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Gameday Preview: No. 19 UM at Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH -- The 19th-ranked Hurricanes (1-1) try to get back on the winning side of things by facing one of their former Big East rivals, Pittsburgh (1-1), for the first time since leaving for the ACC. The 7:30 p.m. game will be televised on ESPN and on the radio at WQAM.com. Feel free to participate in our discussion below as you tune in.

REWIND: The Canes lead the all-time series 21-9-1. The last time they met, UM came away with a 28-14 win at Pitt. Jarrett Payton led UM's offense rushing for 131 yards and a touchdown while Jonathan Vilma had a game-high 11 tackles as UM's defense produced nine sacks and three turnovers. The Canes have won six in a row in the series. The Canes are looking for its 33rd consecutive win against an unranked, non-conference opponent in regular season play.

ABOUT PITTSBURGH: The Panthers opened the season ranked, but quickly dropped out of the Top 25 poll with a tough loss at Utah. The following week, they crushed New Hampshire on the same day the Canes lost at Ohio State. Pitt has compiled a 6-9 mark on Thursday night, its last appearance coming on Oct. 2, 2008, when the Panthers defeated No. 10 USF in Tampa, 26-21. Pitt is 1-3 against Miami on Thursday night, the lone victory a 21-17 decision in 1997 at Pitt Stadium.

Dion Lewis Pittsburgh's offense is led by Big East 2010 Offensive Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year Dion Lewis (5-8, 195), who has struggled rushing for only 102 yards on 35 carries (2.9 avg) in his first two games as a sophomore. Last season, Lewis lead the country in rushing with 1,799 yards. Utah held him to 75 yards on 25 carries. Ray Graham (5-9, 195) has had fewer carries, but has been explosive, rushing for 115 yards on nine carries. First-year starting quarterback Tino Sunseri has completed 65 percent of his passes for 459 yards, 3 TDs and 2 INTs in his first two starts. His top two targets in the passing game are big receivers -- Jon Baldwin (6-5, 230) and Mike Shanahan (6-5, 220). Baldwin is the experienced veteran with 15 catches of 40 yards or more -- including nine that have gone for touchdowns.

The Panthers defense was one of the best country last season, leading the country in sacks and ranking 17th in rushing defense and 23rd overall in total defense. But injuries have hurt them a little bit. Big East Defensive Player of the Year Greg Romeus (Coral Glades High) had back surgery and isn't expected to return at the earliest until November. Junior defensive tackle Chas Alecxih (6-5, 280) could still present a huge problem for the Canes in the middle, especially after seeing the success Ohio State had creating pressure up the middle of Miami's offensive line. Alecxih has three of his team's six sacks this season. Right end Brandon Lindsey (6-2, 250) has two sacks starting in Romeus' place. Strongside linebacker Greg Williams (6-3, 240) ranks second on the team with 11 tackles. The Canes are going to want to keep the ball away from sophomore free safety Jarred Holley (5-11, 180) who has both of the Panthers interceptions this season.

Interesting special teams stat for Pittsburgh: The Panthers have blocked 23 kicks under Dave Wannstedt since the 2005 season. In 2008, the Panthers blocked a school-record and national-best 10 kicks. Six current players have blocked kicks during their Pitt careers. The Panthers blocked one in their season opener versus Utah.

> First and foremost, how quarterback Jacory Harris bounces back from what he called his worst week as a Hurricane following a loss. It wasn't just the four interceptions against Ohio State for Harris, but the off the field issues -- racist Twitter messages, etc. The Canes need Harris, who was obviously bothered by it all, to prove he's focused on football and zeroed in on his receivers. The smart thing for offensive coordinator Mark Whipple to do is take the pressure off Harris from having to make too many big plays with his arm. UM coach Randy Shannon said his running backs Damien Berry, Lamar Miller and Mike James would get at least 20 touches each this week between rushes, returns and receptions. If the Canes are smart, they'll do just that. Pittsburgh's run defense isn't at full strength and gave up 122 yards on 27 carries in its loss to Utah. The Canes should be able to run the football and then throw it pretty easily. The Panthers rank 94th in pass defense.

> All week long we've heard about the amount of attention the Canes have spent in practice trying to improve their tackling and trying to create turnovers. It's time to see if the hardwork paid off. Pittsburgh's offensive line had to replace all three interior linemen from last season's team -- a big reason the team has struggled running the football. There's no reason the Canes shouldn't be able to bottle up Pitt's running game and put pressure on the Panthers' young quarterback. Allen Bailey, who hasn't had a sack since last Halloween (a stretch of seven games), will see more time at tackle this week. I'm guessing he'll be a big factor in this game.

> Heinz Field can be a tricky place to kick field goals because of the wind. After missing one in his last game and having another blocked, Matt Bosher can go a long way in improving his NFL stock with a good game in this one.

> MY PICK: This Pittsburgh team was picked to win the Big East in the preseason and as upset and focused as UM might be, I don't see a blowout happening. Including its season-opening 27-24 overtime loss at Utah this year, Pitt's last four losses have come by an average of just 3.5 points per game. The Canes are 8-12 all-time under Shannon away from home. This won't be easy, but they'll find a way. UM 26, Pitt 17. 

With the late game start, I won't be doing any live chat this week. Feel free to discuss the game below.


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Can we please quit babying Jacory Harris! I am sick and tired of hearing about how he is crying about these racist comments. As bad as they might be, if he doesn't play like dog s*it against OSU than I am pretty sure he would never have received them. Get a back bone! Whipple needs to take pressure off of Harris? Are you kidding me! This guy is a junior and should need more pressure than less. If this guy cannot deal w/ being the starting QB at a major D1 school and all the ups and downs that go w/ it than go to Furman and play there. Get a soild pair of balls and go out and play football and win, plain and simple. Manny quit babying this kid, for the love of god! Tell Harris to get it together in the head b/c not only is he looking like a mediocre QB who cannot throw the ball to the correct team, he is also becoming a head case.

Sorry Manny. This will be a throttling. Canes 38-13

VOS, I can imagine you never played or coached DI or anything of the sort, but this isnt about you...Jacory needs to play better obviously but the sky isn't falling. I wonder what you said about Ken Dorsey after the Washington game in 2000! See how his career turned out....

VOS , couldnt agree more, however I m willing to bet someone calls you a racist and a non- Cane fan within the next hour, also you will be called a Gator troll all for speaking the truth

With all due putting Jacory in the same sentence with Dorsey is just wrong, example Dorseys '00 season (soph) he threw like 6 ints ..... all year, '01 (JR) he threw I believe 9, we all know how our boy did last year , if you don't think he'll have 9 by the fifth game you got some big brass stones on you. Againt Washington Dorsey was without Moss starting his 1st big road game in terrible weather, i'll give you that was kinda the deal 12 had a Tech last year, but Ken never had another game like that while 12 has the 'Heel game , Wisconsin game, and ofcourse the Buckeye game, and still has N.C. , Tech, and clemson, and Fsu coming up... so we will see how he does.But don't compare him to Dorsey please

26? 2 TDs and 4 FG? that smells like poor execution in the redzone.

I got UM 27 Pitt 20.

As much as I love this team, I don't see a clear-cut difference maker. So, I see it hard to predict blowouts at this time.


I love the 'you never played football' against Jacory. But the worst is comparing him to Dorsey in 2000 at this team to that one. It happened all last year. So by that logic it's 2001 now, right? Where's our great team?

I hope they do run the ball. The strength of this team should be wr but they keep dropping the ball. Lets face facts he had 2 passes dropped into ints against osu. and another where the wr was an idiot blocking on a pass play.So while he threw 4 ints had the recievers mainly benjamin done there jobs miami would of beat osu. That said i kept wanting miami to run on osu and they didnt. berry, miller and james give us a 3 headed tailback monster. Berry has speed and power james can pound u and miller is the most explosive back miami has had since gore. So run the ball cause its the teams strength not to take pressure off jacory and open up the play action deep game. ps Curse of art kehoe and all his other alts is a racist gator troll. We dont call him that for any other reason then its true.

I really don't want to blame all of this on Jacory, the wr's do/did drop alot of balls, and as stated by everyone we never run the ball, but having said that he has no pocket presence what so ever , and why does'nt he ever run, it's almost like he trying to prove something by not getting out of the pocket or taking it up field for 5 or 6 yards.I'll give him 1 more chance , but I have a feeling it will be more blaming the wr's and o-line when "funny" guy throws 3 more picks

Why is it that when the Canes lose a game everyone has nothing but bad things to say. I don't call these people fans I call them Closet football fans-only out when we win. I have followed the Canes since back in the last 60/early 70's and have seen them go from worse to best and best to bad. Ok-so Miami beat Miami last week-we lost to ourselves and we CAN rebound to a win tonight. Let's be positive and not negative about a team we love. Remember-IT'S ALL ABOUT AND ONLY ABOUT THE U!!!!!!!!!!!! Lets do it Canes!!!

Doug, and I couldn't agree w/ you more on the fact that Jacory is not in the same league as Dorsey. Jacory is not worthy of even holding Kenny's jock! Please mperry1, do not even go there! When Jacory can lose but 2 games as a starter in 3 full seasons than we can talk. And let me take it one step further, Dorsey was ONLY a sophmore when mperry1 says he had this awful game at Washington. Kenny never lost another game until the title game in 2003. Jacory played as a FR, and alot, played his Soph year and he is still playing like he is Freshman. Dorsey improved each and every game and thats why we have a throttling of Florida in the Sugar Bowl in 2001, a national title in 2002 and played for another title in 2003 to our credit. Jacory has given us nothin and the talent on this team is better than what they are showing. It starts w/ the head coach and goes to the QB. Both at this point are very questionable as to how good each are.

I am just sick and tired about hearing all these excuses for why a team w/ the talent we have continues to lose and why Jacory Harris continues to throw INTs. When does someone start to take some accountability and when does a guy like Manny, who covers the Canes, start calling a spade a spade. I know you want continued access to UM Manny but lets call it as we see it and not pretend its not happening and hiding our head in the south beach sand. Its always someone else's fault like a twitter message. Maybe if JH guy was not on the phone 1 hour before kickoff and rather focusing and planning on the game he would not get all this hate mail. This kid is bringing it upon himself. Can you imagine if we lose tonight the excuses? Should we lose? NO, we should win by 3 TDs. But w/ this team and w/ Shannon and Jacory at the helm, who knows whats goign to happen. But when you play like dog s*it for a major program on national TV this is what happens in the world of the big business that is college in football in 2010.

The best we can hope for is J12'S game against OSU was like Dorsey's game against Washington....we all know what happaned after that...

Yeh, I love the canes pace guys that come on here telling people "You probably never played football". I played baseball in college and I know what it is like to be ridiculed. I also PAY FOR TICKETS for home games and away games. I also by our merchandise as well. DON'T tell me I cant criticize a player for being a dumb #$% on twitter right before the game LOSER! I stand behind coach Shannon as well as the players.

I thought last year's VT game was suppossed to be his "Washington".....anyways I'm bothered by the fact that our beat writer doesn't predict a big win againts an unranked Big "L"East opponent. Will we be physical? Can this "vaunted" d-line get some pressure? Will we tackle? Can we create our ouwn opportunities? If we start out fast can we finish/put them away? If the answer to these questions are yes, then I'm confident we can have a good year...but honestly right now I'm doubtful, I question this teams heart!

Some of these comments are so absurd! Everything is J12 this or J12 that. If you focus on the whole scheme of things it's the whole team. We're not running the ball effectively, not getting the turnovers that we're accustomed to, Lb's are playing decent, secondary is not at the top of their game, but yet and still it's J12. Remember defense wins championships. You have to have balance throughout the whole team. (Ex. 80's 49ers, 90's cowboys, college teams: our old school miami teams, all of the champions this decade, especially alabama!) It's a balance attack! BTW, the last time I checked old Dorsey boy wasn't breaking any records or winning championships in the NFL, he wasn't that good, he was surrounded by superior talent! Which brings me back to balance, balance, balance!!

VOS and Doug,

I guess the cup is always half empty for some of U (or you're a couple of Gator Troll's!)! You Tools come out on game day for a game that UM should roll in and and that mess you two are posting is all you have? You don't think there's anything to hang your hat on with this team?

Take your crap back to Gator Clause and stop recruiting for Urb on our site!

Fing "D" Bags!

Go 'canes!

Sorry for the miss spelled word by the way. "Buy".

Posted by: Feral Cat
You are crazy,....everyone is "that guy" and no one can have an opinion other than yours. If they disagree -they are the racist?!

Posted by: Crack is wack | September 23, 2010 at 11:30 AM

I have got no problem with DOUG113 disagreeing with me. In fact, I gave him the benefit of the doubt. I wrote "Doug113, let's for the moment assume that you are a Canes fan and NOT the namechanging racist troll that attacks this blog, 365/24/7, for the past three years while using the IDs of Canes fans:"

We do know that there is a guy that posts using multiple IDs, pretends to be a Canes fan, and posts racist garbage on here. Or are you going to post with an ID of "Crack is wack" for the rest of your time on the Herald blogs?

DOUG113, keep disagreeing. Just don't assume that someone's ID is the same, because there is a guy that pretends to be other fans on here. He might even steal your ID pretty soon.

Feral Cat- I am a Cane fan so don't even start with the conspiracy theories- Imean really spend more time thinking of the team and less about what someone writes.I'm really begining to think some of you are on the team, never letting anything go and sobbing instead of focusing on the task at hand. Now did we lose those games yes, did we get blown-out and embrass ourselves- no, and by what I read your saying you dont think we have a talented team, which is pretty much what most of us are saying the coach and QB and O.C. arent getting it done- but please Manny run my Address to make sure I don't work for Area 51 or god- forbid a Gator fan- Patheic just like these rah-rah homers

Posted by: DOUG113 | September 23, 2010 at 11:57 AM

No conspiracy theory involved, DOUG113. Just trying to make sure you are aware that on this blog there is a Gator Troll that attacks Canes fans, and posts racist attacks on here. I didn't say it was you.

You are right, I don't think we have a team as talented as the 1987, 1989, and 2001 teams. I think we are at the 1985 and 1991 and 1999 team level. No need for Manny to run your address.

I do have one address below that he can run though, the guy that posted under my ID attacking you while I was offline. It actually gives you an example of what we are talking about. Manny, if you could ban the address of the guy that posted under my ID at 12:59, it would be helpful.

vos u can always have kirby wright or kyle freeman...

Oh and Manny maybe you should stop the insanity of Canes Fan and Feral Cat and their accusations . Iwas just accused of being racist for no reason what so ever, I'm a fan since '80 and don't need these "newbies" looking up facts on Wiki to prove how much of a fan they are, I know Inot alone in the idea that these and the ones like them need to go, this site would be better off without people thinking everyone is a racist Gator, ban these in-tolerant fools, the rest of us dont bother to coment when these UF fans write their crazy stuff, but these 2 continue to play their game- just stupid and old

Posted by: DOUG113 | September 23, 2010 at 12:06 PM

Actually, I didn't accuse you of being a racist. That was done by someone using my ID. No need to pull your 1980 fan badge, I beleive you, even if you have forgotten some of the details. "this site would be better off without people thinking everyone is a racist Gator". See, we can agree on something. If we can get the ID stealing guy to stop, then there would no longer be a need to wonder if a new ID is a Canes fan or just the Gator troll under a new ID.

Damn VOS you're a seriouslly pessimistic fan. All of your concerns are totally valid, but come on man you should've just left at the fact that its unfair to compare Jacory and Dorsey. I like Franklin but he's no Mckinnie; Hank has progressed very well but he's not Andre Johnson; no receiver last season was anywhere near the caliber of Wayne or Santana. Plus breaking in 3 new offensive linemen in the horseshoe ain't easy. You should slow down and see how these next few games play out. If the team does the same crap tonight then go balls out with criticism, but the difference between an excuse and valid reason lies entirely with the listener

I'm with VOS

And I did'nt want to bring it up but I have to, the year your talking about aint the year I 'm talking about you were mistaken the 84 year, which sounds about right from a "true" Cane fan, thanks for showing your true Cane knowledge, prehaps your just a GATOR fan or prehaps your racist toward Italians since you said Steve Walsh was better than Heisman trophy winning no 1 pick in the NFL draft Vinny? Do some homework first before you talk about season before you were born and quit accusing people of things you TRUE FAN

Posted by: DOUG113 | September 23, 2010 at 12:20 PM

No problem. You brought up the Tennessee game, and claimed that Jimmy Johnson motivated them to not let that happen again. Your quote: "Did anybody give the 85 team a hug after getting crush by Tenn in the Sugar Bowl? No J.J. GOT ON THEIR ARSES, and made sure that did'nt happen again" You were saying that JJ motivated them so much that they didn't didn't blow it like that again. My response was that he did the same thing in those other games, and it didn't matter.

And yes, Steve Walsh was a better quarterback than Vinnie Testeverde. Did he have the stronger arm? No. Better mental skills for a quarterback? Yes. Kelly, Kosar, Walsh, and Dorsey to me were better QBs than Testaverde and Torretta even though they were not the ones to win the Heisman. And I am not that young.

Posted by: DOUG113

It is blatantly obvious you are the sick racist and not even 1% of a cane fan. Manny the sun-sentinel got "DOUG113" banned perhaps you should too. "DOUG113" is the same first name of Douglas Diaz the twitter racist.

Posted by: Feral Cat | September 23, 2010 at 12:59 PM

HA,HA,HA this is awesome, I dont even know what the sun-sentinel is!Thank you for the best laugh I've had in years, Diaz -HA,HA,HA

Posted by: DOUG113 | September 23, 2010 at 01:27 PM

DOUG113, that post wasn't from me, even though they used my ID. Manny, please feel free to compare the addresses and even ban the address of the Feral Cat IP from 12:59PM.

And Manny, fee free as well to post letting DOUG know that I was not the guy that did that.

You all are crazy!!! They lost one game! You act like it's the middle of the season. We still have no idea what this team is like. We played a cupcake and then the number 2 team in the country. Stop bashing the team. Support them or go root for bama you fairweathered -:&@))(. Everyone acts like they are a damn head coach. Just watch and you will see that this team will win the rest or lose 1 more at the most. If you thought that this team was gonna win a NC this year, then you obviously don't know much. 10 or 11 wins this year and NC next year. Be a fan and support your canes.

Good luck Jacory,we've got your back..

Jacory needs to get his act straight and start behaving like a real CANE ... once upon a time there was a sophomore QB that lost his 2nd game as Junior and then won 35 straight games.... KEN DORSEY !!!!! Jacory wants to be talked about in those terms then he needs to shutup and start winning and bring our beloved CANES back to where they belong among the royalty of college football ... LETS GO CANES !!!!!!

Sorry ... Ken Dorsey lost his 2nd game as sophomore then rattled off 35 straight wins ....

We've got some Canes in the house!!!

We've got some Canes in the house!!!

Posted by: U-Fo-Life | September 23, 2010 at 03:44 PM

Oh "D", what are we going to do with you?

Go 'canes!

VOS and others,

The whole program was in a different place when Dorsey played but there were several games that Portis and McGhee bailed out Miami from losing games, i.e. FSU 2002, Pit 2002, VTech 2001, He was 0-1 vs OSU as well and he was a senior. When Jacory is finished at Miami he will be in the top ten of every QB stat in Miami. What he needs to do is win games, I agree but! I cant wait till this season plays out cause I hope you and others can be man enough to say I'm wrong if it pans out that way thats all I ask....I know if it doesnt I'll be able to say I was wrong! FYI:Santana Moss did play in that Washington game! And were you in Columbus for this past OSU game it rained most of the 2ND and 3RD qtr. I WAS THERE!!!

Don Bailey on UF:

"Is it a dirty program, I'm not sure, but it's completely out of control."
Yesterday in SI.com Austin Murphy stated that when fans start keeping tally of your programs transgressions, you've lost the PR battle.

Thanks Randy and Co.!

Go 'canes!

Again with the UF stuff. Who cares about UF!

In case you haven't noticed, our whole season is on the line every week.

Lose this we continue the slide out of the top 25.

Yeah, thanks Randy!

snap! Get Right.. Find The Football... Find The Football... Find The Football... Break on the ball.. Close your hands fingertips first.. Make a play. What should be going thru the heads of the Defense back 7.

Don Bailey on UF:

"Is it a dirty program, I'm not sure, but it's completely out of control."
Yesterday in SI.com Austin Murphy stated that when fans start keeping tally of your programs transgressions, you've lost the PR battle.

Thanks Randy and Co.!

Go 'canes!

Posted by: Sarasota 'cane | September 23, 2010 at 04:17 PM


he also said it's an elite, National Championship, money making machine.

Canes in a route....42-17...J12 has 4 Tds and 1 pick

Heading down to Heinz Field in a few! So pumped for this game! Just a head's up to all the Canes fans that will be there, the Pitt undergrads are pulling out the stops with shirts that say "We Will Rock The U!" hahaha bring it on!


We better come out tonight and pound Pitt 42 to 14. No more EXCUSES and no more mister nice CANES from us. Dominate from start to finish!!!

Checking in from Heinz Field. Send me your questions.



A: I think one way to ease those nerves is to be more dedicated to the running game. I think UM hasn't run the ball enough this year. It only helps open things up for receivers and makes Harris' job a little easier.

Manny, what color pants we wearing tonight? Hopefully not the green like against OSU.

Manny, will Lamar Miller see more time at RB tonight?

You know Wannstache is gonna try to better his recruiting chances in SoFlo with this game.

Manny, what color pants we wearing tonight? Hopefully not the green like against OSU. Posted by: tno | September 23, 2010 at 05:24 PM

A: Team hasn't arrived at the stadium yet. I'll let you know once they take the field for warmups.

Manny, will Lamar Miller see more time at RB tonight? Posted by: Dirty Thirty | September 23, 2010 at 05:25 PM

A: Randy Shannon said all three of his running backs would be more involved and promised them 20 touches each. Lamar only had six touches last week, three on rushes. I think the Canes will try to run the ball a lot more tonight.

You know Wannstache is gonna try to better his recruiting chances in SoFlo with this game. Posted by: Dirty Thirty | September 23, 2010 at 05:28 PM

A: Without question. He has eight players -- three starters on his defense -- from the South Florida area. It's not by chance the Panthers also host FIU next week.

Do you expect the Canes to put in their backups if they get a big lead? After all they did that for FAMU, and Shannon likes Wannstadt.

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