One of the biggest criticisms the Miami Hurricanes received after their 26-3 loss to Florida last weekend was that offensive coordinator Patrick Nix wasn't aggressive enough with his playcalling. Canes fans were upset Miami didn't throw the ball down the field more.
Coach Randy Shannon explained Wednesday it was because receivers weren't getting open and that his quarterbacks have been taught not to force the ball downfield and into turnover situations. So, what are the Canes doing to get those guys open and open the offense? And is Miami going to try and be more aggressive as the season progresses? The short answer to both questions are I'm not sure and I don't know.
Wednesday, quarterbacks Robert Marve and Jacory Harris talked for the first time since the loss. And when I asked Harris if Nix had told either him or Marve there would be a change in philosophy and more passing, he basically said "No."
"Running is the strength of our team right now and with the great backs we have we're trying to establish the run first and then open up with the pass," Harris explained of UM's offensive philosophy. "We're doing the same things we've been doing since the spring and since the summer. Why tweak the offense? Make defenses adjust to us."
Harris and Marve were two of the most prolific passing quarterbacks the state of Florida has produced in the last two years. As a senior at Tampa Plant, Marve broke state records for yards (4,380) and touchdowns (48) before Harris topped him a year later at Miami Northwestern with 49 TD passes. While both defended Patrick Nix's playcalling, both said the decision is not up to them and they wouldn't push the issue.
"It's not a part of us," Harris said when I asked him if he'd like to be more of a gunslinger. "We never overstep our boundaries and go over the head of our authority. We understand what going on at hand. We know we have five talented running backs and we know if we run the ball eventually the passing will open up."
"What quarterback wouldn't want to throw the ball more?," Marve said. "It's whatever man. It's up to the coaches. I trust them. If Coop grabbed the ball and went for 50, we wouldn't be talking about throwing the ball more. It doesn't matter. Just get points on the board and we'll get that done."
> Contrary to fans beliefs, Marve said going to the sidelines during the second quarter at Florida Saturday actually helped him out. "No it didn't take me out [of rhythm] at all," Marve said. "It showed me what they were doing. It helped me out in seeing what I needed to do. And what I was seeing on the field was right."
> Sophomore cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke had a rough game against the Gators, getting beat on a few passing plays that led to touchdowns. There have been rumors circulating Van Dyke met with Florida coach Urban Meyer after the game and was told by Meyer he would have been better off coming to Florida (he picked UM over the Gators). Van Dyke refused to talk about it Wednesday on the record and said all he wanted to focus on was Texas A&M. There is a Gator website that reportedly has a photo of the event taking place. Sources told me it did happen.
> The same could be said for coach Shannon, who if you listen to yesterday's audio clip, will clearly see he's become annoyed with questions related to the Gators and Urban Meyer's decision to kick a late field goal. Shannon repeatedly shunned off questions by saying "all I'm talking about is Texas A&M."
> To hear everything Shannon, Van Dyke, Marve, Harris, offensive tackle Chris Rutledge and running back Derron Thomas (who will obviously have an increased role with Javarris James out) were talking about Wednesday, just check out our UM audio section.