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Extra points and observations: Pittsburgh

With the now Canes preparing for a trip to Clemson and important ACC showdown, here's one final look at the 31-3 win over Pittsburgh and a few final post-game thoughts:

BIGGEST DEVELOPMENT
Canes defense > The Canes defense showed us they're much improved...
Coach Randy Shannon said his defense was embarrassed when they watched film of the Ohio State game. They can be proud of the Pitt game. All week long the emphasis was placed on cleaning up missed tackles and creating turnovers. The Canes resolved those issues with gang tackling and two interceptions in the fourth quarter deep in their own territory. Pitt finished with 11 first downs and 232 yards of total offense. Those numbers are similar to every good game the defense played last season (Georgia Tech had 12 first downs, 228 yards total offense; UCF had 11 first downs, 229 yards total offense; Virginia had 10 first downs, 149 yards total offense; and USF had 11 first downs, 220 yards total offense). The difference is this Canes defense dominated up front, creating five sacks and nine tackles for loss (more than in any of those previous wins) and the turnovers (USF, GT, UCF and UVA had one or less). What I liked most were the 3-and-outs -- the Canes forced seven in all before Pittsburgh began to have a little success late in the game against some second team players.

WHAT ELSE TO LIKE FROM THE GAME
> Sean Spence proved he's moved past his sophomore slump... He didn't necessarily look bad against Ohio State (he had a career-high 11 tackles), but we almost needed to see another good game from Spence to reassure us he really is back to being the playmaker he was as a freshman. We got it Thursday. He led the team with nine tackles and produced 2.5 tackles for loss to go with 1.5 sacks. He now not only leads the team in tackles with 24 overall, but he also leads the team in tackles for loss (6.5) and pass breakups (2). 
So why is Spence doing a better job than a year ago when injuries and a move to the strongside seemed to slow him down? It's simple: the guys around him are doing a better job and offenses are no longer able to take him out of the game. "I give a lot of credit to my d-line," Spence said after the Pitt win. "They kept me free, kept guys off me. The secondary did a great job covering guys, making sure they threw the ball underneath and allowing me and Colin to make tackles."

> The Canes continued to show us they have a legitimate pass rush... Remember how frustrating it was last season to see quarterbacks have all day to throw the football? Not so in 2010. While Pitt's offensive line was not the greatest, the Canes rebounded from their one-sack performance against Ohio State by getting in the backfield early and often. Andrew Smith led the charge with two sacks. Don't discount Smith's value especially with Marcus Robinson (right ankle) still dinged up. Robinson traveled to Pitt, but didn't play. As Allen Bailey pointed out after the game "[Smith's] ability to play both sides really helps out. With injuries on the inside, it gives me a chance to go inside and him to play left side."

> Damien Berry's effort... Berry set a new career-high for carries with 21 for 87 yards and a touchdown. A lot of those yards were hard earned. He had to break several tackles to keep drives alive and pick up first downs on third down. He also got more involved in the passing game, catching two passes for 18 yards. Lamar Miller finished with 31 yards on eight carries and touchdown. Miller still finished nine touches shy of the 20 Shannon said he would get before the game. But 35 rushing attempts compared to 32 pass attempts was a nice sign of balance for the offense.

WHAT WAS TROUBLING
> Obviously, the interceptions by Jacory Harris... Six picks in two games isn't good no matter where you point the finger. Shannon is obviously pointing most of them toward Travis Benjamin, who isn't free from blame. Here is what troubles me -- and gives me some hope, too. Regardless of whether or not Benjamin is running the right route or not fighting enough for the football, Harris needs to know better than to throw floaters his way, especially into heavy coverage. Now, one thing I liked from Harris was how he bounced back from his rough first half. He finished 8 of 10 over the final two quarters for 87 yards and two touchdowns. Instead of allowing Harris to scan the field in the second half, offensive coordinator Mark Whipple made him roll out of the pocket more and concentrate on one or two options with safe passing plays. If that's what it is going to take for Harris to stop throwing interceptions, at least we know now there is a bit of a solution.

"Jacory is a real good quarterback and we know if that kids' heads on right we can go a long ways," left tackle Orlando Franklin said after the game. "It was definitely important for us to come out and make a statement for him. If he's on the right page, if we're on the right page with Jacory, there's no telling how far this team can go."

> The struggles Jermaine Johnson and Joel Figueroa had at right tackle... After doing a pretty good job at Ohio State, Johnson and Figueroa finally looked like this was only their third game starting at right tackle. Both were beaten for sacks and on several other plays that Pitt's athletic defensive ends made. Look, neither of these guys are going to be perfect. But in the ACC, where there always seems to be great pass rushers this is something we'll have to continue to monitor. The good news is, it looks like freshman Seantrel Henderson is making strides. He was in on key running situations and it might not be long before he's ready to push Johnson and Figueroa for some real playing time. 

A FEW FINAL THOUGHTS/NOTES
> The special teams deserves some props for improving their tackling after giving up a few long runs at Ohio State. The Panthers only started one drive in UM territory and started five of their six drives following a kickoff inside of their own 26 yard line. Pitt, which came in having blocked 23 kicks in the last five seasons, didn't come close to blocking any Thursday night. 

But there were also a few mistakes -- two illegal block penalties that negated a 65-yard punt return by Travis Benajmin and a 29-yard punt return that turned into a 44-yarder and gave Pitt possession at the UM 20 following a 15-yard personal foul penalty on Vaughn Telemaque.

> Other than Harris' "nicked" left shoulder, there didn't appear to be any serious injuries to Canes players although left guard Brandon Washington and linebacker Ramon Buchanon both spent some time on the ground before leaving and returning. Although Shannon said Harris is fine, we've heard Harris was seen with his left arm in a sling after the game.

> For Shannon's teleconference review of the game on Friday, check out our UM audio page.

> The Canes are expected to resume practice as usual on Tuesday. 

Comments

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Excellent Article!!! Thinks for explaining the situation with Harris. I thought you hit the nail on the head!! Great Job!!! One of your best to date.

I think we should use Streeter for the Jump Ball Plays, also it was good to see J12 in the Shotgun

GO CANES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cutting the field in half for Jacory on those waggles and rollouts was a great half time adjustment. As far as a solution i'm not sure. Clemson and every other foe The Canes will face saw the same thing we did and will be prepared for the QB sprint outs; D-Line stunts and pressure from the C gap (outside the OT) are a few recipes that Defenses' use to collapse the the out of pocket QB. That being said; it is a great use of Jacory's must underrated attribute, his feet.

Two theories on how to correct the INT problem.

Get Jacory some glasses, it worked for Charlie Sheen in the Movie Major League. I jest sort of.

I've Been breaking down tape of Jacory since his junior year at the West. Not wanting to comment on Mr. Harris's inconsistent delivery, i'll share two issues that might be the cause of the errant throws.

Jacory's eye sight needs to be checked, seriously. Just look at the UNC game last year. How did he not see the double and triple coverage he was throwing to?

•More likely• Jacory trusts his arm/receivers too much. The velocity on his balls and his accuracy on throws over 20 yards need improvement. Under 20 yards his accuracy is pinpoint sideline to sideline. JH is a player, a good one, but he can't make every throw and gets locked on his first option to long. He will be Elite by the time his career here is done the question is when.

Clemson is the 2nd most talented team the U will face all year, until the Bowl game at least.

A day without improvement is a day lost.
In South Cakalaka next week in a rematch of last years excitingly disappointing game.. By far last year at Home was the worst performance by the Canes D and Special teams.

REVENGE GAME!

great read MN and thanks for not whining about Jacory not talking to the press like the other SF paper.

Mallett of Arkansas had 3 interceptions today and McElroy of Alabama had 2 interceptions…it happens folks!

Alabama elected to go to the Wildcat with Ingram taking the snaps that proved to be a decision that won them the game.

The Canes must put in the Wildcat formation with Benjamin taking the snaps and being flanked by either Berry or Miller for a change of pace. This will take the pressure of Jacory when needed and will be beneficial when playing on an off-field and/or extremely windy day.

PS: Now Florida, Alabama's next opponent, will have to devote considerable practice time to defend the Wildcat that would normally be spent on the Tide's base offense.

A win v Clemson will really set us up in the ACC.
NC still scares me, with that D...that is, unless they only have 9 players left.

CANES FAN,

INTs happen? The DB made an excellent play on Mallet's third interception, but, it was Mallet's fault. The Alabama QB was flawless in the fourth Q.

Mallet and McElroy are much better QBs than Jacory as of now atleast.

Go Canes! I am NOT happy with J12's or the offensive line's performance. Those two interceptions were clearly Jacory's fault; he needs to get it together. And the offensive line doesn't seem to be a dominant, powerful group. Coach Swasey's strength building technique must not be working. One would think that Jacory would weigh 210 lbs by now, and Benjamin looks like a skinny kid that never lifts weights. (How strong and powerful are our players compared to other schools?) Anyway, go Canes!

ive come to grips with jacory throwing ints. its apart of his game. i just pray our team as a whoke is good enough to afford a raw quarteback like Jacory. i believe in our athleticism. Wont take anything away from Pitt. they were a decent team. our defense showed it knows how to play a dominating style of football. this means no excuses can be made for them in the future.

damn SEC football

Win or Lose, some of these "FANS" are always going to complaint. I mean, just take it as a positive. Good defense and our offense put up points. we didn't have to rely on the Special team group to keep us in the game. This is a team sport that most of this "FANS" probably only played in their backyard. McElroy threw 2 picks, but you won't hear Bama fans bashing their Quaterback because he almost cost them the game. 31-3 is a good score. oohhhh, i see you guys want R. Marve to be our starter, lol. After all, We are 2-1 with a chance to go 12-1, win the ACC while while GT, VT, and NC go through their own problems. Don't get me wrong somebody needs to get on J12 about his Int's. I follow this team on the road to just about every game and its not fun being in the stands with the opposite Fans telling you that Miami is a fluke. With that being said, if we don't win the ACC with the way things are going for other teams maybe, just maybe we need to go in a different direction, but then again that would cost us to REBUILD and thats not part of our problem.


THE TIME IS NOW.... SEE YOU AT DEATH VALLEY
GO CANES....GO CANES...

Here's the problem with Manny's analysis: You can;t point to beating up a terrible Pitt team and say the team is muched improved, one week after proving they can't get it done against a good team like OSU. Hey man, put me on the field against some 65lb pop warner team and I'll look like the next superstar. Too bad in reality I'm an over weight, lazy arm chair QB who's 37 years old.

The roll outs were a great adjustment and will continue to work so long as Whipple stays patient with the running game. Since the critiques of Harris and Benjamin have all been stated, and I agree with them all, I will add that in the games we really struggled in last year it seemed that Whipple forgot all about the running game and started incorporating more and more long passes, which JH obviously struggles with. Wake Forest was the perfect example of that. In those games, Whipple would throw deep after every successful run, instead of sticking to the running game until the D was forced to bring the safeties up a bit. That's why I was delighted to see the more balanced offense we had at Pitt, even though we weren't putting them away as quickly as it seemed we should have been. Stick to pounding the ball and the opposing D gets tired. Our D is good enough now that the offense can have patience. Last year we'd fall behind constantly at the start of games, including to teams like Wake, Duke, and UVA. That won't happen this year, so hopefully we'll stick to some I-formation power running with P. Hill and Berry.

Go Canes!

Im a big can fan! Here's my issues.

If randy shannon wants to talk shzt about keeping competition open .keeping competition open . keeping competition open . Well then open up the dang on competition then! ""Jacory Harris" yeah thats right. He thinks his job is a little to secure. I personally think spencer whipple has a command and presence under center thats needs to be explored. Randy Shannon pisses me off when he gets this dog house mentality or stubborness, or even favortism .....WHERE WE ARE NOT PUTTING THE BEST PLAYERS ON THE FEEL AT ALL TIMES...that is where conditioning allows. Ive seen this go on at miami for the last several years not understanding who can play what and getting it out of them.... look at sam shields all of a sudden can play nfl caliber corner . and we couldnt get him to do a lick...Theres more players but, my point is GET THE BEST DAM PLAYERS ON THE FIELD. AND REALIZE WHO ARE THE BEST OR SPECIAL AND WORK WITH THEM MORE. I saw Andrew smith when he was a fresham i noticed he had a burst off the line.. he had 29 sacks as a senior in HS .. thats extra- ordinary...we need to mover olivier vernon to linebacker...What ever streeter's problem it needs to be solved ASAP....Kendall Thompkins keep your head up.. you finally get in and both times you muff the ball .. shannon needs to get you used to game speed and stop playing....your a weopan that needs to be acclamated. I agree with the staring offense but i think streeter and thompkins needs to be the first subs....
i can go on and on so ill just stop here b4 i get mad.

When a QB throws floaters, he has no arm strengh to throw deep. Stop, picking on Benjamin. He always gets past his defender. The problem is he has to wait for the ball. If UM throws deep it must use 6-5 Tommy Streeter to catch the floater. That's why Marve should've been the starter. Too bad coaches, you guys blew it!

I do agree that Spencer Whipple should be given a more serious look, but I'm still form the camp that J12 has 6 ints to his credit but only earned 3 of them. OSU is a legitimate NC contender and we played them to the hilt at their place.

Also Clemson won't be our toughtest opponent left, it will be FSU.

Ive noticed a long time ago that Shannon shows favortism towards certain players and never has his best players on the field at at all times. Storm Johnson not playing when all we heard about is him and Lamar Miller tearing it up but Clements is on kickoff coverage over him. Kendall Thompkins they say is the best route runner and hardest reciever to cover but yet he gets no burn even though Collier is gone now. Arthur Brown showed out in the spring game as a freshman and than all of a sudden he cant play football??? JoJo starts this past thursday over Ray Ray because Ray droped a pick against OSU compared to Telemaque who should have been the 1 benched along with Van Dyke who finally got benched. Telemaque stays taking bad angles and only played 1 good game last year against GTech and finally thursday night and the way he runs his mouth on the field you would think hes a baller. Figs at RT when he is clearly a GUARD and thers no way that Figs or Jermaine Johnson is better than Ben Jones from what ive seen. Berry is a tough runner but Miller needs to start and we need to get Miller ready for next year compared to Berry whos not going to be here and we might as well get McGhee ready at cornerback and same goes for Buchanon or Futch at linebacker for next year to since next year has to be a CHAMPIONSHIP for Shannon PERIOD because it does not take this long to get the U back to the top when we are in the best backyard for football players. ACC championshup and BCS championship this year is a must because theres no way you can tell me that Ohio State has more talent on there team, even though they have better coaching. We will know what kind of team this is after the Clemson and FSU game because its still to early to tell and im still trying to swallow that pill from the OSU game which really disturbed me...

Marve???!!! U have lost your mind. Period.

I am a huge canes fan first off. pitt was ranked 15th to start the season and lost in OT to utah which is ranked 13th last time i checked! so for the U to dominate the same team 31-3 is good. could of been worst but offense is to inconsistent. Clemson is no joke! I watched that auburn game and they where going blow for blow and auburn looks for real this season. plus Miami had the number rank recruting class according to espn in 2008, Clemson was ranked #2 right behind them. so I think its gonna be a battle.

and taking our J12 would ruin ties with northwestern and that is a major pipeline for the U. The thing that hurts J12 he isn't a pryor or tyrod taylor, so he doesn't pose a double threat so on 3rd down send an extra backer and sit in coverage and he will throw it into that coverage.

I agree I wouldn't mind seeing spencer whipple get some action. is he there to play? or do you think he is there to learn his dads offense and get into coaching also?

Good article Manny, even handed on what the problems are and how to correct them. I thought the second half adjustments were pretty good, although I have read a lot of criticism of Whipple after a 28 point win. LOL

Saturday,

Luck 2 ints
Barkely 2 ints
Mallet, 3 int
McElroy 2 int
Dalton 2 int
Threet 4 int

of all the so called elite QBs only Moore of Boise had no picks

Locker not considered elite, what has he done and who has he beat?

Not including Big Ten QBs, look who they played Sat. Pitiful schedule on Saturday, what did they do to make themselves look good playing three sisters of the poor and the eastern, western, northern, Southern States of the world?

Toledo 31 Purdue 20 for all U Marve lovers. He is always hurt and always average when he isn't.

J12 all the way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

North Carolina State's Wilson looks like the class of the ACC and even he threw a pick Saturday that was ill advised to say the least. Lay off J-12, not talking about Manny's article. U know who U are.!

quick question, why doesn't Jacory Harris run with the ball at least 3-4 times per game??


Runny Nose said:

"INTs happen? The DB made an excellent play on Mallet's third interception, but, it was Mallet's fault."

Runny, allow me to suggest you re-read my post, as I never said nor did I even hint that Mallet's 1st, 2nd or 3rd interception was his fault. They all may have been his fault, but my point was that in college football you are going to have interceptions as yesterday's performances by some of the nations highest rated QB's proved...learn to deal with it.

On to another, more important subject...Here's what I don't understand...John Lovett's defense has been the best in the country when you consider the competition. Yet, our Canes fans barely mention the guy. But, God forbid the Canes have an off game on defense and many of the same haters who hate Jacory will be bellowing for Lovett to be fired.

The bottomline...we true Canes fans have to take the Asylum back from the always complaining inmates and that includes some sports writers.

Last night on the NFL Network I watched; NFL FILMS PRESENTS: SIX COACHES WHO ALL TRACE THEIR NFL ROOTS TO RAVENS LINEBACKER RAY LEWIS.

This is BY FAR the best segment on a UM football player…EVER!!!

If you haven’t caught this incredible film, whether you are a Canes fan or not, you are missing what it takes to be a great football player, if not the greatest middle linebacker in the history of the game.

Additionally, most of what you think you know about Ray Lewis as a person and football player will be changed forever.

Somehow—someway we MUST immediately get this video in the hands of Randy Shannon so he can show it to the entire team…it will positively change for the better how our coaches and players prepare for and look at the game of football.

I am taking the greyhound to death valley - where's the tailgate at? Should I bring some jimmies for the southern belles on sorority row?

Go canes and see you there!!!

Posted by: CANES FAN

100% agree watching that video will definitely cut down on j12s ints

Feral Cat:

It might also help those with learning disabilities...give it a watch...I have my fingers crossed for you.

I am not impressed with the win at pitt. I am going to death valley and if we come out of there alive, then i will say the canes are on their way to charlotte. J12 keeps throwing interceptions and they are all his fault(not the receivers). If he throws two Ints at clemson, game over for the canes. The canes need to quit running their mouth so much and just ball every saturday. the only thing that they are showing is that they are wanna-be swagggers. if you cant ball on field then ur nothing but a fake. so far thats all they have shown.

Go Canes!!!!!! see u at clemson

Hey Miamicanes1 and Feral Cat:


It could be worse...we could be fans of the Florida Gators. Right?

Here's a team that has 30 felony arrests, a coach that is a flat out nut job, a player that robbed a dying girl of her credit cards and then went on a spending spree, the NCAA is conducting a wide ranging investigation into the corruption in the athletic department, which will end with them being put on probation, their QB is a joke and their offensive line is even worse, their schedule is that of a high school team and they have been lucky to win games against the biggest pansy teams in all of college football, their number 1 recruit laughed in their faces and signed with FSU and another one of their hundreds of criminals was arrested only a week ago for threatening to murder a young girl and would have had the cops not gotten there first.

IT'S GOOD--TO BE--A MIAMI HURRICANE!

5 TIME NATIONAL CHAMPIONS

PS: And if you are not impressed with Miami's win against PITT, just think about how you would be feeling if you were a Florida fan having played all of those creampuffs that they should have lost too! The Gators cowardly schedule would embarrass a bad high school team. NOW, PER SEC RULES, THEY ARE FORCED TO PLAY ALABAMA WHO IS GOING TO...ONCE AGAIN... DESTROY THOSE CLOWNS FROM GAINESVILLE!!!

I saw the video and I got acquitted for murder. I must admit it works!

Feral Cat:

You claim to be a Canes fan, but post lies about current and former players. Why is that?

The only person that has posted garbage like that was the mentally ill, scum bag racist. You know who I mean...the obese slob, who has no life, lives with his mother and is a sick, bigoted, racist that I helped get banned from the Sun Sentinel. And let me tell you, squashing that fat loser makes me smile everytime I think about it. I beat that loser just like the Canes beat the cowardly Gators.

Well, I am just glad that you are a Canes fan.

Manny thanks for the suck job on voting us 16th....

http://www.pollspeak.com/pollstalker/pollstalker.php?s=13&p=26&v=&t1=53&w=5&r=T

The []_[]:

You're an f'ing moron. All that crap at your only response is whatever. Go back at finish 7th grade.

Posted by: Canesjunkie | September 25, 2010 at 12:54 AM


Have not read the blog all weekend untill this morning. Your response to my whatever comment had me LMAO Canesjunkie. All that crap "AT" your only response is..... Go back "AT" finish the 7th grade........ you should follow your own advice f'ing MORON.

http://philsteele.com/Blogs/2010/Sep10/DBSep26.html

According to Phil Steele the Canes graded out the best of all the top 25 teams that played this weekend.

In my opinion, the weaknesses on this team are R tackle and the receiving corps (aside from Hank). These receivers do not fight for the ball, and do not run crisp routes. I don't absolve Harris, but he gets very little help from his wide-outs.

We don't need them to make circus catches, but they need to have the mentality that when the ball is in the air, its theirs, or no one else's. I think that's lacking in this group right now.

Aside from that, I think this team can match up favorably with anyone remaining on the schedule. In light of the receivers, I would like to see more running game. They should be running the stretch play 8-10 times a game. With our backs, (especially Miller) that's a big play waiting to happen. I only recall seeing it once against Pitt. Its a very tough play to defend when you have a competent passing threat keeping the safeties honest.

Hey CanesFan, have you LOOKED at UM's schedule? Talk about creampuff!? Not one ranked team on the remainder of your schedule. Zero, nada, nil, none!

Gators have 3, starting with the #1 at Tuscaloosa. Our schedule is tougher than yours, again.

Posted by: SouthMiamiGator | September 27, 2010 at 10:12 AM


Be sure and check back in next monday. Alabama is going to destroy the gators Saturday.

Breaking News,

Alachua County Detention Center now allowing inmates internet access. Proof seen by reading Herald sports blogs.

One way to shut a racist pig up is to win and win BIG..he will be so filled with hate and envy he'll explode. He'll have no choice but to crawl back under the rock they came from.....

If all the INTs are not Jacory's fault then why is Benjamin getting all the playing time? We are rediculously deep at WR yet Travis runs shitty routes and gives up on balls to the detriment of the team yet has no punishment. Get the other players in there and you will get his attention.

MANNY. GREAT JOB: THAT'S ONE OF THE BEST ASSESSMENTS I'VE EVER SEEN DONE BY A SPORTS WRITER. YOU DID A GREAT DISECT OF THE PRO'S AND CONES. KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK. PSALMS 91

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