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Gameday blog: UM 20, UCF 14 (F)

I'm here at Dolphin Stadium to provide you with highlights as well as my thoughts from today's game against the University of Central Florida.

> Talk about a fitting song. At halftime, UM's band played Don't Stop Believing from Journey. Problem is this first half effort has a lot of people no longer believing things are heading in the right direction.
> I don't know about you, but I feel like I'm watching a replay of the 2007 season. UM is struggling against a bad team and can't move the football.
> Today's attendance: 40,011.

> UCF's 1st drive:
The Knights catch a break when Matt Bosher's kickoff bounces out of bounds. But the Knights are unable to do much and are forced to punt. Allen Bailey picks up his second sack of the game on third down.
> UM's 1st drive: The Canes go 3-and-out.
> UCF's 2nd drive: Another UCF 3-and-out.
> UM's 2nd drive: Robert Marve picks up a first down when he finds Dedrick Epps for about a 15-yard gain down to the UM 38. But the drive ends when Robert Marve's third down pass to Travis Benjamin finishes a yard short of the first down marker.
> I've had some computer issues here in the third quarter. UM has the ball on its on 8 and is facing a 3rd and 7 when we come back in the fourth quarter.
> UM's 4th drive: Another UM drive fizzles and the Canes are forced to punt from deep in their own end zone. Joe Burnett fields a 42-yard punt and gets smacked down at the Canes 45. UCF takes over at its own 41 following a punt.
> UCF's 5th drive: The Knights change quarterbacks and Michael Greco slips down at his own 29-yard line for a loss of 12 yards. Brandon Harris then has a chance to pick off his first pass of his career and drops the INT at the UCF 42. The Canes then catch another break when a bad snap sails over the head of UCF's punter before he kicks out of the back of the end zone for a safety with 13:31 left to play. UM 12, UCF 7.
> Just got the stats for the end of the third quarter... UCF has a total of 66 yards total offense and no yards rushing. UM has 199 yards total offense and only 75 yards passing.
> UM's 5th drive: Jacory Harris gets back into the game with 13:24 left and UM at its own 41. But once again UM goes nowhere and Bosher comes in for a punt and UCF takes over at its own 19.
> UCF's 6th drive: UCF looks like its getting smart. Calabreese comes back in at quarterback and the Knights go the FSU offense, running the ball with the quarterback right down the middle of the field for a big 26-yard gain. But that's all that works. UCF is forced to punt and UM takes over at its own 17 with 9:26 to play.
> UM's 6th drive: Harris stays in at quarterback and delivers. Faced with a 3rd and 8 at the UM 19, he finds Laron Byrd for a 14-yard gain to the UM 33. Jacory nearly loses the ball a play later when UCF defenders runs right up the middle on the snap and knocks the ball free. Eventually, UM is forced to punt. That's when UM really catches the break it needs. Joe Burnett has the ball slip right through his hands and Sam Shields falls on the ball at the UCF 5.
> UM's 7th drive: One play later, Graig Cooper scores a touchdown with 5:21 left to make it 18-7. UM then goes for two and scores on a Harris run up the middle to make it 20-7. UM 20, UCF 7.
> UCF's 7th drive: UCF looks like it makes a huge mistake when it bobbles the ensuing kickoff and gets tackled deep inside its own territory. But the Canes make a huge mistake -- DeMarcus Van Dyke -- and are flagged for offsides. On the do-over, Joe Burnett makes up for his previous fumble on punt and returns the kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown with 4:57 to play. UM 20, UCF 14.
> UM's 8th drive:
The Canes start at their own 34 and go nowhere on first and second down. On third and 8, Harris gets sacked back at the UM 20 by Bruce Miller with 3:48 to play.
> UCF's 8th drive: Joe Burnett returns the punt to the UCF 41 and the Knights take over with 3:39 left. On first down, Calabrese scrambles for 9 yards to the 50. Linebacker Glenn Cook goes out with an injury on the play. Another Calabrese scramble then picks up a first down. On third and 6 two plays later, Calabrese gets knocked down by Brandon Harris at the UM 36. On fourth and 4, Calabrese tries to find Brian Watters over the middle, but the pass is batted down by Daryl Sharpton giving UM possession with 1:52 to play.
> UM's 9th drive: UM takes three knees and runs out the clock.

> UM's 1st drive: Following an 18-yard return by Travis Benjamin, UM starts at it owns 24 yard line. Talk about a good start -- Graig Cooper takes the opening handoff and runs right up the middle for an 18-yard gain before free safety Jason Venson yanked him down. But that's the highlight of the drive. After two failed runs, Robert Marve gets intercepted by Sha'reff Rashard, giving UCF possesion at the UM 42.
> UCF's 1st drive: The Knights get great field position, but go a quick three-and-out. It gets worse for them when punter Blake Clingan gets off a 6-yard punt giving UM possession at the Canes 32.
> UM's 2nd drive: Freshman receiver Thearon Collier makes a tremendous play on a quick screen pass. After getting initially smacked at the line of scrimmage, he keeps his balance and picks up 12 yards. On the next play, Cooper runs right up the middle for 16 yards down to the UCF 40. Miami then faces a third and 7 at the UCF 37, Robert Marve scrambles out of bounds, but UM keeps the drive alive when linebacker Lawrence Young gets flagged for a personal foul penalty moving the ball to the UCF 22. Benjamin, the star of last week's loss to FSU, then catches his second TD pass of the season when he runs right past the UCF secondary and hauls in a 25-yard touchown pass from Marve. The drive: 8 plays, 68 yards, 2:55. UM 7, UCF 0.
> UCF's 2nd drive: Faced with a 3rd and 9 at his own 21, Rob Calabreese completes a 15-yard pass to Brian Watters for a first down. But three plays later and a few bad Calabreese passes later, UCF is forced to punt. That's when junior Richard Gordon makes the first big play of his career, splitting the UCF punt team to block a punt and give UM possession at the UCF 25.
> UM's 3rd drive: Miami gets great field position but settles for a 35-yard field goal from Matt Bosher with 5:35 left in the first quarter. UM 10, UCF 0.
> By the way, Chris Barney entered the game on that field goal attempt. Amazing. Shannon told us last Sunday Barney, who was injured in fall camp, was nowhere near close to playing.
> UCF's 3rd drive: Another quick three and out for the struggling UCF offense. Miami takes over at its own 25 following a 55-yard punt with 3:42 left.
> UM's 4th drive: Jacory Harris makes his first appearance in the first quarter of a game since his only start against Charleston Southern. Chris Rutledge stalls the drive when he gets called for a false start. The drive ends when Harris puts a pass on the money to Thearon Collier, but Collier drops it after taking a strong hit. Bosher then gets off a 15-yard punt, giving UCF the ball at the UM 43.
> UCF's 4th drive: Once again, UCF is turned away. The Knights take two shots deep downfield at Brandon Harris, but are unable to capitalize and punt the ball into the end zone.
> UM's 5th drive: Miami stalls once again and is forced to punt. UCF's Joe Burnett returns the ball 32 yards to the UM 31 and is saved from scoring a touchdown when Sam Shields catches him from behind on the final play of the first quarter.
> UCF's 5th drive: The Knights get great field position, but go three-and-out. Former Cane Daren Daly makes a 48-yard field goal. But it gets wiped off the board when UCF is flagged for illegal formation. UCF then elects to punt and the ball sails into the end zone, giving UM a first and 10 at its 20 with 14:31 left in the half.
> UM's 6th drive: Lee Chambers makes an appearance -- and impact. His first carry goes for five yards and his next carry goes for 25 after he breaks a couple tackles. But the drive fizzles thereafter. Marve tried a deep pass to Travis Benjamin, but it got batted away. He then scrambled on third and long, but got stopped five yards shy of the first down marker. Bosher then gets off his second bad punt of the game when he nets a 13-yard punt.
> UCF's 6th drive: Ugly, ugly football. UCF's offense appears to be the perfect remedy for this struggling UM defense. Another three-and-out for the Knights. The Canes end up losing yardage on the punt return when Thearon Collier goes backward and UM gets flagged for an illegal punt. UM takes over at its own 10 with 10:36 left in the half.
> UM's 7th drive: Graig Cooper comes back in and rushes twice for a first down. Miami moves to the 50 when Marve gets intercepted for the second time. Johnell Neal steps in front of a 15-yard pass intended to Travis Benjamin at the 38 and returns it 62 yards for a touchdown with 7:22 to play in the first half. UM 10, UCF 7.
> UM's 8th drive:
Following a short UCF kickoff to Ryan Hill, Miami takes over at its own 36. But the cautious Canes run the football three times and punt. Bosher gets off a nice 45-yard punt that gets no return when Shields smacks down Burnett at his own 17 with 5:15 left in the half.
> UCF's 7th drive: The Knights finally start moving the football and pick up a first down on a 15-yard completion from Calabrese to Kamar Aiken. UCF converts a fourth and one at the UM 46 to keep their drive alive. But on the next play, Daryl Sharpton comes in on a blitz and sacks Calabrese back at the UCF 47. The drive ends when Allen Bailey picks up a sack on third and long.
> UM's 9th drive: The Canes try to take advantage and get a score before the half. Instead, Marve gets picked for the third time today and the second by Sha'reef Rashad back at the UCF 33 with 27 seconds left. Is it Jacory time?
> UCF's 8th drive: The Knights only get two plays off before the half ends in ugly, pathetic fashion.

Checking in from Dolphin Stadium an hour before the Canes try to get back on the winning side of things against the University of Central Florida. Today's game, scheduled for a 3:58 kickoff (delayed because of thunderstorms in the area), will be televised on ESPNU. I know most of you don't have ESPNU. I'll provide updates here on the blog drive by drive. But for a play-by-play, visit www.wqam.com for the radio broadcast.

A couple of early notes...
> It looks like we will definitely see more of the freshmen today. Travis Benjamin and Aldarius Johnson are listed as the starters at receiver with Laron Byrd and Davon Johnson as the primary backups.
> Brandon Harris is also still listed as a starter at corner with senior Bruce Johnson. Arthur Brown is listed as the backup at strongside linebacker behind Daryl Sharpton. I've heard to expect Arthur to see a lot of playing time today.


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We will not lost to Duke and NC State, UCF came out and played a strong defensive game, with a good core of DB's. Marve didn't do a good job of looking off his initial receiver and paid for it. He/Jacory will only get better, no matter what you guys say. UTEP wouldn't beat us either, UCF came out much more fired up to play us, than they did UTEP.

You heard it hear first. Miami will go on a 4 game winning streak.

I agree the defense was great. But here is why NIX must go. We all know that Benjamin is a playmaker, so where was the reverse or bubble screen. We are so predictable on third downs that everyone knows the screen to Cooper is coming. Like i said Cooper is a third down back so how about giving Chambers or Shawnbrey more carries. Marve will be a better QB if he would dump the ball off to the Tight End or running back and stop looking for the big play. The game of football is about getting 1st downs not home runs.

Miami will beat Duke because of defensive speed and that is it. Miami will never win another National championship!

You heard it here first. Miami will go on a 4 game winning streak.

Agree wtih you 100% DuvalCanesFan, seems as if we run no slants, outs or hooks, everything is deep. Gotta move those sticks, before we can get in the end zone.

well im sick, and now that the highschoolers are done, its time to watch LSU beat the gayturds at the swamp. FLA will not have a season under meyer again with less than3-4 losses. yes the conf. is great, but winning and losing is what matters. so enjoy the ring gayturds, there wont be another. its really sad to think the ACC is one of college footballs worst, and miami is the bottom of the ACC. good night and go TIGERS

Finally, someone with some optimism. We'll beat Duke and if we come out fired up against Wake, we really could beat them too. Plus JJ will be back then to help carry the load.

Posted by: nateoffy | October 11, 2008 at 07:45 PM

If you have a family member that is a crackhead do you tell them that is going to be ok, you only hit the pipe once today, good job? or do you tell them like it is?

Good analogy Gibby. Yes, I'm as disappointed with the way the team looks right now as anyone else, but what good does whining like a bunch of beotches do??? Support the U if you are a true fan. Go to a game or two and help fill the stands, instead of whining how empty the seats are.

Yeah tellin nateoffy if you are not offering corrective critism and supporting the U than take your closet Gator a-- back to there web site.

I agree if you live in the SFLA area then you should be at the games, barring your financial situation with the way the economy is. There are fans however that live half way across the country like I do, even though I grew up in Cutler Ridge, and can't go to the games.

I dont think its whining though as much as venting and calling a spade a spade IMO

i dont know guys. ihave to say it the university doesnt want a team like they had. also the miami community is a digrace. i see more fans at raymond james for a usf team than miami fans. no support equals crummy team. if gas was cheap i would drive down from tampa which i did alot in the 90's.

Okay so I normally do not rant about how terrible Miami is playing, instead I just sit back and pray that they will one day get back to they way things used to be ( 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003). But I wake up with a hangover, nuts itching and realize life is a bitc$ that will burn you. Miami is absoulutely TERRIBLE. There is no excuse for Miami to BARELY beat UCF? What has happened to Miami? Manny please no more predictions and also I am NOW OFFICIALLY ON THE FIRE RANDY SHANNON BANDWAGON. I am sorry I thought we needed to give him time at first but NOPE fire him and hire someone else QUICKLY!!!!!!Also Pat Nix is not the problem its these two garbage quarterbacks we got. Sorry guys but Robert and Jacory are both terrible and we should of went after Terrel Pryor. Now we are NEVER going to win another championship and our special teams is absolutely garbage. Thanks for mediocrity, I appreciate this and yes we will LOSE to Wake Forest, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech and even Virginia again this year. U heard it first Miami will officially finish this season 5-7 again and yes we will lose several recruits after this game. Peace time to start rooting for a new team.

Funny how times change....

And yes I will be at the Duke game Sat. I will be the guy with the Dime piece Puerto Rican chick talking smack with the all white Miami cap. Duke is sooo soft I hope Miami kills them and after the game I will be in parking lot taking straight shots of scotch yelling at all the duke fans.

Hey Morons! We have 17 players out with injuries. 4 done for the year. Most upper classmen. Garantee that if Javaris james doesn't go out against Florida in the first quater we beat them and if McCarthy who killed FSU last year would of played against them this year we wouldnlt have let their quaterback run all over us. We have to many players out and were replacing them with 18 year old true freshmen. If you don't think that next year we're going to go to chapell hill and tallahassee and destroy both of them than you don't know crap about college football. Let our kids get playing time and enjoy their freshman and jv year. They'll be in Varsity next year and they will be dominant.

Miami did not win, they just sucked less then UCF.

i do agree with you that UM should have their own stadium
I am a student at UF

Posted by: pepe lepugh | October 11, 2008 at 07:17 PM
world-class http://dolphinstadium.com meets our needs ...


Another point, YES, Miami fans are horrible!!! look at the marlins attendance, look at our Canes attendance, etc. completely no support.
I am a student at UF

Posted by: pepe lepugh | October 11, 2008 at 07:17 PM
today's attendance: 40,000 ...
last saturday's 65,000 ...
no means bozo ...


I am a student at UF, and their games have been sold out since 1979.

Posted by: pepe lepugh | October 11, 2008 at 07:17 PM
declared NOT actual sellouts ...


I saw the official attendance was about 40,000, did they count all of the people at the stadium and multiply by 2?

I am a student at UF

Posted by: pepe lepugh | October 11, 2008 at 07:17 PM
my condolences ...
what's to do in 1-horse hogtown besides attend a football game ...


a win is a win is a win ...


Can't wait to hear the usual crap propoganda from Shannon - "don't balme the coaches" "kids didn't execute" "no changes coming" "coaches did what we needed to do" "blah...blah...blah"

HE SUX!!!!!!!!!!

NC VS ND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'll support the U till the day that I die. I bleed orange and green and it tears me up when we don't play up to our potential...but I have faith in these kids and will give Shannon the benefit of the doubt, at least until year 3 or 4. His recruiting is second to none and he will get there with his head coaching ability. Kids want to play for the U and they want to play for Shannon. Let's see how things shake out the next few years before we call for his head. It is now and will always be ALL ABOUT THE U!!!!!!!!!

we won't match the 5-7 of last season.
what team on our schedule. can we beat? nc st? va? i dont see it. 3-9 maybe 4-8

pathetic. we have talent. do not have coaching. everyone needs to go, starting at the top with shalala

What ever everyone needs to support the U but a Win is a WIN!!!! Go Canes

Things I was happy with today:

-Our pass rush (mainly Allen Bailey): he finally started to show some flashes of what we've all been expecting and we picked up 4 sacks on the day. We need to match that against Duke
-Super Coop: yes, he may bounce to the outside a little too much at times, but overall he's been solid this year. Love his determination to get into the end zone on his TD. Huge heart on that kid
-Overall defense: Really the only reason we won the game. We held them to 78 total yards and were finally able to come up with some key 3rd down stops.
-Sam Shields on special teams: The personal foul called was questionable, looked as if he was pushed into the return man. He was all over the place though, some huge hits and a big fumble recover to set up our last score. Redeemed himself today.

Yes, there were lots of things to be upset with today, but things to be happy with as well. Let's build on this win with a W next week against the Dookies and keep it rolling.

im an out of town canes fan. i am going to call out all those south floridians who love to say they are a true fan but do manage to go to a game. i live for saturdays in the fall. sure i do not agree with the coaching, but who i reeeaaally want to throw under the bus is all those canes fans, sitting on the butts in miami who watched the game on tv or internet. get up off your coushins and go to the game. stop complaining, and support your team you claim to love. i work 2 jobs, and i am enrolled in school. if i can make time to travel 1200 miles (all together atlanta to miami/ft. lauderdale) for three or four games this season, im sure you can wake up early enough get ready and get down to dolphin stadium. those who complain about the program, support your team. for those who are. i congradulate you and keep doing so.

Are some of you beginning to understand what I've been saying for some time now? or will you continue to say "we have too many freshmen playing"? This was pathetic. Period!

Did anybody hear the interview with Harris' dad? When asked about possibly redshirting his son he states "that's not an option." He stated taht "hopefully by the end of the year Harris will be seeing more time." Since when, fellow Cane fans, has a parent EVER dictated how much time his kid plays? Why the hell is Shannon so scared of Harris? You know what, if this kid really doesn't want to compete and win out the starting position, then get the F*** out!!

Anybody else notice that we get 10 quick points into the game, Harris comes in, does NOTHING, and from there on out Marve throws garbage? No offense?

Are we loaded with young talent? Yes. But after today, it is completely clear that:
1. Nix has to go....but like right now. Pull the trigger on the first OC you can think of.
2. Shannon needs to be taken to some class and taught how to effing coach a team.

We had no gameplan. We looked PATHETIC!!! No way we beat even Duke, if we play like this.

GD effing sorry team!

On the other hand, hey at least our D looked good. Props to Young. But then again, it was UCF.




no need to say anything, the score says it all, this reminds me of the miami teams of the 60's, except the games were close, dump donna, bring back larry ? butch davis brought miami back before, but now what ?

I saw the official attendance was about 40,000, did they count all of the people at the stadium and multiply by 2?

Posted by: NYCFIUFan | October 11, 2008 at 08:26 PM
When the 2006 FIU season officially went in the tank after the Rocky 7 auditions against um at the OB, there were NOT 2,400 fans in attendance at the last 3 home games.
-- pete "the pied piper" pelegrin (4/07)

FAU announced a paid attendance of 11,398 Saturday. The key word is PAID. In previous years The Suit had gone with actual, or turnstile, attendance, despite most other programs going with paid.

So this year The Suit decided to join them, after watching FIU post attendances of 10,000-plus last season when it was more like 3,000 in the stands.
-- sunsentinel (9/07)


I saw the official attendance was about 40,000, did they count all of the people at the stadium and multiply by 2?

Posted by: NYCFIUFan | October 11, 2008 at 08:26 PM

The athletic department is looking to fill FIU Stadium by running the "Pack the House" promotion.
As part of this promotion, all FIU students will receive free admission to the game and they will be allowed to bring one guest. In addition, FIU alumni will be admitted into the game free of charge as will be any high school football team. Furthermore, all FIU staff can purchase as many tickets as they want for just $1 per ticket.

Posted by: Pete "the pied piper" Pelegrin | October 07, 2008 at 09:46 PM
my, my, my
has the new stadium's novelty worn off so soon?
can't even give your tickets away ...


I saw the official attendance was about 40,000, did they count all of the people at the stadium and multiply by 2?

Posted by: NYCFIUFan | October 11, 2008 at 08:26 PM
irrelevant florida international egregiuosly lies about their paltry attendance to appear larger & meet d-1 requirements ...
but for strong-arming an unsuspecting student body thru obscene activity fees ...
the fledgling football program would die a lonely death ...


If this game was played at Brighthouse Stadium, we would have spanked you guys. Miami is not even in the Big 5 anymore. You were lucky that we had NO offense. We will DESTROY your pathetic CANES next year...Go Knights!!!

Green, as far as your comment, at least we don't make our students drive 30 minutes to attend a football game.

Our administration did not strong arm us like, forcing Dolphin Stadium down our throats.

egregiously (sp)

Green, as far as your comment, at least we don't make our students drive 30 minutes to attend a football game.

Posted by: NYCFIUFan | October 11, 2008 at 09:21 PM
neither do U ...


I'm not sure Miami could even beat FUI or FAU...haha

UCFrocks, you're crazy. I like your spunk, but next year will be no contest. We will whip you, you had your chance this year, but didn't take advantage. Never will you ever get within 2 scores again of this U.

Is everyone ready to move on from Randy Shannon already. The guy has proven to be one of the worst hires in college football the past 1o years. His hire is similar to Bob Davie at Notre Dame. Shannon leaves 3 timeouts at the end of the firsthalf on the scoreboard. Does this guy have a clue, the question is easy NO. I keep hearing about Randy being left with nothing. Maybe someone needs to remind those people that Randy recruited all those players on defense. Its time to move on the Randy experiment failed miserably.

What a joke. A complete waste of talent. I wonder if Marve thinks the better team won today, too.

There is a reason that Obama declared UCF as the BEST University in the state of Florida...Go Knights!!

a win is a win, but just got back from the game and here is what i saw:

1. I dont know if UM's offensive line is just soft or are poor run blockers. That was another sub par performance from the O Line.
2. It is obvious that this team can not afford too many more injuries, especially on the offensive line. the line couldnt block air today.
3. There should be no QB controversy, Marve will be fine. I just wish that one week UM could go against an inexperienced secondary one week. Maybe against Duke.
4. UM has to assign someone to the qb next week or duke will run and pass all over them. ucf was stupid to wait until the 4th quarter to run with the qb.
5. I hope Matt bosher is somewhere right now practicing his punts, he nearly lost the game for UM with bad kickoffs and punts today.
6. defense played better, but there is way too much confusion out there. either someone is not getting the defense or the coaches need to simplify more to get guys on the same page.
7. UM receviers, freshmen or not, have to start getting off coverage and getting open or run better routes. I put a lot of marve and harris problems on the line and receivers. rarely was a receiver open. even more rare was a nice block from a receiver on a screen or outside run. i think the corners from cent florida had at least 10 tackles a piece. unacceptable.
8. what hurt most of all was lack of imagination on play calling. where was a reverse? or a trick play? i have defended nix all year and all last year. this was not one of his better called games.
9. i just dont understand why this team doesnt look like they come out ready to play with intensity every week. they seemed very uninspired and disinterested today, especially on offense.
10. everyone get off of sam shields back. the guy is a player who had a bad game last week. UM doesnt win today without sam shields.

go canes, focus and beat duke

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