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Canes trying to avoid Carolina blues

University of Miami special teams coach Joe Pannunzio thought he was getting a pat on the back from offensive coordinator Mark Whipple after last Saturday's 52-17 win against Virginia. Turns out, his buddy was really razzing him.

Joe Pannunzio "Whip looked at me and said 'Man, you helped me a bunch,'" Pannunzio recalled of their encounter on Wednesday. "I said 'How is that?' He said, 'Man, I knew we couldn't punt, so I had to call good plays.'"

Pannunzio and Whipple were kidding of course. But the trouble UM has had protecting punter Matt Bosher this season (opponents have three blocks) is nothing funny to coach Randy Shannon. 

This week, Pannunzio and Shannon, who share the brunt of special teams coaching, made it a point to emphasize avoiding the same individual breakdowns in punt protection schemes that have led to the blocks. 

Last year, UM used a conventional punt scheme. Pannunzio said he switched to a spread formation this season because Miami had been having such a hard time returning punts against it and thought it would be more effective. Pannunzio said he plans to remain in the spread the rest of the season and that no personnel changes are being made this week because no one in particular has been blamed for the breakdowns. 

Shannon said the coaching staff has done a better job this week preparing players and said the breakdowns come down to "communication." But Pannunzio said he's more than willing to point the finger at himself.

"Ultimately, it's coaching," Pannunzio said. "We've got to coach them better."

> North Carolina hasn't blocked any punts this season. But linebacker Bruce Carter had three against UConn alone last season. In last year's game at Land Shark, the Tar Heels partially blocked a Bosher punt with 2:49 to play. UNC took over on its own 44 and then drove down the field for the winning touchdown.

> Despite the mistakes on special teams, Bosher has continued to have another MVP type season. He currently ranks second in the ACC in punts (42.7) and 83.3 percentage on field goals (10-12) ranks fourth in the conference. He's also handling kickoffs again for UM and doing a much better job than earlier in the year. If there is a secret to his success, consider it a coaching decision by Shannon, who has asked Bosher to kick less in practice.

"Everybody has been kept down kicking wise -- it's kind of like a pitching count," Bosher said last week. "We always kick field goals. But in most practices, we don't do much other than mental reps during practice. Everybody knows where they have to be without kicking 20 balls. It's kept everybody's legs a lot fresher."

> Pannunzio said redshirt freshman Jake Wieclaw has improved, but he simply doesn't have the leg strength to handle kickoffs. "We have a field goal guy that doesn't miss many field goals," Pannunzio said. "So, we're not going to make that switch. But [Wieclaw] is an accurate field goal kicker. He just doesn't have the leg strength. Matt can make a field goal from 55 yards. Jake is more like 45 to 50. That's still pretty good.[Wieclaw's] biggest problem is he has a very good player ahead of him."

UM FOCUSED ON CAROLINA, NOT COASTAL RACE... In case you didn't know, there is at least one member of the University of Miami football team who knows how it feels to win at North Carolina. Tight end Jimmy Graham did it his freshman year on the basketball court, helping the Canes punk some guy named Tyler Hansbrough and the eventual senior class that won a national title last March.

Jimmy Graham Graham would love to help the Canes punk some one else: former Hurricanes coach Butch Davis, whose new team has owned the Hurricanes of late. Graham was in the stands at Land Shark Stadium last season when the Tar Heels scored the Canes secondary and rallied from a 24-14 fourth quarter deficit to beat UM. Beating Carolina is something Graham wants to make sure Miami's football seniors get to experience.

"0-3 -- it's a big part, kind of a mindset of what we're doing this week," Graham said. "It's a big game for us, it's a big game for them. It's going to be sold out. It's going to be a great atmosphere. We know we're going to get an A-plus game from them. Hopefully, we bring the same."

A big part of bringing an A-plus game to Chapel Hill -- where the Hurricanes haven't won in three tries -- will be making sure players' eyes are on the field and not on the scoreboard. About a 15 minute drive down Tobacco Road, Duke and Georgia Tech will be playing in a game that means a ton to UM's season. If Georgia Tech wins the noon kickoff, they'll clinch the Coastal Division and Miami's hopes of reaching the ACC championship game will go out the window. 

Shannon has made it a point this week to make sure his players don't worry about it, comparing scoreboard watching to driving while text messaging. Although the Canes would love to play for the ACC title, it feels like Shannon's message has been well received. 

"We're not going to be thinking about Georgia Tech at all because the only thing we can control is beating North Carolina," cornerback Brandon Harris said. "Everybody wants to go undefeated when the season starts. But if we win out and go 10-2, it can give us a lot of momentum in years to come. All we really want to do is go to a big bowl game. Hopefully, the bowl picture works out for us."

WHY U SHOULD FEAR CAROLINA... The last two times I wrote blogs that started with "Why U should fear..." the Canes ended up losing to Virginia Tech and Clemson. I don't want to be accused of jinxing them, so I'll avoid it this week. But, that being said, there are plenty of reasons for U to be worried about this game.

The Tar Heels might not have first round talent at receiver like it did a year ago, but it seems like they have the perfect formula to beat UM -- a tremendous all-around defense, very good special teams and power running game that is starting to hum. Shannon said Tuesday Carolina's defense is better than Oklahoma's -- "way better."

"Watching North Carolina on tape, their record is not what they are as a football team. They're a tough football team," Shannon said. "You look at their scores, they've lost some close games in the last 2-3 minutes of a game and they've won some close in the last 2-3 minutes of a game. We're not going to take this team lightly. This team beat Virginia Tech and we lost to Virginia Tech."

It's hard to argue with Shannon when you look at a few of these facts and figures...

Robert Quinn  > The Tar Heels have forced 11 turnovers in their last four games and is ranked in the top 11 in all four major defensive categories. They rank fifth in total defense (249.4 yards per game), fifth in passing defense (157.8 yards per game), eighth in rushing defense (91.7 yards per game) and 11th in scoring defense (15.3). UNC opponents have also converted just 30.7 percent on third down,which ranks eighth in the country. 

> While Carolina's offense has suffered 13 injuries -- including to six starters -- no starters on defense have missed a game. And there are stars all over the field. Sophomore defensive end Robert Quinn, who is returning from emergency brain surgery after a tumor was discovered his senior year of high school, leads the ACC in tackles for loss (15.5) and ranks second in sacks (10). The 6-5, 270-pounder receives plenty of support from big defensive tackles Marvin Austin (6-3, 305) and Cam Thomas (6-4, 325). 

""Their front seven is outstanding," Harris said. "Oklahoma had a good interior guy, and Beal was a good end. But overall, North Carolina has the best defensive line we've seen. It's going to be a tough challenge and something very hard to overcome, but we have to fight through it."

> Offensively, despite the fact running back Shaun Draughn was lost for the season last week, Carolina continued to run the ball effectively with tailback Ryan Houston, who finished with 164 yards. The Tar Heels have run for an average of 193.8 yards over their last four games.

> On special teams, Da'Norris Searcy ranks 10th in the nation with a 15.0 average. Sophomore kicker Casey Barth is 13 of 16 on field goal attempts and Carolina ranks 16th in the country in punt return defense, allowing an average of just 4.5 yards a return.

Comments

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nice one manny. thanks for avoiding the jinx

WHY U SHOULD FEAR CAROLINA... The last two times I wrote blogs that started with "Why U should fear..." the Canes ended up losing to Virginia Tech and Clemson.

Write " WHY U SHOULD FEAR CAROLINA" then say you won't write that!

Great work Manny.

This game has NOTHING to do with blog statements.

Butch has your number, your defense is atrocious and U play like krap on the road.

GOOOOO DUKE! ( it won't matter and you'll know it at kickoff)

Protect JH and we can win, that's the game in a nutshell

Man up and Dominate. That should be the goal of this team.

Yeah, UNC has a good D, so what? We have to score at will on them. We have a good O and are multi-faceted.

I am more worried about letdown on our D. We played well last week, but we can't let them beat us with short passing game.

Go 'Canes, crush UNC.

Manny, last I checked - SWAGGER Travels. We don't need an oline, special teams or a pass rush when got the S-W-A-G-G-E-R.

Purple Drank, tread lightly or it will get you and I am not talking about The Rhythm.

Purple drank your gay get out of here

Purple Stank = New Pedro. Be Gone!

The 'Heels defense isn't all that....just look at the passing defense as one example. The only reason they are ranked 5th in the nation is that the average rank of the teams they have played is ~76! The ONE good passing offense they played - FSU - lit 'em up for nearly 400 yds and a career day for Ponder!

Hell....the FCS schools they played are even poorly ranked (Citadel @81 in the FCS!!)

If you want to take a look - here's the numbers:
http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0AkGG_vu_drxQdF80SVk4WU1sSmotS1RtWVhIY1NvRUE&hl=en

Hey y jra. I am not near what puple skunk is.

Damm I am hrt big time.

Purple Stank
Purple Drunk
Purple Rain
Purple Skank

STOP! it hurts my feelings!

Look at the big brain on Rob.

Lmao "Pedro"

(shhhhhhhhhhhhhh)


I wonder, How long til' Purple Drank get booted
off this blog???

Tick Tock! your time is running out, quick, think of a new name you can use in the future!

Purple Drank is over-used!

JH will get sacked at least 3 times but will throw no picks and will pass 4 320 yards and 3 TD's. The U will rush 4 2 more. We will settle 4 1 field goal. 38 - 14 miami...... I hope

Hey Sarasota, you've been getting HAMMERED for weeks. Isn't it time for you to "pop in" under your "login" and act surprised and disgusted? Make some ignorant comments, then yell Go Canes and keep moving?

Your losing your SWAGGER !

U r a mongo

UF will lose to South Carolina this week, then you'll get purple drank out of your mind! you watch! hahahaha

unc's defense is NOT BETTER than Oklahoma's or VT's. What kind of chronic have u been smoking Manny? Even Clemson's D is better than UNC's. Man u must be puffin some of that Bob Marley.

Anyone know who insidetheu and espn are reporting as Linder's favorite?

I am shocked and overcome with SWAGGER.

This has been a good month of recruiting for my Canes. We on the way back to the t. o. p. Sorry I been gone fellas but COD modern warfare 2 is really addicting. I believe we got this one in a punishing way. Their is no way in hell Duke beats GT but we can all widh right. See ya Sat same bat channel

Guys i hate to say it but Duke hasn't beat anyone special this year.... I don't like their chances.

That being said, I hope the U can focus on their game and not worry about the game across the street. UNC ain't that bad.

BTW does anyone know where we can buy those combat uni's? I'm digging the gloves.

http://friendsoftheprogram.net/2009/11/10/nike-pro-combat-the-complete-collection-with-slogans/

oh and

Go Canes!

heyyy

canes win 27 - 13

Hey manny keep at it broski great job as always but one question I have is what happened to Chavez Grant , pre season I thought the secondry would be better than expected with Chavez DVD and B Harris anchoring the outside. I knew safety play would be sketchy especially if injuries occured. Why hasn't Grant seen the field ? Obviously he's not performing but what is it specificly?? And any insight on the severity of Sean Spence injury??? Please when u can
answer these questions which I believe many true and LOGICAL cane fans want to know thanks Manny please get back to me I read
your blog everday.
FYI the blog writer for the other paper bites your posts 90 % of the time and isn't a fan or a good writer in short he's not good I've noticed
his post will be identical to yours the next day like he waits for you to post first.

GOOOOO DUKE! ( it won't matter and you'll know it at kickoff)

Posted by: crank | November 11, 2009 at 02:00 PM

http://wqam.com/index.php?page=347&sid=pgp3cneh5o5do90gbt0n7pq1vg7ioc42

if I’m the FedEx Orange Bowl … I’m looking for a match-up that’s going to sell tickets … who will create a buzz … 10-2 Miami … Miami & USC have a lot to offer these bowl games based on name recognition & tradition …
a team like boise st is on the outside looking in
-- Kirk Herbstreit

the OB can take 2 ACC teams as long as they qualify
-- Joe Rose

KING ORANGE

we need to focus on the offence controlig the game and the def not giving up big plays and makeing turnovers happen

I was also wondering if anyone new which way Linder was leaning? The U or ND?

Sorry knew not new

Too me, its bad psychology, putting negatives in the Canes players heads to over hype how good NC is by Shannon. I like the mentality be prepared to shut them down on D and score every time on offense. Raise the confidence of the players , do not create doubt.

IT'S ALL ABOUT THIS U... WE DON'T CARE ABOUT NOTHIN' BUT THIS U.

break the curse... beat the tar holes.

dlu...

I thought the same thing about Shannon's approach last week. All he did was talk about how injuried and depleted they were and that he didn't know who would play on defense.

The other side of the coin is that it creates a sense of urgency that this team has lacked in past weeks. These guys seem to take certain teams likely and they play down to the opponent's level. Overhyping the opponent might be what makes them play like they did in the 2nd half last week.

I'm still not crazy about the approach.

xxx MANDINGO... GOOD STUFF AS ALWAYS!!!

NC... When I looked at the NCAA stats they were first in 5 ACC Division defensive categories and yeah, they're defense is good... but i like our offense better.

An interesting little tidbit not said, is that they are 6 and 3, but did you realize that the three teams that they have lost to, are the same teams that we have beaten!!!

Say it's so, You say... Ohhh yeahhh, I say... take a look see at GT, Wake and Virginia and smile... so yes, they can be beaten!


Sooo, yes they are very good but the match up of offense to defense and defense to offense , me thinks,... we are better on both sides of the ball.

Look for Double TE action for max protection and quick dump passes, as Jacory is going to scorch the field this Saturday mixed with allot of BerryBerry hard hitting runs... while Coop stretches finds the holes.

Sorry... correction to NC 3 loses...

FSU
GT
Virginia

and yes, we thumped them.

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/highschool/recruitingcentral/fl-br-signings-1112-20091111,0,5063178.story

http://hometeam.tampabay.com/blog/2009/nov/11/tampa-catholics-rowland-officially-hurricane/

LOIs

Speaking of jinx. Don't forget about the 3:30pm start time jinx. We absolutely need this game. A 10 win season will prove that this team is on the rise and Coach Shannon is the guy for this team also it's time to get some of that BCS money.

Manny. Check the title of last story. It says Jacory Harris but the article is on Brandon Harris.

Manny. Check title of last article posted online. It says jacory harris but the article is on brandon harris.

Damm you would think that a BIG BAD WORLD KNOWN newspaper like the Miami Herald could edit the stories before plastering them.

Oh well you get what you pay for.

We beat horrible FSU and one dimensional GT
Tell me why two wins doesn't justify printing thousands of SWAG IS BACK. T-shirts?
555 yards... That's SWAGGGG

fsu is not horrible and GT will beat just about anyone out there, one dimansional or not- recall brain surgeon, they put 56 on vandy at vandy while the almighty all powerful all bible tuds put only 27 on them at home. please. stop talking out of your rectum and go away

nukeese richardson just got arrested among three UT players arrested for armed robebry. Randy has repeatedly shown the discipline that he has touted, with lack of off field "incidents". How is it that coaches and recruiters are so stupid and blind that they can't see what these kids are all about? I mean how dumb can an 18 yr old be when he is in a top d-1 program, and he goes and commits armed robebry? Are american kids that stoopid?

SWAGGER
Pronunciation: \ˈswa-gər\
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): swag·gered; swag·ger·ing \-g(ə-)riŋ\
Etymology: probably from 1swag + -er (as in chatter)
Date: circa 1596

1 : Boast/brag although repeatedly letting 30K fans in stadium down for lack of ACC Championships or recent national championship contention.

This is without the game of the year. Win on the road against a relatively equal opponent and that really demonstrates progress. Another freakin' loss to Carolina shows we're not much better than last year, where again we lost to Carolina, just like we did a number of years ago when a third string running back named Chad Scott ran all over us. A victory on the road against a decent NC team is definitely a step forward.

The key will be how many floaters Harris puts up. We've been really lucky over the last few games with DBs dropping floaters, including the OU game. If Harris puts 'em up, the NC DBs will not be dropping them. If that happens we win, if we play like we did against UVA with a balanced offense, solid D, and avoid those inexcusable blocked punts we can win.

Result? I'm not quite buying the 'Canes. If opposing team DBs could catch a floater we might have lost 1-2 other games. Too much pressure from the NC d-line against our very questionable O-line means Harris is under pressure. When that happens he gets sacked and puts up floaters. Of course I'll be rooting for the U but I have a bad feeling about this one. This is a typical game where we have some momentum, have something to play for, feel the old U is back, and then we're flat as a pancake.

The key will be how many floaters Harris puts up. We've been really lucky over the last few games with DBs dropping floaters, including the OU game. If Harris puts 'em up, the NC DBs will not be dropping them. If that happens we win, if we play like we did against UVA with a balanced offense, solid D, and avoid those inexcusable blocked punts we can win.

J-12... THE BIG FLOATER ( it's also called a weak arm)

This is how I see us finishing on the recruiting trail, which would be strong enough to solidify this class.

I. McCartney, C. Jones, B. Linder, and J. Barton for a total of 29 commitments.

Of those, I think we need Linder and then Jones the most.

Beyond that would be more than gravy. I would love another CB, OL, or TE commitment (if the quality is there), but I don't necessarily see that happening.

Thoughts? Insights?

Damm you would think that a BIG BAD WORLD KNOWN newspaper like the Miami Herald could edit the stories before plastering them.

Oh well you get what you pay for.

Posted by: crank | November 12, 2009 at 08:01 AM

ALL TOO HUMAN

SWAGGER
Pronunciation: \ˈswa-gər\
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): swag·gered; swag·ger·ing \-g(ə-)riŋ\
Etymology: probably from 1swag + -er (as in chatter)
Date: circa 1596

1 : Boast/brag although repeatedly letting 30K fans in stadium down for lack of ACC Championships or recent national championship contention.

Posted by: crank | November 12, 2009 at 10:07 AM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Braggadocio

http://hurricanesports.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/093002aab.html

In 2002, U averaged 70,000 …
braggadocio woke the sleeping giant …

TIPTOE

UNC WONT BEAT THIS CANES TEAM....We have too much talent on O and the D can hold thier running game in check.

UM 31 UNC 21

GO CANES!

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