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Champs Sports Bowl thoughts

ORLANDO -- About to head out on the Florida Turnpike to get back in time for tonight's basketball game at the BankUnited Center. But before I take off I just wanted to share a few thoughts on the Canes' 20-14 loss to Wisconsin.

The same problems that hurt UM all season -- except interceptions -- turned out to be what did the Canes in against the Badgers.

> The Hurricanes were simply manhandled up front. No, Jacory Harris wasn't at his best. But he was also under serious pressure the entire night. He was sacked five times and hit on about 10 other pass attempts. It's hard for a quarterback to get in any sort of rhythm when the other team has you on the run. Here's the bottomline, UM gave up 35 sacks this season. That's far too many. 

After the game, Orlando Franklin snickered when I asked him how good Wisconsin's front seven was. Sorry O, but you have to give the Badgers credit. Franklin might not have been the problem Tuesday night, but we all know the Canes' six man rotation on the offensive line this year was not tip top by any means. Matt Pipho was the starting right tackle all season. Pipho will make a great doctor one day. But he should have never been the starting right tackle on this team. He was a role player thrust into a starting role because UM didn't get the job done in recruiting offensive linemen in year's past and the young guys that were here simply weren't ready. It will be interesting to see who steps up this spring. Brandon Washington, Ben Jones and Jermaine Johnson are all guys we've heard a lot of good things about. It's time to see what they can really do.

> The second biggest problem this team had all season was getting to the quarterback on defense. Tuesday, Wisconsin's Scott Tolzien had all day to throw the football. Yes, UM sacked him once. But three quarterback hurries aren't enough. UM defensive line coach Clint Hurtt expected his team to do a much better job before the season began. But it just felt like this unit never really got going. Other than some decent work by Joe Joseph and Curtis Porter against the run and the occassional big plays from freshman Olivier Vernon and sophomore Marcus Robinson, the only consistent performer was Allen Bailey. And he was shuffled from tackle to end to back to tackle far too often. All in all, simply a disappointing season from Miami's front four. The Canes definitely need strong returns from Marcus Forston and Adewale Ojomo next year and Hurtt's guys need to do a better job winning one-on-one battles.

> The third biggest problem UM had all year, which showed itself again Tuesday, was defending the middle of the field. How many times did we see receivers and tight ends get open for key first downs this year against this dfense? Far too many. Wisconsin ate up the Canes in the interior and converted more than a few third and longs. As good as Colin McCarthy and Darryl Sharpton were this season, they were always a step behind in pass coverage and they didn't get enough help from Randy Phillips or Vaughn Telemaque at safety. Defensive coordinator John Lovett did a great job turning UM's run defense around this season. He consider this and his pass rush the primary offseason problems to work on and fix.

> Now, while you all might not be in the mood to hear anything positive about this season after last night's disappointing loss, I think you should take a second to cool off before reflecting on the season or demanding Randy  Shannon's head on a platter. The facts are this program got better. UM won nine games, two more than last year. Four players made the All-ACC First Team. The Canes only had one a year ago.

Is Miami back? No. But I think we need to stop worrying about declaring if Miami back. I'm sorry to tell you this, but the Canes won't be back until they are at least playing for a national championship. They aren't back until they win a conference championship. They aren't back until a starter can go down and the backup can be just as capable of carrying out that job. Here's the bottomline: Miami is better, but they need more depth and more player development from these coaches. I'm not saying everyone on this staff might be the right guy for the job. But the Canes are getting better. And they have to continue that trend this offseason and in 2010.


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I agree. They improved and they need to continue to improve. That is how I will judge. I am very disappointed in not getting 10 wins though. We are in a similar position right now as we were in 1999. Lets hope we do as well as we did in 2000 and 2001 in the next couple years.

Great news about Hank and better news about everyone. I agree last night was bad but the season went well and hey if we win two more games next year that makes us conference champs. Hope the lines are improved but I think we have a solid foundation for a run or two.

I really miss Art Kehoe though

hold me Manny

I agree with most of what u said, but before the loss everyone was sayin 10 wins puts us in a position to compete for a title next year? How good are we? We definitely are better, but we have a lot of work to do.

Manny thank you for the new update.

But the fact remains that this team is poorly coached. How can it be that the team has at least three olinemen that are better then pephole and not starting. You say they r not ready, but that is the coaching staff fault. Not preparing the kids to get in.

I remember FSU playing freshmen last year on the line and they did great. are you telling me that their olinemen are better then ours. Maybe thier coaching staff is.

Randy needs to sit down and really think about bringing in a coach who can get the line ready for next year.

The team will lose three starters next year and those kids that r not ready will have to step in. I feel sorry for J12 he better get roller blades and learn how to scramble cuase next year he will be doing it alot.

Now for your other comment. I am as excited as anyone that THE U got nine wins but lets be realistics here. This team could have easily be 6-7. Fsu catches that pass one loss. Wake holds on, another loss. OU fully healthy big loss.

The ball rolled our way in those three games. But the team has alot of work to get before we face Ohio State next year. If not we could be 1-2 by our fourth game. Pitt will not roll our.

Hopefully Whipple and the offense will grow in 2010. Of the 53 plays we only ran the ball 14 times...I just don't get it. I feel as though we don't have enough plays installed to throw the ball that much. It seems like it's always the same 20 or so plays, with hardly any adjustments. Maybe I'm wrong.

Manny...great assessment! Hope we get some O-line help with the new recruits and Shannon needs to make some changes in his coaching staff. The U will be back next year!


The Miami Hurricanes will never be back on till the administration gets its head out of its tookus and brings in a qualified head coach who knows how to pick coordinators. Far too long we have settled for mediocrity and its unfortunate that Randy Shannon will continue to give us 3 and 4 loss seasons. Never contending for the ACC and just enough to keep him around. We can thank the administration for going the cheap route, it seems thats what they do best. This year is even more evident that Shannon's one #1 recruiting class was a fraud. We dont even rank in the top 10 according to both recruiting services. What happened to locking down south florida? Seems the Gators can come down and take whomever they want (i.e. the studs from Dwyer High School). Shannon needs to go!

Manny - I agree with you on the areas of concern but I think a lot of this can be rectified by having a better balance on offense. We have great RB's but hardly give them the ball. When Jacory is playing poorly or getting a lot of pressure, we don't give him any relief.

I disagree- Miami fans have the right to be angry at the "leader" of this team--- Randy Shannon. Several reasons:

- Manny, you missed this... the running game. How many bloggers on here. How many sports reporters. How many of us have asked for Damine Berry to be the feature runner? That he should get 20-25 carries a game? Instead, in his stubborn, arrogant, I-listen-to-no-one-but-the-voices-inside-my-head, Randy Shannon, gave the ball to Javarris james. Coop had a great outside run for the first TD- then... nothing. The blocking was awful. The OL was pathetic.

- This team ought to be ashamed to lose to a "slow" Big Ten team! How many times did I see this on blogs? Slow Big Ten team. I mean are you kidding me? How many Florida athletes are on these teams? But there is no way that there can be any excuse for how the D played and how badly the Offense played. That said, The D did give JH a last chance. his passes were off all night when the really counted- on 3rd down. What does it matter if he throws a 45 yd bomb, later to follow it with 3 incompletions?

Lovett--- Can you explain to me, how a football coach, cannot see what we the fans were seeing? That the inside zone was wide open in the middle? Over and over? That those 2 slow TEs were so wide open, that I, a slow fat man, could have caught all of those passes thrown to me? Why not adjust? YOU DID NOTHING TO ADJUST!

Allen Bailey- Where were you? You are no N. Suh. What one sack?
Hurries shmurries- we hurried and the QB made first downs.

Recruiters: Time to stop recruiting so many WRS and rbs- We need O line men and D-tackles.

This to me was shameful. I cant believe how many fans were there supporting this poorly coached team. UM fans were in full force. What a shame. I can't believe they lost this way, to this team.

Did they not practice enough?

I'll say it agian- RAndy Shannon- youre stubborness, your arrogance, is hurting this team.

manny- please comment on Coop's injury/

U call out pipho who overachieved man up call out Harris who got worse as the season went along Shannon is outcoached eveygame did u see next yrs schedule after the first 4 games we stunk but what will the u do reward mediocricy with a contract extenton do ur job and maybe hacks like me won't have to ps let's see how pipho career compares to Harris shannons or yours my monies on pipho

Getting manhandled by Wisconsin does not bode well for September's game at Ohio State. This team is not going to have much confidence to draw from playing in Columbus.

A second straight lousy bowl game makes me wonder about how Shannon and the coaching staff prepare the team during a month off.

Jacory was far too indecisive scrambling. It looked like he could've picked up first downs if he made up his mind to run to the first-down marker on the sideline.

Strange play calling last night. There were about 5 gadget plays in the first quarter and then none for the rest of the night. We also threw the ball far less on first down than we had been. And why throw a 30-yard pass on third-and-2? Just pick up a first down and move the chains.

Can anyone on defense cover the tight end?

" but they need more depth and more player development from these coaches. I'm not saying everyone on this staff might be the right guy for the job" That's the understatement of the year. They don't even have the right players on the field in some cases.

Good job Manny! Thanks for your insight today and throughout the season.

Time to move on and focus on UM basketball, then UM baseball.


I've been a fan since the mid 80's so I've seen some very frustrating losses: Fiesta Bowl losses to Penn St. and Ohio St. literally kept me from sleeping for days. But I don't think I have ever been more disappointed that I was last night. I was convinced that this team was primed for a top 10 preseason ranking and legit Nat'l title run. Now, I'm left with zero confidence in this coaching staff and players.

What we saw last night was a physically superior Wisc team push us around on both sides of the ball. Their coaching staff took the extra preparation time and developed a sound game plan of running the football, throwing the ball to wide open TEs and pressuring Harris on D. What exactly was our game plan?

My thoughts:

1. Miami was woefully unprepared for this game. The players/coaches looked as if they failed to watch any film on Wisc. Newsflash, Wisc did not change schemes or run different sets, they ran the ball and used the TEs all season. They also got good pressure on opposing QBs. With all the extra time to prepare, this is what we get?

2. Harris was terrible. Yes, the O-line didn't play well but we hit Tolzien too. The difference is that Tolzien showed poise, stood in the pocket and delivered the ball. Harris was clearly rattled early. He appeared scared to turn the ball over and his ball floated on too often. Simply put, he was bad.

3. The D didnt play great, but they were decent enough to keep us in the game. But, seriously, our LBs and secondary are awful in pass coverage. They have been all year. Wisc saw this on film and exploited it with the TEs. The most frustrating thing is that we let the TEs get off the line and often didn't even cover them. Just pathetic coaching that we didn't adjust at halftime to take the TEs away. Pathetic.

4. Obviously, we were beaten badly upfront. I'm at a lost for coming up with reasons why next year will be different. It'll be the same players and coaches. Shannon can't use the excuse that we're young anymore. Very disappointing.

Come on already. This app. Sucks. No comments that's pathetic.

Two things I will say here, 1) Miami may and probably never will be back. The things that were done in the 80's and early 90's will probably never be seen again. Other colleges know how good the talent is down here, plus the players have seen that you can go other places now. Miami will be good, but I don't think anyone in college football will ever be that dominant again.

2) PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE keep Randy Shannon. You don't have to go crazy and give him a 20 year contract extension, but give the guy a couple more years. Let his recruiting classes become seniors, let's hope we get some stability in terms of coaching and schemes, and let's keep improving. He's on the right track, 2 game improvement every year. If you don't like that, then you are a fool. I, for one, am looking forward to next year when these guys are a little more mature, stronger, older, smarter, more experienced and hopefully we can have a little luck with health. Then we'll see where things stand.

All in all with the season over, the CANES did finish 9-4 which is another improvement over last year. We could have easily picked up 1 more win had we not had so many injuries on the defensive side of the ball. Last season we had a bunch of true freshmen starting. This year we have sophmores starting, but our backups are mainly freshmen. The biggest difference next year is the fact that, we will have a lot of juniors as starters. Our backups will also be seasoned sophmores with extensive playing time.
College foot ball is a cycle. As Randy Shannon continues to recruit talent as he has the last 3 years our starters and backups become more experienced.

Imo I think the CANES will have a shot at winning the ACC next year, however I think it will be 2011 before they compete for a national championship.

It was a long night sitting in the stands of that miserable stadium. Outcoached, out muscled out finessed. Terrible way to end a season, which ended up with mor questions than answers.

Heart goes out to Coop. That field was a joke. Canes were slipping and sliding all night long and huge chunks of sod were continuously being replaced throughout the game. Not that it mattered because the Badgers were all over the Canes, less the first 23 seconds and last 2 minutes.

What happened to the bubble screen that was open all night long? I hate to end the season on such a frustrating note, but as one NFL coach is noted for saying, "It is what it is."

UM lost a golden opportunity to get the type of recruits needed to resolve the issues noted above with both UF and FSU having an uncertain coaching situation and having lost to a lesser team is very negative.

I like Randy but he hasn't won a bowl and can't beat Butch Davis, which places his coaching ability to win the big one in question.....

i live socal and it is hard to see the canes take a step forward than two steps back. why didn't miami just speard the offense out to four and five reciver formation? I doubt Wisconsin has four good db's. miami was out coached last night. maybe randy is not the man for the job? he will get an extension put fired within 4 years. miami need someone like butch davis back or tuberville.

great right up Manny. I know everyone is down in the dumps about how we stunk up the joint last night but they will learn to sieze the moment. Now is not the time to bash all the coaches and the players who everybody praised during the year, but encourage them to go hard this offseason and get better. Show me a championship team that didn't take some painfull losses along the way to the top. Anybody remember the Gayturds in 2007, they got their ass kicked by Michigan and it propelled them to the chip the next season. All is not lost people. I 'm not trying to minimize the loss but I would rather have that bad taste in my mouth to further motivate me than listning to the media kiss your ass all offseason. As for Wisconsin they came to play and we didn't. Warning to all Miami foes: you better get ready, because my gut feeling tells me this team is ready to take the next step and sometimes in sports it is the loss not the win that helps you get there.

I cant believe I sat and froze to watch that craplive

Oh and notice I had a comment and didnt say FIRST

I hope that O line develops and guys get comfortable during spring, we're losing Fox, Trump etc...its going to be a big priority to fix that....D line will be fine when everyone gets back healthy, the pressure on the QB will be back next year....We need to play with the mentality that 'we gone kick ya'll -SS today" every game...get nasty and show no mercy! go canes...looking forward to a great 2010 season

Bravo Manny, couldnt agree with you more. Even though i am steaming over the loss last night, things are going in the right direction. And, we have a lot to look forward to from these young players. Good luck to the players entering the draft and those doing things elsewhere.

"Look for Randy Shannon's new contract to be finalized shortly.

He will get a four- or five-year deal with a raise from his reported $1 million annual salary." (Per Barry Jackson's column)

Oh God, no. This means that we are setting ourselves up for an expensive buyout ---- AGAIN. It happened with Perry Clark, Larry Coker, and soon (mark my words), it will happen with Randy Shannon. Why is this athletic program so quick to reward mediocrity? There's just no killer instinct anymore- and it starts at the top. Just a bunch of nice guys playing with other people's money.

We allegedly don't have the money to lure big-time head coaches, yet we'll throw that same money away on mindless extensions.

And here I thought the loss to Wisconsin would be the worst news of the day. Sickening.

MAN-HANDLED...ALL I CAN SAY...THEY DIDN'T WANT TO PLAY THEY WANTED TO SPEND MORE $ AT BESTBUY. I LOVE MY CANES, but the writing was on the wall...no WRs begging for the ball, no Damien Berry until the 4th qtr...no protection, J HARRIS doesn't want or know when to scramble...NO pressure on a QB, THAT'S NOT THAT GREAT...WE GOT NEXT YR...I'll pull with eveything I got, but I knew when you already start talking "10 wins will mean alot"...before you've even played...it's nothing but fuel to the fire for Wisc or anyone...just play the game and stay focused. U must bring it on every play all day.

I couldn't agree more. Of course this team has freshman and sophmores playing everywhere and this is not NCAA Basketball where freshman win championships. We do need offensive line help and with 3 freshman and 2 new recruits plus the guys we have, I would think that will happen. Offense will only get better as line gets better but the playmakers are there and will be back for several years. The defense is a concern but depth has hurt more then anything and injuries.

Manny, well said. Last night clearly showed this team has a ways to go and they desperately need to improve on both sides of the line of scrimmage. They never had a pass rush all year. Its amazing Wisconsin only scored 20 points. Bitter taste to end the season with such an ugly performance. Hopefully it will provide some motivation to these coaches and players for next year. Winning at OSU would be sweet revenge against the Big 10.

2010 our year

Fire Shannon!

Coops knee is very bad according to the AP. I knew it, watching replays. This sks. Coop I hope you have it in you to rehab it like Willis Mcgahee did. You'll see the NFL, butthe next 1-2 yrs will be a long road,son. My prayers to youo. thanks for everything.

This add insult to injury. Shades of 2001. I'm disgusted with this team. I'm disgusted by how they were manhandled.

If I was head coach, I'd cut every dang soft player there and start conditioning January. This has got to end. And if you dont have swag dont even come to UM. To me, Randy Shannon lost his '80s Um, swag. He's under Sha nay nay's grip, and he cant do anything.

This team didnt play like UM does. How is it that a Um team has such a hard time getting to the QB? Warren Sapp must be vomiting!

I cant bare to watch anymore UM games. I am sick.

Manny, can you confirm or comment on the following link? The AP is reporting that Cooper may be out all of next season. I feel terrible for the guy.

Is it just me or has this team not even improved in all the time shannons been there. They were a dropped pass vs. florida state and a miracle against wake forest away from 7-5 again. They always burn there timeouts inappropriately and are just making the same mistakes game after game. They have superior talent to the teams they loose to.

This is a result of bad coaching. Shannon has no passion on the sidelines and looks more like a fan then head coach. I know the guy is a great miami guy, but he's just not fit to run a major college football team.

The university needs to PAY a good coach to come here. There is soo much talent in south florida that anybody would be able to tap into it just like shannon. And he's overrated as a recruiter, but thats another issue.

Time to get a coach.
Who's going to start firerandyshannon.com?!
Can't find coaches at the discount stores Shalala.
PS: Thank God Randy Phillips is gone!

Hurtt has to go.

Fire Shannon, this record is as good as it gets, the guy has no fire, just a blank stair. We should go get Leach, at least he knows how to run a offense!!

Three years in and we're mediocre at best; we eek out wins against the Wakes and UVAs of the world, dominate the FAMUs, have our 1 big "the U is back" game (GA Tech this year, V Tech last year), and then we get completely blasted by top tier teams that are hungrier, tougher, and better coached. That is the total summary, straight up. Face it, Meyer got his program going within 3 years as did Saban. Carroll got it going in 3-4 as did Mack Brown and Stoops. If you have it, you have it pretty early, and if you don't have it, it also shows early. Unfortunately Shannon does not have it and you know it.

Great evaluation, One question why no improvement on defending the short pass routes all season long, wake, clemson, fsu, wi. and so on killed the defense on short passes and time of positon that goes with that, until that is corrected it is impossibe to be a real good team.

I'm not happy they lost, but I think it may actually be a good thing so that the player's heads now won't be so big going in to the offseason, listening to all the hype of how they're back. They're not there yet. This team needs to toughen up in the offseason. 2010 season. Now there are no excuses! Yes they need more depth, but the core of this team will be back, they're all in their 3rd year playing together. Hopefully both coordinators stick around, which would be the first time since 2004 that UM has had both offensive and defensive coordinators comming back, and Randy Shannon, in his 4th year as a head coach will hopefully put it all together. I still expect this team to be playing in the ACC Championship game next year. Anything less will be a disappoiinting season.

Manny thanks for all you hard work covering this season. What is your opinion on the postion coaches for Miami? Does it need to be any off season changes made or would you retain the whole staff?

The truth hurts to hear sometimes, but facing the facts is the only way to get better. Your analysis is on mark and clear as a bell to anyone with two eyes and an honest opinion. Hope we didn't lose any fence-sitters in the recruiting war from that sad ending, because we need these kids on the O and D lines more than ever.

Hurtt is a great recruiter, but horrible d-line coach. The U needs a qualified d-line coach and linebackers that can cover.

I'll give Stoutland a pass until 2011. Lets see what he can do with all the talent coming in on the o-line before asking for his head.

McGriff is only on staff because he's another great recruiter. I say hire a db's coach that can coach and recruits will still come.

Ugly game and a downer but oh well. All i want to know is whats up with those BUTT UGLY uniforms????? Please tell me they are not going to wear them again. Who the hell approved it?

all those guys that were part of the documentary need to be there as coaches. robert bailey, randal hill, lamar thomas, michael irvin! these guys bleed orange and green, they made the glory days and they need to bring it back.

I really feel as though our special teams coach really is the one who needs to be changed out is Don Solinger still around?

Manny I think you give J. Harris and Randy Shannon a Pass because you have to. Guess you have your reasons. I have been a Canes fan since 1970 and I don't have to be as soft.

Randy Shannon is a good recruiter, and he does require disipline but that is where his coaching ability ends.

1st Qtr - cooper gets 8 yds on first down then you call a half back pass. Why not just tell Wisc your scared to death of them and you need trick plays to try and stay in the game. Is that the Great new play calling that will win the ACC and contend for the National Championship??

O line, and D line are pityful. 3, 4, 5 star recruits who can't win one on one battles?? Must be the coaching??

The play in the defensive backfield was painful to watch and they got cut-up on passing downs by an average RUNNING team.

J. Harris is a scared child who wants to protect his stats hoping for an NFL career. If he doesn't loosen up and play for the "U" instead listening to his advisors who don't want int's and don't want him to try to hard and get hurt he may never help UM.

There are alot of things wrong that are hidden by two more wins. UM needs to upgrade there decision makers as much as they need depth at every position!!

Everyone says how Butch Davis would fix our wows, well if you look at it davis and shannon have A LOT of similarities.
1.Both are great recruiters
2.Both are so-so game day coaches
3.Both inherited a team with issues and a lack of talent due to bad recruiting by the previous coach
4. Both slowly improved the team (people forget, but we wallowed for a good 4-5 years under Davis he didn't just come right in and become our savior


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