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USF thoughts

TAMPA -- I've got one thing I need to get out of the way: Man, I was wrong.

I didn't think the Canes would be able to win Saturday's game without left tackle Jason Fox. Turns out, I didn't have nearly enough faith in Orlando Franklin and I had far too much respect for George Selvie and Jason Pierre-Paul. 

Orlando Franklin  Franklin, making his first career start at left tackle in place of Fox, didn't just "fill-in." He dominated Selvie, a two-time All-American and -- with the aid of freshman Brandon Washington (who made his first start at left guard) -- kept Jacory Harris' new all-white uniform pretty clean all afternoon. 

Not only did Franklin help UM's offense roll up 240 yards on the ground and another 161 through the air by protecting Jacory's blind side, he may have answered a major question heading into the offseason: Who replaces Fox when he's gone.

Afterward, Franklin admitted to us he was nervous, but only because center AJ Trump opened his eyes in a team meeting Wednesday. "It was pretty much the biggest game of my life," Franklin said. "I've played in big games at guard, but I know what to do at guard. I never played tackle before. I was going against an end that was an All-American. I never really thought about it being the biggest game of my life until AJ Trump said it in a meeting a few days ago. I couldn't sleep at night because of him."

Maybe now Canes fans can sleep easy knowing Franklin can handle being the starting left tackle in 2010.

A few more thoughts/notes...

-- I didn't get a chance to speak with Jason Fox after the game, but he gave me a fist bump as he was heading to the team bus and nodded when I asked him if he was feeling better. UM is still saying Fox missed practice this week with an illness, but WQAM reported Saturday what I had been told by a source that Fox was in the hospital this week with an irregular heartbeat. Franklin said he's hoping Fox will be back for the bowl game. But at this point you have to be concerned. Fox has made 47 starts in his career at UM. He was really looking forward to moving into second place all-time behind William Joseph (50). 

-- Hats off to UM's defense, who despite having a little trouble handling the elusive BJ Daniels in the third quarter, once again had another solid performance. UM hasn't given up more than one touchdown on defense in each of their final four games. Consider that as big a reason as any why they've finished this November 3-1 as opposed to 0-4 (2007) and 1-3 (2008) in Randy Shannon's first two seasons.

-- Linebacker Sean Spence, who returned a week ago to only play on special teams for one play, had a big sack in the third quarter in his first real action since hurting his hamstring against Clemson last month. It was his only tackle of the game in limited action. Spence told me afterward he expects to be healthy and have a bigger role in the bowl game.

-- Hats off to Leonard Hankerson who has put together the best season by a receiver at UM in a while. With his 44 catches, Hank recorded the most grabs by a receiver since Kellen Winslow's 60 catches in 2003. His 774 yards on the season are the most since Santana Moss in 1999. Maybe he will head to the NFL after this season. 

Comments

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What I want to know is who I should root for next week? Does a GTech or Clemson loss benefit or bowl situation more?

Manuel, I was surprised when you started showing loss of faith in Shannon and the program. If at the beginning of the season they would had offered me the same record as USC and LSU and better than Oklahoma, Notre Dame and Georgia I would had signed the contract. Every in life is relative don’t forget that one.

Hats of to the Canes on this win. They went 4-0 against schools in FL this year witch should help in recruits. Good job of over coming injuries all year long. Can't wait for the bowl game.

That's how your supposed to take care of a team. A good win...let's see where we end up.

Randy Shannon should be out there recruiting. Franklin did a great job yesterday.

dang why didnt berry start all year he is by far our best rb... jj 4 years of softness he might be related to ej but not even close to the same mold and coop he might be decent if he didnt stop at the line scrimmage everytime and shuffle his feet around...he never hits the whole hard and almost always goes down on 1st contact...other than that being out coached at VT only real negatives of the season... clemson lost spiller showed out...nc lost all jacory and his arm

Any news on Randy Shannon getting an extension?

Decent record, good recruits, and no off-the-field issues...I can't see how he doesn't get extended.

I don't think he's the man to win us a championship, but I don't see how he loses his job.

Please upgrade some of the position coaches and the special teams coach. Pannunzio isn't a bad TE coach...he's done well with Jimmy Graham and Dedrick Epps.

Are we going to be able to keep Whipple?

Next Year's Schedule is going to be rough again: We are at Ohio ST, Pitt, GT, Clemson, Duke and Virgina. AT home we get FSU, VT, UNC, Maryland, Florida A&M and USF.

Good win for the Canes. Haven't quite decided about the new uniforms tho. Need to see what the alternating color schemes will be.

My concern is how the team uses time-outs so quickly, especially in the second half of the games. Not sure who is calling the time outs, but Shannon, Whipple & Jacory need to discuss ways to improve on this. We should not be starting the 4th quarter with no time-outs.

Now just need to see what bowl we'll play in, and try to get everyone healthy and motivated.

played great, but new UNIFORMS sucked!!! we need our 04, colors back

I'm more worried about Franklin bolting for the NFL than I am Hank. If Franklin proves to scouts again in the bowl game that he can play LT (perhaps RT in the pro's), his stock could start to soar.

Come back next year, Franklin, prove you can play LT all year, and you'll be first rounder.

Hopefully Bailey stays as well, and we could have a shot at the MNC.

What about Berry bolting for the league? Eerily reminiscent of EJ and his unknown status until the UCLA game and then the bowl gane against I think NC State.

This kid is a JR and owes nothing to no one. In fact he is by far our best back. He should have been on the field long ago no matter what position he changed from (safety). The only reason he's not running for 200yrds is opportunity...otherwise he gets it.

I think he's that good and if a clueless idiot like me can see it I'm sure I'm not the first one to figure out this kid has the making of an NFL horse. Lets hope i'm wrong but and even if I'm not we still have great backs young backs coming. This kids a stud and fans may want to start thinking he may get the call.

I hope these guys decide to stay. Canedita, where can we get next year's schedule?

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