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Gameday blog: Virginia Tech-Miami

SUN LIFE STADIUM -- The 24th-ranked Canes (7-3, 5-2) will try to keep their hopes of reaching the ACC Championship alive when they take on 14th-ranked Virginia Tech (8-2, 6-0) at 3:30 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPN and can be heard on WQAM.com. Feel free to follow along and participate in our discussion below.

REWIND: UM is 17-10 all-time against the Hokies, but is 2-5 in the last seven meetings including last year's 31-7 loss in Blacksburg. UM knocked off Virginia Tech 16-14 the last time the Hokies visited South Florida in 2008.

ABOUT VIRGINIA TECH: Virginia Tech has won eight in a row since they opened the season with losses to Boise State and James Madison. With a win over the Canes, they'll clinch the Coastal Division crown for the fifth time in the last seven years. Virginia Tech is led by quarterback Tyrod Taylor, who has completed 61.2 percent of his passes for 1,988 yards, 18 TDs and four INTs. He's also run for 581 yards and 3 TDs. The running game is led by Darren Evans (605 yards, 9 TDs). David Wilson (462 yards, 4 TDs) and Ryan Williams (262 yards, 5 TDs) also carry the ball plenty. Defenisvely, sophomore linebacker Bruce Taylor (77 tackles) is the leader. He leads the team in tackles for loss (15) and sacks (6). Sophomore cornerback Jayron Hosley has seven of the teams 16 INTs. The Hokies have three different players handling the kicking dutires. 


> Red Zone and 3rd down execution... It's been the focus in practice for UM all week. The Hokies convert 43 percent of the time on third down offensively (41st nationally) and are good in both red-zone offense (they've scored on 43 of 48 drives inside the 20, 90 percent clip) and red-zone defense (they rank 14th, 72%).

> Will Jacory Harris play... He practiced all week in a non-contact jersey. But conspiracy theorists believe UM coach Randy Shannon might throw a curveball at Virginia Tech and play him alongside freshman Stephen Morris. To me, whether or not Harris plays isn't as important as if UM maintains the same game plan they've had the last two weeks -- running the football. UM has pounded opposing teams into submission the last two weeks. Virginia Tech's run defense ranks 65th in the country -- giving up 155 yards a game. The pass defense? Much better (21st overall, 188 yards per game).

> Leonard Hankerson vs. Jayron Hosley/Hokies pass defense... Even though UM has run the ball plenty lately, they'll still have relied on the pass to produce points. Hankerson has been the go-to-guy for those big plays, hauling in a 79-yard TD pass last week at Georgia Tech and the game-winning TD pass versus Maryland. He is sure to be closely guarded by Hosley, arguably the best corner in the ACC.

MY PICK: Three-game winning streaks are pretty rare at UM these days. Since UM rattled off five in a row in 2008, the Canes have had only one three-game winning streak -- Oklahoma, FAMU, UCF. Since then, it's been a steady pattern of two wins followed by a loss. Time to break the trend. I'm picking the Canes here based on their running game. They'll pound Virginia Tech and hold Taylor out of the end zone just enough. MIAMI 27, VA. TECH 24.

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you people are to hard on the players. understand, they are playing up to the potential this staff can coach. its been obvious for 3 years now, little or no developement in players. why is this a surprise! VT really is just a good team, not great by any means. and we are not good. faiure dan morgan is right failing coach gets failing results save the program fire shannon

Sad sad sad day

I bet yall wont hate on jacory anymore he would have won morris aint ready thats why he was 4th string I love my canes but im disappointed again all year for this loved the unis tho l miller we got a future we need better wr lbs and fans

NEWSFLASH to all you posters: Shalala isn't going anywhere. She's raised the endowments & upgraded academics. That's her job & she's done it well. Now, the Athletic Director & entire coaching staff of the football team is another questions. If they didn't have the talent, I wouldn't be so pis__ed off. They're an undercoached, undiciplined street gang & that's a shame. They need a top notch coach & he needs to hire an entirely new coaching staff. That is the bottom line.

Posted by: Memphiscane

Morris is a freshman...it's why he makes those mistakes. Jacory is a junior, no excuse.

I still say Morris needs to start over Jacory.

This defense is terrible. How many missed tackles!

They blitzed Telemaque right into the play and the still missed the tackle. Are you kidding!!!

Then we pin VT inside the 20 in the 4th quarter and they break one long run for a TD.

Randy Shannon is a nice guy with a good story, and he apparently does a great job mentoring young men. That said, it's been apparent for a while that he's not the right guy to lead UM back to its place among the nation's elite. The same problems that plagued this team in Shannon's first season still plague it today: turnovers, dumb penalties, giving up the big play (on d and special teams), bad clock management, dropped passes, missed tackles.

I think the most frustrating thing is that the talent IS there. The players perform at a very high caliber in bursts; they just can't do it consistently. If Shannon (and this staff) were better with the Xs and Os, maybe the motivation wouldn't be as big a factor. But as it is the coaches get outcoached on a regular basis, AND the players get outplayed.

Without an exceptional gameplan, the execution needs to be perfect, or it at least needs to be a few notches better than it's been under Shannon. And let's face it, this coaching staff is never going to drop any jaws with its gameplan.

As much as the players rally behind Coach Shannon and say they love/respect him, they don't fear/respect him ENOUGH to demand perfection of themselves and to constantly work at improving. If they are actually striving for those things, then clearly this coaching staff isn't doing what's necessary to help them get there. In either case, something needs to be done.

Coach Shannon's a nice guy. I wish him the best in whatever he chooses to do next. He'd be an excellent coach for a school that considers bowl qualification something worth celebrating, or for a program that wants to focus on academics while still being able to at least field a competitive team. Unfortunately, expectations at the University of Miami are much higher than that. Time to bring in someone else.

OK, so anyone who said we'll get back to ACC Championship game and redeem ourselves...what now?

Well put E.

I'm done.

Damn - I've watched several teams succeed in keeping Tyrod in check by not committing to the rush but sliding back and forth to contain. Why didn't UM figure this out? And the refs truly do not like UM. The past 3 games have had horrible calls - ALWAYS against the U!

another horrible game called by Whipple

I will not spend a f--iggin cent on this team anymore.

How dare they ask me to buy tickets?

Good luck getting 10,000 people to watch this pathetic example of a football team play another sorry team in USF

I can spend my $25 for parking and go watch Harry Potter instead.

I can spend another 30 dollars at a strip bar and have a better time.

This is 10000000000X worse than the Coker era

This is 100000000000X worse than the probation years

I am fed up.

I will not turn the TV on anymore nor will I send anymore Money to this program anymore, till a major change is made.

OK we're done. Bench Benjamin and give Streeter/Thompkins a chance will ya Shannon!

Some positives:

Morris has poise, touch on both long and short passes, can run out of trouble, his arm is a rocket and he for the most part made very good decisions--showing a 5th year senior like poise.

The offensive line has unlimited potential. They were awesome on running plays and that sweep with Lamar running behind them is a thing of beauty. They still need work on pass protection, but even there it was okay.

Lamar Miller is a flatout game breaker and a flatout great back. His vision is extraordinary, his speed is fabulous, he shows good power and football instincts.

Cleveland is clearly the tight-end of the future and with more experience this kid is going to be a nightmare for opposing defensive coordinators.

LaRon Byrd is just waiting to breakout and hopefully he (and Streeter) can get with Duper during the offseason.

Mike James has tremendous desire and talent. He also has tremendous talent that next season will make he and Miller the best 1-2 combination in all of college football.

The defensive line holds great promise and with some off season strength and endurance training they will be as good a unit as anyone in the country...if not the best!

Canes Fan

What a loser. You make the same predictions all the time. The DLINe is not even close to being the best unit in the country. How many rushing yards did VTECH have.

Fact is Miami played 3 quality opponents and lost by over 10 points each time. 2 biggest rivals at home and Miami gets run all over.

It is scary to think what the WR's will look like without Hankerson next year.

Benjamin catches that bomb and scores, it would have been an entirely different game....

It all swung on that one drop


Seriously, all you fairweather fans - this is the perfect opportunity for you to officially jump off the bandwagon and stop supporting UM football.

You only go to games when they're winning, and sometimes not even then, you don't give any money to the school, and you give the real UM fans a bad reputation.

Is there any wonder that UM doesn't listen or care about anything you have to say? Nothing you do will influence UM - RANDY SHANNON will be the head coach and JACORY HARRIS will most likely be his quarterback. They probably won't win the national championship and might not even make it to the ACC Championship game.

So why put yourself through all the heartache?

Stop supporting UM, UM does not need you.


Why does Randy Shannon play Cooper? He is clearly inferior to Miller, James and Berry. Why burn Storm Johnson's redshirt if your going to play Cooper.?

Same reason Harris will play next year, it's bad for recruiting if you screw over seniors and take away their chance to play in the NFL.

To those fostering the perception that Shannon, the man who signed a four-year contract extension during the summer, is somehow in trouble, exactly who do you think Shannon js in trouble with?

"Not by me," Shalala said in a brief, impromptu interview on the field before Saturday's loss. "Let's finish the season, let's have a great season. Randy is a great coach and we knew the rebuilding process was going to take some time."

Sorry, I thought I was supposed to get excited when we got a couple of top 10 classes. Those guys graduate next year and we still haven't won anything.

Shannon is 16 - 16 in the ACC in 4 years with Duke being 4 of those wins.

Some questionable play calling on offense, but overall just really bad execution by the players. Can't blame this on Randy....the kids just have to execute. Ray Ray out of position all day...gave up two scores by himself. Turnovers just ridiculous. And, yes, uniforms UGLY...burn 'em.

As for the haters here....there's a difference between a fan and a 'Cane. If you actually attended and graduated from UM, your degree is much more valuable thanks to Shalala. Randy has to produce next year or he's gone. That would be sad, but necessary if no ACC championship next year.

4 wins over Duke. Another 2 wins over Wake Forest and 2 over Virginia.

Once again Shannon fails, who would have thought that. Why would starting Morris over Harris be screwing him over and hurt recruiting? How is that any different than what he did with Marve? Shannon at this rate doesn't have to worry about recruiting or losing players to other schools because all of the good ones want to go where they can win and get better. Winning and open competitions attract the top kids to a school, not a losing retard like shannon who plays favorites. Seriously U morons that support this loser are as stupid as those uniforms looked today. The only coaches worse than Shannon are Wandstache at Pitt, and Hawkins who was fired by Colorado. Shannon is on par with Zook if it makes U feel any better.
We are just as bad off now as we were in 05 and 06.
Like I asked before what "good" team has Shannon ever beaten?

Um when did SHalaber know anything about rebuilding a football program? Obviously she doesn't know what a great coach is if she thinks SHannon is one.

CANES FAN - (or bull, whatever u want to be called) you must work for the canes PR department, because you never cease to drown yourself in canes kool-aid. You must also watch no other team in college football if you somehow believe that every unit on a 9-4 (at best) football team is the best in the nation.

Eudocimus – id very much like to know how you became a Miami fan. Could it be that you yourself is a fair-weather band wagoner who only liked them because they were winning? Since u don’t really care how much we lose, Why is it u didn’t like someone like Vanderbilt/northwestern/wake forest etc.? Stop acting like youre the only true fan because you support a product even when its defective. Unless you were a fan before 1979, STFU. Don’t rip on others because they don’t want to pay for a sh***y product.

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