRETCH DA FIELD AT ALL! WE BRING IN ALL THESE ALL-AMERIVAN RECIEVERS N DONT USE THEIR TALENTS! UNLESS WE START OPENING UP DA OFFENSE N SCRAP DA DINK N DUNK WERE NOT GOING TO BEAT NOBODY GOOD!

Ole Miss loses to Wake Forest, and Wake Forest loses to Navy, and uf loses to Ole Miss.

Stick that in your pipe, fudge-packer-canesrule.

Ole Miss loses to Wake Forest, and Wake Forest loses to Navy, and uf loses to Ole Miss.

Stick that in your pipe, fudge-packer-canesrule.

vlady:

Good post. You have the link for the article?

REPLACING MARVE WHEN HE IS DIRECTING THE BEST MIAMI OFFENSE IN YEARS AND KILLING THE MOMENTUM
IS INEXPLICABLE. MIND BOGGLING. JAW DROPPING. THOSE WERE MY INSTANT REACTIONS. 'OH MY GOD'

I HONESTLY FELT THE GAME CHANGE RIGHT THERE.

CAN ANYONE EXPLAIN IT? CAN NIX OR SHANNON REALLY GIVE CREDIBILITY TO THAT DECISION?
ABSOLUTELY NOT.

AHH. DECISIONS. IN THE HEAT OF A GAME = COACHING.

CAN ANYONE EXPLAIN IT? CAN NIX OR SHANNON REALLY GIVE CREDIBILITY TO THAT DECISION?
ABSOLUTELY NOT.
Posted by: smenkin

COACH SHANNON SAYS IT GIVES MARVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO SEE THE DEFENSE IN A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE... MARVE IS ON THE RECORD FOR SAYING THAT IT IS HELPFUL... HOWEVER, THE PROBLEM IS NOT PUTTING JACORY IN, THE PROBLEM IS WHEN HE GOES IN... WHEN MARVE IS CLICKING HES GOT 2 STAY IN... AFTER A PICK OR A 3 & OUT MIGHT BE A BETTER SPOT TO SIT MARVE, SO HE CAN LEARN FROM HIS MISTAKES...
THE SUBSTITUTION SHOULD NOT BE PREDETERMINED, IT NEEDS TO DEPEND ON HOW THE GAME IS PLAYED OUT...

Manny-or readers--

any idea if the stadium will be fully turfed Saturday now that the baseball season is done?

Posted by: Dr. Dan

DOLPHIN STADIUM IS SUPPOSED TO BE ALL TURF SATURDAY...

http://www.insidetheu.com/blogs/?v=2

This is the link to the article I posted.
I also saw the kids walking to their bus after the game and they were so frustrated.
I felt for them, but i am glad they cared about the outcome. nix just seemed like he knew he was going to get the brunt of this loss.Nix rubs me the wrong way, as if he was elite or something. i think he just keeps coaching not to lose...and as if him and Shannon had a contract with the devil focing them to play jacory. I love Jacory, we could win with Jacory. NO Doubt. I am pist WE DONT LET MARVE PLAY !!!!!

Good post vlady and i like the way you think cane4life-5'chips...

We'll get back to dominance and prominence we just have to get better at recruiting, coaching, and playing. I think RS will get us there and he and his staff are certainly better this year than last. They'll get us back.

The team is young and pretty talented but we're not loaded with underclassmen talent like we were when we lost to Penn State in 1998. Marve at r/s freshman is not first round material but good enough to win games (e.g. not a Sam Brady but hopefully as good as B Berlin and not as bad as Wright - sorry Kyle...).

We need o-linemen for next year and 2010, we need to get better on long-yardage offensive plays and defensive turnovers.

To do this players need to be coached to make smart plays within our their ability - not a problem on offense where we probably are still too conservative.

Did anyone see the Ravens game last night and the way Flocco (sp?) always threw outside and not across the middle? That's how Marve is playing. He needs to take quick shots across the middle where good and bad things happen but we have to take chances on offense.

My favorite friend (next to 242 Cane) Herbal Minded,

Can you think for yourself or is that too hard to do? At least you represent your name correctly well.

More than likely while recruiting him, Shannon probably told Jacory he would play (and in key situations not just mop up duty) and now in fear of going back on his word and having the kid transfer, he tries to keep him happy.

Doesn't that sound like a logical explanation?

Second, is it likely for the starting quarterback (or any player) to tell the media he doesn't agree with the coaching decision to pull him?

Marve’s response to the media was their poor attempt at public relations. In other words, it was premeditated answer.

What Starting Quarterback wants to be sidelined for a series or two in order to "view" the defense? That's what film time is for! That’s the duty of a head coach, prepare his players to play against their opponent. Then they will be prepared to execute their plan during the game. Not plan during a game!

If you are going to adjust, that’s what halftime is for!

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