Just got back home from the longest and most interesting Randy Shannon Sunday press conference I've ever attended and unfortunately do not have good news to report.
Linebacker Colin McCarthy, who was a late scratch for Saturday's game against the Seminoles, is done for the season according to Shannon. And defensive end Eric Moncur, who left Saturday's game in the second quarter with a leg injury, could be too.
"Colin is done for the season. He won't be playing anymore," said Shannon, who said McCarthy's injury was related to his shoulder, the same one he injured in high school. "Eric Moncur, fellas, I don't know. I don't know if he'll make it back. After halftime, he didn't come back dressed. Those guys, I don't know their status. I'll let you guys know Tuesday or Monday, but it didn't look very good for Eric Moncur."
"I talked to [Eric] a little bit and I told him I love you to death, but I can't do this to you. We can't do this to you. You can't do this to yourself. You just got to shut it down. We'll send you to a specialist. But right now you're not going to be able to help us this season."
Consider it a huge blow to this Miami defense, which was torched by Florida State for 281 yards rushing and four touchdowns Saturday in the 41-39 loss at Dolphin Stadium. Shannon said the injuries mean freshmen will have to step up. Saturday, Sean Spence got the start in place of McCarthy at weakside linebacker alongside Glenn Cook and Daryl Sharpton. Sunday, Shannon said the team will have to bring Arthur Brown along as well as Kylan Robinson and Jordan Futch. That trio has a combined four tackles this season. Spence led UM Saturday with 10 tackles and an interception.
On the defensive line, Shannon pointed to Adewale Ojomo, Marcus Robinson and Andrew Smith to have to step up and fill Moncur's shoes. Ojomo recovered a fumble Saturday and had three tackles and started the opener in Moncur's place.
"You don't expect these things, but you got to your mind ready for it," Shannon said. "I've learned to be prepared instead of just guessing. Guys got to play -- that's why they came here. Coaches got to get these guys ready in some form or fashion."
> I'll have more for you later from Randy's press conference, which lasted a half hour longer than usual. He even got a pen and started drawing up his depth chart on the dry erase board for us today and talked at length about his vision for this program. But for now, here are some quick, short notes.
> Shannon said it was receiver Sam Shields who made the costliest mistake in Saturday's game. Shields was flagged for an illegal substitution penalty when he came in on a formation he doesn't even play on when Miami had the ball on Florida State's 4-yard line midway through the fourth quarter. The Hurricanes settled for a field goal when they couldn't punch it in the end zone. Shannon said he felt that it was turning point in the game. "I thought definitely we were going to score," Shannon said. "We score, we go up and now Florida State has a different mentality. When your trying to come back in the game, that was the biggest play. Now, you got the whole momentum and now Florida State is [panicking]. That really hurt us."
"I have no idea [why Sam ran out on the field]," Shannon said. "He's not even in that personnel group, first team, second team or third team. That's what had everybody baffled."
> Shannon said he's optimistic Javarris James will be able to play next week. He said James will have to work on inside running drills this week and prove he can cut on his injured ankle.
> Despite the loss, Shannon said he was very proud of the fight Miami showed by rallying in the fourth quarter.