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Extra points and observations: Clemson

Before shifting our attention to Florida State here a few of my final thoughts on the Canes' 30-21 win at Clemson:

HOT TOPICS
> The defense has hit another gear...
A week after shutting down Pittsburgh's offense and showing us they're much improved at swarming to the ball and gang tackling, the Canes' defense took it up another notch against Clemson. They forced six turnovers -- by far the most impressive stat in the game. We may not ever get an answer as to when the last time a UM defense created that many turnovers in a game, but it's safe to say it's been awhile. Almost as impressive to me were the quick adjustments defensive coordinator John Lovett was able to make after Clemson found a wrinkle (cutbacks) to have some success running the football in the first quarter. Clemson finished with 162 yards rushing. But aside from his 71-yard touchdown run, Andre Ellington had a grand total of 36 yards on his other 16 carries (2.3 avg). Jamie Harper, who spurned the Canes for Clemson on national signing day 2008, had 57 yards on 18 carries (3.2). Not impressive at all. Kyle Parker? He was 14 off 33 for 149 yards and three INTs. UM broke up five passes, produced three forced fumbles, three sacks and eight tackles for loss. That's great defense.

Jacory Harris> Will Jacory Harris be able to solve his interception woes? Point the finger wherever you want, eight interceptions in three games is still eight interceptions in three games. Harris' two interceptions Saturday simply weren't good passes. "We always keep saying you can't turn the ball over in the red zone," UM coach Randy Shannon told WQAM after the game. "Aldarius [Johnson] had beat the guy. [Harris] saw it, threw it, it just didn't get there on time. The [first interception] was a break off route. [Harris] went to Travis [Benjamin], who was doubled. [Harris] saw the safety rotate, but the safety rotated to the middle and [Harris] threw it to the weak side. It was kind of disguised and got him. [But] he came back threw a touchdown. Anytime you can do that, you'll be okay."

The Canes were okay on Saturday because they got the win. But how much better could they be if every time Harris went back to pass you didn't have that knot in your stomach? I know his receivers, running backs and tight ends aren't helping him much right now. I counted at least five drops Saturday, which probably would have made his final stats (13 of 33 for 205 yards, 4 TDs) look a little better. But there is just something fundamentally wrong with Harris right now. 

790 The Ticket reported Harris could have a torn labrum in his left shoulder. It wouldn't be surprising at all. Harris definitely looked a little more than "nicked" when he took a hard shot at Pittsburgh two weeks ago. There's no doubt in my mind Harris is banged up physically and mentally. He just isn't the same quarterback we saw last year in UM's first two games. And right now, he's worse than the QB who threw for 3,352 yards, 23 touchdowns and finished second in the country with 17 INTs at the end of last year. One way or another the Canes have to figure a way to remedy the situation. Because even though they won Saturday, it was still only by nine points on a day when they're defense forced six turnovers (all in Clemson territory). I mean, how differently would we be talking today if Brandon Harris hadn't made that big fourth down tackle in the fourth quarter at the UM 20-yard line?

> Leonard Hankerson needs to pass along Mark Duper's phone number to the rest of the Canes' receivers... Can you imagine what things would be like if Hankerson had left for pros early? Would the Canes be 3-1 right now? Probably not. Hankerson has been a flat out beast this season. The rest of the Canes' receivers? Not so much. Between the drops, not getting open and just not making plays, the passing game has by far been the biggest disappointment so far this season. Aldarius Johnson had one catch for eight yards versus Clemson. Benjamin had one for seven. LaRon Byrd, meanwhile, did a nice job getting dressed for the game. The production simply has to be a lot better than that. Maybe it's time Tommy Streeter and Kendall Thompkins get a shot at doing more than participate on special teams. 

> Sean Spence is making a case for ACC Defensive Player of the Year... Pretty simple: the Canes have the best defense in the ACC at the moment and Spence is the Canes' best defensive player. He had a career-high 14 tackles versus the Tigers and made a vicious hit in the second quarter to force a fumble. As long as he stays healthy and keeps playing at this level, it's hard to give anybody else in the conference the award. FYI, Spence is currently third in the ACC in tackles per game with 9.5. Only Boston College's Luke Kuechly (12.8) and Maryland's Alex Wujciak (11.4) have more. And I've never heard of either of those guys.

> The blocking on field goals, punts and extra points has been suspect... Clemson put an end to Matt Bosher's streak of consecutive extra points made at 105. The Tigers' Jarvis Jenkins did a nice job getting his hand up to get a piece of the ball. What concerns me is that Bosher has now had an extra point and field goal blocked in the last three games. And saturday, Da'Quan Bowers came dangerously close to blocking one of Bosher's punts in the first half. So far, none of the blocks has meant much. But it's obvious the Canes are playing with fire.

QUICK HITTERS

> To steal a line from HBO's Bill Maher -- New Rule: Can we please stop comparing players who haven't done anything yet to former Canes greats? Chase Ford is a really nice guy. But he hasn't shown me anything yet that reminds me of Jeremy Shockey. Here are Fords' stats in four games -- 2 catches, 13 yards, 1 touchdown and whole lot of unfulfilled hype. Richard Gordon has 3 catches for 16 yards. Barring some unforeseen changes, we just shouldn't expect much from the tight end position this year.

> Can you imagine how good Ryan Hill would be if he had just played cornerback from the get-go? Two starts, two interceptions and two great games for the fifth-year senior. Brandon Harris is still the best the Canes have at cornerback, but Hill has been very impressive so far. He's helped make DeMarcus Van Dyke better too by moving him to a spot he's obviously more comfortable with -- the third/nickel cornerback. 

> For those of you clamoring for more running, less passing... UM attempted 33 passes Saturday and ran it 43 times. Sounds to me like offensive coordinator Mark Whipple and you are already on the same page.

> Seantrel Henderson still has a ways to go... He's going to be a beast by the end of the season, but Mount Henderson isn't completely ready yet to be trusted on his own. Upon further review, I saw he was beaten at least once by DaQuan Bowers on Saturday on the play that led to Harris' fumble and Henderson's fumble recovery. The real good news here is two-fold: One, it is only the beginning for Henderson, Two, senior Joel Figueroa is no longer being asked to do something he can't -- play right tackle. The Canes should be set for the rest of the season with Henderson and redshirt freshman Jermaine Johnson sharing the right tackle duties. There is only room for both to improve.

> The Canes were flagged 12 times for 105 yards -- including three times for kick catch interference on punts. Got to get all of that fixed.

> For those of you still steaming over Clemson's muffed punt turned 15-yard penalty on Streeter, Shannon told WQAM after the game Saturday the rule on a fair catch is that the ball must hit the ground before an opposing team can recover it. That's why officials were apparently able to enforce the penalty on Streeter.

Comments

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Most of the runs for Miami came at the end of the game. Whipple seemed to abandon the running game after the first drive. He needs to call more running plays in the red zone. The opposing defense's know this and are pinning their ears back and going after J12.

"To steal a line from HBO's Bill Maher -- New Rule: Can we please stop comparing players who haven't done anything yet to former Canes greats?"

particularly coming from the HC.

Manny - Have you really never heard of Luke Kuechly and Alex Wujciak? Kuechly was ACC rookie of the year last year and Wujcjak is a potential 1st rounder. Really?

Either way, great win. We can still get a lot better; which is a good thing b/c I think the team is getting better with every game.

Go Canes!

Q: Manny - Have you really never heard of Luke Kuechly and Alex Wujciak? Kuechly was ACC rookie of the year last year and Wujcjak is a potential 1st rounder. Really?
Posted by: aes | October 04, 2010 at 12:17 PM

A: Just having a little fun, make the point Spence has been a lot more visible early on this season than Kuechly and Wujciak, who obviously don't play for high profile teams.

I agree with GaCaneFan....a RB draw play in the redzone is an automatic touchdown! more runs in the redzone please!!!

Why doesn't Whipple recognize jacorys rattled and give him nice easy defined passing plays and less trow it deep situations?

Most of the runs for Miami came at the end of the game. Whipple seemed to abandon the running game after the first drive. He needs to call more running plays in the red zone. The opposing defense's know this and are pinning their ears back and going after J12.

Posted by: gacanefan | October 04, 2010 at 11:46 AM

A: Agree with you GaCanefan. Jacory's INT in the end zone could be seen coming a mile away. No reason to run the shotgun without any backs on third and goal at the 5. I would have liked to seen a fade to LaRon Byrd or Leonard Hankerson instead.

That fair catch rule doesn't make any sense. So if a ball hit a receiver's helmet or pads and bounced in the air, then nobody except the receiving team could go after it, since it did not hit the ground... sounds fishy to me.

Q: any way to get the endzone game film?

When Miami can successfully run out of passing formations, i.e. the shotgun and singleback Jacory's INT's will diminish.

Some really poor play calling in the red zone....We need to play to our strengths...run AND Pass...

damn what if what if what if!!!! sick of this!! What if the Canes wouldnt have stopped Boston College in the redzone in 01'? What if they never loose to Washington in 00' What if they didnt call pass interference against Ohio ST. 02!! THEY WON!!!!

Dont understand what Harris saw on the end zone pick.....All he had to do was take 5 steps forward and he scores...Dont know why he has such a mental block for scrambeling...The one time he did scramble, he picked up very good yardage....

gacanefan said exactly what I was thinking. Can we get the distribution of the running plays? My feeling is that Whip runs enough to set up the pass, and then passes and passes and passes until the end of the game when we try to run out the clock. The fact that we run fairly successfully at the end of games (see Duke, Oklahoma, UVA last year) seems to mean we should be doing it all game. A balanced offense means we can call either a run or a pass at any point, but I think the entire stadium knew we'd try to throw it on 3rd and goal from the 5, and then we came out in the shotgun.

Anyway you can look at the distribution of running plays Manny?

Go Canes!

go to www.accfootballcharlotte.com to get your ACC championship game tickets. 12/4 at 7:45 at Bank Atlantic Stadium in Charlotte. Already got my tickets and expecting the Canes to join me. Let's make that stadium orange and green.

Williams12,

Ditto.

Whats the story with the tight ends? I read so much about Asante and Chase in the preseason about amazing catches but have not seen anything to write home about. Is Asante getting redshirted? They need another threat on the field besides the normal receivers. I think that FSU you would have a lot harder time doubling up on Hank and the other big play WRs if we get them involved.

Manny,

Seantrel got beaten once by a future 1st round pick. I think that is great for a redshirt freshman. I love Fig but he just doesn't look right this year at any position. He needs to be benched, I know he is a senior but he is hurting the team. Jacory is my favorite player so for me to say that all 8 int our his fault is not easy. I have recorded all of the games and poor Benjamin had been blamed. Watching it over and over you can clearly see that all the wide receivers and Ofensive linemen were blocking on the int that Benj was blamed. If you looked at the other INT again bad choice by Jacory. Jacory INT are affecting the other receivers, and Coach Shannon doesn't seem to want to give Streeter or Thompkins enough plays to see what they can do on the field. I think the worse thing about Jacory INT is that at least to the public it seems that he is not being held accountable for very bad decision making. Coach Whipple needs to instruct him to throw it to a wide open receiver, run if no one is open/throw it out of bound. We should really have our second team QB practicing every week as if they are going to start. Jacory looks like he is one hard it to be lost for the season. Personally I think Whipples son is better than AJ and if he's an accurate passer could help the team. I know Shannon does not want to distract the team by creating a QB controversey but Jacory does seem to be improving, maybe its because he feels that no one behind can replace him.

"Leonard Hankerson needs to pass along Mark Duper's phone number to the rest of the Canes' receivers..."

No disrespect the current wide receiver coach, but someone at UM needs to hire Mark Duper before some other team hires him!

I can not remember seeing a wide receiver improve as much as Hankerson has under the training of Mark Duper.

The U needs to hire him or find out what he is doing and incorporate it into their wide receiver training.

Manny,

What is your gut feeling does J12 have a torn labrum ? If so, that is very lingering type of injury that u really need to rest & receive minor surgery. What shoudl the canes do?

I totally agree 3 & rd goal..fade to Byrd or Hank.. Canes get some rest mentally & physically.. Big games against the noles this weekend..

So, AP places us ahead of Florida, but USA Today puts them ahead of both Arkansas and Miami.

Arkansas played Alabama much closer that Florida did, and that is with Alabama calling off the dogs the second half.

And Miami played OSU much closer than Florida played Alabama. Both should be ranked above that horrible and overranked Florida team.

Totally agree with your post UM@Dallas..

Benjamin looks lost this year not confident at all,Byrd has been ok.. AJ where do I start.. He is a shell of where he was at as a freshman..We need to play streeter, thompkins even Davon Johnson he is supposed to be a blazer!

n't worry about Polls now Canes Over Gators, AP Agrees ..

Let's wait until the end of th year when the dust settles. Were our Canes our at.

If it all goes well will be playing in a BCS bowl game this year and the Gators in the Chick fila bowl or somethhing like that peace!

All wide recievers outside Hankerson and Benjamin have been a dissapointment. Benjamin also ranned the wrong route again saturday and he needs to tighten up to on his routes. FSU will be looking for Hankerson so the other recievers need to step up now or be replaced with Thompkins and Streeter who i personal think would make this offense more explosive anywaz because those guys are BURNERS. They better not ever call Aldaruis Glue hands and i hope we land Nick O'Leary because Ford cannot catch the ball to save his life. I thought they said Ashante Cleveland looked good because he might need some burn or just keep Gordan on the field. WRs was suppose to be 1 of the best in the country this year and the strength of this team and Miami might really need to hire that guy Duper because he has Hankerson looking like a first round pick which is not making Aubrey Hill look good as a coach and really should be embarressing for him and he should be on the hot seat. Wrs need to improve or else play Thompkins and Streeter or Hire Duper in place of Aubrey since hes doing Aubreys job anywaz because Aubrey needs to fell some HEAT and be called out. Whats going on with these WRs this year Aubrey???

"And right now, he's worse than the QB who threw for 3,352 yards, 23 touchdowns and finished second in the country with 17 INTs at the end of last year."

Let's not get too carried away Manny, at his current rate Harris will finish 214 for 357 (60%) for 2685 yards, 30 td and 24 int. Keeping in mind, that anyone who looked at our schedule in the off season knew that the first 4 games would by far be the toughest of the schedule. Does anyone out there disagree? Harris' numbers will improve from where there are right now just because the level of competetion will not be as high and well finally have some home games.

While I agree, Harris still has got to get better, he has shown some nice growth as QB this year. He has already scrambled much more than he did last year and has overall avoided more sacks by moving around. He definitely trusts his recievers to go up and make plays, to a fault for sure, but would you want your three point shooter to stop shooting just because he is in a slump? Of course not!! Our receivers have got to stop with all the drops and run the right routes, we are 4 games in and still have receivers running the wrong routes, insanity!
Lastly, Jacory looks real good rolling out of the pocket and throwing on the pass. I'm not sure why we don't take advantage of this more but maybe well see it more down the road as the season unfolds.

Got damn @ all the what if's.. We won! The year Ohio State won the title (well, the ref...) I do not recall them blowing out any teams that year. A win is a win is a win. I will take 10 1 pts W's each & every year. Bad read, bad angles on tackles, blowning time outs, drop passes, etc happens--in College & the NFL. Geesh.

@ canecern

yeah that'd be great for a redshirt freshman. but seantrel is a true freshman. so its not great its downright amazing.

I have a torn labrum and will be having surgery in late Oct. but its my throwing arm and it hurts like hell to throw but I can do about anything else I want, with no problem. Jacory' s problem is he floats everything. It's almost like he just flips his wrist, when he throws. I've never seen him throw a bullet and his footwork is to slow.
We have all that speed at W.R. and we can never get the ball to these guys in stride so they can run after the catch. Another thing if he's got his mind made up to throw to someone, whether their covered or not he's going to throw it and that's where the INT's happen. Our T.E's can be utilized more, no matter how average they are. Remember Richard Gordan was returning kick-offs for us 3 years ago and if he can catch a kick-off, he can catch a flipping 10 yard pass. Benjamin and Johnson are flops up to this point at receiver and are just taking up space by being decoys.

Amen to that 202cane!! Bringing up all the what ifs isnt going to change anything! It was meant for us to win that game. Nothing else needs to be said.

Very Happy with the win. But if the "U" wants to run the tables, improvement is still a must. In my opinion Whipple needs to get the ball more to Mike James. With all the talk on D. Berry, Storm Johnson and Lamar Miller, it seems we have lost track of the fact that M. James is a stud RB. Lets not discount that M. James started as a true freshman last year at FB. I would not be very worried about the fact that Hankerson is getting most of the touches. Most top teams have that one wide receiver who is their go to guy (Example Julio Jones, Alabama). So I am not overly concerned about Byrd, Benjamin, Johnson etc. The question will be who will step up when good teams begin to double Hankerson. Would like to see more out of Thompkins though. He was suppose to be better than Collier, but nothing to go on so far. GOOO! CANES!

Spot on with every point you made in this one. It was nice to get the win, but this team could be much better. I don't know if they issue with the offense is Jacory mentally (not trusting his guys or worrying about injury), Jacory physically (looping passes), or the receivers (couldn't catch a cold in Alaska), but there is definitely an issue. Hopefully the coaches will get it figured out soon.

I would move Streeter to TE

Every game is different, different players making plays,...... too many chicken littles in attendance here.

I can agree with much of what Manny says but go back and look at the games from our Golden Era and you see much of the same things we are complaining about. And the U still won 5 National titles, was the first team to play in all the BCS bowls etc.....

The only difference we see is that their is more reporting and opinions because of the internet. Usually we would be very happy with the 3-1 start and the potential of this team.

We did win the game and according to Herm Edwards, "you play to WIN the game." Hello!!!

What is the ultimate stat that matters? 30 points to 21. Where I come from 30 beats 21 every day all day, every time.

Go Canes beat the Noles!!!!!

All I can say is where are all those gator fans hiding today??? HAHAHAHA. Beat Noles!

oh yeah, almost forgot.. I don't know about you, but Travis benjamin just seems abysmal. He doesn't even appear to be in the game. His head is up in the clouds. You mean tot tell me that A. Johnson, T. Streeter, or K.Thompkins can't do any better. Are you kidding me. I would play these guys and give them more reps. Anyone of them would be better for the team overall.

Yeah, this team is a disgrace if can't win every game 40 - 0. Pitt 31 -3 was really poor. J12 should not throw any INTs. Opposing running backs should never get a run over 7 yards, receviers should never run a bad route or drop a pass. If they continue like this we may get to 13 -1 and that would be a terrible year.

Ho HO HO to all of you Canes fans out there. Six turnovers, a blown non-grounding call on 13-33 J12 which would have made it 3rd and 19 from the 9 yard line, even though he was out of the pocket the ball never reached the 20 yard line which was the original line of scrimmage, it landed at the 19, check your dvr's, with 7 minutes remaining, Clemson gets the ball with good field position. your punter as was ours, was outstanding so probably we get it around the 40-45 and we walk down the field again because your d-line was worn out(i know because i sat right behind your bench and they had been on the field the whole second half, because your o had not scored up until that point in the second half)and this time the one in a million tackle on 4th down doesnt take place. So please feel free to send warm wishes this holiday season to all of your Clemson friends, who by the way are cordial in defeat, unlike the Canes fans who wre classy enough to spit on me in the parking lot last year after our overtime win. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

Mr.Clemson fan I was at the game and can tell you numerous stories about classless Clemson fans what they did, what they said and how they acted toward cordial UM fans following your win in Miami last year, so don't get on your high horse and call out the Canes fans. What a hypocritical comment. YOU and your sorry team and crybaby coach lost, get a grip and expect more of the same from your team this year.

The difference between winning and losing,

Clemdtrain, if, if , if, if, if, if,if if.......

Canesfans, did, did, did, did, did, did,.........

Eat your heart out Clemsons fans, eat your hearts out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Go Canes beat Clemson, oh yeah they did!!!!

Clendtrain, if the Canes defense was worn out, and still kept your offense out of the end zone at that point in the game.... how pathetic does that make them (Clemson Offense) look and how incompetent are they?

AND a defense that can make a one in a million play? How good is that!!!!

You probably don't even know that you dissed your own team.

LMAO.....

Jacory is simply not a good D1 QB. He has some leadership skills, but as far as decision-making and athleticism, he is below average. His picks are atrocious, and how many times does he throw into double and triple coverage? Not to mention his slow, loopy release. Seems like there is some kind of entity out there that wants Canes fans to believe its not his fault. It is his fault, no one else's. I'll admit there has been lots of drops, but his passes are sometimes so awkward and unpredicatable, how can you blame them? I hope J12 can turn it around and become a good QB, but I have my doubts. But apparently, no matter what he does, or how he performs, he will be the starter. Isn't that the exact opposite of every other position on the field? Makes perfect sense now why all our backups transferred last year - they knew they had no chance with Randy's annointed one there. Sad state of affairs if you ask me. I just hope it doesn't bite us again like it did against OSU. We could have won that game without all of J12's picks and blunders.

That Clemson QB sucks. He better just stick with Baseball

Dude,

There is one fundamental thing about the game of football that you don't seem to understand.....football is a TEAM game.

The TEAM wins and the TEAM loses. Yeah J12 is not a D1 QB? Give me a break. Taylor Cook and Cannon Smith where are they now. Taylor Cook has played some, very inconsistent and Cannon Smith after experimenting with him as the starter he is permanently on the bench. When they realize it isn't working out at
Rice and Memphis where they gonna go next?

If JH gets hurt what's the QB depth??

AnonyCane: I said he's not a good D1 QB. Not that I'd take the transferred backups over him, just making the point that he does not seem to be held accountable. He has been given the starters job, he hasn't really earned it. Canecerned said it well. Look at the scrimmage stats: Jacory always with picks on the stat sheet. Whipple, rarely if ever. Having started @ QB for 3 years in HS, I know very well it's a team game; Jacory and Randy don't seem to realize it.

Dude, how do you know he hasn't earned it? Are you at practice and do you really think Whipple or AJ is better?

Randy Shannon is the ultimate, "team" coach and preaches it all the time.

He (J12) is moving up the charts at the U in yards and TD passes, and yes ints. But still moving up in more positive ways than negative.

I don't think he was given the starters job, he beat out Marve by his play on the field and beat Smith and Taylor on the practice field. Do you really think Randy would put his future in coaching and at the U on the line to just give a player a job he didn't win on the field?

J12 is what we got, but he did win the job, it wasn't given to him. I can't believe if Randy thought he had a better QB on the roster he wouldn't be playing.

Jacory and Randy don't realize it's a team game is an opinion, not based on facts.

well then why hasn't he benched Harris for doing similar things to what Marve did then? And he was given the job thats why Cook transferred cause he knew there wasn't any chance Shannon would bench harris for him even if Cook threw 5 touchdowns to Harris's 5 Ints

Do you really think RS would play a guy who wasn't as good as one on the bench and put his coaching career in jeopardy? Answer the question, Do you?

Unless you know otherwise you can't say Cook left because he didn't get a fair chance. How do you know he didn't leave because he knew after seeing Harris in game situations and in practice that he was going to be No.1 on the depth chart and Cook didn't want to sit on the bench as a backup. No problem with that in fact I like that about him, but do you know the real reason Cook left or is it speculation on your part? Answer the question.

Give me facts not opinions,if you make the statement you do, anybody can speculate.

Marve was benched and had Harris behind him, someone who in the time he had on the field got the job done. Who you gonna play if Harris is benched and what experience do they have that gives you a better chance than J12 at winning?

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