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Canes start work on Georgia Tech

The Miami Hurricanes began preparing for Georgia Tech Thursday morning with a 5:45 a.m. practice on campus before class. Our Susan Miller Degnan was there. Here are a few notes and quotes from the morning.

Eric Moncur > Sixth-year senior defensive end Eric Moncur, who was listed as doubtful for the opener with a groin injury, was back out at practice and participated in individual and team drills. "If he keeps progressing, he should be ready for Georgia Tech," Shannon said.

> Tight end Richard Gordon, who played a big role Monday in blocking schemes, had his left arm in a sling Thursday. "He’s out right now till the doctor says," Shannon said.

> Defensive backs Vaughn Telemaque and Ryan Hill returned to practice and are supposed to see doctors again on Thursday about their injured shoulders. "If they don’t have any aches and pains today then tomorrow they’ll go again," Shannon said. "And if they’re fine, they should be ready to go [for Georgia Tech].

> Shannon grew a little tired of the injury questions after that and when about the status of receiver Aldarius Johnson's injured groin said, "He’s doing OK. Just understand I can’t give you all injuries all the time. You all keep asking about injuries, I’m going to tell you the same answer, he’s ok."

> GRAHAM DID A GOOD JOB AS DECOY: Shannon praised the play of tight end Jimmy Graham, who saw between 15 and 20 snaps and definitely drew the attention of Florida State's defense when he got into the game. "He did pretty decent, not where we wanted him to be. Coaches always want more. But we’re pleased the way his progress is going," Shannon said. "He did a couple of nice things. When Travis got the TD, [Graham] was in the game and ran the correct route. It drew attention to him and then Travis came open."

> MAX PROTECTION PAYS OFF FOR CANES: Florida State coach Bobby Bowden praised UM's new offensive coordinator Mark Whipple in the ACC Teleconference Wednesday for the new wrinkle he used to give Jacory Harris more time to throw in Monday's win over the Seminoles. "They did something most people don't do," Bowden said. "Most people send out five eligible receivers. Miami sent out three and used the others to block. That was pretty darn smart. That made it difficult to get to the passer. We couldn't get to the darn guy and he ripped us apart."

Shannon talked about the tactic briefly Thursday. "All it is is you send three guys on routes -- that’s all," Shannon said. "Everybody does it. They got to max protect where they’ll keep the tight end and fullback in and you just send three receivers out on routes. That’s all it is. Protection wise you need to do certain things when you see people starting to blitz."

Harris told me on Monday night: "We didn’t even run most of our offense. We kind of repeated our stuff."

> SHIELDS CHALLENGED: Sam Shields knew FSU was going to come after him in his first collegiate start on defense. And he's lucky he caught a few breaks. Twice, he nearly got beat deep on blown coverages, but caught breaks when FSU receivers weren't able to hold onto the ball. On another play, he was lucky referees didn't call him for pass intereference when he had his back to the passer and face guarded the receiver. Shields said he knows he has to improve.

"I kind of knew that [I’d be tested by receivers] before the game started, before the season started," said Shields, who saw a lot of time in Monday's game after cornerback Demarcus Van Dyke left with an injury. "Receivers going to the corner, they look at that and they're like, we can go at that guy and feel like they can make plays on me. I have to have confidence and say nobody going to make plays on me. That’s one of my goals."

> COOPER'S TRIUMPHANT RETURN TO SPECIAL TEAMS: Graig Cooper's big day returning kicks against Florida State was no surprise to his teammates. Of handling the kickoffs, Cooper said Thursday: "Whenever I get the ball in my hands I’m going to try to do the best I can with it. It’s natural. It’s an instinct. That’s all it is."

Comments

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FIRST.

The Canes.

Did DVD practice?

"On another play, he was lucky referees didn't call him for pass intereference when he had his back to the passer and face guarded the receiver."

As far as I understand it, Shields didn't get lucky on this play. There is no penalty for face guarding, it's not pass interference. Unless I'm missing something.

Yeah I didn't think face guarding was pass interference in College either. Correct me if I am wrong because then Brandon Harris would have been called for PI on a play or two.

As far as I understand it, Shields didn't get lucky on this play. There is no penalty for face guarding, it's not pass interference. Unless I'm missing something. Posted by: G-Cane | September 10, 2009 at 03:58 PM

A: Depends on the referee. I watched the game on replay last night and it was clear Shields made some contact near the end zone. The Sunshine announcer said he thought the ref might call pass interference. It's ultimately a judgement call. But you certainly welcome the pass interference call more often when your back is completely turned and you are face guarding.

You are right G-Cane.

A quick google search brought up that:

"Under the NCAA Rule 7-3-8 c there must be contact beyond the line of scrimmage on a legal forward pass play for pass interference to occur. Face guarding without contact is not a foul under NCAA rules."

Sheilds played pretty good defense on that play considering the circumstances.

He was in catch up-mode when the ball was in the air so if he would have turned to locate the ball, chances are that would have given the WR the separation he needed to come down with the ball. Instead, Sheilds kept his hand in front of the WRs facemask and actually hit the ball after the WR first made contact with it.

Overall, he wasn't real good, but he was much better than I anticipated. Brandon Harris played very well though.

Thanks for posting that Ricky. I was going to look up the exact rule. Glad you found it.

"Physical contact is required to establish interference." NCAA Football 2009-10 Rules and Interpretations.

Illegal Contact and Pass Interference—ARTICLE 8
Approved Ruling 7-3-8
I. A Team B player, defending against a legal forward pass beyond the neutral zone, has his back to the ball and is waving his arms in the
face of an eligible player of Team A, who, in his attempt to catch the pass, bumps into the Team B player. RULING: Pass interference by the Team B player, first down. He was not making a bona fide attempt to catch or bat the pass.

The key part in the interpretation is "bumps into."

Shields had a tough night to be honest. Twice he was out of position on passes that could have ended up going for big plays. The first one came in the first half when Ponder simply overthrew an open receiver down field. The other was in the second half when Fortson dropped a touchdown as he hit the floor. The non-pass interference call he was beaten on the play and simply kept his arms up to try and distract the receiver. Luckily, the officials made the right call.

All in all, Miami used primarily deep in coverage. At times, the safeties were playing in front of him. It looked a lot like a prevent defense at times, which is why FSU had so much success finding wide open receivers underneath.

Illegal Contact and Pass Interference—ARTICLE 8
Approved Ruling 7-3-8
I. A Team B player, defending against a legal forward pass beyond the
neutral zone, has his back to the ball and is waving his arms in the
face of an eligible player of Team A, who, in his attempt to catch the
pass, bumps into the Team B player. RULING: Pass interference
by the Team B player, first down. He was not making a bona fide
attempt to catch or bat the pass.

http://www.ncaapublications.com/Uploads/PDF/Football_Rules_5_2204c0005d-845f-4813-8391-54f15136079d.pdf

For any interested in refuting such things as "that was a catch by Carl Moore because his elbow was in bounds." Just read the relevant rule and know that the SEC officials got that one clearly wrong after reviewing it (though that would have been in last year's rule book).

After some of the DB play we've had the last couple years, I think Shields held his own considering it was his first game action at the position and they were targeting him. And we had NO pass rush against a great O-Line... Yes he was getting beat but when he needed to make a play, he did. Twice. We came out with a W and that's all that matters.

Good Point, spyhazard, in the past, blown coverages lead to wide open receivers going for 6. It "seems" like the DB's are improving, knowing they have a long way to go.

Shields held his own, but by starting play so far off the receiver, to me is a disadvantage for the db. It varies with individual players so it is no sure thing either way. But bump and run aggressive might suit Shields better.

hey im a huge canes fan and super pumped we were able to pull out that victory on monday but something has been on my mind and its not about the offense, its the defense... my question is this almost always the defense is light years better than the offense at the beginning of the year and that was the complete opposite of what we saw on monday... instead we looked lost, wrs open EVERWHERE, and sloppy sloppy tackling (he was teaching fundamentals all off season according to some websites). Therefore im wondering is john lovette the real deal? are we seriously never going to blitz? i mean if whipple was able to get our offense looking like it did on monday and then you turn to how our d looked i would say we hired a bum defensive coach... or maybe that seminole offense is that prolific (even though the wr core is suppose to be unexperienced) your thoughts please....

Please dont start Hankerson next week. Two dropped pasees is two too many. He has shown he has a consistant problem with hanging on to balls. Its obvious this is a mental lapse, b/c he has the physical ability and talent. Its the fear of making a mistake. Ppayers like this will usually make the difficult catch and drop the easy one b/c they begin to start thinking while the ball is in the air, "I cant drop thispass, Im supposed to make this easy catch". Concentration is broken, and its easy to drop the ball. Just ask FSU about 1 dropped pass and how it can cost you the entire game.

CaneBoss....are you kidding? Hankerson contributed a lot to key drives throughout the game. You didn't see him convert 3 and 15 solo on our last drive?

You can't put him on the bench after that performance.

Once again the Canes blaze the trail for everyone with their NFL intros on NBC. Now every school has to come out with their nickname e.g. 'The Cuse', 'THE Ohio State University', and 'Gaytor Nation'.

What a bunch of corny, hokey, wannabe's the gaytors are. What makes 'The U' impressive as your intro is when 3-4 players repeat it over and over again. That's when it resonates. Too bad they don't let the bench introduce themselves.

Wacthing GT in action vs. Clemson and I think we'll have our way against both. Thursday will be the big challenge of course, but I was very impressed by the way we handled the run Monday.
BTW Next Friday is the day everybody jumps on the bandwagon - both at home in Miami and across the nation - and we should welcome it. We'll be ranked around #12 with sky's the limit.
Have I gotten ahead of myself? Don't think so. We'll see Thursday, in person.
Go Canes!

canesjunkie: you are dead on with hank. that play to me was a game changer hell even hank made a great catch while getting hit by two defenders for a big gain. sorry canesboss you are wrong he deserves to start after what he did in fall camp and the game. GREAT JOB HANKERSON !!!!

yeah I'm flipping back and forth between that game and the NFL game and it looks good but never take anything for granted plus I think that Clemson is a really bad team.

two bad calls by acc.

UM better have a lot of film on this game- clemson figured out how to stop that triple option: speed and discipline D. They were sut out in the 2nd half totally. MAke nesbitt throw the ball and we win big. Thorw deep on them and we wil score. period.

Open tryouts for a kicker Sunday at 3:00PM Harris Field in Homestead, FL.

Requirements:

65 Year old age limit
Be able to kick the ball very far!!!!!!!!!!!!
Good SAT score
And be willing to knock the F out of a Gator return man.

Yes Hankerson made some nice catches. But can he be depended on. Consistency is whats important. If Fortsen is consistent we lose that game. he made some ver nice plays against us, just as many as Hankerson made. But he dropped a touchdown after beating Shields,and he dropped the game winning touchdown. If Hankerson doesnt become consistant it wont be long before some of his drops start costing us, may bot be this week or next but if not fixed it will eventually cost us. We are all hype db/c we won, but there are things that need to be fixed if we want to continue to win. You need to be great, have greater fundamentals, plus have some good luck to win Championships. The luck we had the last Championship we won was on the ropes at Boston College and a ball bouncing off a player into a Dlinemans (Walters) hand for a int. Our luck this yr has been Fortson dropping a ball he should have caught. We need to tighten up our fundamentals and play at a high level of skill consistency so that we dont need anymore luck!

Yeah, there is no faceguarding in college football. There is ih high school football, I believe, and the NFL. But not college. College rules clearly say that CONTACT must be made for any type of PI to be called. Thus, face-guarding w/ no contact is not a PI. Shields started off real (REAL!) bad but got better as the game went along and made a great play with the faceguard.

to CaneBo$$, Hankerson really had one drop. He had the catch of the game by all UM recivers later where he reach back and made a catch with his arms extended high. A very tough catch. And he and Benjamin were the most consistent receivers of the night. His work with Mark Duper in the offseason was evident in the FSu game alone.

It was Shields first game EVER playing the position and it was against a huge rival on the road....Give him some time to learn the position....I think it's pretty impressive that he can even get on the field this quickly.

" On another play, he was lucky referees didn't call him for pass interference when he had his back to the passer and face guarded the receiver. "

face guarding is allowed in NCAA football

RS and Lovett:

MAKE GTECH PASS THE BALL! SHUT DOWN THEIR RUN.

Shields is a great story. When is the last time we heard anything about that kid getting into trouble? He seems to have come along nicely and has been making great contributions since last season. Now he switches to corner and plays a great game (for someone who never played the position).

NAC - I gotta disagree with ya brotha. The defense looked the way it did because of scheme. We could have played man and there wouldnt have been a receiver that could outrun our DB's but then you would have the back of every DB and linebacker to Christian Ponder. Thats how he gets those big runs. This year the plan was to make him beat us with his arm...and when they needed it most, he couldnt do it.

great game, we just have to sustain it. I know it was game 1, and our 2 ends were out, but, with randy nabbing 5 of ESPNs top 7 lbs in the 08 class, we still arent that old U lb corp yet. if we had 3 traditionally UM lbs, we would dominate. Arthur brown , #1 lb in nation, needs to step up, and ramon buchanon and futch were top LBS. Telemaque and ray ray will make a great safety team as they both are players. the good thing is we are building depth to reload, and not rebuild anymore.

Canes will woop GT, its payback and its home.

If Hankerson is running his routes AND catching the ball better than anybody else, he's playing. Right on that he had the game saving catch on 3rd and 15. Without it, we're punting and putting it back on our defense with just a few minutes left. The rest of the receivers have to do BOTH better and you get to play.

CaneBoss....are you kidding? Hankerson contributed a lot to key drives throughout the game. You didn't see him convert 3 and 15 solo on our last drive?

You can't put him on the bench after that performance.

Posted by: Canesjunkie | September 10, 2009 at 08:53 PM

Yes, you can. The best players should play and Hankerson is not one of our best receivers.

I think NativeSon is dead on here. Let's not worry too much about Lovett yet. I think we schemed intentionally to stop the run and to bend but not break on the passing game. I think he didn't blitz because he was afraid of the big play over the top against our DB's if the blitz didn't get to Ponder. Also, Ponder is an excellent running QB so he can escape and get big yards that way too if a tackle is missed. The plan was to be patient, keep the game in front of you, and accept giving up first downs instead of giving up touchdowns. For the most part it worked, and if our line had gotten a bit more pressure on Ponder by themselves it would have worked great.

I think the d learned a lot from the FSU game..
I doubt they will face that kind of speed in the ACC this year agin with that many recievers...most of the ACC teams have a primary reciver that makes it easier for the D to get used to them and how they play...FSU threw to 9 differnt recievers..as we did the same..the game will slow down for them the next two weeks...that willl help with there coverage etc...OK that speed will pick back up....

This is our future, a BIG power RB that makes his own holes! This kid is the real deal.

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/highschool/recruiting/orl-recruiting-west-florida-miami-commit-9052009,0,5674573.story

Hey, did this really happen???

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1003332/index.htm

I disagree on Hankerson. I was disgusted by the 2 drops on the FIRST two passes thrown his way also BUT, he DID come up HUGE in a HUGE game picking up a HUGE 3rd and 15 conversion on a scoring drive when the Canes were down by 10. It's not easy to come back like that after dropping your first two. There is no WAY this kid doesn't start again. I say he is still on thin ice but he definitely gets the start next Thursday. And I would throw to him early and often.

Yes Hankerson has improved, but when has an improved receiver that still drops balls been acceptable for a Hurricane team. We are lowering standards. No receiver is perfect, but Hankerson has shown a consistency in making drops. If Johnson is healthy why should he start over him? Why should he start over Byrd or Benjamin? Hankerson is the only reveiver that has done something NOT to start. Taking nothing away from the catches and positive plays he made. But the fact is compared to our other receivers who are getting playing time he's more more likely to drop a pass, and less dependable than they are. Throw 10 balls to Byrd, Johnson, Benjamin, Collier, and Hankerson and Hankerson by history as recent as 4 days ago drops more balls than any of the aforementioned. Who wants to hold they're breath on one of those drops coming at a crucial moment?? Certainly not me.

CANEBOSS......Hankerson runs the correct routes
to get as open as he does. That's something Mark Duper spent the summer with him teaching him. After the jitters left him he was clutch.
He doesn't deserve to lose his job unless he's
been outpracticed. That apparently hasn't happened yet, so he gets to start. That's been Coach Shannon's rule since he's been here. I trust he knows who can get the job done. Hankerson's gonna have a great year, and you'll
see that against GTech Thursday Night. GO CANES!!!

He was outplayed by Johnson and Benjamin and Collier. Hankerson comes off the bench until he can prove he can consistantly catch the ball.

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