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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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Steve Spurrier apologized for South carolina's terrible bowl performance...

Why can't Randy Shannon and/or Kirby Hocutt do the same? The thousands of fans that went over to that dump called the Citrus Bowl stadium in freezing cold weather deserve an apology.

Although the fans arent technically entitled to any information dissemination by this University, I feel that the communication skills of this coach leaves many of us in the dark, and that is not something many of us (which contribute $ to the school, and boosters, etc) appreciate.

check out my new canes blog @ www.TheUnews.com

LOL, i can't believe i actually complimented you previously a couple weks ago, what a joke, there is all kinds of news on the gators recruiting, and their blog here on the herald is updated daily, and here we are late sunday jan3 and, the last UM entry is about how the "writer" is about to drive home, and is thrilled with 9-4 and getting blasted by wisconsin, never answers a single question by anyone here about anything, recruits, injuries, etc. I don't know why people bother begging:"Hey, Manny what do you think-----??, with all due respect do your job!

everyone on this board needs to RELAX!!!!!

this team was plauged by injuries the whole season the team that was on the feild was not a good reflection of what direction this program is takeing we are improveing drastically next year we will win at least 11 games and we will be a national championship contender we lost so many starters to injury this season that only against george tech where we ever at full strength and everyone saw how great the team looked then

btw Jacory has been injured for the better part of the season wait until next season when he is fully recoverd and he will make everyone remeber why he was considered a heisman trophy canidadte in the begining of this season

I'm not sure what we need, but I'm hoping for the best. Mediocrity is no fun.

how come my post dont get on here anymore,is it because this paper hates to here the truth that randy shannon stinks as a head coach and now the guy everyone called the big recruiter cant compete with the rest of the schools in the state.this guy has turned the hurricanes into a weak depression.enjoy the 5 titles because the crew running this football program stinks from top to bottom.sorry the truth hurts!

What's up with the comments still not posting? This blows.

this blog is dead

for all the number crunchers who drool over stats- yeah you in ESPN. Yeah you Luginbill, Schad, Kiper:

Chris Johnson was a what star recruit coming out of high school?
Answer: 2 star
How many 5 star recruits out of high school ran for 2000 yds in the NFL this year?
Answer: none.

And that has nothing with "developing players". These kids were studs, but nobody saw that. Even the pseudo intellectuals who get paid to analyze this stuff.

Good job Wilis Mcgahee.
What's the streak at now with cane players scoring TDs in the NFL?

Does anyone know what the prospects are for Edgerrin James returning to the NFL?

Whats the status on Clinton Portis?

Only one former cane ran for >1000 yds this year Frankie Gore. You go boy.

Willis had 5.0 yds per carry. I can't see why they dont use him more. Maybe to keep him fresh for the playoffs?

Andre Johnson- stud. >1500 yds this year.

How many former canes will be in the Pro bowl this year?

I think we're on the right track for national prominence. Look at 1999, the Canes had a 9-4 record that year also. Then in 2000, we had just that one loss that kept us out of the NCG against Oklahoma when we got screwed out of it and they let Florida State in. Then we got our 5th ring the next year. Randy Shannon is out to build a program, not a overnight turnaround like you all would like to see. We just need a couple more playmakers and we'll be set. We're improving every year under Shannon not declining like we did with Coker. Keep doing it the right way Randy, we'll be alright.

Was at the game. Froze my butt off for four quarters with nothing to yell about. The "U" never showed up for that game. It seemed as if they were sleep walking. No emotion, no fire, no swagger. They looked out manned and out coached. A month to prepare and this is the best they can do? I realy thought this team would come out with some fire after the 30 and 30 All About The U Special and the chance at a possible 10 win season. What we got as fans was the total opposite. One thing we know about this team is that they can't play in the rain nor in the cold. Hell if the "U" would have showed some of the mental toughness the Dolphins displayed this year the "U" would have won 11 games. I remember a time when it was the "U" who had the mental toughness the Dolphins realy lacked. With next years schedule this team could very well lose another 4 games. WHATS UP EDD. GOOOO! CANES!

Thoughts from a Hurricane fan who was at the Champs Bowl game:
1) The Wisconsin offense had a good game plan in its passing scheme: the quarterback would drop back 4 to 5 steps, then quickly throw to the middle of the field. These quick 4 to 5 step drops , then release quickly gave little chance to generate a pass rush from a defense which was already having difficulty getting to the quarterback. In this case the defense had to do one of two things: either bring the blitz more frequently or rush 3 linemen while dropping everyone else in pass coverage. Out of these two defenses the better plan would have been to rush 3 and drop the remainders in pass coverage. The reason why I believe the blitz would not work well was that the quarterback was use to quickly releasing the ball having faced the big-ten aggressive defenses. In addition, what was most glaringly troubling was that the Wisconsin quarterback always went to his primary receiver who was always left open down the middle of the field. I do not believe the Wisconsin quarterback ever had to look for his secondary receiver since his primary receiver was always available (open).
2. The Hurricane offense had no consistent rushing game. This offense as does every other offense plays better when there is a consistent running game. Too many running plays were sent up the middle, not enough power sweeps were sent or counter-plays were attempted although I'm not sure these plays would have helped either.
Good luck to the Hurricanes next year!

The only way you will get full support from fans is if Shannon is a white guy. Compound that with the fact that Miami fans have very short patience with any losses and you have a recipe for disaster. Not to mention Jacory getting the same lost, unprepared, and unintelligent knocks against him. All of these knocks have existed against Black leaders forever.

110%. Incredible post. Incredible.

Thank you for calling out the people that wear their entitlement on their sleeve. The people calling for Randy Shannon's head right now only care about wearing the Miami t-shirts, and sporing the Miami license plates. People that want to fire Randy for a quick fix, or think Tubberville, or any top-dog coach would want to come back, don't understand the longevity. They have instant gratification problems. They don't have their own life success, so they need Miami to be great RIGHT NOW, so they feel successful.

Randy is on the right track. The people that are following the DETAILS, the real things that matter, understand that there has been progress. They understand what it means for the LIFE of Miami if Shannon is successful in 5 years. 5 years is nothing, when Randy is young enough to coach for 20 years.

Look around college football. Everyone is jumping. Randy won't jump. If he turns this around in 5 years, he will have success that lasts for 20.

In 2007, Randy had to straighten out the discipline of the team and establish a requiting class of skilled players. People that could make an impact at the scoring positions.

In 2008, he had to start filling in the gaps.

In 2009, Randy said, this team would be great IF we stayed healthy. He KNEW our team was young and the depth chart was shallow. He was spot on. When we got injured, we fell. With a schedule as hard as we opened with, the second half of the season was ENTIRELY dependent on the depth chart. We had NONE.

Look at our 2010 class. Randy is recruiting the depth chart. He KNOWS what we lack. He has said that we have the potential to be special if our young guys step up and dedicate themselves in the off-season. He knows we're filling in the depth chart, that we can handle injuries better.

But the people behind in the depth chart will still be young.

2011 the depth chart will be stacked, our position coaches and coordinators will be established. THAT'S when you can judge Randy.

Until then, if you're bitching, you're only thinking about your t-shirt.

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