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Gameday blog: N.C. State 38, UM 28 (F)

MIAMI -- The Canes are in Raleigh today to face the red-hot Wolfpack and are minus leading receiver Aldarius Johnson, who was suspended for violating a team rule and did not make the trip. The Canes are obviously playing for a better bowl game today. But it's N.C. State who has a lot more to play for -- they need a win to look up a bowl trip.

Nc_stateI'm here at home preparing to go watch Frank Haith's team take on Stetson at 3:30 p.m. at the BankUnited Center. But I'll be along for the ride in Raleigh, providing my thoughts on the game as it progresses. Our Susan Miller Degnan is up there checking in with me and says the skies are dark and the stadium lights are on at Carter-Finley Stadium. Let's hope that doesn't set the tone for Randy Shannon's team, which obviously doesn't want to end what has been a good season with back-to-back losses before bowl season.

The key to the game today is simple...
> Stop Russell Wilson. Bobby Bowden called him the mother of all running backs. Miami has to redeem itself after its debacle in Atlanta last week.
> Remember, DeMarcus Van Dyke will get his first start today opposite freshman Brandon Harris, getting his first start in over a month, at cornerback.

FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHTS/THOUGHTS
> Derron Thomas starts the game in the backfield -- call it a senior deal. Miami's offense fizzles and goes three-and-out on its first drive. Should we be surprised? The good news: Matt Bosher gets off a 61-yard punt to pin N.C. State deep in its own territory.
> Russell Wilson has turned out to be everything we've heard he was. He absolutely shredded UM on the Wolfpack's opening drive and then tossed a touchdown pass to Andre Brown with 7:42 left. It capped a 96-yard scoring drive. I smell a lot of trouble for UM today. This could get real ugly. N.C. State 7, UM 0.
> Patrick Nix isn't helping his cause. Another 3-and-out for the Canes on their second possession. Robert Marve tried to go deep to Sam Shields and he couldn't come down with the catch. The ball actually was thrown well. Shields has to snatch that ball out of the air.
> The Canes finally get off the field on third down after DeMarcus Van Dyke bats a pass away on N.C. State's second series. You got to give UM's secondary a little credit. They are getting very little support from the pass rush. It's tough to cover guys for 10 seconds.
> Someone blew some major coverage for N.C. State and the Canes are happy to take advantage. Dedrick Epps finds himself wide open and makes a beautiful over-the-shoulder catch for a 69-yard catch-and-run from Robert Marve. And just like that, the game is tied with 3:50 left in the first quarter. UM 7, N.C. State 7.
> Brandon Harris has finally made his first real big play as a Cane. N.C. State tries to run a trick play having Andre Brown throw the football and Harris steps in front of a Wolfpack receiver and returns it 24 yards to the N.C. State 45. Big play for Brandon.
> Javarris James makes his first appearance of the game on 4th down and 1 and picks up the first down. Maybe someone finally heard your complaints! Until then, we'd been seeing Graig Cooper on short running situations. Here's the best stat Baby J has -- only one carry for negative yardage this season.
> Baby J takes three consecutive carries and his last -- a dive into the end zone -- puts UM up with 13:09 left. Javarris has 4 carries for 42 yards. UM 14, N.C. State 7.
> Shades of Donovan McNabb, Russell Wilson just ran circles quite literally around Miami's defense, scoring on a 29-yard touchdown run with 10:44 left. He looked like Michael Vick in John Madden football 2003. Amazing. Miami's defensive line missed at least four opportunities to get to him. UM 14, N.C. State 14.
> Jacory Harris comes in on the fourth series (as usual) and moves UM downfield. But then, he makes a bad decision, trying to force the ball into triple coverage to Richard Gordon and DeAndre Morgan caught the tipped pass in the end zone for an interception.
> Miami's defense finally makes a play when Marcus Forston sacks Wilson on third down and five. And then, Sam Shields -- who had been playing great -- crashes into N.C. State's punter, giving N.C. State a first down. Tough play. Shields was trying to make a play and instead of getting flagged for running into the kicker, he gets roughing.
> Another great play by Marcus Forston keeps N.C. State out of the end zone. Forston just gets enough of Wilson on third down to sack him and forces the Wolfpack to settle for a field goal with 1:47 left. N.C. State 17, UM 14.
> By the way, it looks like defensive end Marcus Robinson suffered a groin strain on the previous series.

SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHTS/THOUGHTS
> Miami's defense just can't get a handle on Russell Wilson. Now, all of his first half running has opened up the passing lanes. The Canes were lucky Marcus Forston and company were able to hold the Wolfpack to a field goal on their opening possession. N.C. State 20, UM 14.
> Javarris James scored his second touchdown of the game giving Miami its second lead of the game. The Hurricanes ran the ball six times on the seven-play scoring drive, sprinkling a little Baby J with a little Super Coop. UM 21, N.C. State 20.
> So much for that lead. N.C. State takes less than a minute to answer Miami's scoring drive as Wilson carves Brandon Harris and the secondary. N.C. State 28, UM 21.
> We keep forgetting how valuable Travis Benjamin is to the return game. Graig Cooper, Brandon Harris and company have done a good job filling in. But Benjamin is the game-breaker who can make the difference in a game like this.
> With 8:57 left to play N.C. State might have sealed this one up with a 42-yard field goal. Miami's last two possessions have gone nowhere and if the Canes don't score on this next possession, we're probably going to be headed to San Francisco next month for the Emerald Bowl.
> No Canes comeback today. Jacory Harris gets picked for the second time with 5:23 left and it basically seals the deal for N.C. State, which basically has to run out the clock to hold on for the victory.

Comments

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BAMA, TEST MY FOOTBALL KNOWLEDGE... I KNOW MORE THAN ANY1 ON THIS BLOG.. I PLAYED COLLEGE AND COACHED 6A FOOTBALL IN THE MIA... BUT NIX STILL KNOWS MORE THAN ME AND U!!!

have any of players taken geometry????

ANGLES ANGLES ANGLES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ANGLES ANGLES ANGLES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!,

ITS CALLED THE "PURSUIT DRILL"... SHOULD BE WORKED ON EVERY PRACTICE

i have been in the "give nix a chance camp" for almost the whole season. while i don't necessarily agree with some of the overtly jacobin desires expressed, i do want him to *quickly* learn to game plan to the team's strengths and then execute that game plan via confident, creative play calling with purpose and identity once miami takes the field.

hm - congrats!! i played college ball & coach as well and have won 5 state titles in th last 9 years w/ 2 rUnner Up trophies - my mentor (my dad) is a hall of fame coach in alabama so if U really want 2 test football knowledge then ok let's go

GREAT FOR U!! BUT NIX STILL KNOWS MORE

thanx hm - wasn't sUre what it was called..........

Except for maybe the occasional QB draw or sneak, every time Nix calls a running play for his QB I want to kick his ass. I wish he'd let his QB manage the game.

...and we are lucky that it's 17-14...

Why do our linebackers always seem out of position? They are under-sized. Running quarterbacks are killing us.

I think it's time for Nix to go. If Shannon doesn't cut him loose, he may not survive next season. I read someone that a Miami Booster will help pay the salary of the Tulsa OC? Anyone hear about that?

In all seriousness, I'm curious...

...what has Nix done to deserve another year?

There are several examples of other teams hitting their offensive stride in Year 2, some even late in Year 1.

For example, how the heck did Arkansas beat LSU yesterday? Because Bobby Petrino knows how to coach offense!! What do you think LSU would have done to us?

In my opinion, defense of Nix has no basis. There is no plan to his play calling ... no philosophy ... only baseless platitudes about "getting the ball into our playmakers' hands."

I'm tired of seeing uninspired offense ... WE'RE THE F'N U!!!! We will NEVER win anything with that Auburn phony as our OC ... period.

NC State has 279 first half yards, way too many....I think everyone needs to remember that the defensive players are still not where Miami wants them to be...I love guys like Romeo Davis, Cook, and Reddick. They're all good, but they're not very great, and the same with our interior with Dixon and Hendricks, they're just OK. Let's not go haywire with a group of guys that collectively is not a Top 25 team.....patience. Oh, and please fire patrick nix.

Please tell me how it is acceptable that we try and run out the clock with 1:42 left in the half, just to take 20 seconds off the clock?

freaking short kicks hat them....... what are we scared of!!!!!!

SECONDARY HAS PLAYED WELL SO FAR.. GOTTA GIVE IT UP TO THE THE YOUNG GUNS, DVD & HARRIS

this freaking team can not tackle for shet...

that Auburn phony as our OC

Posted by: GOODBYE NIX ... AND SHANNON | November 29, 2008 at 01:56 PM

HARSH

KEEP THEM FEET MOVING

Thunder & Lightning ... 21-20

great drive CANES!!!!!!!!!!!!!

what an awesome game we having here... only if the defense starts tackling we will be alright.. but got to give the D props for those red zone stuff..

now that is the brandon harris i know rite there - so mUch for the secondary playing well hUh

it's a bit damning that it takes a deluge of "off with his head"s for nix to realize it's a swell idea to drop some carries on baby j in power back situations.

keep it on em.

Inadequate players {no team speed} poorly coached {NC State punter tackles better than anyone on Miami defense}.

If we win this game, it'll be because of Camp Hell.

Eeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr ?

denfense sucks ass...

hm, like i said in my earlier post oUr secondary SUX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

no wonder oUr offense sUx patrick nix is on here w/ Us!!!!!!

say what u want about Nix and the O but the defense has been the issue all year except against UF where the O did nada. The D blew the UNC and FSU game and gave up record yardage to G.Tech. This game is another example where the D gives up play after play. The Canes have a way's to go. However, this team is much better from last year. I saw them play at BC and they were not even competative.

Another TD for NC-St.... now another penalty on a great return by Coop.

What is with this play calling? Seriously, someone please explain the logic here. I've tried defending him, but Nix needs to go.

What happened to the defense???? They went from Good to Average to absolutely horrible.

And there you go, Marve gets picked because the last two plays put us in a hole.

You guys keep blaming all your shortcomings on Patrick Nix, how about your Defensive Coordinator and Head Coach?

NCST has 408 yards of total offense and 28 pts. with 6 minutes left in the third quarter and that candycanes is unacceptable.

Go Gators!!!

Marve is running for his life. Where is the blocking.

Finally, the defense did SOMETHING!!!!!

YET, OUR PASS D IS RANKED 3RD BEST PASS D IN THE ACC...

http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/football/stats/byteam?cat1=defense&cat2=Total&conference=I-A_ACC&year=2008&sort=1115

MANNY, CAN U DISABLE THE CONFIRMATION CODE DURING GAME? Posted by: HM | November 29, 2008 at 01:34 PM

Wish I could HM. The Herald controls that.

who let a gaytUrd on here??

we are playing like aUbUrn & that sUx

Yeah the confirmation thing sorta sucks during gameday.

b harris is awfUl

NIX HAS TO GO. IF SHANNON DOES NOT FIRE HIM, HE WILL MOST LIKELY BE FIRED NEXT YEAR.

I'M ALSO STARTING TO WONDER ABOUT BILL YOUNG.

JUST FIRE NIX NOW!!!!! HE SHOULDN'T EVEN TAKE THE PLANE HOME. It's not just that his offense is a loser, he can't call plays during the game. He can't identify an opponent's weakness much less take advantage. We have talent, but you have to put them in position to make plays and win. This offense, and Nix's play calling, simply don't accomplish that. Please, please, please, please, please fire his sorry ass today!

we need a score here

LOS HURACANES NO SIRVER BRO... incredible... freaking predictable and conservative... cannot win a football game against a darn lame football team with lack of talent.. no excuses on this one man, no matter how much i love the Canes... they need some identity search...

An absolute embarassment. That defense should be ashamed of the way it has played. Nix should be gone. Another completely disgusting season.

Ok Ok I got a play .... Uuhhhhhhhh nevermind

i hate to do this bUt i agree w/ hm - marve is the better of the 2 qb's -

but all of this i guaranteed we win this game....

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