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Gameday blog: Maryland at Miami

SUN LIFE STADIUM -- The Hurricanes (5-3, 3-2 ACC) will try to keep their faint hopes of reaching the ACC championship alive today when they take on Maryland (6-2, 3-1) at noon. You can watch it on ESPNU or listen it on the radio at WQAM.com. Feel free to participate in our discussion below as you tune in.

REWIND: The last time the Hurricanes faced the Terrapins was 2006 -- just a few days after the shooting death of Bryan Pata. Maryland came away with a 14-13 win in College Park. It's been the only meeting between the teams since Miami joined the ACC in 2004. Maryland owns the all-time series 8-7.

ABOUT MARYLAND: The Terrapins have won four of their last five games including a 62-14 blowout of Wake Forest last weekend. Maryland has turned the ball over a league-low seven times. The offense is led by freshman quarterback Danny O'Brien, who has thrown for 1,148 yards, 13 TDs and only 3 INTs. The Terps, however, are really known for their power running game led by 5-11, 200-pound senior Da'Rel Scott, who has run for 346 yards and 3 TDs on 75 carries. Junior Davin Meggett (5-9, 215) leads the team in rushing with 487 yards and 4 TDs on 90 carries. The team's top receiver is Torrey Smith. He has 34 catches for 540 yards and seven TDs. Adrian Cannon (22 rec., 189) is the second option. Defensively, the team is led by linebacker Alex Wujciak, who ranks third in the ACC with 10 tackles per game. Safety Kenny Tate ranks second in tackles (63) and has 3.5 sacks to go with two picks. Joe Vellano leads the team with eight tackles for loss and five sacks. As a unit, Maryland ranks 33rd in run defense and 8th nationally in pass efficiency defense. They're especially good in the red zone, ranking eighth nationally. They'll bring a lot of blitzes out of their 3-5-3 defensive package. Where Maryland really excels is special teams. Tony Logan ranks second in punt return average (21.2 yards) and has taken two back to the house. Smith handles the kickoff duties and is explosive as well.

THINGS TO KEEP AN EYE ON FOR THE U...

> How much will offensive coordinator Mark Whipple ask freshman QB Stephen Morris to do? If there is one criticism a lot of people have of Whipple it is that at times he's asked his players (Jacory Harris, Travis Benjamin come to mind) to do things they aren't necessarily good at. Morris will be making the first start of his career against a defense that will throw a lot of complicated blitzes at him. Will Whipple continue to ask his quarterback throw the ball deep and over the middle? Or, will he make things easier for Morris and allow him to make the plays he's capable of?

> Will the defense rebound? As bad as the Hurricanes played last week in Charlottesville, they'll still had a chance to win the game late. The defense had a chance to come up with a stop and put the offense back on the field. They didn't get the job done and were gashed for 185 yards on the ground. UM's run defense ranks 71st in the country and has been the one thing on defense that hasn't been good enough. This is a big day for Sean Spence, Colin McCarthy and the rest of UM's front seven. Time to answer the bell and get back to creating tackles for loss and sacks.

> Will special teams do anything right?  Seems like an eternity since Lamar Miller and Travis Benjamin made those big returns for touchdowns against Ohio State. The Hurricanes haven't gotten much out of their special teams in a long time. And to make it worse, kicker/punter Matt Bosher has been unreliable. He's missed extra points, shanked punts. Maryland can beat Miami in the return game. Special teams coach Joe Pannunzio could ill-afford another disastrous day.

MY PICK... MIAMI 23, MARYLAND 17: Everything points to an improved Maryland team delivering more misery for Miami. But every time I'm ready to pour gasoline and light a fire on this regime, the Canes stand up and win. The truth is Maryland is overachieving and Miami is underachieving. The Hurricanes are the better team -- and probably better with Stephen Morris under center. The Canes haven't lost two in a row since the end of the 2008 season. They'll win today and become bowl eligible. But this won't be a North Carolina-type beatdown.

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Comments

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morris throws a better deep ball

You, must be re-lated to SHANNON, you never critize him. After, Maryland wins, will you ask for SHANNON"S resignation.

25K for Homecoming ?

Lemme guess, there so much else to do in S. Florida huh ?

Gots Q.B. depths ?

U can cut two holes in a Gatoraide cooler, strap it onto Whipple Sr's melon and let him play Que Bee ?

How about we make Shannon the football team's academic coordinator and bring in a real, name-brand coach to utilize talent and light a fire under some rear ends. This way, Shannon stays with the program, can hold the players accountable in their academics and behavior, plus he can help with recruiting. This huddling up, dropping back to throw the ball is getting predictable. Has Shannon or Whipple watched Oregon play lately?

I honestly expected 10-2, win the ACC and go to a bowl game played on New Year's Day or after. This is absolutely pathetic.

begging you guys, i am on the west coast and need a link to streaming live tv of the Canes game

someone hook a cane up with a link please!!!

how sad does it get? now they cannot kick extra-pts. As I stated before: Larry Coker gets fired for this ? How much more do we need to endure; Randy must go, followed by the lib-elitist sha-la-la.

win or lose, JH will never have Morris' arm. It's time to go with a qb that can expand this offense. We will probably lose 3 of the next 4 games, so might as well get him ready for next year. How many times has JH underthrown guys this year.

RJ, would be nice, but the administration has already said the academics will be the number one priority. I think this staff can consistently win 8 or 9 games every year, but breaking into 10 or more wins takes more talent and that talent can't always get the grades to get into UM.

Again... The team doesn't look well coached...

DBs and Linebacker seldom look back for the ball on coverage. Poor technique.

Special teams... Well... too much there to comment on.

QBs have not developed well...

So with a young QB with promising skills...
I wish they would make a change in coaching soon because UM may wast an opportunity with a potential star at QB and a star at Left Tackle possibly.

But... They probably won't.

Sorry coach. Got your name wrong. Coach SHANNlalahaha! Somebody run out of bounds and TAKE THE COACH OUT!!

why do the qb continue to throw the ball to richard gordan!!!!!!!

Does anyone else see that the Whimple isn't all that he should be? He can't field from the center on extra points, etc. and continually has under performed as a qb. So, what is he good for? At least Morris, whose thrown another int. is showing promise. Maybe the waterboy/girl should hold for Bosher? Dang, Bosher started out as a Lou Groza possible and has been relagated to non mention. Let's get real, The debacle of this team doesn't rest solely on Harris's head, no pun intended.

y'all are funny. There is no BIG NAME coach coming. Miami won't pay that much. Plus do you think they're gonna pay coach Shannon to go away and then pay someone else to coach? Plus what BIG NAME coach wants to come here to play in front of a barely half filled house and to get called out year in year out if his team is one of the 100 plus that don't win a national championship? Jimmy Johnson isn't walking thru that door. Coach Shannon isn't going. Neither is President Shalala. Don't like it, go find another team. I'll support this one and stand by the kids and stand by the coach.

Long Time,

I understand and appreciate the commitment to academics, but it seems to me that if you are going to ignore your glorious past and sacrifice the football program, then you should at least be mentioned in the same breath as the other top-notch academic schools. They are not, unfortunately and they have a comparable graduation rate. So now they sit in the middle; not an elite academic school and no longer an elite football program.

Since only about 2 of the players on the current roster will make it in the NFL, they are probably doing these kids more of a service by shifting the focus to academics. They will need their degrees to earn money when they leave.

Why is gordon even in the game on a pass play? Donna Shalala looks like a short fat sow trying to throw the U sign up on that commercial. SHe can't even do that right.

Why does Miami go to Duke and play in a fog ?

Why are the Gators up 40+ at Vandy @ the half ?


COACHING ... extend Randy again pllllllllease

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE "n"!

RJ

This transformation to academics is relatively new, and this course will take years to accomplish.
Now I do agree with the past, but I don't view this as a sacrifice. I was actually at games in the 70's when things were really bad and have been a supported ever since. I, as much as everyone else, wants a championship team, but I just don't see it under happening under the current landscape of college football.

I agree that the current staff is probasbly lacking, but until UM find s some money for top talent, like they have at Alabama, Texas, and so on, this it the way things are going to be.

have a good one

We have a SECOND HALF to play?? There goes NAP time! We won't have the energy AGAIN to put up 4 fingers for the 4th quarter!

Consistently having players...

Drop balls
Commit dumb penalties
Look confused
Blow special teams assignments
Not play the ball on coverage
Don't look off DBs at QB

Poor coaching... Poor coaching... Poor coaching...

RJ - I'm with you on UM moving Shannon to AD but you clearly don't understand how athletics or academics work at UM.

Number one, there are over a dozen players on this years team who will be be playing in the NFL (off the top of my head Brandon Harris, Spence, Fortson, Bailey, Hankerson, Berry, Henderson, Telemaque, and Benjamin are already locks).

And number two, the fact that you think graduation rate is a factor that would even be considered in judging the academic quality of a university shows that you don't really understand how universities are judged. Graduation rates matter for athletic programs and high schools, not universities.

And finally - these overwhelming majority of these kids are not students, they are athletes. They coast through with humanities majors and tutors that write their papers for them and their degrees don't mean dick in the job market once they have to open their mouths during the interview process.

UM's football program isn't suffering because they're trying to improve their academic reputation, the two are entirely separate businesses. The program is suffering because they've moved to a more competitive conference, they don't have a very good head coach, and they're no longer the only team recruiting talent in south Florida like they were in the '80s.

we have one U don't, U are a 100% correct.

BYE-BYE jacory Harris!!! If Shannon dosent bench him now then Shannon must finally go. Does anyone remember this many penalties and dropped passes under Jimmie, Butch, or Coker?? team has no discipline and is NEVER ready to play.

Alright, i give up.

I am changing my position-- i see clearly that this Canes team doesn't have the right Captain at the helm.

Continued miscommunication, failure of disciplined play, no fire in the team, no confidence...

Not on Offense. Not on Defense.

What a terrible waste of 2-3yrs of high quality horses.

All this points back to coaching. THE ENTIRE COACHING STAFF, not just Randy.

Clearly: Stephen Morris the starting QB for the rest of the season and next year.

I've never seen Harris play this hard or well or throw the ball that powerfully.

Morris is still raw, but he's got the "IT" factor that J12 only flashed his freshman year and really never again.

WE ARE IN A DOG FIGHT WITH MARYLAND!!! how completely sad...

future is bright with Miller but its just disheartening to watch a different team show up every week. I use to get excited watching them play now I just sit and watch might clap once or twice even if we win. Im just drained watching this crap.

Why is Miami always out of time outs

Duke so far has 47 on Virgina.....we are soo bad....its like watching a div 2 game every week with us

weak

If the U loses this game, I don't know how people can continue to defend Coach Shannon. I think the U still has to give him one more year for appearances, but this could very well be the year that dooms his fate as HC. Then again, they could be a way better team next year......real frustrating being a 'Canes fan right now and for the past seven years.

It's not over ... uhoh

well at least we have a qb now

amazing!!!!!! So glad the U didn't lose this one. Finally we've got some competition at the QB position. Now if Whipple can get some consistency in his play calling!!!! Phew!!!! This could have been the difference b/t Shannon keeping and losing his job.

we got a quaterback

That was a close one

BAD DAY FOR THE HATERS!

We're Back ! And have a future Heisman Q.B. !

Randy gots this !

extend Shannon til 2020 !

MORRIS IS THE MAN!

HANKERSON IS THE MAN TOO!

Observation, We have a QB, The coaches are the problem, Take Ford's scholarship along with getting Linder in more,TB needs to work with Nat Moore Asap, McCarthy should not be in on passing downs, Streeter was bouncing around encouraging people, that has to be difficult considering the coaches believe he cant play. Jacory would have thrown it on that final 3rd down and he would have floated it for an interception on the TD.

ou cant really be too excited about having to go to the wire against Maryland. We do have a QB though, only question is will Shannon play him? Shannon must go if we are to get back to championship form. Team is always commiting too many penalties and always and I mean always out of time outs. No dicipline and poor clock management. All falls back on one thing COACHING!!

This QB has poise- like J12 against Virginia in 2008 when he drove UM down the field for a winning TD or OT or whatever. Then something unclicked with him. maybe all the hits. He lost his confidence and his mojo and it is obvious.

This is our QB. he can run, and he has an arm. He is smart even though the 2 ints were bad. Not bad throws. bad reads. Against an NFl-type senior MLB.

Still, though, Tyler Horn had 3 holding penalties in the 4th q. How many penalties did UM have with holds, etc? That is pathetic and unacceptable

Nonethelss, the facemask penalty on Spence was another example of how ACC refs have it aginst UM. Like Ron Cherry, these b-trds cannot and will not give Um the benefit of the doubt on ANYTHING. That was a horrible call that almost flipped the game. Replay showed a0 No facemask (which was the call on the field), and b) No body language by the Tight End that his facemask was grabbed. That was total BS. Um should file a formal complaint to the ACC. Seriously. I almost had a stroke.

This was a great win. A great drive. There were so many positives- Miller, James and Coop, Hankerson, Morris' poise, Morris incredible drive with 3 minutes left I mean, this was cane ball.

Defense came up big (for the most part). I agree McCarthy should be out on passing plays.


GO CANES. SIGH of relief. this was a big win. One game at a time boys. Time now to practice for the triple option.

S.Morris #17 has the poise and leadership skills and arm strength and accuracy and touch and presence necessary to be a stellar but I mean a STELLAR quarterback, he makes all the right reads, improvises with his feet when he needs to do so, he throws excellent on the run, and so poised at all times, the man spins the hell out of the ball, I mean ...spins that damn ball so effortlessly, so much zip!!! Quite simply the "real" deal, J.Harris #12, thank you for the moments, the good and the bad and hopefully you learned from the bad, I am not hating, I am just being honest, Morris, is the man! ...and I am glad he knows it too!

What is it with ACC refs against us? Worst call I have ever seen.

And once we cut out the turnovers we will be fine. Our D only gave up 13 points to a Maryland team that can score. But turnovers kept them in the game, and gave up a TD.

My wish for this season is to get the gaytors in a bowl game.

if jacory harris sees the field again as a starting qb then all the complaints against the coaches is justified

Stephen Morris!

I'm just sayin'

i would have liked to see how many points we would have put up if we didnt have all the drive killing penalties.
thats what needs to go!
penalties!!!

Ok lets start with how can i defend randy if theyd lost to maryland. I dont know maryland being 6-2 overall entering this game. The fact they have a true freshman at qb. Those are 2 reasons to defend randy. He has this team at 6-3 the gators have 3 losses also. diffrence is urban cryer inherited a roster ready to win miami didnt have that luxary after coker was done. So even the best coaches in college football lose games. As for the xps those are mental mistakes. Its frustrating but on one the holder dropped the ball and the other no one blocked the guy who blocked the xp. Morris looks pretty good at qb. Maryland is a good football team. Losing to them this year isnt a bad thing. Good news is miami won.

LAMAR MILLER...SCARY GOOD!

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