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Extra points and observations: Ohio State

Now that the Canes have wrapped up a 36-24 loss to the second-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes, here are few final post-game thoughts: 

Jacory Harris  > The Canes proved they aren't ready to compete for a national championship yet...
All week long this game was presented as an opportunity for this program to put itself back among the elite in college football. Had the Canes played better, they might have been able to say that even in a loss. But it's the way they lost with the turnovers, missed tackles, penalties and mistakes that proved to me that this team is still not ready to make the jump up. Here are the facts: Randy Shannon's record against Top 25 teams is now 1-6. His record away from Sun Life Stadium (those would be road games or bowl games) is 8-12. Only one of those wins was against a ranked opponent (FSU in last year's season opener). Point the finger at the coach as much as you want to, but at what point do the players have to start delivering? 

> Jacory Harris' interception woes continue... I put a lot of the blame for Harris' 17 interceptions last season on his injured thumb. Safe to say it's fair now to just criticize his decision making. Ohio State is obviously a very good defensive team and they deserve credit for the plays they made and the confusing coverage schemes they ran (dropping defensive linemen back into coverage on zone blitzes). But Harris is a junior now. The pacifier is out of his mouth. Travis Benjamin didn't help Harris out on two of his four interceptions Saturday, literally deflecting one pick right into a defenders hands. But the interception that bothered me the most was the one Harris threw with Benjamin's back turned to him. Both players messed up. But Harris said himself he should have never thrown the ball. The bigger issue here isn't that he manned up for his mistakes after the game. It's that he's still making them. Offensive coordinator Mark Whipple shares in that responsibility. So does the fact Harris' doesn't have anybody pushing him for the starting job. Let's not forget three QBs left this program in the last three years. Maybe it's a little easier to take chances when you know you're the only guy who is going to play.

> Lamar Miller...  The talented redshirt freshman continues to show us why his teammates rave about him. His 88-yard kickoff return for a touchdown was impressive. So, was the fact the distance between himself and the Buckeyes chasing after him continued to widen as he sped away downfield. It's a shame he isn't being utilized more. He had only three carries for eight yards and one catch for eight yards to go with one other kick return (12 yards). Memo to Mr. Whipple: No. 6 needs to touch the ball more than six times a game.

> Defensive stops in red zone... The Canes' offense didn't do the defense any favors Saturday with their turnovers. Same with the kickoff coverage team, which gave up three returns of over 40 yards. But you had to like the way the defense stiffened in the red zone. Ohio State had nine drives inside the Canes' red zone Saturday and only three resulted in touchdowns. UM forced them to go for field goals five times. That's improvement. I also liked the fact the defense had 11 tackles for loss in the game. 

> The rest of the day on defense...
Sean Spence had a career-high 11 tackles and couldn't do much to stop the 18-yard touchdown pass Brandon Saine made on a perfect throw from Terelle Pryor. Spence played well and I don't think the Buckeyes threw once to Brandon Harris' side of the field. But the rest of their homeboys on defense? Not so much. Shannon guessed after Saturday's game that Ohio State had at least 70 yards after first contact. That equates to missed tackles galore. Ohio State ran for 181 yards -- Pryor picking up 113 of those on scrambles. Pryor was only 12 of 27 for 233 yards passing. But he found DeVier Posey for a 62-yard gain and Dan Herron for a 47-yard gain and orchestrated a 2-play, 80-yard scoring drive that took 36 seconds to complete. That's not good defense. Neither was just one sack and zero turnovers.

> Special teams kickoff coverage... Miller and Travis Benjamin (79-yard punt return) might have become the first UM duo to return a kickoff and a punt return in the same game -- at least through the late 1970s anyway. But as nice as those returns were, the Canes have up a lot of field position on kick coverage. Matt Bosher also had a kick blocked and a 46-yarder he missed. I'm not upset with Bosher. He's missed a total of six field goals now in his career. But why does he continue to have to make the tackle on kickoff coverage? This isn't a new problem. 

> I said this before the game and I'll say it again: This loss wasn't crippling. UM can obviously go on to win the ACC title and the season would be deemed a success. This loss was just disconcerting because we saw much of the same mistakes we saw a year ago from a team that is supposed to be more mature and ready to win. As long as the Canes continue to improve, win the next two games on the road and make a strong push to the ACC title, Shannon and Harris don't have to worry about job security.

> It's officially time for UM's other receivers to start catching up to Leonard Hankerson

> Allen Bailey and Vaughn Telemaque need to start delivering bigger plays. Bailey hasn't had a sack since Halloween, that's a seven game stretch. Telemaque had four tackles Saturday. We're all still waiting for his first career interception and fumble recovery. 

> The injuries to Marcus Robinson and Curtis Porter could turn out to be huge. The one strength of this UM defense has is the depth on its defensive line. But the injuries are beginning to pile up.

> FYI, the Canes will be off this week until Thursday and Friday. 


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the defesnive line rotation needs to be adjsuted. how is it that your best lineman and perhaps best athlete Bailey is ot on the field on crucial plays? i understand resting but come on?
also its official the Northwestern 5 are a bust. Average at best. time to start looking at pennsylvania and texas boys randy not all great players coem from one school in Miami. What are the odds?

Noone is complaining that we lost on the road to the 2nd ranked team in the country. It's that we weren't beaten by them! We beat ourselves. Those picks didn't come under duress. The receivers dropped balls both in tight coverage and when they were wide open. Bosher, the best kicker in the country, missed a field goal and had one blocked. So little of this game had to do with Ohio State! That's what is frustrating. They didn't handle us...and we lost anyway! That's what makes you wonder about Shannon. I still think he's the right guy for us and we should let the year play out, but these losses are so ugly it is very frustrating, and it always seems like we're doing the dumbest things in them.

Blame Whipple? You're crazy...we couldn't run the ball so we had to throw.

The solution would've been to take Jacory out...but of course we drove every other QB away. Marve, Cook, and Smith. Maybe Marve did it to himself. But Cook and Smith?!?!

Cook might have been better than Jacory. He was smart enough to realize he graduated from the wrong HS.

Bridgewater is not a college level QB! At best he's a D-1 receiver or db, hopefully Stephen Morris will develop into something special...

I think it's pretty safe to write off this season. Winning the ACC (which we probably won't) wouldn't be much of an accomplishment this year given the quality of the conference. Knowing RS will be head coach, there are still no alternatives to Jacory at QB and we still can't put any pressure on opposing QB's gives me a pretty clear picture of what to expect the rest of this year: mediocrity. 8-4 or 7-5 playing in a weak conference.

Call that a bandwagon if you want. I prefer to think of it as being realistic about what to expect the rest of this year and hoping these problems eventually get resolved, starting with a new head coach. Either way, I know I am a "true fan".

Posted by: Rick S. | September 13, 2010 at 07:53 PM


Finally, a Cane fan that "GETS IT" ...

Posted by: Canesjunkie | September 14, 2010 at 11:06 AM

Cook is third string QB at Rice. Smith got yanked in his last game at Memphis after playing poorly and was replaced by a true freshman who tore it up. Smith probably lost his starting spot and his dad OWNS the team. We could not run the ball? Berry had 94 yards rushing and thats saying something. OSU has not given up 100 yards to a back going on two years. Whipple would not commit to it. Like I said people who really know anything about football are not overly concerend.

Relax and take a deep breath Cane fan ...

It's only going to get worse, and U know it.

Like I said gator fans need to worry about their team. We lost to the #2 team in the country at their house and made a game of it. The gators have looked BAD for 5 out of the 8 quarters of football they have played against WEAK teams. The gators have dropped 6 spots in the polls while going 2 - 0 while the Canes only dropped 5 spots after a loss. I wonder why that is?

Posted by: Soldy | September 14, 2010 at 11:31 AM

You have a lot in common with the players you root for...........

you are a loser. Straight loser.

Gatards are trash. You are a Gatard. Therefore, you are trash.

(Make sure you rely on your lack of imagination and post something along these lines).

Pig stalker; Pig troll.

94 yards...you're going to come on here talking about 94 yards. That's not effectively rushing the football. This isn't the NFL.

You really want to compare Cook and Smith against AJ Highsmith and Spencer Whipple.

AJ can throw it 15 or so yards. And Whipple is the OC's son.

The real point is that they were driven away by Shannon. Bridgewater comes here next year and it's just like having Jacory.

Posted by: canesrule say: "mmmmm...delicious" | September 14, 2010 at 12:38 PM

Not canesrule but I for one am not makeing excuses. We lost to a better team on Saturday and did not help our case with the turnovers. We played them VERY tuff and came up short to the #2 team in the nation at their house. No shame in that. The gators have played 8 QT's of football against WEAK opponets and looked BAD in 5 of them. You have been EXSPOSED and when you step up the competition your record will REFLECT it.

Posted by: Canesjunkie | September 14, 2010 at 12:55 PM

Whatever turd. The smell gives you away......

Posted by: canesrule say: "mmmmm...delicious" | September 14, 2010 at 01:05 PM

No you spent the entire summer claiming you would pick up where you left off because you only recruit 5 * players and brantleys a better passer blah, blah, blah. Well guess what? Not only are you not the best team in the sec. Your not the best team in your division..........

Lots of entertaining comments on this board. Glad to see canes fans still have the passion. I'm a long time cane fan living in the NYC area. Try to get to at least one cane game a year and was in Columbus Saturday. The game took over the entire city. It was awesome. The Horseshoe is a very tough place for any visiting team to play. There was 105,000 plus and it was very loud. I doubt OSU looses at home this year. I can see why a lot of people have OSU winning it all this year. Their defense is tough. All there DB's are big and tackle very well. Pryor is enourmous in person. It takes two to three guys to bring him down and he is very fast around the end. He is a flawed passer but made a few big 3rd down passes to keep drives alive. OSU's offense did not do much all game despite having incredible field position with all of our turnovers. They had on two play TD drive and iced it at the end when they had too. OSU was the better team on Saturday but not by much. OSU fans will say the same thing. You put this game in Miami and it is a much different game. I don't know if Shannon is the right coach long-term, but from what I see, this team continues to improve. We all crave for the glory days of the canes dynasty, but the reality of college football has changed. I'm hopeful the canes go far this year. Harris is the key. I hope he learned some things from this past Saturday.

Posted by: canesrule say: "mmmmm...delicious" | September 14, 2010 at 01:17 PM

Talking to YOURSELF about YOURSELF?

Posted by: ebeiley | September 14, 2010 at 01:21 PM

I can with out a doubt say this is a CANES fan. No fakey here.......

Manny, this is excellent. Maybe one of your best blog posts ever. Do you think the coaches see all of this?

Jacory's interception problem is big handicap. It should have been solved in the offseason and it hasn't. That was the most discouraging part of the game.

Posted by: DPG:K | September 13, 2010 at 04:29 PM

lol... ya think? I would say it was quite impressive of Miami to keep it a 12 point game with FOUR interceptions. The better team won Saturday. The better coached team won. That's the end of the argument. OBVIOUSLY the game would have been different sans Japicky's four INT's. I can muster lossed by UM about as much as I can muster getting beat over the head with a baseball bat. It is what it is. There is reason to be encouraged with the way they played Saturday. They are mere inches away from being elite. OSU played a helluva game. They are a helluva team. UM needs to spend the rest of the season getting better. There is no reason to think they cannot run the table and win the ACC and win a BCS game. Anything less than that right now is the only disappointment I have left to suffer this year.

Ya'll guys are OVERREACTING! That was the SECOND best team in the nation next to Alabama. Coker destroyed this team. It takes TIME. And RS has improved EVERY year. I do agree J12 needs to stop turning the ball over and we need to RUN the ball more with Berry and Have Lamar Miller as a change of pace back with 12-15 touches per game. Even with those 4 turnovers we were still in the game going into the 4th quarter. D was solid that whole game holding them to SIX FG attempts with the bad situations our O put them in. This team is on the rise. There is no doubt in my mind about that. Just be patient. I am pretty optimistic about our chance to win the ACC and make our first BCS appearance in over 4 yrs. We are FINE! Go Canes!

I was at the game on Sat. and was impressed at times with U's defensive stands in the red zone and the ability of Harris to move his team down the field in the second half.
About "jerky" fans, anytime alcohol is involved and great passion for your team - you never know what the outcome will be. At USC and Michigan games I have encountered both bad and good behavior from opposing fans. I don't expect a red carpet welcome. The first encounter I had with a Miami fan Sat. was someone yelling "I love hicks" while walking into the stadium. There are jerks everywhere. Good luck w/ the rest of the season Miami.

Where is the UM running game? Jacory Harris is not an all pro NFL quarterback. He is a very good QB. Running the ball is needed to set up the pass. Run, Run, and Run some more. UM definitely needs some tackling drills. Doesn't anyone grasp the ball carrier anymore? What is this bump and the carrier still runs? The Canes were NOT prepared mentally.

Everyone is blasting Randy. He's not the issue. Bottom line, the two critical mistakes by Benjamin, and the dropped passes, especially in the redzone, proved to be the differance. I would however like to see the running game a little more, that would open things up for the passing game. Teams already know we are a passing team, and are not really playing us for the run. Now back to Shannon, I had heard that UM did not have the money to go after any big name coach, so what do you do guys? He's has straightened this program out. Maybe we can call Butch back and end up on probation again. Obviously better than Coker who won an NC w/Davis players. The canes will be just fine. I hear alot, but it sure sounds like bandwagon fans talking, wax on wax off. Be real with it please!

Wow. Look at all the misinformed Cane fans. I REALLY wish some of you knew about football! If you did, you'd know that DVD played a good game. You are thinking he got burned on the that 50 yard pass, when in fact the defense was playing Cover 2 and DVD handed off the WR running the deep route to Ray Ray. THAT LONG PASS PLAY WAS RAYRAY'S FAULT!! I can't say it enough to those of you who have no clue about how football is really played. DVD, in a Cover 2, passed off the deep WR so he could pick up the WR running the underneath crossing route. HE DID WHAT HE WAS SUPPOSED TO DO! So until you understand how football was played, keep your 'He sucks and should be benched' dumb comments to yourself. Perhaps you should not be allowed to post on the topic of football until you actually understand what's going on during a game. DVD played a damn fine game.

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