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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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Just getting able to hear the game on QAM. I guess Jacory just made a nice play to Collier. I know its a small consolation right now but its good for conference legitimacy tht Ga. Tech is up 10 late on Georgia.

we look so much better when we are in the shotgun...

Screw of that fire Shannon too. Just pathetic, awful football. We don't deserve a bowl game.

that sucks

this season really appears to be flaming out.

bad times for the "onward and upward" vibe.

Emerald Bowl? Notre Dame?

well there U go all MARVE haters - jacory jUst threw away the game - Marve needs to play the whole game - NO QUESTION!!!!!!!!!!

Shannon, Nix, Young get rid of all of them. I am so sick of these interceptions, missed tackles, drops and especially this god awful playcalling. This team doesn't deserve to wear the U on their helmets.

HARRIS LOST US THIS GAME

that said i would love love love to have to eat those words and i still believe miami can win this game.

Where are all of the J. Harris fans now???

Oh god, here come the knee jerkers again. Hey, we played a ton of freshman, their gonna make mistakes. Shannon has brought some great talent. Young has made changes in games that have helped. we need to ball hawk a bit more, but also remember the backbone of this team is still a group of players that got us to 5-7 last year under Coker. The instant gratification crowd needs to chill.

Nix though, I find very hard to see why he should stay. He calls bad plays, doesn't know hsi team's strengths, just bad stuff all around.

Uncle

7 and 6 here we come. Hooray! Hooray! Pathetic. Just pathetic. This is just like last year's team. They are a bunch of quitters. Marve is the new Wright. The future, that once looked bright, is about as dismal as it ever has been. We're going to have to hear from those crappy Gators forever.

Randy Shannon is AWESOME!!!!

Can someone hire him to a longterm contract now!!!!

A lot of work to do Nix Sucks !!!!!!!!!!!!!! secondary can`t cover or tackle.
I had hope for next year but they are sinking quick !!!! These studs on defense are DUDS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I kinda wish we weren`t going to a bowl cause i ain`t looking foward to another WHOOPING !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

7-5 is depressing

CANESmisery - what the hell are U talking aboUt - this team does deserve to have the "U" on their helmets. it jUst sUx that oUr o/c is the worst in the coUntry (inclUding pop warner) & that he leaves oUr defense on the field way to dam long - i blame most of this on him - defense the last 2 year shas been on the field way to long while the offense is standing aroUnd on the sidelines. playcalling is so vanilla that it can be figUred oUt from the nose bleed section. it's not the kids that don't deserve the "U" it's nix

Do you guys actually expect young little freshmen to beat North Carolina State?

Give them a break. In 3 years we will be 8-4.

YA THE LOSE SUCKS, BUT THIS TEAM STILL HAS A GREAT FUTURE...

HATERS PLEASE STAY AWAY!!

Oh well, we suck again. Maybe in 2-3 years with a new head coach we can turn this around and have players PROGRESS instread of REGRESS.

CANESmisery - Ur an idiot - plain and simple & hey i think i here yoUr mom calling U to come inside!!!

Wow some of you are so overly negative, pessimistic and downright nasty. The talent base of this team (plenty of starters) are true Freshman and Sophmores. Just relax and watch them win an ACC title next year and hopefully compete for the whole thing in 2010. Yeah they're ending this season on a down note but have some hope.

Lots of film to watch this offseason and weights to lift. Eat a lot and lift gentlemen.

Man, Shannon is just bad. Can we hire someone else please!!!!

Maybe Jimmy Johnson will come back, or Tuberville. Someone who is proven and not this joke of a head coach.

We will not win with him.

This team has floundered late in the season AGAIN.

2nd year in a row.

I am tired of Shannon.

I'd like to take credit now for nailing my preseason prediction of 7-5. You can call this season a slight improvement with hope for the future. But Miami still has a long way to go. At least Frank Haith's team is pretty good. Too bad not enough people care. This arena is empty.

PATHETIC..JUST PATHETIC!! I DON'T WANT TO HEAR ABOUT HOW YOUNG THEY ARE, I DON'T WANT TO HEAR ABOUT HOW THEY ARE GROWING UP...BS!!!!! LONG, LONG, LONG WAY TO GO BEFORE THEY WILL EVEN BE RANKED NEVER MIND ALL THIS CRAZY TALK ABOUT NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP IN 2 YEARS. GIVE ME A BREAK....AT BEST THIS IS WHERE THIS PROGRAM WILL BE FOR YEARS TO COME 7-5. STICK A KNIFE IN THEM, THEIR THRU...AND SO ARE MY CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE U.

Where are all of the J. Harris fans now???

Posted by: jaycanes | November 29, 2008 at 03:11 PM

PRESENT

This team is not good, point blank. I'm noy going to call names. The annouuncers are up Shannon's butt. As a lifetime cane fan I hoped to see him succeed, but the only reason we are going to a bowl is because the ACC sucks. We need a staff that can not onle recruit, but also coach. I have zero faith that he and his staff can do both.

We have turned into a team FULL OF EXCUSES. It is sickening. I keep seeing these Kool Aid drinkers making excuse after excuse and there is NO foundation to back any of it, NONE.

This team is showing no progress. NONE. They are regressing like they did last year at the end.

We had a couple of close games that the ball bounced our way (UCF, Virginia, V-tech) otherwsie it would be another 7 loss season. 5-7 losses a year is not acceptable at the U.

Get rid of Shannon, I have seen enough. Hire a proven head coach.

KIRBY get it done or I want you gone next.

manny - U are so right aboUt nobody caring. oUr CANES bball team is very good, however, U know as well as i do that when they start winning the "bandwagon" will be fUll. thanks manny for - as always - a great job even thoUgh i wished yo woUld have predicted
12-0!!!!

As always GO CANES!!!!!!!!!!!!!

caneznbama,

I'm just upset with the game. I actually really like Shannon and our group. And I had defended Nix for a long time, but I am like you. He's a piece of crap. I mean everytime we line up P.Hill in the backfield we run. How much more obvious can you get? But this loss isn't on him. Our D hasn't been able to stop NCSU at all. All day. Not just after the D wore down. I mean have they gotten to 500 yards yet? Just awful. But yeah Nix has cost us enough. I am so tired of losing. I live in Gainesville and I have to hear crap all year from these Gators. I am so sick of it. And we had a chance to have a good season. An Emerald bowl birth is not what I had in mind. I mean I can't afford a ticket to San Fran. I wanted a Champs Sports Bowl birth. This just sucks. I just needed to vent this frustration. I am a donor. I love the U. I was venting and am pissed beyond belief. Shannon needs to get rid of Nix or his job will be gone next year.

This is pathetic Shannon should be gone along with his whole staff. I will never support Miami football again until he is gone. This is the worst prepared team every game, they have more talent but cant win. Will this team ever be able to tackle, remember when teams were afraid of Miami? now they cant wait to play Miami. I have supported UM for 35years but no more.

SHANNON IS NOT THE PROBLEM!!!!!!!!

NIX IS!!

Canesmisery I am at a lost more talent but no results. Is this something the ACC wants ?

caneznbama,

You don't really need to take a cheap shot at me. As I said I was upset and venting. I am 30 years old, I have my own house, my own car, have loved this team for as long as I can remember, I have my alumnus card and a good career. This is cyberspace man. If there is any better place to vent senselessly then here, let me know.

TX how are you going to pay those guys and cut a nice severance/buy out package for Shannon? However I do not know how many years Shannon has left on his current contract?

Manny,
What can I say you're quite the prophetic soul. What was your prediction on the UNC and FSU game again? But hey at least after the FSU loss you abstained from making any more game score predictions, thank you very much.

With that I'll take my turn to look the @ss and say Miami goes 9-3 or 8-4 next year. Definitely losing to Oklahoma, FSU will be tough and at this point I say a loss and at Va Tech next year a loss. Swing games being So. FL, UNC and I can't believe it but Ga. Tech as well.
Shoot next year could be another 7-5.

WAY TO GO SHANNON...ANOTHER GREAT PREP JOB. YOU, YOUNG AND NIX ARE JUST THE BEST. TAKE THEM TO THE PROMISED LAND....OH, BY THE WAY YOU'LL KNOW WHEN YOU GET THERE..THE GRASS IS BLUE!!

PLEASE SAVE THESE KIDS THE EMBARASSMENT OF ANOTHER TV AUDIENCE IN FRONT OF AMERICA...DON'T ACCEPT A BOWL INVITATION THAT WOULD BE LIKE GIVING YOU AND YOUR STAFF A WIN!!!

Brutal, just brutal.

All this winning the ACC and National Title talk is not going to happen with this current coaching staff. Forget it!

This is a poorly coached football team. I will not accept 5, 6, 7, 8 loss seasons at Miami.

Kirby better do something as one poster said. I want new coaches immediately. We are going nowhere with this current group. All of them, including Young better not take the field next year.

Shannon is worse than Ron Zook. When I first heard that I laughed but I believe it now. He is killing this program. Hire him as a recruiting coordinator and lets get a proven guy in here now.

the acc has eight bowl eligible teams, what a joke! This league sucks, I love UM but I guarantee the ACC has a losing record in the post season bowls!

MARVE'S NUMBERS WERE SOLID TODAY, IF HE WASN'T PULLED IN THE 2ND THE OUTCOME OF THIS GAME WOULD BE DIFFERENT.

However I do not know how many years Shannon has left on his current contract?

Posted by: Russell | November 29, 2008 at 03:27 PM

2

Now that I have calmed down, let's just hope they somehow end up in a bowl closer to home. Charlotte or Nashville would be nice. It's a young group with an awful Coordinator in Nix. Honestly, I think they have done pretty well for themselves. This loss and the GT loss hurt a lot because of what was at stake, but we did a lot of good things. This QB situation needs to come together for us though and we need a new coordinator obviously. Let's just hope Shannon's recruiting powers continue and he finds someone good to replace Nix.

I just can't understand why we would kick short at least three times on a kick off and give them field position.

This one was one of those games where you live by sword you die by the sword. Today it backfire for Randy switching qbs. Hey, is his team, and he can do what he wants. At the end, is also going to be his job. I really wonder whether we are making progress with this team. I take the last one back. We are making progres, but not as quickly as we want. I guess next year I have to look forward to 9-2 or 8-3.

Brian,

I do believe the ACC lacks a true dominant team but stack em together and check out the non-con W/L this year and I think you'd be quite surprised just as So Carolina and Georgia are today!

caneznbama,

Do you really want to know why a Gator is in this blog?

The arrogance which you guys display all the time when referring to other teams. Face it, you guys are not that good. It all has to do with coaching and talent. Miami lacks both.

And here is another reason NCST 38 - Miami 28.

You all need to be more humble, that is it.

All is not lost, any kind of bowl victory would be a great way to end the season. Does losing to NCState and the GTech's of the world hurt? Hell yea. Are we better today than we were last year? Hell yea. The one thing that Shannon must do is analyze Nix and the QB situation. Coaches need to take a stand, I don't care if they know more about football than I do, because it seems as if they don't know more than I do about taking a stance with this QB situation. You don't have two CEO's, you don't have two Presidents, you don't have two Head Coaches. Stick with one guy instead of trying to make everyone happy. Shannon is an amazing recruiter and THE one and only coach for the U, but I'll say this much, the blame is on his shoulders for first hiring Tim Walton and Patrick Nix as coordinators. Those were awful decisions, especially considering that he was inexperienced as a head coach, he didn't need any more inexperience around him. It's on him now to fix it if we're going to keep improving. First Walton, now Nix. Keep it up 'Canes!!!!! I got faith!

We need 1 quarterback, this rotation will not work. shannon has some good ideas and philosophies, rotating the quarterbacks is not one of them. If one walks, let him. The one thing Shannon has going is he can recruit.

YA THE LOSE SUCKS, BUT THIS TEAM STILL HAS A GREAT FUTURE...

HATERS PLEASE STAY AWAY!!

Posted by: HM | November 29, 2008 at 03:16 PM

YEAH!!! YOU ARE RIGHT. 8-3 FOR NEXT YEAR LOOKS GOOD.

I TOO AM TIRED OF THE CANES KOOL AID DRINKERS! SHANNON AND HIS STAFF MUST GO. ALL THE TALK OF YOUTH, THEY'VE HAD ALL SUMMER AND THE WHOLE FOOTBALL SEASON AND THEY ARE GOING IN REVERSE. SHANNON IS JUST ANOTHER TOMMY BOWDEN, TONS OF TALENT AND TONS OF LOSSSES. LOOK AT A REAL COACH LIKE TOM OBRIEN! HE HAS ALL THOSE INJURIES AND YOUNG PLAYERS AND STILL WHIPS ARE ASS! EVEN FRANK BEAMER LOST LOTS OF TALENT AND HAD NOTHING AT WR THIS YEAR, HE WILL BE PLAYING FOR THE ACC CHAMPIONSHIP. SHANNON WAS THE RECRUITING COORD. FOR COKER, SO HAS TO TAKE ALOT OF THE BLAME FOR OUR DEMISE. I ALSO WANT TO EXPRESS THE DONNA SHALALA HAS DONE HER SHARE TO RUIN OUR FOOTBALL TEAM. WE ARE DUKE SOUTH UNTIL SHALALA AND SHANNON ARE SHOWN THE DOOR!!!

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