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Can Lamar Miller maintain this pace? Thoughts on Ohio State win and more

Now with the Pitt-Syracuse-ACC news out of the way, here are some thoughts on last night's 24-6 win over the Buckeyes. The Canes (1-1) will host Kansas State next week at 3:30 p.m. on ESPNU.

OFFENSE

Lamar Miller > What else can you say about redshirt sophomore Lamar Miller's performance Saturday other than it was special? Since 2005, Ohio State had only allowed 10 players to run for more than 100 yards against them. Miller became the 11th after the first quarter with 115 on nine carries. He finished with a career high 184 on 26 carries. Heisman talk? Maybe not yet. But after three weeks of college football, Miller ranks fourth in the nation with a 151.5 yard average on the ground. Only South Carolina's Marcus Lattimore (178), San Diego State's Ronnie Hillman (165.67) and Michigan's Denard Robinson (153.0) are averaging more. The question is can he keep up the pace? Miller said he wasn't gassed after Saturday's game. But 26 carries a week for 184 yards will wear on anybody. By the way, can we now refer to Miller and Mike James as Batman and Robin? It's pretty clear after James fumbled again Saturday (UM caught a lucky break when it went out of bounds) who the hero and who the sidekick is.

> UM coach Al Golden told us Jacory Harris "would show us all Saturday night." He sure did. Harris showed us all he's still the same interception prone, soft tossing, queasy-stomach producing quarterback we've seen since the Heisman talk died down two games into the 2009 season. Harris finished 16 of 23 for 123 yards and it was clear from the get-go Jedd Fisch didn't want him throwing deep as his four passes flew in distance less than five yards. But once Ohio State started stacking the box, UM needed Harris to throw the ball downfield and he simply couldn't do it consistently. Outside of a pinpoint 29-yard pass to Tommy Streeter right before the half, Harris only completed three other passes for more than 10 yards. Sorry, but unless UM can steamroll every team it faces on the ground, that's not going to be good enough to help the Canes offense the rest of the season. By the way, it looks like until Harris totally implodes, he'll remain the starter. Golden made it clear he remains committed to J-12 in his post-game assesment: "I thought he made some big time throws, had command of the offense. There are some things we have to fix. But I believe in the kid. He's going to have a really good year for us."

> Sophomore Allen Hurns had another nice game (six catches, 54 yards, 2 TDs) and has clearly become the go-to receiver. But outside of Hurns and a couple Streeter catches, UM got very little from its other receivers. Did anybody see LaRon Byrd after he was underthrown on Harris' first INT? The tight ends were also nearly invisible again, finishing with two receptions for five yards. Although it must be noted Clive Walford would have scored on a pretty 15-yard catch and run before the half had it not been for an illegal formation penalty.

> Lastly, UM's revamped offensive line looked very good. The Canes didn't allow a sack and helped produce 240 rushing yards. To steal a line from Golden, the moment didn't look too big for new left tackle Brandon Washington or freshman right tackle Jonathan Feliciano. Outside of two false starts and that one illegal formation penalty, UM cleaned up its penalty problems on the line.

DEFENSE

> Ohio State’s quarterbacks looked really bad, but the Hurricanes played a big part in making them look that bad. Darius Smith and Anthony Chickillo each had sacks and there was enough pressure throughout that it didn't allow Braxton Miller or Joe Bauserman time to find open receivers. The Buckeyes offensive line hadn’t allowed any sacks in its last 90 pass attempts, the third-longest active FBS streak entering the game. The Canes also produced two turnovers -- an interception by JoJo Nicolas and a Marcus Robinson forced fumble in the 4th quarter that was recovered by Mike Williams. FYI, UM gave credit to Micanor Regis for the forced fumble in the final game starts. Replays showed otherwise.

> As for the pass defense, the Hurricanes allowed only 35 yards passing and four completionss -- 22 of those yards came on the Buckeyes’ final two plays of the game. That's a huge improvement over the way UM looked at Maryland when Danny O'Brien had four completions and 35 yards before the opening drive was over. How much credit the defensive backs deserve is iffy. But there were only a couple times when Ohio State receivers were open and the pass simply didn't get there.

> Golden was right -- linebacker Sean Spence was a huge difference maker back in the lineup. He deflected a pass that was intercepted, made a key third down stop on the third possession of the game and led the team in tackles along with Jimmy Gaines. Spence had six tackles in all. You want to talk about a guy UM can't afford to lose. Sean Spence is that guy. How did the other returnees from suspension do? Marcus Forston had two tackles. Adewale Ojomo had three tackles and a quarterback hurry.

> UM's red zone defense -- albeit with a few breaks -- has been a pretty big story so far this season. Between Maryland and Ohio State, opponents have been the Canes' red zone nine times. But they've only scored one touchdown -- the opening drive at Maryland. UM allowed 19 touchdowns in 50 drives into the red zone all of last year, the 7th best red zone defense in the country.

SPECIAL TEAMS

> Dalton Botts averaged 47.8 yards on four punts, but got a mega assist from receiver Kendal Thompkins in coverage. Thompkins fought off a blocker and made the speedy Jordan Hall go airborne before tumbling to the ground on a huge play in the third quarter. If Thompkins doesn't make the tackle, maybe last night's game goes a different way.

> Travis Benjamin’s 27-yard punt return in the first quarter was nice to see. It was his longest return since last year's touchdown at Ohio State. But Benjamin never got a chance again, calling for fair catches on five other punts.

> Jake Wieclaw is beginning to look like a pretty good replacement for Matt Bosher. He had four kickoffs Saturday for an average of 58.2 yards. Ohio State started only one drive beyond the 30-yard line -- it's last when the game was already decided.

COACHING

> The only head scratcher came when Golden opted to choose to kick a field goal late in the first half instead of calling a time out earlier and taking at least one shot at the end zone. Golden later said because Harris had already thrown two interceptions he simply wanted to avoid a pick in the end zone. It makes sense when you consider the Canes got the opening kickoff of the second half anyway.

> Other than that, credit defensive coordinator Mark D’Onofrio and offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch for coming up with better game plans this week. Fisch called for a lot of toss sweeps on offense -- avoiding the middle of that solid Ohio State defensive line. And he didn't ask Harris to throw deep very often.

> D'Onofrio got burned a little by Jordan Hall, but quickly figured a way to slow OSU's running game down after a big first half. The Buckeyes had 134 yards at halftime. They had 13 carries for just 40 yards in the second half.

Comments

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I think Golden is right about Harris. Harris faced a much better defense in OSU than Maryland, and he does seem to have a better command of the position and the offense than Morris overall.

I saw some good signs - the team played four quarters and didn't give up after mistakes.

@DieHardFan agreed
+1

If we can run the ball we do not need to go deep! I see this team not losing again!!!

Believe or not MARKDREBIN and like-minded Cane fans. This Miami offense, led by HELTER SKELTER Harris, will face TOUGHER defenses than what Ohio St. offered last night.

For instance, the Hurricanes will have to go on the road against the likes of Carolina, Virginia Tech and F.S.U. Squads which have relatively stronger D's than what Jacory faced last night.

And FWIW Cane horde. As this Miami pigskin blog ASTUTELY mentioned above, future opponents will ABSOLUTELY stack the box against the Canes and bloody invite Harris to throw vertical.

Matter of fact, opposing D-coordinators are foaming at the mouth to face a Miami team led by an inconsistent slingin' Jacory.

Nonetheless, as I touted earlier, I still see-R a 9-3 Hurricane team this season.

Manny, thorough read on the great victory lat night, and on the team.
We face a stuff season ahead, but with improvement have a chance to win it all.
Go Canes!

Harris will cost us at least 3 wins this season if he remains the starter. The only good news is that if he costs us 2 wins, Golden may pull him and not allow him to cost us a 3rd win. Morris won't cost us any wins. Morris in fact would keep us in games that we might not otherwise have a chance at with Jacory.

We need to run the ball. then play action to catch the other team with their guard down. so yes we do need the long throw... big challenge is going to be VT defense... get your tickets ... see u there

Give the offensive line credit, The Buckeyes have a solid defense, and in terms of athletes and potential, and future draft picks, I doubt we face another team that will bring all 3 consistently,,Florida State, yes, Virgina Tech and North Carolina,maybe, yet still, none of these defenses has shown more than Alabama and LSU,,,therfore, given what we have at running back and receiver, offensive line, and now, an attacking defense, we will beat 2 of the above teams, and I will not be shock to eventually see 3 wins, and honestly, I dont see this team losing again this season. Kanase State, get ready, if J12 can simply find a way, Hurns keep running precise routes, Benjaminn with 1st round speed, and an NFL size line, and a fierce defense, i see 11-1

That was Harris's first game. I say allow him 2 or 3 more picks in the next 4 or so games. If he goes over that, then he's done. But if he doesn't, then he's the better option. The key is, you have got to let him air it out. That is why Harris was so good before his confidence crumbled. Because his Freshman year and early Soph year he threw all over the place without fear, deep, and succeeded. I think that's what everyone is still waiting for. MAYBE there's a chance it will still come back, but it is not helping if he is just handing off all the time. If you're afraid to use him then don't. But again, I say tell him to air it out, but don't tell him he only has 2 more on his Picks-Benched-ometer. If he can't handle the job, this one last time, then he's done.

J12 will be just fine; let him play and stop complaining. The kid has as much pressure on him that first game back than anyone could imagine. Morris is not a better option and GOLDEN knows that and will stick with J12 all season unless J12 gets hurt. J12 was late with a few throws, but other than one throw, he made the right decisions as to which player to get the ball too. J12 will only get better over the next few games and will be on target against VT, which is what will get us over the hump to win the ACC.

J12 stinks

Winning is good. Two games in we have gone from a five - seven win team to a nine or ten win team. Coach has been tinkering with the O & D lines and WR's. He is still looking for players and the team we saw last night will still look different in three more weeks. If that means a new QB then we have a new QB. Can't wait till next Saturday to see to see how the team answers the bell from a big win

Harris and Morris are equally turnover prone. Harris has more experience, hence... he starts. It's wise.

This was, at the beginning of the year, an 8 win team. It's something to be proud of in Year 1 of Golden.

As for the answer for QB? I believe he sits on the bench, as he must for one more year.

Hoooooorrrrrrrrrrrraaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!! go Canes!!!! now that's the Miami Hurricanes I recognize. Harris you did ok last night so don't beat urself up over the picks. Next time just throw the ball as soon as u see ur receivers get open. But overall u did good I like the scramble u did last night continue doing so when it's needed. Now I have a question for everyone on here including you Susan & Manny. Can anyone tell me the name of that techno song that was playing during the kickoff of the game? I like it and I have to have it.

You probably mean this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5LW07FTJbI

Having a QB that you do not trust, to go deep, is like fighting Mayweather with one hand. Fortunately OSU was over rated..Harris will not end the season the starter.

Where can I watch a replay of the game ?

Let's be patient. Remember Howard Schnellenberger and Jimmy Johnson's first year. And they did not have the NCAA breathing down their throats.

espn3 shows replay. Go Canes!

Nice analysis. I see we have gotten more solid at every position and Canes have every reason to be proud, excited, and hopeful. If there is any position for which I am not excited (and there is), I refuse to say anything out of the spirit to support these guys who have been through SO MUCH and are working like dogs to pull together, play together, and win games, one play at a time. GO CANES!!!

11-1?


The only head scratcher came when Golden opted to choose to kick a field goal late in the first half instead of calling a time out earlier and taking at least one shot at the end zone.

--------------------

Jacory

The one I had was going for it on 4th and a full 1 yard. I can see why he did that with the QB situation as it is. Had Harris not thrown those 2 picks prior to that I bet Golden goes for a shot at the endzone. Harris looked tight and scared to death to screw up. I do believe Morris may be the better option which to be honest isn't saying a whole lot but Harris had to be mentally tough and behind that defense, Running game of James and Miller and catching of Hurns he did Qb his team to a win. The curious thing is going forward will harris improve and not continue to be late with the ball or will he continue with the mistakes. One thing is true if a QB doesn't have that strong of an arm he has to throw on time. Morris can make up for throwing late because he has the arm. The guy to get us to the next level though is either Williams or one of the incoming freshmen. Lamarr Miller is the Man. Way to bring in the Win #6

we are gonna do big things this year yeah j12 had 2 int but he did ok and i think he will get better as the year go on im happy to see us beat a good team the way we did v-tech and fsu im not worry about we have what it takes to beat them the key is run the ball to open up the pass lets go canes go all the way.

@ Eudocimus wassup pimp? Naw this wasn't the song. I'm familiar with this one. But the one Miami was playing that sh*& was rocking hell man I was dancing on my couch when I was hearing it lol.

L.Miller is a special player. He is gone after his junior year. The defense will continue to get better. You saw the second half adjustments slowed down Ohio State's running game. QB play is the big issue. I think Golden is the real deal and he will get more consitant play out of the QB. He has too because other teams are going to score more than six points.

I TOLD YOU WE GOT THIS!

No thanks to Jacory Harris.

Sorry the ethiopian with the noodle arm has to go. Where I was sitting people were chanting "Stephen Morris" repeatedly. Man those boos at the beginning of the second half weren't nice at all. Jharris is done. Sorry move on to the next.

Next year we'll have :

Stephen Morris
Ryan Williams
Gray Crow
David Thompson (if he decides against baseball)
Preston Dewey

This is what we need to concentrate on. Harris is done, period.

I rooted for this kid consistently but at the same time always pointed out his weaknesses due to being a realists. With him the glass was half full half empty. But with last night's performance, there's not much in the glass after all.

Now I'll say this again. I did at certain points support JHarris. But I prefer to call things the way I see them. He's an ethiopian with a noodle arm. I wonder if he'll come out of his dorm room today for classes?

This kid had everything going right for him in the beginning and to see him go down this path is sad. I'm speaking sincerely now. I do feel bad for him but he must realize that he isn't the man for the job and needs to step down and support the next man up.

Damn I'm pissed and happy at the same time. We won a truly important game for our team, community, school, players and most importantly for our new head coach. But at the same time we did it with so many mistakes from our so called leader.

I'm truly happy for our team but so disappointed in our QB. Dammit!

J Harris is not smart enough to play D1 football. Enough with him. Let's start Morris!!

I think S. Morris has great promise, but fans need to realize that he is still mistake prone due to lack of experience. He made some very questionable throws against Maryland that he got away with. Don't get me wrong, I think he can be really good. There's no downside to starting Harris again this week. He manages the game better. Don't worry, Golden will sit him down if his decision making doesn't improve and Morris will get his chance again.

Virginia Tech is struggling against no name teams again this year. If the y can get j-12 to settle down and make the throws on time we have recievers to beat a stacked front defense. Teams are watching Allen "Hit-Man" Hearns, he will demand Attention as will Benjamin so stack the box man coverage one saftey will bite them, cause either can run down a pass.

GO GAYTURRS BEST IN SEECC ON OUR WAY THE THE TITLE STEP ASIDE REALITY WE ARE GAYTUR NATION!?

I think J12'S problem is he is to slow coming off his play action motion. The first pick could have been avoided had he gotten turned around with his eyes down the field sooner as Byrd was open in the middle of the field not 4 yards past the hash mark....by then he was covered.

fact is J12 won the game as the starting QB. he started it and finished it. he got the rest of the team into things.

Cool Cat shut up dummy. Al Golden coached our team and our Oline Running backs, WR's and defense won that game U moron. Seems good to have a coach who knows how to coach this year.

Did anyone read Ohio St RB Carlos Hyde's comments after the beat-down, Guess he believed the Buckeye hype this season...

...

Run the ball. Direct snap to the speedsters as well. Play 2 tight ends. Throw only to TEs on 3rd and 6 or greater. If we do not get first downs, punt. It is only 50/50 with Jacory at any given time. We can win with the above formula, plus, it would be so much easier to watch. We simply do not have D1 quarterbacks, simple as that. His interceptions were just like last year.... late, late, LATE. Do the avove and we could go 10-2. Do anything else, we lose 4 more.

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