« Virginia thoughts | Main | Fox earns ACC Lineman of the Week »

Grading The Canes: Virginia report card

If there is something to take out of Saturday's 52-17 win against Virginia is that this Hurricanes team does have the ability to dominate a lesser opponent. Although it took them a half to realize they could do it, UM completely took over the game against the Cavaliers. I'm not saying Miami's players didn't believe they could do it. But believing you can do something and actually doing it are two totally different concepts. This team now knows what it feels like to play at its best.

Allen Bailey Now, before you go beating your chest and thinking UM has completely turned the corner, let me remind you of two things: One, Virginia lost to William and Mary this season. Two, they are without question the weakest team of the final four on UM's schedule. Road games at North Carolina and South Florida will not be a walk in the park.

As for the grades... it's hard to give out anything less than a C after the Canes' most impressive half of the season. But it won't be A's across the board.

> Quarterback: Jacory Harris finished 18 of 31 for 232 yards with two touchdown passes and made good decisions twice to throw the ball away on plays that were going nowhere. Both sacks he took were on plays he simply couldn't get the ball off. UM coach Randy Shannon said in the post-game press conference he saw progress from Harris, who at times has held onto the ball too long: "He's learning. Last week, he threw the ball away one time. This week, he threw the ball away 2 or 3 times. That's a growing process for all of us as a team." Harris still had one big hiccup: his 12th interception of the season. He threw it into triple coverage. Jacory's explanation for the pick: "It kind of sailed. I thought I drilled it, but it started going up in the air. I don't know if the wind took it or not, it was just a bad ball." Grade: A-.

> Running backs: Career day for Graig Cooper (152 yards on 18 carries and one touchdowns) and the Canes running backs, who combined for 268 yards on 49 carries. Lee Chambers had 10 carries for 67 yards and Damien Berry had 12 carries for 56 yards and two scores. But the best stat? Only 3 yards loss between all five running backs. That's a sign nobody is dancing in the backfield anymore and nobody is getting through to the backfield. Here is a question for you to ponder. Is this the deepest Canes backfield in recent memory? AJ Trump thinks so: "I can't say enough about our running backs and fullbacks. They're the best we've had since I've been here. No disrespect to the guys before us, but we have five guys that can gash the ball up and down the field." Grade: A+.

> Receivers/tight ends: Hard to remember many of the catches made Saturday because UM was running the ball so well. But two grabs stick out -- Laron Byrd's twisting, diving 29-yard catch on third and long and Leonard Hankerson's 35-yard touchdown catch, when he played pinball with a Virginia safety and used his "4.2 speed" to get into the end zone. In all, 13 different players caught passes from Jacory Harris. And I don't remember many drops at all, if any. The receivers and tight ends also did a great job blocking downfield on long running plays. Grade: A+.

Leonard Hankerson > Offensive line: After giving up a combined 20 sacks in their previous five games and failing to establish a running game against Wake Forest, the Canes' Big Uglies responded with their best game since Oklahoma. Some of the holes Cooper, Berry and Chambers were able to run through were big enough for Honda Accords to run through. Sure, there were still two sacks. But when Jason Fox, Orlando Franklin, AJ Trump, Joel Figueroa, Harland Gunn and Matt Pipho aren't playing on their heels for 50 snaps and instead are pushing forward for 50 snaps, they're pretty good. Grade: A-.

> Front seven: Allen Bailey was once again a major disruption on the defensive line. He drew double teams and allowed some of his teammates to get free and provide pressure. Two sacks against the Cavaliers wasn't overly impressive. But six tackles for loss and 74 yards on 24 carries and 149 yards of total offense for Virginia was a sign of major progress after what happened at Wake Forest. Linebacker Colin McCarthy said the Canes implemented more blitz packages and said that had something to do with why they were more successful. If that's the case, keep doing it Mr. Lovett. Grade: A.

> Secondary: Randy Phillips (torn labrum) was only in on a handful of plays and his replacement Jared Campbell did a phenomenal job containing Virginia's tight ends. Campbell had a career-high three pass deflections and the Canes as a unit had seven. Sure, Virginia had backup quarterback Marc Verica behind center. But give credit where it's due. After looking flat out terrible against Wake Forest, these guys bounced back. Grade: A.

Thearon Collier > Special teams: Mixed bag here. Thearon Collier's 60-yard punt return was the play of the year thus far in my eyes. The Canes now have three punt returns for scores this season and a real threat on special teams, which is a huge plus and something this program hadn't had since Devin Hester and Roscoe Parrish were here in 2004. That's great. What's not? UM has also allowed four punt blocks this year. The two on Saturday helped a bad team stick around for a half. Punter Matt Bosher said the spread formation being used this season (UM was in a conventional formation last year) is designed to get the ball off quicker and allow for players to get downfield faster. But Shannon, who coaches the special teams with Joe Pannunzio, is obviously going to have to make some tweaks this week. Opponents are finding easy gaps to get to Bosher. Grade: C.

> Coaching: Mark Whipple had me wondering what he was doing early on when he didn't just stick with UM's dominating running game and opted for flea-flickers and rollout play-action passes. But he got his act together quickly and the offense was absolutely humming after Harris' interception. Defensively, John Lovett deserves credit for not having his team be surprised by what the Cavaliers were doing (like the UM defense had been the last few weeks). But the biggest pat on the back goes to coach Randy Shannon, who trimmed practices last week and had a fresher team. I don't want to say it's the first real smart move he's made since being named coach. But it kind of feels like it. He also made a smart call for a timeout with :02 left in the first quarter. Virginia punted with the wind in its face instead of at its back and Miami ended up taking over at the Cavs 25 after their punter shanked one. The Canes then scored to go up 24-10. Grade: A.

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

The first 15 minutes of that game made me nervous. It was great to see us make adjustments and steamroll a weak team.

If only that we had that Clemson game back...

First

Hey Manny, I agree with all the grades you posted. I did not know RS was also coaching ST. I have called for Pannunzio to be held accountable for this teams lousy play on ST. Against a better team those blocked punts might have led to a loss. They have to get better at punt and kickoff coverage as well. They have flashes of success but no consistency.
But over all, if they play like this against Carolina they will blow Heels out.

Manny- you sound like some of the haters who try to minimize every single of UM's opponents, win or lose. Bottom line is, Virginia blew out Indiana, which inmy opinion had the game stolen by the refs against Iowa. Virginia beat North Carolina, and they beat Maryland. NC beat Va Tech. YOu sound like the guy who was making fun of Wake, not realizing that Wake beat Stanford, who beat Oregon, who beat USC. After the very tough game against UM, Wake played Ga Tech incredibly hard. Those kids are amazing.

Other SEC fanatics, including the media, fail to point out that UF beat Vandy at home 27-7, but Ga Tech laid 56 on Vandy at Vandy.

This latest BCS debacle actually had LSU going up one slot after a "good loss". Good loss? Are U kidding me? what about ugly win? How about being even handed and consistent, voters?

UM played great after the first q. I give them an A as well. I give the coaches a B. Whipple's flea flicker was ill-advised. I like going for it on 4th and 10 why not? And Lovett TOTALLY made up for the Clemson and Wake disasters by A-D-J-U-S-T-I-N-G!

Hey MAnny- there havent been any updates from you on Ojomo's injury- is he coming back? Can you please comment on whether Bailey or Coop are likely to be back?

ESPN has Um in the gator bowl against ND. To me, ND doesnt deserve the gator bowl. However the canes still need to win out. If they do, they should probably play in a better bowl? an atlarge BCS?

nice one Manny. not the first couple of good moves for shannon but some of the best ones in game.

I also agree with all the grades. I know UVA isn't a very good team, but there were times this year we let other bad teams hang around and it looked like we were sleepwalking through the game. This time I thought we really came out and stomped on them. The blocked punts and the interception early made it look like a game, but the Cav's were never really in it. We looked even better than we did against FAMU, the only other team we destroyed, so that's a plus I guess.

All in all there's not much to take away from this game, but it was nice to see us destroy someone we were supposed to destroy and get the second teamers in in the fourth quarter. The coaches and the players get the credit for that. Now it's time to make Butch Davis wish he'd never left us. I'm tired of this guy beating us. UNC isn't the loudest stadium in the world, so here's hoping we go up there and pound on them too. Butch is smart enough to keep throwing crossing routes at us though, so we'd better solve that problem soon.

Go Canes!

Stomping on UVA was a great thing to see, and that's all we can take away from this game. We were supposed to destroy them and we did. We looked much better than we did against some other lesser opponents this season. The coaches and the players should get plenty of credit for this win. Now let's go stomp on Butch Davis' team.

For the first time in my life, I find myself rooting (to the extent that it's possible) for Alabama. I am still harboring a small home that Alabama beats Florida in the SEC title game and that we get an at-large bid to play UF in the Sugar Bowl. Then we can send Tebow packing with back to back losses to effectively end his football career. Fingers crossed on that one, but I would really be disappointed if we end up playing Notre Dame. Those guys don't deserve anything for the schedule they put together and the record they have in it. Those guys blew it trying to turn into a pro-set offense. The midwest just doesn't have the horses for that. They should have scooped up Paul Johnson when they had the chance and gone back to the triple-option. I hope ND loses out and don't step on the same field as us.

Good stuff Manny I agree with your grades. Here is mine.

OFFENSE
A. Every one gets a game ball. 13 different receivers caught passes. All RB's ran hard and look good. The line still need a little shoring up to do but they are getting there.

DEFENSE
A. I like the new attacking blitzing Canes. They seem to respond better attacking. They were flying all over the field and look dominate at times.

SPECIAL TEAMS
D. They need to be more consistent. If it wasn't for the spectacular punt ret from Collier. This unit would have recieved a F. Bosher takes a 3 step drop. That's to slow.

COACHING
A. Whipple. Good game plan. Thanxs for implementing the short passing game. That should really take a lot of pressure off Jacory and the O-Line
A. Lovett. U get my game ball for allowing the D to attack more. They responded and look dominant at times. That how U set the tone.

A+. Shannon. Good job Coach. Way to have this team ready. Good TO at the end of the 1st qtr. We must shore up the Special Teams.

GO CANES!!!

It also seems that Wake Forest wasn't that bad. They were one fourth down stop from pulling the upset and beating G-Tech. The "U" almost got a break. Go Duke! North Carolina seems to be the clone of Clemson. Same type of team. North Carolina is an improving team at 6-3. Solid Defense, running game and pretty good quarterback play from Yates. This will be tough and a very close game. The "U" needs to be very focused and as healthy as possible for this showdown. Until we get the injury report right now I like the Canes 24 to NC 20. GOOOOOO! CANES!

http://www.tallahassee.com/article/20091105/FSU03/911050321/1026/RSS13

CRIMINOLES IN GLASS HOUSES

http://www.southbendtribune.com/article/20091106/SPORTS13/911069958

A Miami-Notre Dame matchup makes sense for all the obvious reasons, but of course there's still football to be played.
-- gator bowl’s rick catlett

This year, there could be Big East teams available at 10-2. It wouldn't be impossible to take a 7-5 Notre Dame over a 10-2 Big East team, but it would be difficult.
-- gator bowl’s rick catlett

WIN 1 FOR THE DAY-TRIPPER

A coupe of footnotes to Manny's incisive comments. First, courageous comment from him at the end - it definitely feels like the first couple of smart moves RS has ever made. I'm hoping he's blossoming late as a leader, feeling more comfortable, finally confident, like this is finally his team at last; maybe now he's psychologically free to make good moves. Here's hoping he's now enjoying that command.

Next, I want to just point out that this team has not gelled yet- and that's a good thing. Here's a situation where with all the young guys new to the college level and each other, once they start to feel it, once the components click as a cohesive team, you're going to have some ghostfaced opponents getting stomped like UV did in the second half. It could happen next week or it could happen late next year - but it will happen and it's going to be ugly for everyone who is not UM. We remember what that's like.

Finally the defensive shutdown occurred with an entire defensive unit - 11 guys - off the field, many of those our best players. It hasn't been mentioned for a week here, it's worth remembering. We have loads of young talent, they haven't come together - literally - on the field. Some say it's an excuse. No, sir. We stomped our opponent. An we did it with 50% of our capabilities. That's just scary potential.

I love this team.

basketball telecast on sun conflicts with football telecast on ABC …
what’s a poor boy to do …

AUDIBLE

Manny you hand out grades like an elementry school teacher that does not want to tick off any of his students or better yet do not want to upset any of the parrents. The highest grade of A should have been the only grade for the "D"
as a total package for the entire game. The "O" line deserves a B+ only for the second half. Had the team scored more TD's in the first half I would agree on the A. Running backs get good grades thanks to the O line, and what they created after the line of scrimage. QB's did a great job clean hand off's and good throws. I won't count the "I" as it did nothing for the other team as they did not gain points or momentive from it. Coaching did a good job with the a-fore mentioned by bloggers adjustments. Grade the teachers an "A" for getting the kids up, staying there, and finishing the game. Would have liked to see more of AJ at QB. Now for my biggest complaint. I give the hometown fans a "C". only 40T at the game is so sad. Fans get off your butts and go to a game. That's all from me on this game. Thanks

I pray that 'bama beats Ufag and we get to meet them in a bowl. That would just great ending to a great season for the Canes.

10-2, and then send Teabags out with a loss. Man I just wish that would happen, but If duke can somehow beat GT. Then that would be better.

Good win, but plenty of room left for improvement. The NC game is going to be huge, regardless of what happens with GT. Special teams really need to step up...

Switching gears, Miami has now put together a solid recruiting class that addresses their lack of depth. Currently, we have 24 commits - many of which are slated to play OL, LB, and DB. Anyone know how may scholarships that leaves us with?

I think the most important guy for us to get is B. Linder at OL (who unfortunately seems to be wavering a bit due to ND). After that, we seem to be coming on strong for C. Jones at LB. Anyone know what the story is with him?

C. Lemoinier at DE would be a nice get, but he seems a bit fickle towards UM. A TE would have been vital, but there don't seem to be many out there the Canes want. Lastly, we didn't sign a single WR last year so picking up at least one, if not two of the following will avoid depth issues in the future (in order of my preference: I. McCartney, C. Dunkley, M. Harris, S. Tapley, J. Reese, or A. Hurns).

I am not gonna lie, I am one excited Cane. Although I wish were were already in the ACC and BCS title hunt and can still see some weaknesses, I also think that this team is consistently heading in the right direction (i.e., we are so much better off than when Shannon took over the sinking ship a few years ago).

As always, Manny you are doing great work. Please keep it up and deliver us some insights this week about 1) how the team is prepping for NC and 2) the recruiting trail.

Great win, great comments, and a great clean blog free of insults.

Posted by: Clean Blog = Happy Blog | November 09, 2009 at 10:41 AM

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

MARY POPPINS

only 40T at the game is so sad.

Posted by: Wayne Ritchie | November 09, 2009 at 10:28 AM

http://www.miamiherald.com/photogalleries/

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/sfl-ml1107_miami_hurricanes_football,0,6635751.photogallery

48K U say …
10 times what the hometown marlins normally draw …

APPLES TO APPLES

Wayne Ritchie: 48,000 at the game.

48k???

Not a chance

more like 25k

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/media/photo/2009-11/50361241.jpg

YOUR LYING EYES

That photo isn't UVA game delusional loser but nice try.

Like I said TWENTY FIVE LARGE Tops!

Nobody , not even INSIDE the 305, cares about the program.

But feel free to post some old ratings or Thursday night captive audience nonsense. Nonsense is all you know.

DREAMER

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/sfl-ml1107_miami_hurricanes_football,0,6635751.photogallery

#15

CRANK

Nobody , not even INSIDE the 305, cares about the program.

Posted by: crank | November 09, 2009 at 11:54 AM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crank_(person)

Raheam Buxton
Todd Chandler
Eduardo Clements
Tyrone Cornelius
Devont'a Davis
Jeremy Davis
Greg Dent
Johnathan Feliciano
Tavadis Glenn
Maurice Hagens
Darion Hall
Javarie Johnson
Storm Johnson
Shane McDermott
Stephen Morris
Kevin Nelson
Louis Nix
Keion Payne
David Perry
Kacy Rodgers
Andrew Tallman
Clive Walford
Travis Williams

FOR STARTERS

manny, u r effin negative dude. what the f is that article?

LETS GO CANES!

Beat the Tar heels.

Every team has a list of commitments. SO WHAT!

Too bad Dunkley, Elam, and Luc are all heading to the CHAMPIONS!

Keep your two stars loser.

IT'S OVA IN THE 305 CLOWN

How do all you people call Manny a negative person? He clearly cares for the Canes. If everyone were like you, and I mean NigerianCane, then we would have a letdown loss every week just like VT/Clemson. If nobody is critical then the team will not improve because they will think they are the hottest thing since sliced bread. So grow up, stop being so naive, and get educated.

Also, I agree that notre damn doesn't deserve the gator bowl, let alone any bowl for that fairy schedule they put together every year. But, I know we would all love to see us destroy them in a bowl.

Hate = Fear

They know what's on the horizon. Weis is fired. Meyer goes to ND. Tebow leaves. Eye gouger leaves.

Fear = Suffering.

Well I am very sad this morning to find out the my school lost this weekned.

Beach High got spanked by the Bulls. 62-0.

Oh well at least UNC will beat the EWW.

i dont think we'll see Miami play ND. I'm guessing ND loses to either Pitt or Stanford, and possibly both

Agree on a lot of what you said Manny. Good to see our coaches actually make some adjustments, and after some pretty terrible D over the last few games, I was more than happpy to see our D come out and destroy UVA. I think I would add, though, grading the attendance. In my opinion..... F!

At kickoff there wasn't any more than 25 - 30k people in the stands. It looked pathetic. There's nothing more that I hate, than having friends look at the stands on tv and bust out laughing saying we have fair weather fans. As much as we try to argue about "oh it's Miami, and we have the beach, etc. etc." it's all garbage. Get your butts in the seats guys!

Our AD needs to come up with something to bring in some more fans. 7-2 season and we can only average around 45k? Terrible.

That is the problem today....Manny getting hammered over telling the truth..political correctness is destroying this country,,aka Fort Hood...bless there soles...

When people start to say what they feel this country will be back on track..If I disagree with Randy Shannon...i get from bloggers on here..racism crap.

We are all Canes some older ( very ) then others...learn the history of this team and the program and not just Utube highlights of a few great games...the worst 80's team would wood shed this 2009 team in a second..WHY..they knew they could..this team is getting better and I love the future but THAT factor is still missing...not sure if we will ever have that intensity or team unity like the last 20 years...the game has changed and the U changed it..can we change it again..not sure..I see a great team here lacking a few things like FULL leadership and wow players...we have the ingredients just need the right stick to stir the pot...

Manny you do a great job and say what you will I will either agree or disagree and so what if I do.,...GO CANES..


BTW..swagger is a 20 game win streak a NC and winning by 30+ on games on the road...THAT IS SWAGGER.

Manny, that white coach rant is introducing prejudice into the blog. for that, its time to ban this bum, purple.

Manny is just reporting the truth, that first half was a little scary.

Who coaches the RB's on this team. Whoever does it is doing a great job. Every RB on this roster if fundamentally sound and comes to play.

Finally the defensive shutdown occurred with an entire defensive unit - 11 guys - off the field, many of those our best players. It hasn't been mentioned for a week here, it's worth remembering. We have loads of young talent, they haven't come together - literally - on the field. Some say it's an excuse. No, sir. We stomped our opponent. An we did it with 50% of our capabilities. That's just scary potential.

I love this team.

Posted by: 718 | November 09, 2009 at 10:22 AM

718 is a poet!

Go 'canes!

We finally blitzed enough to keep these average Q.B's from wearing us out. We got to do the same thing with U.N.C. or it will be Clemson all over.
We have the talent and more is on the way and not much is going to be leaving. We got to get the killer attitude back and start continually whipping these mediocore A.c.c. teams rumps.
I 'd love to play N.D. in a bowl game, if you'll recall they didn't want to schedule us again after we bashed them 58-0!
Recruits left we need: LINDER-got to have him; LEMOINIER-got to have him. McCartney & Dunkly ain't coming but Harris will And maybe J.R. Ferguson.
Next year will be the Year!

ummm miami had bout 25k to start da game and it filled up to 45k later on...oh yea #2 for clemson is a beast and guess wat he from Florida damn coker cant recruit..i dont know why he not up for the thorpe award

Purple Drank... for all your hate, you seem pretty obsessed with the U... So, I will count you among the many who care about the U.

Hate = Fear

They know what's on the horizon. Weis is fired. Meyer goes to ND. Tebow leaves. Eye gouger leaves.

Fear = Suffering.

Posted by: Dyrty Dawg | November 09, 2009 at 12:54 PM

Meyer already turned down ND once and makes 4 MILLION per year U ignorant clown. Funny to watch U throw out nonsense in desperation like a good cane does. Yes, Tebow will move on after collecting three out of four u jealous loser. And yes Spikes will be balkin on sundays but UF will STILL have one of the top three LB groups in the entire nation. Bostic, Jenkins, Elam. U got nothin even close clown.

green = DELUSIONAL

You will be losing next year to VT, GT, FSU, UNC, OSU, and maybe a couple of others.

You ignore my advice, but you need help.
Posted by: Purple Drank | November 09, 2009 at 01:09 PM

LMAO.. nice try fake Purple Drank. They ban the IP address, not the name. Keep it up u bitter racist clown. Lol.

I think Northwestern, Booker T. and Central can beat Vandy at home by 20.

Keep it up guys!

I agree with most of the article except saying that it was the first good thing Shannon did. Best things order:

#1 2008 Recruiting Class
#2 2009 Recruiting Class
#3 2010 Recruiting Class ( will be tremendous, just wait)

To me a strong Canes team is by far the best that sports possibly have to offer.

Shannon is doing great(Just Recruit Baby)

It's not the coaching, not the talent, not the fans. Its the SWAGGER. SWAGGER = WINS.

my brother and sister canefans...please...PLEASE...treat the haters purplE dranK, pedrO etc.) the right way...IGNORE THEM...and canes keep on playin
team ball...it just keeps gettin better...

kaptain cane

"Vandy on One side, Miss. St. on the other side"

"Troy on one side, FIU on the other side"

"Inept offense on one side, cheap calls on the other side"

"UF, UF, UF will stop"

Great win, great comments, and a great clean blog free of insults.

Posted by: Clean Blog = Happy Blog | November 09, 2009 at 10:41 AM

I pray that 'bama beats Ufag and we get to meet them in a bowl. That would just great ending to a great season for the Canes.

10-2, and then send Teabags out with a loss. Man I just wish that would happen, but If duke can somehow beat GT. Then that would be better.

Posted by: fuhucks1398 | November 09, 2009 at 10:38 AM


manny, u r effin negative dude. what the f is that article?


Posted by: NigerianCane | November 09, 2009 at 12:26 PM


It's called Objectivity ... Seriously, lighten up.

"Gator Bowl on one side, Chick a filet on the other."

May not have an ACC trophy but the []_ _[] does have SWAGGER. I will give you that...man that SWAGGER is something else!

Wow, green attacking Canes fans

Posted by: Clean Blog = Happy Blog | November 09, 2009 at 04:11 PM

http://www.amazon.com/Cane-Mutiny-Hurricanes-Overturned-Establishment/dp/0451212975

I stand for freedom …
you stand in the way …

STAND MY GROUND

1 2 »

The comments to this entry are closed.