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Thoughts on Virginia Tech, bowl picture & more

Time for the autopsy now that the hope for a record improvement from last year to this year is officially dead following Saturday's 31-17 loss to the Hokies...

... The easiest thing to do whenever a team underachieves is point the finger at the head coach. But did Randy Shannon miss tackles, draw holding penalties and drop the would-be tying touchdown pass in the fourth quarter? No, his players did. I thought Miami's game plan was very good. The Hurricanes stuck to the running game (262 yards on 42 attempts compared to 33 pass attempts) on. Defensively, they put pressure on Tyrod Taylor with a few surprise blitzes (Taylor was sacked five times). And when it came down to it, they took the right chances, putting the ball in the hands of their best players (they went for it on 4th and 1 and Damien Berry fumbled and let Matt Bosher try a field goal late in the half) to try and decide the game. The players simply let the coaches down. Six turnovers and too many missed tackles ultimately doomed the Hurricanes, even though they outgained the Hokies 464 to 369. 

... That being said at what point does Shannon start taking the blame from the administration? In his four years, UM is 4-9 against ranked opponents and has yet to win a bowl game or even get into the ACC Title game. Virginia Tech, which came over with UM from the Big East, will be making its fifth trip to the conference title game in seven years. Even Boston College has made it to the ACC Title twice.

No, Shannon wasn't handed the keys to a Ferrari like Nick Saban was at Alabama. But when you consider that Mario Cristobal is on the verge of winning the Sun Belt Conference with FIU after being handed an 0-12 program, the current state at UM is a little embarrassing to say the least.

And if you go simply on self-improvement: Where other than the play of the offensive line and running game do you point to in 2010? Receivers? Other than Leonard Hankerson, they've gone backwards. Defense? The pass defense is good, but the run defense has given up more than 500 yards in the last two games combined. Special teams? What's been special about that after the Ohio State kick return/punt return effort?

... Freshman Stephen Morris played spectacularly in the first half, completing 12 of his 17 attempts for 186 yards and a touchdown. His second half (3 of 16, 33 yards, 3 INTs) will most certainly put him back on he bench. Interestingly enough, the first words from Shannon after the game about Morris: "turnovers," "adequate," and "didn't do great." In Jacory Harris' 20-plus starts, I'm not sure Shannon was ever that hard on him. It was more like "receivers," "wrong routes," and "guys not helping him out." Just saying. 

... The most eye-opening quote in the postgame press conference from Shannon for me. "... we got a lot of little things we can look forward to ... " like "senior night." Don't know about you, but I can't remember the last time a Canes coach referred to Senior Night as one of the bigger highlights of the season. But that's where the Canes are today.

... We asked linebacker Colin McCarthy after the game what happened on Ryan Williams' 84-yard touchdown run, which put the Hokies up for good 24-17 in the fourth quarter. His response: "I couldn't tell you." Same for the 43-yard touchdown pass Danny Coale scored on to put Tech up 17-10. Here's what I saw on replay on the Williams' run: Sean Spence met the fullback head-on, Ramon Buchanan missed a diving tackle and McCarthy ran to the wrong hole. By the time he realized it, Williams was past him. Safety Ray Ray Armstrong, who was supposed to be the last line of defense, got picked (to use a basketball term) by the referee. On the Coale touchdown: Brandon Harris let Coale run free across the field where no safety (Armstrong) or cornerback (Demarcus Van Dyke) bothered to follow him. 

... The game actually couldn't have started better for the Canes. They scored on the opening drive then forced the Hokies to punt (Travis Benjamin fumbled), UM's defense got the ball back and Morris found Benjamin for a 43-yard gain down to the Hokies 21. Then, Orlando Franklin drew the first of two holding penalties in the game and the Hurricanes called time out after Leonard Hankerson converted a third and long. The time out actually gave officials more time to review Hankerson catch, overturn it, and then Damien Berry fumbled on fourth and 1. Talk about a momentum shifter.

... Lamar Miller ran for a career-high 163 yards on 15 carries. And he was cramping.

... Colin McCarthy had 14 tackles and the Canes defense had five sacks and 11 tackles for loss. Still, somehow, it feels like feast or famine for that unit. 

... Here are some numbers that should grab your attention: 
- 18. That would be the number of turnovers UM's offense has had in its four losses.
- 12. That would be the grand total of turnovers in UM's seven wins
- 23. That would be the turnovers created in seven wins
- 3. That would be the number of turnovers UM's defense created in four losses.

... It's becoming more and more apparent the Canes could lose the only quarterback in their next signing class. Northwestern's Teddy Bridgewater declined to discuss recruiting when our own Andre Fernandez tried to talk about it when Bridgewater was selected as a U.S. Army-All American last week. When I spoke to Bridgewater's mother last week, she told me she very much wanted her son to stay close to home. But the Gators and LSU are making a hard push at Bridgewater. Some may disagree because they think he's a Jacory Harris clone, but losing Bridgewater wouldn't be good for Miami. There is no real backup plan and nearly every good quarterback is already committed. 

... The Canes were pretty much on path to head to the Chick-Fil-A Bowl with a win over the Hokies Saturday. At this point, all signs are pointing to the Sun Bowl with a win over South Florida next week. The Sun Bowl picks fourth among ACC schools. The Orange takes the ACC Champ, Chick-Fil-A picks next and the Champs Sports Bowl picks third. It's likely at this poin,t Florida State (8-3) and N.C. State (8-3) will both be picked ahead of Miami even though both could end up losing season finales to Florida and Maryland respectively.

Had USC (7-4) been bowl eligible this year, UM might have been pitted against the Trojans. Instead, it looks like after Oregon and Stanford are taken by better bowl games, any team from Arizona (7-3), Cal (5-6), Oregon State (5-5), Washington (4-6) and UCLA (4-6) could end up facing UM. Oregon State and Arizona would be the sexier matchups. But Oregon State still has to become bowl eligible by beating Stanford or Oregon to close the season. If Oregon and Stanford win out, they'll both play in the BCS (National title game and Rose Bowl) taking Arizona away because they would end up in the Holiday Bowl or Alamo Bowl. 


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Does Miami lead the NCAA in ints or overall turnovers?

What is Shalala's e-mail address?

nomorekoolaidplease has it right. I have been saying that for several years. But, each year, I hope that I am wrong and they will be like the Canes of old. Again, they let us down. I will continue to watch them but do not schedule "victory parties" anymore. At least this bunch has saved me a lot in beer and chips.

Are the players today smarter then the players in the 80's and 90's? Are they getting better scores on the SAT's? I think not. The reason why graduation rates are highier is because none of these kids are graduating to the NFL.

When Jacory dressed up in suspenders and no shirt and changed his name to J12 I knew we were dealing with a mental midget. If he were white he would be fired, Lets see what happens...

The canes are 7-4 with wins to FAMU and Duke. And we have a lot of talent... We won't for long unless we make a change at coach

I believe that as a fan and Alumni base we have to put pressure on the university to have a head coaching change. We are stuck in mediocracy and nothing will change.
Asking for Shalala to be fired is extremely naive, basically, those of you that ask for this, really do not realize how far and well the university has progressed from Top 50 university in the Nation, #1 in Florida and lots and lots of money for research and new programs, the life blood of a university.
So if you want change work on figuring out an effective way of moving RS out, Shalala forget about it.

"championships" - Bobby Petrino? Chris Peterson? Gary Patterson?

Why not suggest that they sign away Jim Tressel, Mack Brown or Bob Stoops? Those are equally viable options.

Manny, I really like Randy Shannon, and I agree with you that it is the players who keep missing tackles, dropping passes, etc. But there is something seriously wrong with a team that has as much talent as the Hurricanes have when they continually underacheive year in and year out. This team continues to be unable to win big games. They come out flat and make mental mistakes that they have no business making. That is not a player issue, that is a coaching issue. Randy Shannon doesn't have this team prepared to play on a consistent basis. Its time for a head coach who can coach and inspire these guys to achieve to their level of talent.

Empty stadium, that's how you make them pay for mediocrity.

Don't get sucked into attending the OSU game next year, this team is not improving, it's getting worse.

I, for one, will be there next year. I support the team and Randy. I hope Randy is here as long as JoePa.

I have been a Randy Shannon guy from the beginning. He has done some really good things at UM (i.e. Graduation rate of the players and keeping them out of the police headlines). However when your team can't win the big game and they are making the same mistakes in game 11 that they were making in game 2 that points to coaching. It is absolutely unacceptable at UM for your head coach to be ok with the team not making it to the ACC championship game or looking forward to senior night. Randy might yet turn it around but in my opinion he has one more year to do it, if he doesn't turn the program into a contender by next year he needs to be shown the door, and this time please look for the hungry young coach looking to make a name for himself and don't hire someone in house. This program needs a jolt, needs energy, it needs someone that will make the local kids excited about going to the U. At this point the program has become stale.

I don't care if Randy Shannon is black, white, purple, or plaid. I don't care if Donna Shalala is a liberal with a hidden agenda. All I care about is that the Hurricanes lost more games this year than last year, and we're losing quality recruits. At this point, Miami will be lucky to finish 2011 with a 9-4 record. That just doesn't cut it. Randy Shannon is not the answer. Fire him now! Fire him before we have another championship-less season and lose more recruits. Fire him now, so that the incoming coach still has talent with which to turn around the program. Fire him now! Do now wait for the inevitable.


The thing that worries me the most is that they never got any better throughout the year they are the same as week 2. Very troubling.

The sad thing about the current situation at the "U" is that for those Cane fans born after 1977 the time may have passed you by to see what a totaly dominating football program looks like. For about 12 years, from 1983 to 1995 the "U" was totaly dominant. We are not talking about the small run the "U" had from 2000-2003, we are talking about a 11 to 12 year run when the "U" were either playing for the NC or finishing in the top five. I mean the "U" won 4 NC during that period and played in what 3 to 4 other NC games. I was just old enough to see Kosar beat Nebraska and start a run that will never be duplicated by any college football team. So, to all the Cane fans born after 1977 my heart felt condolences because this constant losing that many of you have become accustomed to is something I never had to experience growing up as a "U" fan. Just truly sad.

Morris threw some beautiful passes under pressure, the throw to Benjamin with a defender about to blast him was a thing of beauty, I have not seen Jacory throw a ball like that or the one that Morris threw to Hankerson to win the Maryland game in all the time he has started. Morris is going to be special and for the head coach to bad mouth him to the media at the end of a game especially the kid being a true freshman is just inexcusable. Benjamin has been a disappointment, where is Tommy Streeter, Devon Johnson, or Kendall Thomkins? Why aren't those kids getting an opportunity?

Why don't you complaining fake fans go cheer for FIU. We don't need you here at the U. Its these negative post that run most recruits away. DS is bringing in big bucks to the U and thats what matters. Let's face it, RS is not going to be fired before his new contract ends. How about some of you negative nay sayers go out and influence a recruit to come to the U. That's where I place my frustration and it has worked with us landing some of a good players who are contributing right now. Also, none on you on this site donate enough money to the U that makes a difference. Fair weather fans you are. Go away we won't miss u. Go Canes!

Do you guys in the medai ask Shannon the tough questions after the game. If so, why wasn't a blitz called off the left side of the defense called against the second string quarterback on 3 and 16. he would have been required to run to his left and throw against the grain, and why does not the big defensive end rotate from side to side to prevent from being double teamed.

Storm Debris you fing tool stfu. Does it matter if a good recruit comes here or not because he won't develop or get any better with these clowns coaching him. And do you really think an 18 year old football star is reading every comment on this or any other Cane blog? No they're not they are trying to get some puzzy or studying ow working like everyone else in high school you dumbazz.

Just saw on Twitter, Bridgewater is bye bye! NIce job you whiny fans!

Why should I go waste my time at Miami...man I don't even want to go to class.

You guys are killing my ability to recruit. Please post nice things only! I know where losing, but it's all part of the process.

This conversation has many facets, and,yes, there is an element of the negative from many Canes' fans. How could there not be, given this team's inability to win important games? Fans know that the issue is coaching and leadership. These elements produce confidence in the players and focused domination on the field. So,for sure,stop the bashing for it's own sake. There are good things that have been accomplished, and strong academics is one of them.But don't deny the real problems that this program is facing. The hope for true Canes is change thst brings strong and impressive leadership to UM...Now is the time!

it was a good game, VT made better adjustments at half time. UM gets way too much talent to wine 6 or 7 games every year. coaching?

You know I'm just as miffed at how the season has gone as ANY Cane fan is, but let me ask you posters, if you're a prospect and thinking about going to Miami, and then come on these blogs and read all of your rants, do you think they're still going to want to come to the U? So in your eyes, get rid of RS and that'll make it all right again? What coach is going to want to come to Miami, since DS is tight with the $$$? Just remember folks, these kids today are ALL over the blogs, and read what you post.

Thats because 99% of the people on this blog are not cane fans.....They talk about not supporting the university.....they don't and have never supported the university...Just notice after a win...this blog is basically empty.....Look at all the different names afetr a loss....its actually funny.......All this blog is doing is damaging the university ability to recruit....It doesn't matter who coaches....this is just downright mean and it has everything to do with the color of RS skin...plain and simple.....deny it all you want...but everyone here knows its the truth...how could you not want a recruit that every other school in America wants....because you don't want the university to succeed or better yet you don't want RS to succeed....But guess what....it's not your decision

Bottom line Shannon and that Staff needs to be Fired cause as long as they are there we go keep losing Games and goin 7-5 ....... Let's come together U Fans and get Him Fired. Never thought I would be saying this but it hurts to watch Miami Football

MANNY!!! When are you going to have the guts to demand that RANDT RESIGN!!!

They are not 7-5......what are you looking at......you should be fired.....

Why don't everyone keep quiet about RS.....then you might get what you want...

I listen to WQAM (Joe Rose, Gino Toretta & Michael Irvin) every day until 3pm (then I switch because Sid's show is reidiculous, made for Beavis & Butthead fans), then I listen to 1270 in Tallahassee. Everyday, Jeff Cameron on 1270 makes comments about the biased officiating going on in the ACC. Yet, Miami fans and media continue to ignore this issue likes its some kind of taboo.

Look, there are just too many blatant, momentum changing, phantom calls against UM at critical times in the game. There is also an enormous amount of 'no calls' in favor of UM opponents offensive line. Every coach and team in the country knows it can get away with holding UMs defensive line. That's why you see several teams running that same off-tackle play over and over, holding the D-line and linebackers.

We, as responsible fans and media, must continue to expose and publicize how officiating is being used as a handicap to level the talent in the ACC.

Yea right....I agree....but do you think anyone on these blogs will do anything to help this coach.....no....You ar asking the SoFl media to write something to help the program when they could not even metnion that RS is a semi-finalist for the Joe Paterno coach of the year award.....

go hokies! F the U!

Everyone posting all these hateful post on here wants RS gone so there real teams can come in get all the SoFl players.....such all the hate for the NW quarterback....I think some people on here are getting paid to post negative things to try and tarnish the program.....first it was all the off field trouble with coker.....but they can't use that now...then it was RS contract....well he got one...so now thay have resulted to just posting hate and negativety towards RS......

Dear Canes,

We like Mario Cristobal just fine. We'd like to keep him. That said, you still should change Randy. That guy is costing you games, and I read an article not so long ago that pretty much says he and his staff aren't properly coaching his kids, either (ie. a defensive back from Miami had no idea how to study for game day / game day film, etc).

You need someone better than that! Spoken as someone who roots for FIU but also roots for UM.

Where did you read (my bad hear) that article...

Regarding recruiting - what about Virginia atheletes? VT finds a way to win with their recruits.

Manny in a game like this there are two or three plays that decide who wins or loses the game.

I know Shannon or his coordinators were not playing the game, but did they put their players in the best posistion to win the game.

Did anyone ask Whipple on the 4th and 1, why in the heck would he call a running play off tackle, whe Va. Tech had stacked their players on the line of scrimmage, playing a goal line defense. There were numerous options he could have used instead of a slow handoff to Berry on a dive play.

Why not blitz the second string quarterback on the third and sisteen play. Anyone question the defensive coordinator on his lack of being aggressive. The defense sat back in that damn same 4-3 defense like they did against Ohio State on their third and twenty play only to let each team convert.

The playcalling in unimagative, and it sucks. These two plays are the reason we lost the game. We did not convert.

Does randy have any say on what plays are being called. If so he is bland as oatmeal. If it is the coordinators themselves then they have to go. There might be in house fighting among the coaches to get Shannon canned.

Those two calls were unacceptable.

Canes versus Notre Dame in the Champs Sports Bowl! Automatic sellout...

Hey season's been over

You're everything wrong with sfla. uneducated & mislead...if you can read this, you're a LOSER!

2006 article posted at the sun sentinel...no real coach wanted to come here and coach in 2006 because of you moron haters who call yourselves fans and there is no way a 'name' is coming should randy be fired...because of you morons! Back in 2006 shalala was ready to pay, but even schiano knew that coaching here in front of you imbecilies would have meant the end of his career...this from a former cane who knew you clowns all too well...football at the "u" is ova...5-6 maybe 7 win seasons is the new norm thanks to you numbskulls.


One plus for Miami is the hiring of Chuck Neinas, a consultant/headhunter type who will help the Canes nail down their top guy. He’ll research candidates The U has targeted and he’ll also assemble a list of his own, based on traits Paul Dee and Donna Shalala are looking for in the school’s next head coach.

Neinas is the X-Factor here, for numerous reasons. The firing of Coker and hiring of Neinas is a bold move by Shalala. Many were whispering that she was happy with Coker maintaining the program, graduating players and keeping their noses clean as well as the shared revenue deal as a member of the ACC.

If football wasn’t some sort of a priority at The U, Shalala could’ve gone against the grain and brought Coker back for one more season. Instead, he was fired 12 hours after the 17-14 win over Boston College.

This could all be a ruse and smoke screen, appearing to do a nationwide search and then bringing in old chum Barry Alvarez, but all signs are pointing to Miami putting the full court press on Rutgers’ Greg Schiano. Schiano and his Scarlet Knights are gearing up for their season finale at West Virginia this coming weekend, so don’t expect much Schiano to Miami chatter over the next week. If this thing has any legs, we’ll hear about it hours after the bowl selection show next Sunday on FOX.

From everything I’ve heard and read, Miami is prepared to make Schiano an offer he can’t refuse. He’ll be compensated financially and a promise will be in place to upgrade the facilities. Rutgers will most likely match this in their attempt to keep Schiano in New Jersey, but at day’s end it’ll come down to his drive and desire as a head coach.

Should Schiano not sign with The U, there are a few other names which have been dangled out there.

>>> Steve Spurrier seemed the shoo-in candidate for about 36 hours two weeks ago. Those flames seem to have simmered, making it much ado about nothing – or proving that Spurrier and his people know how to keep things under wraps. I don’t think Spurrier will wind up at Miami, but I also wouldn’t put it past him to pull this off.

>>> Barry Alvarez is currently Miami’s second choice, I believe. He’s the safe play if Schiano turns The U down. I can see Shalala talking Alvarez into returning to coaching, making a run for a few years and then transferring over to AD after Dee steps down or is fired. That said, if Neinas can collect come solid info and interest regarding lesser-name candidates, that could push Alvarez to the back burner.

>>> Steve Kragthrope doesn’t have the sexy name or resume, but he’s done a helluva job with a nothing Tulsa program. He’s also received a ringing endorsement from former Miami AD, Sam Jankovich. Jankovich believes Kragthorpe can be this generation’s Jimmy Johnson, an up and comer waiting in the wings for a big time opportunity. Jankovich was one of a few architects of the Miami Dynasty and if Kragthorpe is OK by him, he’s OK by me.

>>> Gary Patterson has done a good job at TCU, though some feel he’s just maintaining the program that Dennis Franchione built between 1998-2000. In his six seasons with the Horned Frogs, Patterson put together four seasons with 1-2 losses. Is he ready for that next level or was he just a
ight place, right time hire at TCU? We’ll see.

>>> Mike Leach is a name that Neinas will have on his list. With a high-octane offense, all Leach needs is a defensive coordinator and some in roads to recruit South Florida and he’d be set.\n

And now the recruits are fleeing away from you jerks...as dandy don said...turn out the light (you morons)the party's OVER!!!

Howard Schnellenberger FOUR YEARS at Miami: 41-16

Jimmy Johnson FIVE YEARS at Miami: 52-9

Dennis Erickson SIX YEARS at Miami: 63-9

Butch Davis SIX YEARS at Miami: 51-20 *ON PROBATION*

Larry Coker SIX YEARS at Miami: 60-15

Randy Shannon FOUR YEARS at Miami 28-21

Randy Shannon has now lost more games than any Miami head coach *IN MODERN* history………DESPITE being here the least number of years…..

curlytop... RIGHT!? Not only was the VT defense LINED UP in a bunch goal line formation but so was our offense... and the play called for the back to run the ball right into the traffic... i could barely watch just seeing the formations...


Yeah the play calling is the problem as was the weather.

"any team from Arizona (7-3), Cal (5-6), Oregon State (5-5), Washington (4-6) and UCLA (4-6) could end up facing UM."

How exciting . Thankyou Donna, Kirby and Randy.

Once the Orange Bowl came crashing down, it took UM's hopes of dominating college football again with it. You're now cursed just like the Dolphins, relegated to football mediocrity at Joe Robbie Stadium forever. Enjoy, I will.

I would really like us to play UCLA. Maybe that will garner some more attention on The U and we can continue to steal recruits from the West. being that we have a national following - it shouldn't be that difficult.

Go Randy
Go Canes!

Bull Gator- So how do you explain the stooooooooooopid play calling? Is it the fans' fault as well?

Here's an idea: Make Frank haith the football coach and make randy shannonthe bb coach. Their coaching is equally bad, they have regressed instead of progresssed, and theyre both black so the libs that keep track of "minority hiring" wont whine.

besides, the football team seems to score as many as the bb team and the football teams defense is just as bad as the bb teams.

Posted by: The end of the Lizard e era

Welcome back Sean Wilson. Your racism never ceases to amaze me. You Gator fans just need to go away. We are truly building something amazing here. We will be back to national prominence next year. The airwaves in South Florida are a buzz about the canes potential next season. So you racist rednecks stick to your own site!!!

You Cane fans are hilarious

Boycott the games? all 500 of you who actually show up to the games? haha, will any one notice. The only reason you guys sold out the FSU game is because a good 20,000 of the people were Noles. Most of you give absolutely nothing to the school other than wearing your UM shirt around FIU. Barely any of you actually went to the school. Barely any of you are boosters. Barely any of you hold season tickets. Where the hell do you guys get this irrational sense of entitlement? Shalala is too busy chasing women to notice or care about the football team. As long as Shannon has high graduation rates and wins 7 games, he will not be fired. Why do you UM fans think that is what got Coker fired? It wasnt. It was the fight with FIU on national television and Patta dying that cost Coker his job in addition to the bevvy of arrests and off the field trouble.

But lets imagine, for some reason, any of you clowns actually had any clout and UM decides to get rid of Shannon (which I, as a Nole, would hate, we LOVE Shannon coaching your boys) Who will you get? With what money? You have a TERRIBLE fan base and can barely keep a football program afloat. Randy was just given an extension. Dont you guys still pay Coker from his buyout? Youd owe Randy his money also. Your school does not have the money to get a big name coach. That simple. Randy was given the extension because he was the best option considering the economic situation. That is the reality. Deal with it.

I have a newsflash for all you Cane fans which will make it sting a little more. FSU is going to absolutely own UM for the foreseeable future. Randy Shannon is a lousy recruiter who gets too much credit for the 08 class in which a bunch of kids came from NW, who were going to come no matter who was coaching. FSU has OWNED miami in recruiting, especially in south florida. FSU's 2011 class might end up #1 or 2 in the nation and its only getting better. We also started developing our players which didnt happen in the past 9 years under Bowden. FSU's alumni and boosters have opened the wallets and FSU is getting bigger and better facilities. FSU is literally 2 plays from being 10-1 under a first year coach and a complete staff over haul. Dont forget we dominated you guys, in your own house, if i can actually say its yours, when your the red headed step children in your own stadium. FIU has their own stadium, UM doesnt. Thats pathetic.

Lastly, My favorite poster is the 2nd poster here, can anyone translate that garbage? Was that english?

Posted by: Nole

Nice try Sean. Now you are a Nole? What's next a Duck or Auburn Tiger?

What you fail to understand is that The U has 5 read that 5 NCs and has a consecutive TD streak in the NFL. Miami is a international playground and with a plethora of things to do - we don't usually sell out. Also, it was a tad bit cold that day.

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