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Grading The Canes: Clemson

I couldn't make it to Saturday's game -- I had a wedding -- but I spent my Sunday night breaking down the game on my DVR. Before I get to the grades, a few thoughts:

UM-Clemson -- My overwhelming sense from this game was a flat out lack of aggression and confidence from the Canes, whose reputation has always been quite the opposite. It was almost as if they were playing not to lose. I'm not just talking about the three running plays by Javarris James in the fourth quarter when UM was trying to run the clock out. I had less of a problem with that and more of a stink with the overall attitude. Where was the pressure on Kyle Parker? Why did John Lovett not go after the redshirt freshman with more than just his four-man front? Where were the deep downfield passes from Jacory Harris? Yes, he connected on that 69-yard touchdown pass to Travis Benjamin. But why did that feel like the only time Mark Whipple went for the big play? Bottomline, one team came in the 10th-ranked team in the country according to the BCS and the other was 3-3. Yet, you couldn't tell which team UM was supposed to be. That should speak volumes to you about this program and where it is still at.

-- Three times the Canes took over on offense with the lead (following a defensive stop) and three times they looked uncomfortable having it. The sign of a great team is that when it has its opponent reeling, it goes for the jugular. Even against UCF two weeks ago, you didn't get that sense from this Miami team. Ditto in the Oklahoma game and ditto against Georgia Tech. If you want to really be the best, you have to have that attitude. This Miami football team is improved. It is Top 25 worthy. But it still isn't back to Canes standards. And Randy Shannon knows it. 

-- Before you go handing CJ Spiller the Heisman trophy like a certain pair of radio announcers were about to do Saturday night (I was listening to the broadcast on my way to the reception) let's take a look at what Clemson's star running back really did Saturday. He ran back a kickoff 90 yards for a score. Not sure if you guys noticed it, but there was nobody within 25 yards of Spiller when he caught the low-line drive kick from Alex Uribe (Orlando Franklin might have been able to bring that kick back for a score). Spiller also had a 56-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Parker on a play when a gimpy Sean Spence (who shouldn't have been on the field) tried to cover him with no help. And Spiller had a 48-yard burst in the fourth quarter to move Clemson deep down field (he had 33 yards on his 13 other carries). I'm not saying Spiller isn't a great player. I'm just saying he wasn't Heisman-esque or the reason UM lost this game.

-- Enough with the Kool-aid drinking. Miami is flat out weak when it comes to pass blocking and not nearly deep enough at linebacker. In fact, other than running back and receiver, this team really has no real depth right now. For all the talk about Ben Jones, Brandon Washington and the other young linemen Miami has and how light bulbs are coming on, there is a reason Matt Pipho was still on the field for every offensive snap. Those other guys aren't ready. Ditto for Spence. He came back out in the third quarter (50 percent at best) and only got pulled after he got burned for the 56-yard score. What else does it say when the Canes would prefer to have a banged up Spence instead of a 100-percent Ramon Buchanon?

And now to the grades...

> Quarterback play: Before you go ripping Jacory Harris for his three picks, remember this is a guy working with an average at best offensive line and still just a sophomore. Is he making bad decisions? Yes. The interception before halftime was pathetic. The lob pass taken back for a touchdown by DeAndre McDaniel was Kirby Freeman-esque. But Jacory is still better than anything this program has had at quarterback in awhile. And frankly, I think this dink and dunk offense Mark Whipple had him in Saturday doesn't play up to his strengths or Miami's big and fast receivers. Harris finished 17-of-27 for 256 yards, 2 TDs and three picks. But he might have done a little better if he hadn't thrown the ball just six times after UM scored on the opening possession of the second half. Yes, he threw the ball just six times. It goes back to that aggression talk earlier. Grade: C.

> Running backs: If any unit deserved a helmet sticker for their effort Saturday, it was the Canes backfield trio of Graig Cooper, Javarris James and Damien Berry. Together, they produced 210 yards on 31 carries -- a whopping 6.7-yard average against one of the country's best run defenses. So where did the Canes falter? Picking up blitzes. James and Cooper both were slow getting to blocks and it led to two costly sacks in this game that derailed drives. Grade: B.

> Receivers/tight ends: Big ups to Leonard Hankerson, who has clearly taken a step forward yet again. He finished with five catches for 87 yards and a touchdown, including a beautiful one-handed grab on the opening drive. Too bad we didn't see him again after his six-yard touchdown catch. At least I didn't see him. Travis Benjamin also looked good, hauling in the 69-yard touchdown. We've seen him do it more than a few times now, beating his man one-on-one and getting wide open downfield. It's a shame we don't see it more often than once every two or three games. Grade: A.

> Blocking: If all Miami's starting five had to do was run block, they'd probably be one of the better units in the country. But unfortunately, stopping hard charging defensive ends and picking up blitzes simply isn't their strength. Orlando Franklin, who moved outside to left tackle on several plays, provided evidence why he's a guard, getting beat twice on what turned out to be big Clemson plays. Much maligned right tackle Matt Pipho had a better effort. But collectively, it wasn't a great night. When you can't run screens well or give your quarterback nearly as much time as the other team does, you aren't winning the other half of the battle up front. Grade: C.

Marcus Robinson celebrates his 56-yard fumble return for a score > Front seven: Except for one 48-yard Spiller run, the Canes run defense was spectacular. Linebacker Colin McCarthy was all over the place. He absolutely crushed Spiller, causing a fumble in the first half. Darryl Sharpton did a good job swarming to the football. In all, the Tigers finished with 84 yards on 34 attempts for a 2.5 average. Take away the 48-yard burst and Clemson had 36 yards on 33 attempts. Now let's talk pass rush... There wasn't much. Allen Bailey provided nearly all of it. His sack, strip and fumble led to Marcus Robinson's 56-yard fumble return for a score. But other than that, Kyle Parker had time to Facebook his friends in the pocket. Miami blitzed him on occasion. But it wasn't nearly enough to disrupt him. And the four offsides penalties? Just bad. This game just provided further proof UM's defensive line, while better against the run, still has a long way to go. Grade: C.

> Secondary: When you don't get much of a pass rush, it's really hard to cover downfield for more than five to six seconds. Miami fell victim to that way too often. But the big breakdowns were in the middle of the field. I'm not sure if it's Darryl Sharpton's responsibility or Colin McCarthy or Randy Philips, but Clemson's tight ends had a field day in the middle of the field. They combined to catch nine passes and quite a few on third and long for first downs. The game-winning touchdown catch by Jacoby Ford? Middle of the field. John Lovett might want to look into that little problem. Grade: D.

> Special teams: Anytime you give up a kickoff return for a score, you've had a bad day. But aside from Alex Uribe's mental gaff -- he was supposed to squib kick it instead of giving CJ Spiller a head start in a foot race -- Miami's special teams was very, very good. By that I mean Matt Bosher. He had two long field goals and did a great job on kickoffs and punts. He got plenty of hangtime to negate the punt returns (Clemson didn't have any) and he even was able to salvage good field position despite having to kickoff from his own 15. Grade: C.

> Coaching: Here's where the biggest breakdowns happened. Not only did the Canes have to burn timeouts again because they didn't have the right personnel on the field, this team was never in the right mind set. Both Lovett and Whipple needed to be more aggressive in this game. Lovett with the blitz and Whipple with his best weapon -- his receivers. Neither called for their best weapons enough. Grade: D.

Comments

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Go big or go home.

Nice post Manny.

Not sure who is charge of the team/offense. To have zero time-outs with 8 minutes left is just inexcusable. And Miami had zero pass rush, so the Clemson QB had all the time in the world.

Manny you hit the nail on the head. The play calling was too conservative and predictable when it counted the most. Coupled with the total inability to get any pressure on Parker all game, we got what we deserved. Someone needs to ask John Lovett what the heck he was thinking. He needed to find a blitz package to put pressure on this second rate QB and not let him stand in the pocket for interminably long periods of time. Even a guy like that will pick you apart with enough time. Oh yeah...he did.This was the most disappointing loss in a while. It was totally avoidable.A winnable game, lost. I want to vomit.

Playing not to lose. Exactly, Manny. That was my take on the game as well.

In the past I've said, put away the swagger until you learn to use the dagger. But this week, they never went for the kill. And the Canes killed themselves with an 11-4 deficit in penalties! No new swag Saturday.

In some ways, the Canes looked tight. It's more important to win than to be perfect. Just ask Clemson.

Having said all that. Let's be realistic. This is a team and program that is rebuilding at every level, from AD, head coach and coordinators through players at every position. Our QB hasn't played a full season as starter. He's done quite well, but still needs to overcome the propensity to throw the pick. Our secondary remains inexperienced.

We're flush with receivers and running backs, but injuries are taking a toll at other spots. Is it just me or does this team seem to have more bruises per snap than anyone they play?
Perhaps it was all that effort poured into those first four games against ranked teams that left the Canes drained.

On the other hand, their early 3-1 success is putting them under a lot of pressure to win every game. A young team like this actually needs to lose a few to learn. It will pay off next year. Go Canes!

don't blame the players on this one manny, blame the coaches. You're asking where was the pass rush, where was the pressure on kyle parker, well that wasn't up to the players, it was up to the coaches and they provided none of it. And you said it perfectly, jacory only threw the ball six times after the scoring drive to open the second half, and thats ridiculous, you just don't take the ball from your best player and hope to win. The coaching staff was playing to not lose, this is ridiculous. they coaching staff really needs to grow a pair.

This was one of the hardest losses I have watched. To continue to play down to your opponents is ridiculous. I watched this game and saw none of the go for the jugular of the big time programs. The coaches need to set a mindset in the players that the 'U' never plays down. In the heyday they put people away early and let the backups play to build depth. Forget swagger, grow a pair. VT loss was easier to comprehend, this one hurt. Not a fair weather fan, just hate losses like this.

manny:

has anyone asked randy about the timeout at the end of the 1st half? what was he thinking? it was after a 1st down nonetheless...

whipple was obviously furious (as was i)...it completely derailed our momentum and led 2 jacory's int

You may not think C.J. Spiller's performance was special, but keep in mind he has had seven consecutive good games, including three against teams ranked #15 or higher (Georgia Tech, TCU, and Miami). C.J. is very special. Ask any coach whether they would like to have him. I would bet the answer is a unanimous YES.

Players play the game and should be held accountable. However, the coaches are to put the players in the right place and make the right calls to be successful. That being said, the D-Line sucked it on pass rush, but the remedy was to blitz and blitz alot. Young QB would have most likely made more mistakes. Not second guessing, first guessing. Yelling at TV on last play of game that they are only bringing 4 guys on 3rd and 11? Come on, have a clue.

Can't wait for Saturday to get this disgusting taste out of my mouth.

manny,you are being too kind to shannon..he is in charge ...period..if things aren't going well he's suppose to step in and make the changes..his game plan from the get go was pathetic at best...it's obvious he wanted to pound out a running game,but that should have went out the window when Clemson was tit for tat in scoring..i believe he's got to let whipple do his thing and open up this offense,that is what he was brought here to do...and defense...you can't tell me players like arthur brown aren't developed and ready to go??maybe that should say a thing or two about the coaching on this team...this defense is way too conservative,and needs to bring the blitz back into the game..finally,does this team ever try to block punts???

Manny spot on and I can't disagree with anything you said. I like that Randy isn't really answering the question about the argument he had on the sideline with Whipple. It was quite apparent what was happening, but it is truly none of our business and something that DOES happen quite abit in football. Expectations after the way were started was EXCEEDINGLY high. But my prediction for the season was 9-3 maybe 10-2 if everything BROKE right but all was depending on our HEALTH. Health wise we are banged up and it is showing now. At full strength, I think we are a Top 10 team, but banged up we are what we are.

Having not watched the Game Manny you were thinking the exact same things that I was they played scared. You have Recievers that are 6'3" and 6'4" in one-on-one coverage and you don't take advantage of it? Come on!! No shots in the endzone in OT? The Coaches coached not to lose and you know what happens when you play that way. Very dissapointing.

say what you want about the gaytors,and no one hate's them more then i do,but they play to win..not to lose..

" But Jacory is still better than anything this program has had at quarterback in awhile"

huh??? Whu?????

By what standard? He CANT RUN, throws way too many picks, and makes very suspect decisions. Even Manny chugs the laughable NW ballah koolaid.

HE'S AVERAGE ( speaks volumes about UM's QB development... NON EXISTENT)

I don't want to bash these kids because they played their hearts out, in spite of their mistakes, and Shannon and some of the fans have already put more blame on them than they deserve. The conservatism on both sides of the ball and the sense that they were playing not to lose, instead of to win, is a reflection of the head coach. I get a sense that both Whipple and Lovett were reigned in this game. It is funny how, as the season progresses, the offense and defense are beginning to resemble those of last year. Both Nix and Young (although more indirectly) indicated that they were being reigned in by Shannon. I am not a Shannon basher and was never a Nix supporter (or a big fan of Bill Young for that matter) but one has to step back and take an honest look at what is going on here. I am no where near ready to jump on the fire Randy Shannon bandwagon but has to be held accountable to the same standards and criticisms that he holds his players and assistants to. Good coaches do that.

9-3. I feel like this team will have another hiccup by the end of the season. We are a year away from national championship contention.

``We killed the game before just by running the football,'' Shannon said. ``We never second-guess what we do. You guys can make that decision. You all do it anyway, so it really don't bother me.''

Shannon said those running plays didn't work because of a ``conglomeration'' of reasons, such as players getting physically beat or not being focused and missing blocks.

``We played sloppy football,'' he said.

.

Never second guess huh ? Well Coach, if U don't learn from past history U are doomed to repeat it over and over again . And U will.
.
.
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A pass of the face mask, a team playing it's 3rd. game in 12 days and a Heismanless Quarterbacked team ...

U should be 2-5, but U are what U are ... A 50/50, half full stadium, .500 % average depthless College Football Program...

Ur just a ``conglomeration'' of mediocrity Cane Fans ...

say what you want about the gaytors, and no one hate's them more then i do, but they play to win..not to lose..

Posted by: canedude1 | October 26, 2009 at 08:40 AM


Now Ur getting it Cane Fan ...

Hey i saw the great Art Kehoe is a coach for the California Redwoods of the UFL. Its all about the U....the UFL

I want to say that I'm not a big fan of jUmping on the coaching staff @ all - however this loss lays sqUarely on the shoUlders of oUr coaches. For as long as I can remember (over 30 years) being a CANES fan - we have made big play after big play & for whatever reason we seem to be getting away from that. I thoUght that we wanted teams to play Us man to man on defense - so clemson obliged and we AGAIN didn't go down field. I'm not real sUre what to make of the 3 consecUtive dive plays to Baby J @ the end of the game either. I love the coaching staff we have in place bUt it's time to start winning the games we shoUld win & stop being so conservative. CANES fans are tired of seeing the same 'ol same 'ol from oUr team - so come on gUys let's get back to the CANES football we've all come to know & love!!

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

Manny, this is one of your best posts ever, 100% spot on.

We had zero intensity coming into this game. I don't know how it played on TV, but UM was flat.

You're right, we don't go for the kill. That was clear against Georgia Tech where we were happy to run the 4th quarter out. People GT was only down by 2 scores. I score and an onside kick and they could've taken us to OT. That team had made a routine of beating us.

We're not back because we're not the spitful, revenge-minded Canes of old. Where's that team?

But you know what...it's OK because we're going to the Gator Bowl. You want to play flat and run out the clock...now live with the consequences.

Great analysis.

I think we are expecting too much out of a bunch of sophmores. That being said, I don't see why they should lose another game.

Keep your heads up and finish strong.

I feel that they were ranked a little higher then we should have been and feel we can settle in by the end of the season to a Top 15 ranking. I think we can win out the rest of our season, and what an accomplishment that will be. 10-2, 11-2 after a bowl victory. Now how many people thought that was attainable at the beginning of the season? honestly? Yes, I am disappointed we lost, but we still have work to do. We made a lot of mistakes, need to clean them up. I still am happy with this season so far, kids are playing their hearts out and am excited for next season where the bar will be much higher!

We are young, it was too hot, coaching was a little off, all of J12's passes were tipped. Clemson stole our playbook, our recievers are too tall, we are injured, we are who we thought we were.

Chick a filet bowl versus BYU

Manny,

You are too hard on the Canes. The speed of Spiller and Ford made up for the talent gap, and their QB had a very good game. Spiller is a damn good player.

But, I believe the Canes should have won the game. All this talk about " the Canes are back" or "Miami is back" is premature and disrespectful to great teams that were at Miami, because those teams would not lose games like the canes lost on Saturday.

So as we all know, this team has some more work to do. Which is not a bad thing. They have to "stay on the grind", because being back doesn't happen overnight.

Winning 58 consecutive home games doesn't happen overnight.
Winning 34 consecutive games doesn't happen overnight.

You get the picture!!!

Thus, THEY ARE NOT BACK. We need to get that (the thought of being back) out of our heads, and out of the players' and coaches' heads too.

But, they are a good team, and we should be happy with 10-3 or 11-2 including a bowl win.

I guess we can say, they are on their way back. Which is a more accurate statement. Let's lower our expectation and tone down the criticism. Think of this loss like the Penn State loss in 1999 (I believe).. They might have a few more tough losses, then it will settle into the players and coaches on "what needs to get done" in terms of playing at a high level.

I know Coach Shannon doesn't publicly talk about the past history of the Canes, but in this instance History would a great teacher in terms of understanding what it means to be Miami again.

It would start at the DLine - They don't have a disruptive force in the middle.

We were outplayed, out-hustled, and out-coached in that game. We did everything in our power to give that one to Clemson. The only thing we can do is learn and move on.

However, I am amazed (but not surprised) to hear many, if not a majority, Canes "fans" turning on this team. No matter how poorly they played Saturday or a few weeks ago at VT, they are still light-years beyond last year's team. There are going to be hiccups, but the progression is where it needs to be. If you people are this negative and spiteful with other things in your life, I feel bad for you.

``We killed the game before just by running the football,'' Shannon said. ``We never second-guess what we do."

Well Coach Shannon, maybe that's why Clemson stacked 8 in the box and dared Us to throw the ball to seal the victory.

It's called tendencies coach.

U TAKE Wins !!!

Also Coach, Own up to the fact that Ur Defensive mentality made U brainfart (once again) to call that Timeout before half. Anyone that thinks Whipple doesn't know that the clock stops after a first down, U stop ... Those 3 points ended up costing Us the game. Period.

Coach please, stay away from the offense, timeouts and special teams .

I think its about time for Randy to start coaching the Defensive!!!!!!!!!! Thats not a knock on Jim ,but come how did Randy get the head job in the first place!!!!

Shannon has not improved ONE SINGLE BIT.

More of the same (good god FIRE this guy) next year after a mid December bowl

THEY ARE WHO WE THOUGHT THEY WERE..... no depth CHUMPS

Good synopsis Manny. I can't understand why adjustments weren't made early on when it was evident that there would be no pass rush out of our front four. It is also evident that Coach Shannon will take no advice, admit no coaching faults, and in fact he might even do opposite if any outsider like the media suggests something worthwhile. I love him to death, but hard-headedness is his weakness and it could be his downfall. I hope not.

Dear Cane fans, I apologize for my inept inability to come up with a good defensive scheme. I have good talent, but for some reason I continue to line up in a base 4/3 defense that continues to get picked apart by inferior offenses. I wanted to put 7 or 8 guys on the line to try and confuse the offense, but again I failed to come up with a plan. Heck, I could have put 8 or 9 on the line, and dropped 3 or 4 back in coverage if needed, but no I stuck with my base garbage 4/3 front. I tried blitzing once or twice with great results, but I decided again to continue with my plan. I have the talent to wreck havoc on offenses with a good defensive plan, but I never seem to come through. My clock management has been terrible, and I seem to get rattled at the end of crucial games when it counts, but I will try to do better next week. Please hang in there with me, I am learning!! Coach Shannon

Guys you keep trying to find ways to get on coach Shannon. He did not call the timeout at the end of the half, that was Whipple. Shannon was mad because it was after a first down and we had time to spike the ball. Also, the timeouts used because the wrong personnel is on the field, is the coordinators and players fault, not the head coach. The head coach manages the game. I'm not saying that Shannon coached a good game at all, but this lose wasn't all his fault like some of you are making it out to be. LEARN FOOTBALL!!!

I agree w/gvc850 completely.....not his fault, but leadership starts at the top and the head coach (unfortunately) is responsible for everything. As long as he is making coaching adjustments and corrections behind closed doors is how he should handle it. If he's doing that then I'm good. Still think a leader has to step in right away and "intervene" when things aren't going well, i.e., inform Coach Lovett that he wants more agressiveness on the defensive front against their QB.

U got this one right Manny.
All the grades add up the same way i would have. Do the Canes think that they can just show up. I really do hope this teaches them a lesson in a big way, and teaches them that the season is still not over. Come on, get it together guys.
Allen Bailey is a BEAST!!!!!

Say what you want but the coaches blew this game. I stated last week that we have a unique ability to make ordinay Q.B's look like all-Americans and that's exactly what we did Saturday. Why would you play a prevent defense on the 26 yarded line in overtime? We need big time defensive tackles that can cave the pocket in. We need 6'4 or 6'5 290 lbs guys that can not only rush the passer but can stuff the run. Aside from Baily we have no pass rushers. Marcus Robinson would be a great lb in a 3-4 defense but he is to small to play Dee-end. You watch, unless we blitz a little more the same thing will happen at Carloina. They've struggled all year passing but if we rush 4 guys 75% of the time the out come will be the same. We have play makers all over the field on Offense but I think we are to caught up in making sure we have 8 or 9 guys have catches during the game. Put the ball in play makers hands. Benjamin should touch the ball 6 or 7 times a game. Our o-line is average and that's the way it's going to be the rest of the year. The dB's are only as good as the pass rush and why would they expect Spence to cover Spiller 50 yds down field. Bottom line the coaches gave this game away. We have the talent, just not enough on either line, but in the ACC it's enough to where we shouldn't lose. Quit playing scared and and let these jackrabbits loose and quit burning all your timeouts before the 4TH quarter!

UFelony plays to win? Three poor officials calls in 2 weeks by slimy SEC refs is all that separates UFelony from having two losses.

Not sure what games you are watching but their offense is horrible. Teblow up the middle is their only productive play. Playing to win? How about just playing and let the refs handle the win.

This was the most disgusting game I've seen since those abortions against LSU and UVA. The coaches on this team blow chunks, especially Lovett and Pan-zy. Too bad we can't fire the whole staff. This was so nauseating that I am ready to give up on this program. I've stuck with this team through all the horrible Coker years and this still "rebuilding" (I think if I hear THAT one more time I'll vomit) team, but I have lost all hope this program ever gets back to BCS bowl standards. I guess Brock Berlin and the OB win over FSU was it.

Mismanagement of timeouts and too many penalties. Also I cant understand why Whipple didn't go with more 3 receivers sets. We got the playmakers, used them. College football is not for the weak and timid, you got to be aggressive or you will be looking for a new job

once again, the ol is weak. Jacory's first int wasnt really his fault. Second, what do you guys expect when we have talents like Spence and Moncur less than 100% and Forston, Ojomo, etc out for the year. We are not deep. Due to injury we are forced to rely on Senior Scrubs like Sheilds, Phillips, etc. Is it me or when Randy Phillips plays, the defense looks out of sync. The D looked so much better against OU, UCF, etc. It feels like Phillips will never just go away. That last play was a breakdown.

Manny, I couldn't have said it beter...the coaching definately lost that game for us.

Personally, on that last drive we had prior to going to overtime (when we were just playing to run the clock out) I would have ran a play-action pass to the TE (almost similar to the same play we ran on Okalahoma). I also would have ran the same play in overtime immediately after Coop got us down inside the 10 yard line...horrible coaching

For those attacking Shannon for not asking Lovett to blitz...let us remember that Shannon never really blitzed when he was DC and Lovett came from Davis's system and Butch was not a blitzing coach either.

The problem is a coach has to learn to coach to his talent level. Although I think Sheilds is playing pretty well, the fact that we have an ex WR starting at CB says it all. We have to bring more pressure at the QB and if the DL can't do it we need to start blitzing our LB more often...that QB looked like Peyton Manning out there he had so much time to throw that rock...

Manny, I thought you were much too hard on this team made up of mostly sophomores. Miami's run defense was tremendous. The linemen and linebackers reminded me of the old great Miami teams. They are fast and they do hit hard. And if you don't think Spiller is great then you must not have thought too much of Harvin. Spiller is bigger, faster and a sure high first rounder.

@ Pepperoni...our DL and LB were beasts against the run. The problem was getting pressure on the QB and coverage over the middle. Manny hit it dead on. However, I agree that we are very young and that means we will be veeeeeeeery scary next year and the year after, when these young guys have a year under their belts in Whipple & Lovett's systems

By the way, although I think Whipple should have been more aggressive our offense put up 30 points...thats a win most games when two good teams play each other. And despite Clemson not being ranked, they are a good team.

Defense over the middle in the passing game cost us this game...

I do not get the feel that Whipple plays not to lose, just do not get that impression. It is possible Whipple plays at times to over-protect JH, not have JH hold the ball too long.

Miami will not take the next step until the defensive coaches learn to use the players available in creative ways, stunts, blitz pksgs, whole range of defensive plays. The U is still playing defense like all the players are NFL stars to be, that is a huge mistake. And makes every qtback they play look like a super star.

@ dlu...I agree wit ya 100% but Whipple should have been a lil more aggressive...if JH can stop throwing them picks we will be hard to compete with...

I don't know about you but when the head coach calls a timeout and we just made a first down where the clock stops anyways. I think there is a problem. What head coach doesn't know if a penalty gives him a first down or not. Lack of communication lost that game. I just hope the Off coordinator doesn't get discourage because he's the best we've seen in years!!!

Manny good post and I think you hit the nail right on the head with this one. This loss left me feeling like the loss to Cal did in the bowl game last year. The players gave a good effort but the coaching prevented us from winning. The asst didn't get the personnel on the field , Lovett called a poor game, and Whipple called the game more like Nix would have , and also you saw coaches arguing amongst themselves on the side line. This loss makes me sick to my stomach.

I agree with Manny that the coaches got out schemed and coached. We should have blizted way more. Also more sprint roll outs for Jacory to hit the tight ends, WR etc. Also we need to give Travis Benjamin the ball 10-15 times a guy. He is lighting in a bottle. We do not use him enough. Jacory last INT was just plain HORRIBLE. That was Brock Berlin playing "KirbY Freeman football". It seems we have depth most programs would not survive all these DL out for the year. But here is my thought put Bailey on the Strong Defensive End side. Put Marcus Robinson on one of the outside lineback spots. He did play that position in high school. He makes plays with him Mcarthy and Spence on the field. That is imposing Unit. Sharpton is a good back up and Special Teams player that is it. He is to slow for DIV 1 football. We also made mental mistakes and the coaches called a very tenative game.

Stanky, that's right put Robinson at LB where he belongs. He's to short to play D.E. and disguise some blitz packages, not only with LBs but with Db's. Parker had enough time to drink a cup of coffee and smoke a cigar before he had to throw. I felt sorry for our hapless db's having to run around for 8 seconds trying to cover these guys.

Manny,

First time in a while where I've seen you be fair and objective with the Canes, actually criticizing and offering personal insight.

Thank you,

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