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Virginia Tech thoughts

DOLPHINS STADIUM -- Just finished filing my story on Miami's defense and wanted to share some post game thoughts with you.

> For all the attention Miami's freshmen on offense have gotten this season (and they deserve it), Marcus Robinson showed us Thursday night why the Canes got more than just playmakers at receiver in this 2008 Signing Class. He had three sacks, four tackles for loss and a team-high seven tackles in his second career start. Without question, he earned tonight's game-ball with his play.

Marcus_robinson_2But he also sent a message: the Canes have some pretty good young playmakers on defense, too. Defensive tackle Marcus Forston, who also had a sack, Sean Spence, who is on his way to a freshman All-American season, and Brandon Harris are the stars of the class. But if Robinson can turn up the intensity at end, Miami's defense can be a whole lot better the rest of the way this year. God knows they've needed a pass rush. Robinson, by the way, said he got news of the start Wednesday night on the bus ride to the team hotel. He started in front of Adewale Ojomo.

> If I had to give out a game ball on offense, Reggie Youngbloodwould get it. He stepped up big for Jason Fox at left tackle and provided some solid pass blocking despite obviously being less than 100 percent. He said afterward he got a few breaks to rest on the bench, but played more than he had all season. Chris Rutledge, who started opposite him at right tackle, went down in the first quarter and battled back and stayed in the rotation with Matt Pipho. Virginia Tech finished with four sacks. But on a night when UM played without its best lineman, the line held its own. The Canes finished with 123 yards rushing.

> With the win, Miami improved to 13-1 all-time on Thursday night ESPN games. I'm willing to bet they scored a bunch of points with recruits, too. It's been awhile since UM played in a prime time game and won.

> UM coach Randy Shannon said part of the offensive game plan was to get Virginia Tech's defense tired. Shannon said he knew the Hokies only rotated about 13 players and felt like if Miami could hold onto the football in the second half it could prevail. Miami owned time of possession in the second half 18:23 to Virginia Tech's 11:37.

> By the way, here's a link to The Herald's audio slideshow from the game, which I helped narrate.

> And here's the link to the audio interviews from last night's postgame scene.

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