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Grading the Canes: GT Report Card

Here's how I grade UM's effort against Georgia Tech. It was the best game this team has played under Randy Shannon and the most complete they've looked in years. Bravo, Canes.

Jacory Harris up close > Quarterbacks: He didn't need to be heroic this week. Instead, Jacory Harris was practically perfect. He threw five incompletions (two were drops) and finished 20 of 25 for 270 yards and three scores. He made one bad decision on the second series of the game, throwing deep for LaRon Byrd and nearly getting picked. He's still off to a great start in two games and the Heisman talk has already begun. He's currently seventh in ESPN voting. I think it's a little premature. But fun nonetheless. Grade: A.

> Running game: If someone would have said UM would outrush Georgia Tech before the game, we all would have laughed. But that's what happened. UM ran for 184 and GT ran for 95. Graig Cooper had 93 yards on 17 carries and Javarris James had 72 yards on 14 carries with a touchdown. Both looked good moving the pile. Tough break for Lee Chambers. He had two carries for 12 yards and needed help to get off the field. We may finally see Mike James next week. Grade: A.

LaRon Byrd > Receivers/tight end: Not too many drops this week. LaRon Byrd had one on a cross route (the ball could have been thrown better), Dedrick Epps had another. But all in all, when nine different guys catch the football and eight of those have gains of 13 or more, you've had a great day. LaRon Byrd did a nice job bouncing back from his tough day at FSU with a team-leading five catches for 83 yards and a score. Former power forward Jimmy Graham even got on the scoreboard with his first catch and first touchdown. Grade: A.

> Blocking: Jacory Harris said it best after the game when he said he didn't even think about Derrick Morgan or Georgia Tech's pass rush. That's the kind of day the big uglies had. There were a few penalties -- false start on Matt Pipho and a holding penalty on Jason Fox. But Jacory Harris had all day to throw. And the line opened up plenty of running lanes. Grade: A.

Allen Bailey > Defensive line: Eric Moncur made his return and was an instant hit. He was huge on the opening series in disrupting Josh Nesbitt. Most importantly, however, other than the opening series when GT ran for 45 yards, UM's defensive line trusted each other to stay on assignment and avoided cut blocks. Freshman Olivier Vernon created three tackles for loss. Allen Bailey created a push in the middle along with Joe Joseph. The only thing missing again was a contribution from Marcus Forston. He didn't have a tackle and left the game in the third quarter with an injury. Grade: A.

> Linebackers: Darryl Sharpton earned a helmet sticked with his eight tackles. He did a great job tying up Josh Nesbitt when he decided to keep the ball instead of pitching it. Colin McCarthy had four tackles and Sean Spence had two. Jordan Futch made his first start, but only because McCarthy was having helmet issues at the start of the game. Bottomline, the guys did their job collectively. Grade: A.

Randy Phillips > Secondary: The only area on defense where there were still some deficiencies. Sam Shields finished with six tackles but was the victim on a few big pass plays Georgia Tech was able to strike on. Meanwhile, Brandon Harris looked like a beast again. He had three pass deflections and didn't get beat at all. When Demarcus Van Dyke (concussion) returns next week, Shields can go back to being a part time player. That will help as much as the return of Vaughn Telemaque did this week when he started in place of Jojo Nicholas. Telemaque and Randy Phillips were both solid on run defense. Grade: B.

> Special teams: If you thought FSU was a tough game for the Canes on kickoff coverage, this one was worse. Walk-on Alex Uribe kicked two balls out of bounds, but rebounded with better efforts in the second half. But the Yellow Jackets still got great field position most of the night. They started at either their 40 or 39 yard line five times on six kickoffs. Meanwhile, Matt Bosher had a tough day despite the lighter workload. Bosher missed a 26-yarder and 31-yarder late in the game. The positive? The lights out block by Futch that made SportsCenter and the returns of Mike James, Travis Benjamin and Graig Cooper. But like Shannon said, the Canes have work to do. Grade: D.

> Coaching: Much better on defense, spectacular again on offense and much better on clock management. Mark Whipple's play calling on offense put UM in position to score more than the 33 points they did. He was scary good. Defensively, UM was always in position to make plays. The work defensive coordinator John Lovett did against the Triple Option and cut blocks needs to be commended. Miami was ready for it. But the best part about the coaching this week? No timeouts because the wrong personnel was on the field. UM burned all six at FSU because of that. None this week. Huge turnaround. Grade: A.


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Do we have an injury update from Manny or Susan????

What happened to the "Program is in a downward spiral" Manny?? Oh and UF is going to start stealing all our recruits!! I guess u were a little premature there. LOL It must eat you up inside to see Randy is bringing us back. I'm sure you will come up with another Meyer is making inroads with S. FL recruits and UM should be worried. Get outta here....

Posted by: canecrazy | September 18, 2009 at 03:50 PM

Are you kidding me child? Manny is obviously an avid Canes supporter and everyone with 1/2 a brain on this blog knows that he wants nothing but success for UM. GKYS

If we keep on being on national TV we will be able to pay to keep Whipple and offer a decent contract to Randy...Keep on winning...Don't forget about Lovett...

Here's how I grade UM's effort against Georgia Tech. It was the best game this team has played under Randy Shannon

That is the 1st line Manny said in his article

Is that not stating he is The Boss?

Oh my gosh he didnt mention the big game Patrick Hill had for us last night paving the way for the running game as well as the passing game

Anonymous has to be Art/Don/Curse/HeineyHole..ooops SammyNole

He just ran out of names to use

Good stuff as usual Manny. I totally agree with ur grades. Offense and Defense play good but special teams and coaching has work to do. Kickoff coverage has been poor all season but the 2 missed FG made the special teams and coaching look terrible. First of all Coach Shannon if U want the player to play for 60 mins then U have to coach for 60 mins. When U took your foot off the pedal they stop playing. We must develop that killer instinct before we even think that the U is back. PS It's time to give carries to the RB Chambers,James and even L. Miller. Let's see what they can do.


Norm Chow used to get all the credit for USC's success also. It's not racism, it's rational to think that Whipple and Lovett have made a difference.

So what team would you hate to play if you are having special teams problems???

VIRGINIA TECH!!!! Get to work boys!

We need all 10 days to get ready for V Tech.
Now teams should be ready for Whipple ball.
Will they be able to stop us now? I highly doubt it, but it will be fun to see a great chess game of Whipple offense vs V Tech Deffense.

I also agree on playing more of the backup RB's.
Cooper & James are nice, are they championship calibur? no. first round draft picks? no. scare defensive coordinators? no.

I also want to see T. Streeter play, we had no A. Johnson or T. Collier, I would have expected to see K. Thompkins or Streeter.

Our defense really needs a healthy/productive Marcus Fortson & DVD to stop V Tech & OK.

Am I alone in hating ESPN and all of their positive coverage of our team?

This is the same network that picked us 4th in our division a couple of weeks ago. Now they are wondering if Jacory Harris has a shot at the Heisman? The headlines read "U Better Recognize"...."The U is back"?

Am I alone is saying %%#$%# motherf'ing ESPN with Lou Holtz, Mark May, Craig Fowler, Heather Dinich and every other analyst and their stupid coverage.

If they decide to give that thing to Jacory he should use it as a door stop!

Take your $%#%#5 network and go cheer for a Florida school.

And another thing...Erin Andrews is standing in a puddle every time she interviews Jacory Harris.

Jacory is just looking at her like...How does it feel to interview a QB from Florida who is a real man?


You are correct, typical commentators. Jumping all over the bandwagon. But I'll have you know that Desmond Howard said over a year ago that UM turn heads and could possibly compete for the NC in 2009, and everyone on the set laughed in his face. Fowler told him that was a bet he would take. Howard frequents UM practices since he lives in Miami, and saw what RS was doing and the players he was recruiting, having taken notice to the local talent.

is this the best college team in the nation
this is the best college team in the nation the NEXT THREE seasons.
great in 2001
NC in 2001
NC in 2002* (or at the very least best team)
NC in 2009
Who can top that?
No one.
So despite all the talk the past few years, it's been just that - a few years off what in hindsight will be clearly seen as

ESPN's McShay said UM was going to beat FSU.
He went as far to say Miami could damage FSU for a while sending FSU spiraling down. If FSU loses tomorrow vs BYU, and I think they will, watch how Bobbby Bow-down will feel the boo birds.
BTW, UM will make VT safety Kam Chancellor look like a fish out of water (see BAMA vs VT 09).
No looking ahead, but we will know who we are VS Oklahoma. I have a feeling, by that time, we will see more from Cookie Buchanon !!! Keep an eye on him Manny !!! MVP for GT was the Oline !! The played way above their heads yesterday !!!

I can't hate all espn reporters. Desmond and Kirk Herbie did always give us a lil props. And I remember when Howard said on Gameday the Canes will win the Ship in 09. Like Caneboss said those two have been keepin tabs on the Canes. And recruits was saying they wanted to leave cause UM wasn't on they list. Clements didn't even have UM on his list and now they first.

Manny keep doin what you do.

BTW not sayin race is a big issue cause I could care less. But lets not think it ain't around. Some gonna always feel a certain way about certain subjects. I know those thugs and convict statements in the 80's and 90's was because tha U was busting that A** on national TV. Now they can't say nada cause we the cleanest school in Florida. And do you think Shannon will have recruiting violations like some of these other guys. Nah what for he been thru the fire and tha U sells itself. You wanna go next level look at the U.

OK Manny good job. Now rate the players. 1. Jacory 2. Coop 3. B. Harris 4. Moncur 5. Spence Honorable mention the offensive line, Benjamin, and Javarris

Posted by: jason owens | September 18, 2009 at 03:19 PM

What has been the problem for UM in the past 3 years? The o-line sucked! No holes for the running game, no pocket for the QB! You can have all the talent in the world but if the big uglies cant block the talent is useless ala OU last year vs. OU this year, the nation will see. So with that here is the real top 5 from the GT game:
1. The O-line as one unit!
2. Jacory(2010 heisman trophy winner)
3. WR in order Byrd, Epps, Benjamin, Hankerson
4. LB in order McCarthy, Sharpton, Spence
5. D-line Bailey, Moncur, Vernon
Patrick Hill gets cudos for just plain leading the way for the running game.
The O-line+ hill= running game= not on top 5 list

A little perspective everyone! Randy Shannon is proving to be a great head coach... Like any good leader, you surround yourself with good talent! He's responsible for recruiting the coaches and players, and then letting them execute... He's also responsible for setting the culture. And finally he needs to set the vision/mission and get total buy-in (he has his players 100% focus and respect -- have any of you readers tried to practice football at 5:45am???). These are the macro drivers that spell success... Sure, there are micro elements such as in-game time management (this is something that RS is learning on the job). BUT you cannot win without the coaches, the players and the vision -- all of which is attributable to the Head Coach... Win or lose the game, Randy Shannon is proving that he's a winner as a head coach -- well done and thank you for making the U relevant again!

Canesjunkie forget about Mark May. Mark May only now is on Miami's tip beacuse Miami is his flavor of the week. If Miami were to lose to Va Tech or Oklahoma he would talk about how bad our team is and Lou Holtz still swears Notre Dame is going to win the National Championship this year so you re fighting a losing battle w/ those two. Ckleberri was right D.H. and K.H. gives us props Mel Kiper gave us props too @ the beginning of the year. I lived in Miami in the Late 80s and I've seen all of the changes on the campus and facilities on that campus over the years and I know most of that has been from the benefit of what the Football Program has produced over the yars. Now it is time for the President and the Athletic Director to do the right thing and give back to the Program and start by renewing the contracts of the Head Coach, Off. Coordinator, and Def. Coordinator. No matter what happens in the next 2 games, Miami is back in the talk of College Football again and the first two games are only the beinning. No one employee has been as loyal to it's school as Randy Shannon. No coach wanted this job after L.Coker was fired and remember Butch Davis had a losing season before turning it around too. Retaining Whipple is very important to the development to the Quarterback position as a Whole because of the future after Jacory Harris and all of the skill players. Recruits will want to come here. Holcutt will stay around purely on the potential of the Defense. I know this D has not played it's best game yet but man look out when it does. So Ms. President and Mr. A.D. it's time to step up to the plate. Peace Canes !

The whole "Thug-U" and "catholics vs convicts" issue WAS RACIST. PERIOD. Only a Blind man would not see that. UM in the '80s, -90s. etc... was, is, "too black". Too "city". Too "ghetto" for the lilly whites of Networks. For the keith jacksons Brent Musbergers, and executives of this world, yet UM dominated, with speed, speed, speed, swagger, and nastiness. That isnt to say other programs didnt have blacks, but Um was just that much ghetto- throw in uncle Luke's influence, and the hip hop influence of 19802-1990s south florida, and the lilly whites were besides themselves- the hatred was palpable. Some UM mistakes were of their doing, but still....what other University has had an SI article stating "why the U of M should shut down its football program"?????? When other schools have had scandals??? HAs anyone mentioned Reggie Bush and the obvious skankiness that is going on at USC? Ohio St and Maurice Clarett? The rape scandals at Penn State and Navy? Has anyone clamored to shut them down? Noo. The media has always hated UM, but loved the $ they bring. That is the hypocrisy of the whole thing. When the FIU brawl occurred, the false indignation that Chris Fowler and the other minions spewed was nauseating. Not the same for the Clemson-USC brawl, and in fact there was a brawl in a game up north that made our brawl look like patty cakes. Nobody held Lou Holtz accountable for that Clemson USC brawl. In that fight THERE WERE COPS BEING ASSAULTED PEOPLE!!!!
What they dont realize is that americans love to hate UM, some hate to love UM, and some love to love UM. The canes are always in people's consciuosness somehow. Good or bad. Better or worse. And it has always been Us vs the world. Fans and players alike. And I always wear my U hat or shirts proudly, wherever the ff&** I go. ANd peopl can ki&& my behind if they dont like it, and beleive me, I get looks.

For your info guys, Manny Navarro. Correct me if I am wrong. He's spanish. Not that spanish people can't be racist but for the anonymous dude who said that because he is white he didnt give props to RS, that is bull pucky.

Finally- the whole attendance argument is cr&p. Small schools with small alumni bases, less $ than the "giants" and in a major multi-sports city cannot sell out. period. UM will probably put 70,000 against FSU, gators or if contending for the NC. But will never consistently sell out. They would if they had their own 50,000 seat stadium. Regardless, what the hataz dont include is that the cane nation is far and wide. And Um (unlike say Nebraska, Ohio St, Penn St) do not have millions of older, rich retired alumni who can travel by RV to all of their games.

peace. The swag is back. The stars are re-aligning themselves.

If anyone watches last years film, you will see that DVD and even good pal Chavez Grant dont shed blocks very well to make tackles as well as B. Harris, SAM SHEILDS, and Ryan Hill. Im more comfortable with Sheilds as a starting corner because the guy has heart and a guy like that can roll with me any day.

60k seats sold does not mean people will actually show up! 45k ain't the lousiest number, but the Canes deserve to have a filled stadium come october 3rd assuming we win against VT, there's a reason for optimism and now is not the time to hold out on your favorite team!

Come on folks Racism does exist everywhere. Its great that its not so much as in the past but it exist. Im black but i dated Latin girls in high school but I was never allowed to meet the folks because I was black, I get told that jobs have been filled when they really arent and on the flip side I hear blacks talk about other races in negative terms. So racisim does exist. The best thing to do is recognize it and take it head on instead of acting like it doesnt exist.

"Oh God. The race card. Is that you Jimmy Carter? Okay."
I really don't think Manny was being racist. At all.

Unlike SOME of the people bashing Obama.

No mo' politics.

45k is kinda weak. Our boys deserve better. Looking forward to the game vs. Va Tech. Should be a blast.

UM will probably put 70,000 against FSU, gators or if contending for the NC. But will never consistently sell out.

Posted by: the swag is back | September 19, 2009 at 09:59 AM


in 2002, U averaged 70,000 …


I feel fully vindicated by the play of Jacory Harris. he has made me look like a genius , remember last year when i would rail against marve every other day and beg for jacory to lead our team. most people on here called me an idiot and a nut swinger, for pointing out things like 1.jacory scored more points in less drives than the starter marve.2 jacory didnt turn the ball over half as much as marve. 3 jacory had a leadership quality that marve lacks. i cant say exactly why he reminded me of dorsey but he did. i felt like the team played harder for him.
where are the marve fans now?
do you still wish marve was here?
am i an idiot for thinking marve couldnt hold jacorys jock strap?

you guys know who you are, so who is the idiot now?

They would (sell out) if they had their own 50,000 seat stadium.

Posted by: the swag is back | September 19, 2009 at 09:59 AM

if ifs and buts were candy nuts …
not enough land, access or students to justify an on-campus eyesore …




Landshark located smack dab in the tri-county’s population center …
The University of Miami …

THE University of South Florida

Revenge man your comments so touches a nerve in me cause I was in the same boat as you back in the day and although I've moved on in my life I still hurt from that but I still love my hispanic brothers and sisters. I understand the argument of race in this situation but just step out of it for a minute and with all of the Shannon bashing aside, Isn't he just the RIGHT person for the job PERIOD ? Like I've argued before nobody wanted this job. Shannon was so far down the list. I truly believe he is using this year to make his case for his contract. Believe that !

Any word on Fortson, Joseph and Chambers? And what about AJ? Seems like Shannon treats injuries like national security issues. Does anyone have any intel?

"I also agree on playing more of the backup RB's.
Cooper & James are nice, are they championship calibur? no. first round draft picks? no. scare defensive coordinators? no."

why do ppl bash coop saying no team is scared of him? i gurantee you that coop will be playing on NFL sundays making a name for himself. was clinton portis a first round pick? hell no but, he has been a pro bowl caliber r/b since day one. C.J. SPILLER has not been a R/B that went over 1k n is cfb career however, you have to keep your eye on him because he is so dangerous.

coop runs hard every play and has plenty of heart. james is doing his thing to provide a good one two bunch. hell does oklahoma have championship worth O-line? no but, they have been considered to compete for a NC. all i have seen U DO is criticize this team after a 2-0 start what gives akcane?

i have always said use coop the way norm chow used reggie bush and now we are doing it. the man is to versatile just to keep him as a r/b you put him in special teams and passing situations to go along with his running ability you will see coop as an ALL AMERICAN TYPE PLAYER. GOOOOOOO CANES!!!

Hmm Racism

I think Cocane is correct, that everyone isnt racist, but those who arent, arent aware and are insensitive to it, so they automatically assume someone is crying wolf and it doesnt exist.

Division 1A football is made up of 80% plus black athletes, but less than 5% hold head coaching jobs. I doubt that anyone can say with a straight face that those disproportionate numbers are "normal". There was a time when the NFL had these same numbers, but The Rooney Ruke forced them to include Blacks in the interviewing process. And WOW, Dungy wins Super Bowls, Lovie Smith goes to a SuperBowlin no time, Mike Tomlin wins in no time, Raheem Morris gets the nod in Tampa. None of this happens if the NFL hand isnt forced. There is a problem in college football, and it will be slow, veeeeeeery slow to correct itself if it isnt forced to.

You think Charlie Weis is getting the same treatment Ty Willingham got at Notre Dame?? The rope Willingham was given to hang himself was shorter than Donna Shalala. Weis has been stinking it up more worse than a backed up old Orange Bowl toilet. Perception is he is a genius and not in iver his head.

The comments you heard about Shannon in those first two years of growth were typical racist comments directed towards a Black leader. He's not intelligent, He's lost, Doesnt understand, in Over his head, not smart enough. Sound familiar? Same strategy Republican party used against Obama. Did we hear those things in Butch Davis's growing/rebuilding years???

As this country is very diverse and multicultural, its a fact we have had issues with race relations. I dont think that Manny is racist, but to say that racism doesnt exist in college football is either pretending to be blind or being lost.

i def remember that a school called auburn gave the cold shoulder a very very decorated black coach that turned buffalo around and gave it to chizik. the guy came off of an 3-9 record i think at iowa state

Rewind to November- december 2008 people.

There were numerous of you silent types that kept bashing JAcorry.

One of them called 12 a beanpole

One kept gushing over Marve.


Go Canes!!!!!!!

I give the defensice backfield a C, letting the big receiver get behind them on 3 different occasions is not excusable

Pay attn to the u,

I wasn't critiszing Cooper or James.
I know I didn't praise them like some folks are.
How many 100 yard games does either have?
Jh has defenses on there heals & were not getting any long runs.
Why not play our depth?
We don't know what we really have on the bench.
Our offense will be tested the next 2 weeks, some long td runs would be nice to take pressure ok jh.

It's proven Cooper & James are injury prone. Get the backups some reps before there needed.

Jh, whipple, oline, Byrd, Benjamin & the te's are performing off the charts!


Chambers and Mike James have been playing since the first game. Chambers even got hurt in the GT game. The only backs that havent been in the backfield are Damien Berry, and True Freshmen Lamar Miller who just arrived in the summer. Backs have to do more than just run touchdowns, pass protection is very vital, when we have a young and fragile QB with a true freshmen as a back up. James and Cooper are playing fine.I havent seen them get ran down once, and doubt any of the other backs would have had much more success than Cooper and James have been having. If youve been paying attention, teams have been stacking the line and forcing the Oline to protect and a young Harris to beat them, which he has. This will change very soon, as teams will be afraid of Harris beating them. This is when you'll see a lot more running lanes opening up for James and Cooper.


very true on the pass protection comment.
Let's play rest of the season 1 game at a time!

Forget all the awards, conference titles & bowl games.
We have 1 opponent in 7 days, V Tech.

Let's get healthy & stay focused.





I would like to see Damien Berry get a few hand-off's... At least in short yardage situations!!

He was a highly regarded recruit at Safety (out of high school, changed positions for the team, hasn't gotten in any trouble, is a team player, doesn't pout..

He deserves to get some runs!

As far as the racist comments.. I think its blown out of proportion.

Randy Shannon is, i repeat IS a peculiar dude, but cut and dry, I think Randy is well aware of every move he makes; and plans it all out for a reason!!!

Now-a-days people rely on the media for instant gratification for the information they want at a blink of an eye. Fans wanna know game plan, whose playing, who's not, how many times we're throwing a bomb next game etc (Yeah the upcoming game)...

Randy is aware of that, and knows his opponents will seek to obtain that information as well !!

It takes allot of overview to successfully run a program, and make the right moves behind the scenes...

Randy chooses his words wisely, when speaking to the media to with hold Da U's game plans for the upcoming weeks...
Keeps video cameras out of practice, so that the element of surprise is only revealed to the entire nation on game day...
Randy Shannon recruits behind the scenes during the season...
Randy makes sure the kids stay out of trouble...
Randy makes sure the guys keep their grades on track, to graduate on-time...
Randy makes the tough decisions on what it takes to improve the program...
Little things like flying out to recruit a Mark Whipple...
Protecting his players by choosing his words, rather than publicizing private scuffle (Ojomo's Privacy)...

This is a guy who would rather uphold his promise to a parent to get their child to graduate with a college degree, rather than let some members of the media manipulate him...

If you love the Canes, then you automatically have to love the work it takes to get us in this position; and the person making those decisions...

Randy Shannon's main concern is Da U's program...

Randy Shannon bleeeeeds Orange and Green and I'm proud to have him !!!!

Lets support this TEAM, and OUR coach !!!

Lets go Canes !!!

Anonymous meant to sign in as ignoramus.

Yo anonumous, I am white and hey, Gooooooooooo!!!! Randy Shannon, yeah I am white, but I grew up in carol city. And don't forget what color our QB is and he gets alot of attention so there is no racisim here I don't think. Canes look great this year. Maybe not a national championship but, OB BCS bid at least. outta here, Miami Kid.

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