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Gameday blog: UM 16, Va. Tech 14 (F)

DOLPHINS STADIUM -- Checking in before kickoff and guess what the Canes are wearing black jerseys! Not. UM is wearing green shirts on white pants. Sorry. I know many of you were hoping for them. But what you should probably be hoping for more is a win. Miami needs this one if it wants to keep its hopes alive of reaching the ACC title game. I'll be here as usual tonight to provide you thoughts and analysis as this one goes by.

SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHTS...
> Miami starts the opening drive of the second half from its own 30 and moves right down the field and scores. Robert Marve completes a 29-yard wide receiver screen to Aldarius Johnson then finds AJ on a flea-flicker for a 16-yard gain. Marve then moves UM inside the Virginia Tech 7-yard line when he scrambles for 18 yards. But Miami is denied a touchdown and settles a 22-yard Bosher field goal. Rutledge by the way was back in for UM on that series.UM 10, Virginia Tech 7.
> Sam Shields comes through with another huge special teams play, smacking down Virginia Tech's kick returner at the VT 9-yard line. The Hokies' drive goes nowhere. Marcus Robinson sacks Tyrod Taylor -- his second sack of the game. Miami takes over at the VT 35 after a bad punt.
> Miami can't punch the ball into the end zone, but gets on the scoreboard again. Matt Bosher boots a 31-yard field goal with 5 minutes left in the third quarter. Javarris James came through with a huge 19-yard catch. Miami's offense just stalled again inside the red zone. UM 13, Virginia Tech 7.
> Miami's defense is feeling it. Virginia Tech goes with Sean Glennon -- and now he can't move the offense. Marcus Robinson picks up his third sack of the game and Miami has good field position once again.
> Miami kicks another field goal after getting lucky again. Kayne Farquharson recovers the Canes' second lucky bounce and UM turns it into three points with 11:58 left to play. UM 16, Virginia Tech 7.

FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHTS...
> The Hokies came out trying to confuse UM by switching quarterbacks Tyrod Taylor and Sean Glennon at quarterback and had some early success. Glennon and Taylor each found receiverDanny Coale for 21 yard and 23 yard gains. But on fourth and 1 at the UM 18-yard line, Sean Spence and Anthony Reddick delivered by stopping Darren Evans shy of the marker.
> UM's first offensive series was forgettable. Two Graig Cooper runs netted 3 yards before Robert Marve's pass to a wide open Chris Zellner for a first down was dropped. Matt Bosher came through though with a 45-yard punt.
> The Hokies started their second drive at the 35 and looked like they had picked up a crucial first down on a third down Tyrod Taylor to Jarrett Boykins pass. But after being reviewed, officials ruled safety Anthony Reddick had knocked it out. Virginia Tech punted and UM took over at it own 24-yard line.
> It was a wild 5-minute, 22-second second drive. But it ended with a touchdown. With offensive coordinator Patrick Nix calling for five wide sets and some unique looking formations, Robert Marve engineered a 12-play drive that required a 15-yard roughing the passer penalty and for LaRon Byrd to recover a Marve fumble on a run at the Virginia Tech 6-yard line. Three plays later, Javarris James plunged into the end zone with 2:36 left in the first quarter. UM 7, Virginia Tech 0.
> The first quarter goes to the Canes, who managed to force Virginia Tech to punt again. The story so far has to be the creative sets Miami is running out of. It's kept the Hokies defense off balance.
> Miami's offense got a huge chunk of yardage on a beautiful 37-yard wide receiver screen to Kayne Farquharson on its next possession. But the drive ended when Graig Cooper was stripped of the football at the VT 43. The bigger loss? Right tackle Chris Rutledge, who limped off the field under his own power on the play. Miami is now down to two backup offensive tackles -- an injured Reggie Youngblood and an inexperienced Matt Pipho.
> Freshman defensive tackle Marcus Forston comes through with a big sack for Miami and Virginia Tech is eventually forced to punt on the ensuing possession.
> Jacory Harris enters at quarterback for Miami and is pinned at his own 8. Miami goes 3-and-out.
> Virginia Tech evens the score with an 8-play, 53-yard drive in 3 minutes, 21 seconds. Tyrod Taylor scores on a 14-yard run. But the key plays on the drive belonged to running back Darren Evans, who eluded a few tacklers on a 13-yard run and then hauled in a 13-yard pass. UM 7, Virginia Tech 7.
> Miami's offense sputters once again. Call it a series of blown opportunities -- starting with the kickoff. Brandon Harris took advantage of Tyrod Taylor's celebration penalty and returned the kickoff to the Virginia Tech 40. But an illegal block penalty on UM wiped it out. Miami started at its own 33. Kayne Farquharson had a chance to make about a 30-yard pass down field on second down, but the ball skidded off his fingertips. Virginia Tech took over at its own 22 after a 37-yard Bosher punt.
> The Hokies move right down the field, getting a 37-yard gain when Jarrett Boykin beats Bruce Johnson down the field and makes a one-handed grab at the UM 26. Freshman defensive end Marcus Robinson comes through with a huge play, sacking Sean Glennon back at the 35. Justin Myer tries a 51-yard field goal and misses it.

PREGAME
THE KEYS TO THE GAME
> Win the battle at the line of scrimmage:
OK, so this one goes for every week and every game. But in this game, it means everything. Miami is at an obvious disadvantage tonight. Jason Fox will not be playing and his starting streak of 22 games at left tackle is over. But the end of Fox's streak isn't what you should be concerned with. It's the Canes winning streak. Virginia Tech is one of the most physical teams in the country, year in and year out.

Du_virginiatech_logoThe Hokies want to stop the run on defense (they did last year holding UM to -2 yards). And they want to pound the football down the throats of the Canes on offense. And before last week's win against Maryland, I would have favored the Canes in this battle. But the Hokies won me over with the clinic redshirt freshman Darren Evans put on by rushing for a school-record 253 yards. We all know Miami's defense has played well of late. They are doing better on third down defense (opp. have 24 percent conversion rate in UM's last four wins) and of shutting opponents out in the second half. But the tackling is still a bit suspect, especially in the secondary. UM cornerback Chavez Grant talked this week about the increased focus of Miami's corners to be involved in the run defense against the corners. They'll have to prove they can do it this week.

> Be aware of the Wild Turkey: OK, so Virginia Tech has its own version of the Dolphins' Wildcat offense. It isn't as fancy. Basically, 6-3, 280-pound redshirt junior tight end Greg Boone lines up in the backfield and runs the football. But the Canes ought to keep their eyes open this week for a new wrinkle. Virginia Tech's receivers have yet to catch a touchdown pass this season. What better way to get a guy wide open than on a trick play.

> Beat the Hokies on special teams: Normally, this would sound like an impossible task. But Beamer Ball isn't what it used to be. The Hokies have had two kicks blocked and had three kicks returned against them and are giving up nearly 18 yards a return on punts. This is the night for Travis Benjamin and company to cash in and give the offense some good field position. Benjamin, who fumbled two weeks ago at Virginia, said he's over his mistake. Let's see him prove it. Also, while the Hokies have struggled defending returns, they've still done a good job blocking them. They've got five blocked kicks. So protection will be key.

MARKET WATCH
Buy 'em
> Dedrick Epps, tight end: He didn't catch a pass against Virginia and has a combined three catches in his last three games combined. But he's going to break out tonight. The Hokies are going to bring the heat tonight with Jason Fox out. Look for Epps to catch a lot of short passes and to make some moves to pick up yardage for this Canes offense.
> Glenn Cook, linebacker: He's the leading tackler on the team and going to be the primary workhouse tonight again. Virginia Tech is going to try and run right at Miami. Cook can either have a huge day or a horrible one. I think he has a good one.

On the bubble
Reggie_youngblood> Reggie Youngblood, left tackle: He'll be the guy getting circled the most during tonight's telecast. With Fox out, he's the guy who has to step up and deliver. Reggie came to UM as the No. 2 offensive tackle in the country. Miami needs for him to play like it tonight.
> Chris Rutledge, right tackle: Chris has played in a rotation his entire career. Tonight, he'll get the majority of snaps at right tackle and will have to step up his game if Miami's going to win this one. Matt Pipho has all of about 25 snaps in his career. He'll play some too. But the burden will fall on Rutledge to deliver.

Comments

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First, jorts, big big game! go baby Canes!

I despise the fact that Miami left the OB. Give the student section kudos for making noise, because the place is maybe half full.

Cooper hold the damn ball

Can we PLEASE catch the ball.

that farquhason drop was horrible.

I am not only a baby but a CHICKEN.

WOW not even trying for a field goal, Randy what the heck is wrong with you. You are a head coach! Grow ONE!!!!!

I am so sick of these Canes coaches coaching SCARED!
Stop with the young excuses and play to win!!!!

Great first-half, time to pick it up in the second-half. LETS GO CANES!!!!

i say we couldve been up atleast 14 if it wasnt for the bonehead mistakes like not catching easy passes and fumbling

We get good field position and than Randy coaches again NOT TO WIN but to run out the time in the half???????

He is in so over his head. Demote him to coordinator and lets get a head coach in here with a pair. Let him recruit and coach the D.

Are there more ex Canes on the sideline than fans in the seats???

That stadium is embarassingly EMPTY.

i agree with preston parker

Honestly

These are two bad football teams. Good D's but pathetic offenses.

If either one of these teams win the ACC, the ACC should just fold up.

How about Will Muschamp for a head coach. He is young, fiery, and definitely has a pair. Move Shannon to D coordinator and recruiting coordinator. That would move this team up fast.

I hate coaches coaching scared and I have seen it from Shannon for 1.5 years. I have seen all I need to see. He is in way over his head.

Lets bring a MAN in to be a head coach.

is anybody else tired of kayne? he has to be the biggest poser ever to play at the U. even his trash talking and all his quotes are garbage.

all media outlets in south florida; run away from him when he comes up to you and ask you to write about him. you are irrelevant Kayne. i have no clue how you get PT. get off the field and let d johnson or even shields get some run.

aubrey hill - get rid of this kid. his biggest play of his career came on that slip screen in the first half and he still couldn't make it a great play. collier or benji would have been gone on that same play.

go away kayne, go away.

AZCanes dude, you're so far off base it's pathetic.

draw it up nix

inside the 5 i will think shannon would put j. james wow

coop has to be subbed out for baby j when we are in the red zone

somebody holla at me

we need to run James in the red zone. We miss 2 td's

This Miami D smells blood....

i thought we were not going to abandon the run?

lets man up and feed baby j the ball the next 3 plays

push some one off the ball

best run of the year for coop

he finally didn't fall when he cut

marve has got to pass

yes coop

the Dfence is sick tonight

we gotta score a TD right here

put j. james in

baby can't get in for our goal line package?

come on nixer

bonehead put J.JAMES in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Javaris James and Jacory Harris need to be in this game.

Ha Ha now they need two scores!!!!!!!!

its obvious that the staff will not allow marve to lose the game for us. 3pts is better than a 14-13 lose cause marve turns it over in the redzone.

harris will not see the field again tonight which is a shame. we will go conservative and run the ball the rest of the way.

maybe marve can transfer to g tech and run the option in 2010.

this looks like the offense when kirby was qb-ing

patrick nix should get fired

Javaris James and Jacory Harris need to be in this game. Javaris James and Jacory Harris need to be in this game. Javaris James and Jacory Harris need to be in this game.

is larry coker coaching this game from the booth

this is pathetic. three & out is not an option. Jarvis James needs to be in there.

is Dennis Green coaching this game from the booth?

How come everyone in the world knows what is happening and what is wrong right now, except the coaches?

yesssss babyy

the blog is designed for us to complain.

bottom line is a W is a W and 7-3 is nothing to frown upon.

next year marve will be gone and we will watch jacory lead us to the national promise land

have faith in randy even though he coached not to lose tonight for the 1st time in his career

5 in a row

that is the first 4 quarter we have lost adting back to the unc game.

thats a good sign

we are learning how to finish. nix and dell did not want the offense to lose the game for us with marve in. the way the game flo'ed, jacory just didn't get enough reps before it was his time in the 4th quarter.

Give the entire Defense a game ball. It wasn't pretty, but a win is a win.

Happy for the win, but can't shake the feeling that Marve should not be starting. Seems a bit panicky in the pocket. Takes off and runs much to much. O-line played over their heads today. Dropped balls by receivers didn't help. Nonetheless, defense overpowered VT when it counted. Team slowly getting better week to week. That was something we haven't seen for a while.

By the way, what's up with the attendance? Entire upper bowl was empty. Thursday night games are tough to get to I guess. Good thing I work in a bar.

well said razor, good stuff baby

stay on the randy train boys he is still learning as well.

marve will fade into the night after this year or accept being the back up for the next 3 years.

when jacory takes over we will play games like tonight, when up 16-7, towin and drive a dagger into someones heart. not go coker and run 3 dives and punt.

Great win!!! Marcus Robinson was a Beast!!! That whole front 7 were Beastin!!!! Thats what i like to see. But I must say our corners were making me a little bit nervous tonnight. But all of us must admit that these boys have progressed on a weekly basis.

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